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Combat Boot Archives 8 ~ YDS FALCON Desert Lightweight Patrol Boot

The following Footwear Archive article on YDS FALCON combat boots was published in the June 2013 issue of the now out-of-print COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine, writes Bob Morrison.

Archive: The latest [2012] contract to re-equip Britain’s armed forces with combat boots covers five different categories and two separate manufacturers using their own last designs will supply each category to ensure a higher percentage of troops are able to wear off-the-shelf footwear than if only one manufacturer’s products had been selected. In theory every soldier should be able to choose the one of two boot designs that better suits his or her feet (both male and female sizes cobbled on different lasts are also being catered for) thereby reducing the percentage of troops requiring specialist non-standard combat footwear and subsequently saving money.

YDS use their own dual-density Polyurethane/Rubber shock-absorbing sole and tread design [© BM]

As explained last month [May 2013 issue], the five boot categories procured by UK MoD are: Cold Wet Weather, Combat High Liability, Desert High Liability, Lightweight Patrol, and Desert Lightweight Patrol. The major Turkish military & police boot manufacturer YDS, whose uniform footwear usually appears under the GOLIATH brand-name in the UK, is one of the two companies selected for the last category with their FALCON Desert model being chosen (their KESTREL model having also been selected for the Lightweight Patrol category).

The tongue gusset extends to two inches from the top to keep out sand and debris [© BM]

GOLIATH managed to get us a pair of full MoD specification FALCONS right after the Easter break, which coincided with the long-awaited gradual upturn in temperature here in the UK and meant I had them on my feet during that pleasantly warm weekend mid-month when the thermometer peaked higher than it had since last September.

Of course these were nothing like desert conditions, but as an operational change plus close family bereavement meant my planned recent trip to the Arab World had to be cancelled I have not yet been able to wear them in really hot weather. Still, initial impressions are very favourable and these boots are certainly well-made and comfortable.

There are four eyelets, a lace look and three D-rings each side plus leather tongue loop [© BM]

The FALCON uppers are cobbled from 1.8-2.0mm full grain breathable brown leather and brown knitted 6.6 Cordura nylon non-wicking fabric backed with 100% polyester felt. Upper top lining, behind the soft leather padded collar, is brown 100% polyester 3D mesh and the inner lining is a blend of 65% polyester and 35% Coolmax.

The leather and mesh padded tongue extends well above the collar, which is scalloped low at the back for vehicle crew comfort, and the tongue gusset extends to 8″ above the base of the sole (UK Size 10) to keep out sand and debris.

A grippy dual density Polyurethane / Rubber sole design, exclusive to YDS, is utilised with the nitrile rubber outer being durable and the polyurethane mid-layer providing cushioning and shock absorption.

Issue insole (footbed) on left and extra (blue) YDS-recommended footbed flanking the spacer [© BM]

In addition to the insole (footbed) specified by UK MoD, YDS have also included their own recommended anatomically shaped removable and washable footbed plus a pair of flat spacer inserts which those with shallower feet will appreciate.

The 8-point lacing system consists of four pairs of eyelets, a pair of conventional pressed metal lace locks and three pairs of D-rings, plus there is a tongue loop to prevent slippage. My initial impressions on these boots are all very favourable; roll on summer.

{ images © Bob Morrison 2013 }

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