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HAIX Leather Combat Boot Care

Boxed set of three boot care brushes and HAIX Active Polish [©BM]

Soldiers can be issued the very best of leather combat boots but if they do not care properly for them they will not maintain performance for long, writes Bob Morrison.

 

German combat boot suppliers HAIX, whose combat boots are issued to British, French and German soldiers among others, not only supply boot polish formulated to get the best out of the high quality European leather used in their footwear but also retail a very neat little set of three brushes for cleaning. I have had the brush set featured here for ages, and regularly take it with me on longer assignments, but as I had run out of brown HAIX polish and had to order some more through the HAIX.co.uk website it seemed logical to pen a quick article on the topic.

 

Box is large enough to carry a tube of polish in addition to three brushes [©BM]

Leather, as all manufacturers of quality combat boots will tell you, needs to be treated to stop it losing its suppleness and ultimately cracking. Something which not only looks bad but also reduces water repellence properties plus can also lead to creasing in the flex area and subsequent discomfort. Some wrongly presume that having a breathable membrane bootee (e.g. Gore-Tex or SympaTex) as part of the boot construction negates any need to keep the leather supple and naturally waterproof but if or when the footwear becomes saturated in cold weather it will be near impossible to keep the feet warm and, additionally, if there are any wear holes or tears in the membrane water will most likely leach through and quickly saturate the sock.

 

From top: soft brush, hard brush and small brush for applying the polish (left) [©BM]

ALT-BERG (Leder-Gris), HAIX and LOWA (Woly) all market leather treatments through their websites, with each being formulated to give the best performance with the specific type of leather used for their boots, and it makes sense to use these as they are not all that much more expensive than the cheap and cheerful brands and they won’t stain your brown boots a garish burgundy shade. For those in the security or blue light services, or those soldiers not issued with brown boots, black treatments are also available; I use the term treatment as the polish can be in either wax or paste form and is also used to treat the leather as well as polish it.

 

For size comparison – box fits snug inside a utility pouch [©BM]

As mentioned above HAIX also market a handy boxed set of three boot care brushes and the clip-lid box they are supplied in is large enough to accept a 75ml tube of HAIX Active Polish. When recently I ran out of polish, rather than asking Mainburg to send me a freebie sample I just went to the HAIX.co.uk website and ordered a tube (using a personal email address not linked to Joint-Forces) to see just how quickly it would arrive from Germany. I placed the order just before lunch (Bavarian time) on a Friday and the UPS driver efficiently delivered it just after lunch (Devon time) on the Tuesday, two working days after the online order was placed.

 

For the purpose of this brief article I cleaned just one of my brown Black Eagle TACTICAL 2.0 mid-height boots, using the hard brush from the set, added HAIX Active Polish with the small brush, then when dry buffed the toe area up with the soft brush. In my opinion the results, when compared with the other (dirty) boot, were not too bad for just a few minutes’ work and if I had applied subsequent coats I could have achieved a much better shine – but as these days I am unlikely to receive a bollocking from an NCO that seemed a bit pointless.

{ images © Bob Morrison }

Difference is very noticeable after just a few minutes of work [©BM]

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