Military Flight Crews: What Boots Did You Wear?

Ed Rooney

Active Member
I went through Basic Training at around the same time that the black speedlace boots were replacing the old 60's/Vietnam style combat boots with the Chevron bottoms. They were handing out the old boots for 50% of the trainees, and I got 2 pairs of the old ones. I gave a pair to a buddy back home to wear in the punk bars, and kept the other pair for many years, flying with them quite often from 90-94. These were my favorites.

I landed 2 pairs of Speedlace boots in 89. The speedlace boots allegedly did not shine well, but I got a better shine out of 1 pair of these and wore them mostly with BDUs when I wanted to look pretty. The other pair I just brush shined and beat up. I flew in these a few times, but quit using them because the speedlace sole design was not good for the OH-58 floor mic switch. If you did not land on the switch just right, it went into a groove and did not activate the mic. The old basic boots were still best for this.

I had a pair of black Biltrite steel toes that I wore quite a bit working in a hangar. They were issue.

I flew once in BDUs and Jungle Boots, in an OH-6A at Camp Mackall near fort Bragg, so I guess they count.

In 94, I picked up a pair of Matterhorn, insulated, waterproof cold weather boots. I wore them a lot as a crew chief, but as an Observer the soles were too thick for good touch on the pedals. I wore these through PLDC, JRTC, and cold weather FTX's.

One final pair, a relative in the USAF gave me a pair of modern sage green flying boots. I will wear them with my tan nomex flight suit if I ever fly anything bigger than a Cessna 172 again.


Last edited: