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: