We have personally witnessed the destruction of applicants feet therefore rendering them ineffective to complete a course, selection or even recruit school. Below we narrowed down 10 commonly used footwear within the ADF and some tips on preparing your boots and feet for the Australian military.
Preparing to join the Australian Defence Force can be very nerve wracking, even more so for a special forces selection. When it comes to performance the applicant or serving member must cover all basis. From physical preparation, mindset, hydration and nutrition but also his or her equipment.
Top 10 boots used by the ADF
- Garmont T8s
- Meindl Desert Foxes
- Lowa mid zephyr
- Crossfire Peace keeper
First off what are you using the boots for? Comfort, performance or both?
Once you are clear on what they are going to be used for then go ahead and match your needs to a brand type and make up.
To break those puppies in these methods have been used for decades with great success:
- Wear them in a hot shower, this allows the materials to soften and mould to your unique feet shape.
- Find a clear wax to semi – waterproof the boots. This also helps protect the outer shoe from wear and tear and prolong water ingress.
- Tying a knot in the shoe laces above the last eyelet stops the lace from always slipping out and saves you some valuable seconds when someone is telling you to hurry the f@#k up!
- Having our name clearly visible (not on the outside, you look like a dick) and some type of key ID feature is also helpful when one is under the pump.
- Lastly nothing beats just putting the time and distance in with the boots. This allows us to workout any “hot spots” and minor adjustments. Allows your feet, stride and hips to adjust and become comfortable with eventually adding load for pack marching, see our article on this HERE.
Feet preparation and care
This can be a game changer! Just as important as being strong and fit, If your mode of transport breaks down then it doesn’t matter. Here are some basic methods for keeping you in the game:
- “Hot spots” are what we call rub points when walking in boots, If not fixed or prevented this will cause blisters and further problems. Take notice of your rubbing points and tape your feet accordingly prior movement.
- Boot free time is a great way to toughen up your feet. Walking around on rough surfaces (use common sense) can harden the skin. We have also seen this can strengthen the ankles stabilising muscles and tendons, great for injury prevention and increases ones overall durability.
- Use decent socks. In particular, for long pack marches I wear a pair of cotton sports socks underneath the issue pair. This reduces friction on rub points.
- Potassium Permanganate or aka Condy’s Crystals are used to dry out the skin of the feet leaving them harden. This can reduce blisters or allow yourself to cover more kilometers during the week if working up for a selection or deployment.
When it comes to achieving our goals, attention to detail is crucial. Having the right bit of kit for the task can be the deciding factor of pass or fail. Investing in quality equipment or just taking the time to properly prepare your body, mind and kit is a necessary discipline.