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Marching Boots

Because you almost always pivot on the same spot.
  [vote for,

I was looking at some of my old military boots, and I noticed on the sole of every pair, the part of the sole with the most wear is the ball of the foot, specifically the inner side of the ball, under the base of the big toe. That's because, when marching in formation, you always pivot on the same spot when performing facing/flanking movements.

In reality, once you're on active duty (out of Basic Training and Tech Shcool) your marching days are pretty much done for good unless you get in trouble and get sent to Correctional Custody or if you're on the base Drill Team or Honor Guard. Either way, marching and formal parade maneuvers is about ALL you do.

This idea is for those people, the ones who actually march. So why wear regular-soled combat boots if you're just gonna be marching? You're wasting a perfectly formed all-terrain sole by grinding down constantly pivoting on pavement.

What I think it a better idea is a boot with a custom-made marching sole. The main wear spot (under the base of the big toe where most troops pivot) is just as thick as the rest of the sole, but made of a harder material, and smooth, so that part of the sole doesn't wear out faster than the rest and you don't end up with a hole in an otherwise perfect boot sole.

I got one pair of my boots re-soled and it cost me 75 bucks. That's almost as much as the pair of boots cost me to buy when they were brand-new. I think if I'd had a pair of these boots when I went to Basic Training and Correctional Custody my boots wouldn't have needed re-soling.

(of course, I realize if I hadn't gotten myself into CC in the first place, they might not have needed it either, but please remember that this is also for those on the Honor Guard)

21 Quest, Jun 07 2007

Pay for every bullit http://www.halfbake...st_20pigs_27_20army
An idea inspired by this one, added on the spot. [zeno, Jun 07 2007]


       pink fluffy carpet slippers are much cheaper than boots.
po, Jun 07 2007

       I'm not a military guy, and never have been, but I could see this being a real problem on the kind of pay the average soldier* makes.

       Can I make one suggestion? If the wear spot that you're reinforcing could also be easily removed and a new one installed by the owner rather than a cobbler, that might be even better. Just assuming that eventually you'll wear even the harder surface out.

       *no offense to members of other branches, I mean to refer to a generic military person.
Noexit, Jun 07 2007

       Many netball shoes have a 'pivot circle' in the sole, which is essentially this without the military bent.
Texticle, Jun 07 2007

       How about a rotating platform that is connected to the rest of the shoe with ball bearings? Kind of like those roller-on-demand shoes kids are wearing these days, but with rotation, not forward motion. *pivot* *prance* *wheeeee*. More 5 1/4 turns would make parades a lot more fun.
jutta, Jun 07 2007

       I was going to suggest what [Jutta] did.

       A cheap solution is to install Blakeys, which will add an off-beat click to your step aswell. Unfortunately you are American, so you don't know what Blakeys are and apparently you don't have the luxury of turning in your boots for a new pair (and of course you are woefully underpaid).
marklar, Jun 07 2007

       lots of Adidas brand shoes have a little target-shaped tread pattern on the ball of the foot -- maybe something like that could reduce wear.

       btw [21_Quest], what branch are you in?
CaptainClapper, Jun 07 2007

       // Unfortunately you are American// I am voting for this comment, but I am not saying which way.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 07 2007

       I've seen dancer's shoes with a pivot area under the ball of the foot--sort of a circular tread pattern, a bit harder than normal. If you'd have got yourself a pair of glittery, colorful, spikey dancing shoes, you'd have been out of the military in no time.

       I remember pivot turns and marching--the idea would be very useful. [+]
baconbrain, Jun 07 2007

       So you have to buy your own boots? This gives me a whole new idea! Check it out.
zeno, Jun 07 2007

       I've heard that in the British army some soldiers opt to buy their own boots, just because the standard issue ones aren't that comfortable. During the Cold War, apparently, surplus standard British Army boots used to be sold to the East German army - you have to wonder why.
pertinax, Jun 08 2007

       John Brown's Boots they are a-mouldering and old.../but the sole goes marching on...
david_scothern, Jun 08 2007

       CaptainClapper, I'm not anymore, but I used to be in the U.S. Air Force.

       And pertinax, you heard right. I was issued boots, but they sucked so I bought my own.
21 Quest, Jun 10 2007

       I'm sure all you'd have to do is explain to your drill sergeant how much easier and less costly it'd be for you if the boots could be improved this way, and they'll see to it right away. :?D
Ander, Jun 14 2007


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