Tuesday, February 15, 2011

French Army Double Buckle Boots,

Here is another piece from my collection........ my 1960's vintage, French Army / French Foreign Legion boots. These boots are a piece of history that I wear "every day", well not every day, but whenever I need a good pair of boots to go with one of my kilts or retro-outfits.

I purchased these boots about 5-6 years ago in brand new, unissued, condition. They were still tied together with a piece of hemp twine and had the original cotton laces in them. The laces were brittle and quickly broke, so i replaced them with oiled leather laces. The only other thing I've done to the boots is to treat them with Hubbard's Boot Oil (really sticky and thick logger boot treatment). These boots are still available used, from time-to-time, through the various surplus outfits, but you don't often find them in unissued condition.

These boots were copied from the original WW2, US Army, double buckle leather boots that were issued to our troops in Europe. These French copies would work great for US reproduction WW2 boots if it were not for the fact that the leather is "inside out". The boots have the smooth side of the leather in which is EXTREMELY comfortable and smooth when walking in them. The soles are really hard and stiff with wide open lugs that will leave black marks on any un-carpeted floors.

One really cool thing about these boots is the great maker and size stamp that is inside the boot top. These boots are a size 43 and were made in 1962.

Here are a few pictures of some French Soldiers wearing these boots in Algeria back in the 1960's:

Here's a picture of a US Army soldier in France during WW2, wearing the US version of the double buckle boots:


Иван Иванов said...

I have same boots.
I want them waterproofed, I tried a lot of waterproofers but nothing really helps.
Any suggestions?

Иван Иванов said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Francisco Duarte said...

I've had these for a couple years and didn't think anyone else had a pair. They're size 44 and were made in 1959 (almost as old as my parents)! The leather on the inside of one the buckles tore and one of the laces gave in, but they're still going strong! Wish I could get more info on these boots. After redubbing with some Sno-Seal and some brown shoe polish, these bad boys were ready for action!

Sarrienne Cousland said...

US WW2 M43 Buckle Boots also have reversed-leather uppers. They were referred to as 'Roughouts' because the rough leather side is facing outward.
This was done so the boots would absorb the anti-gas treatment better.
The French boots are copied from the US ones, which occurred because a lot of US Army kit was made in France during the late war. If you're into re-enactment, you can also find French-made overcoats and raincoats which follow the exact same pattern as the US army kit.