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Combat Boots policy 2018-CANFORGEN 127/18

MJP

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BOOTFORGEN is transitory and a stop gap in its nature and design. Eventually boots will be stocked on Logistik and we will be back to wearing what ever boot meets the SOR. Everyone lost their proverbial shit with this Royer announcement - evidently no one read the CANFORGEN where it clearly stated that buying your own boots was temporary…
REEEing aside word on the street is that BOOTFORGEN will stay and not go into the next stage

Time will tell if that just means it transitions later than planned but my money is on buying boots is here to stay.
 

Navy_Pete

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REEEing aside word on the street is that BOOTFORGEN will stay and not go into the next stage

Time will tell if that just means it transitions later than planned but my money is on buying boots is here to stay.
Not sure how to embed tweets, but here's the CAF tweet; (edit: doesn't show in the preview, but apparently automatically grabs the tweet, which is handy)

The recently announced boots contract created concern among some CAF members and the public about BOOTFORGEN. We can confirm that BOOTFORGEN remains in place. The new boots are primarily for new recruits. If you’re currently eligible for BOOTFORGEN, the program remains.

 

MJP

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Not sure how to embed tweets, but here's the CAF tweet; (edit: doesn't show in the preview, but apparently automatically grabs the tweet, which is handy)

The recently announced boots contract created concern among some CAF members and the public about BOOTFORGEN. We can confirm that BOOTFORGEN remains in place. The new boots are primarily for new recruits. If you’re currently eligible for BOOTFORGEN, the program remains.

I was referring to longer term plan, while the tweet was to calm the REEEEE crowd :)

I imagine any change to this will be end of days as we know it
 

Blackadder1916

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. . .

Honestly we'd be better off just giving recruits some money before they show up and tell them they have to buy two sets of boots that meet bootforgen rules. The number of people with stress fractures in their feet with this companies first effort was crazy, and a lot of that was just with rucking in basic; 6-8 weeks of salary to recover plus the treatment pays for a pretty high quality boot (which we did anyway, because the cheap boots broke their feet).

Do you know if any study confirmed this or is this just anecdotal observation? Not having any experience with that company's boots other than the complaints I saw on this means, I can't make any judgement on whether their design or poor quality contributed to an increased incidence of stress fractures, particularly among recruits. However, (and my experience with the subject is dated) lower extremity injuries are/were the most common medical complaint among recruits. It's also the one of the most common generally among all soldiers. In some of the studies that I've reviewed that looked at the issue, when that factor was analyzed, the type or brand of footwear did not significantly contribute to an increase in stress fractures.

My interest in the subject was piqued back in the 1980s when I was in the SurgGen branch at NDHQ. There had been a few anecdotal observations about an increase in foot related medical complaints at the various basic training establishments (back then Cornwallis, St. Jean and Chilliwack) and a note ended up on my desk to have a look at the stats and write a briefing note for my director. In those days before computers (or at least not on every desk) that required a lot of pulling of paper from archives. There had been a slight increase in sick parade visits for such complaints (I looked at a ten year trend) but nothing that got any money to do a formal study. At the time I did a journal search to see if this had been looked at by anyone else. It had been; there were journal articles from medical types in a few other countries that addressed the issue. The one that most sticks in my mind was from Singapore. Their conclusion (and one that was somewhat echoed by some of the other articles) was that the increase of foot complaints was mostly down to a societal change - specifically the footwear worn by youths. While at one time the wearing of leather footwear (shoes or boots) was a normal thing even as a youngster, by the late 1980s there were now generations who had never worn solid leather footwear (especially combat boots or similar) until they went to basic training. All they had ever put on their feet before military service time were sneakers and flipflops.
 
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SeaKingTacco

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Do you know if any study confirmed this or is this just anecdotal observation? Not having any experience with that company's boots other than the complaints I saw on this means, I can't make any judgement on whether their design or poor quality contributed to an increased incidence of stress fractures, particularly among recruits. However, (and my experience with the subject is dated) lower extremity injuries are/were the most common medical complaint among recruits. It's also the one of the most common generally among all soldiers. In some of the studies that I've reviewed that looked at the issue, when that factor was analyzed, the type or brand of footwear did not significantly contribute to an increase in stress fractures.

My interest in the subject was piqued back in the 1980s when I was in the SurgGen branch at NDHQ. There had been a few anecdotal observations about an increase in foot related medical complaints at the various basic training establishments (back then Cornwallis, St. Jean and Chilliwack) and a note ended up on my desk to have a look at the stats and write a briefing note for my director. In those days before computers (or at least not on every desk) that required a lot of pulling of paper from archives. There had been a slight increase in sick parade visits for such complaints (I looked at a ten year trend) but nothing that got any money to do a formal study. At the time I did a journal search to see if this had been looked at by anyone else. It had been; there were journal articles from medical types in a few other countries that addressed the issue. The one that most sticks in my mind was from Singapore. Their conclusion (and one that was somewhat echoed by some of the other articles) was that the increase of foot complaints was mostly down to a societal change - specifically the footwear worn by youths. While at one time the wearing of leather footwear (shoes or boots) was a normal thing even as a youngster, by the late 1980s there were now generations who had never worn solid leather footwear (especially combat boots or similar) until they went to basic training. All they had ever put on their feet before military service time were sneakers and flipflops.
I read something similar, but can no longer remember the source.

I seem to recall that the other issue is that people no longer walk or run any significant distance in their day to day lives. The foot is a complex piece of biological engineering that needs to be exercised and strengthened.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Do you know if any study confirmed this or is this just anecdotal observation? Not having any experience with that company's boots other than the complaints I saw on this means, I can't make any judgement on whether their design or poor quality contributed to an increased incidence of stress fractures, particularly among recruits. However, (and my experience with the subject is dated) lower extremity injuries are/were the most common medical complaint among recruits. It's also the one of the most common generally among all soldiers. In some of the studies that I've reviewed that looked at the issue, when that factor was analyzed, the type or brand of footwear did not significantly contribute to an increase in stress fractures.

My interest in the subject was piqued back in the 1980s when I was in the SurgGen branch at NDHQ. There had been a few anecdotal observations about an increase in foot related medical complaints at the various basic training establishments (back then Cornwallis, St. Jean and Chilliwack) and a note ended up on my desk to have a look at the stats and write a briefing note for my director. In those days before computers (or at least not on every desk) that required a lot of pulling of paper from archives. There had been a slight increase in sick parade visits for such complaints (I looked at a ten year trend) but nothing that got any money to do a formal study. At the time I did a journal search to see if this had been looked at by anyone else. It had been; there were journal articles from medical types in a few other countries that addressed the issue. The one that most sticks in my mind was from Singapore. Their conclusion (and one that was somewhat echoed by some of the other articles) was that the increase of foot complaints was mostly down to a societal change - specifically the footwear worn by youths. While at one time the wearing of leather footwear (shoes or boots) was a normal thing even as a youngster, by the late 1980s there were now generations who had never worn solid leather footwear (especially combat boots or similar) until they went to basic training. All they had ever put on their feet before military service time were sneakers and flipflops.
Also Singapore, their problems extend past flip flops

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Navy_Pete

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Do you know if any study confirmed this or is this just anecdotal observation? Not having any experience with that company's boots other than the complaints I saw on this means, I can't make any judgement on whether their design or poor quality contributed to an increased incidence of stress fractures, particularly among recruits. However, (and my experience with the subject is dated) lower extremity injuries are/were the most common medical complaint among recruits. It's also the one of the most common generally among all soldiers. In some of the studies that I've reviewed that looked at the issue, when that factor was analyzed, the type or brand of footwear did not significantly contribute to an increase in stress fractures.

My interest in the subject was piqued back in the 1980s when I was in the SurgGen branch at NDHQ. There had been a few anecdotal observations about an increase in foot related medical complaints at the various basic training establishments (back then Cornwallis, St. Jean and Chilliwack) and a note ended up on my desk to have a look at the stats and write a briefing note for my director. In those days before computers (or at least not on every desk) that required a lot of pulling of paper from archives. There had been a slight increase in sick parade visits for such complaints (I looked at a ten year trend) but nothing that got any money to do a formal study. At the time I did a journal search to see if this had been looked at by anyone else. It had been; there were journal articles from medical types in a few other countries that addressed the issue. The one that most sticks in my mind was from Singapore. Their conclusion (and one that was somewhat echoed by some of the other articles) was that the increase of foot complaints was mostly down to a societal change - specifically the footwear worn by youths. While at one time the wearing of leather footwear (shoes or boots) was a normal thing even as a youngster, by the late 1980s there were now generations who had never worn solid leather footwear (especially combat boots or similar) until they went to basic training. All they had ever put on their feet before military service time were sneakers and flipflops.
It was anecdotal, but out of a platoon of 50ish of us, 3 had stress fractures in their feet (one had it in both) just in our course, and all had the royer boots. A number of the other people that didn't have stress fractures would slip everywhere when it got below freezing. There was also a whole whack of people stumping around on PAT at the time for the same kind of foot fracture from other serials. From what my wingers were saying, it was common enough that there was a SOP for those boots to get vibram soles dropped on at a local cobbler.

Then when the army types went to battle school, a few others dropped off their courses with stress fractures, and at some point all of them got told to stop wearing the royer boots unless they had been resoled.

So anecdotal, but with a really high correlation of the same type of boots. Not necessarily causal, but if dozens of people have the same busted feet, and all are wearing the same boot, with no one else having the same issue with different boots, it's a reasonable assumption to make a causal link as a precaution. That was back in 2005/2006ish, so pretty fuzzy on the details, but we ended up partly carrying the two tough SOBs that limped through the final ruck march with busted feet so they didn't have to redo the entire officer course, so it sticks out.

From what I remember, they said the boots were pretty stiff, but the soles got really hard when they got cold, so the boots stopped flexing and didn't absorb anything, so I could see that being an issue. They were also skating, as soon as there was a bit of frost on the ground, so even without the foot fractures they were a safety issue. I think it was their mulligan boots that fell apart, so no idea how they had gotten a third kick at the can. Just from a risk to personnel and liability perspective it makes no sense not to blacklist them from future CAF contracts, but 'fairness and transparency' rules the procurement game.

Edit to add: the people with busted feet came from in a variety of sizes and fitness levels, but some had worn work boots daily for years and still found them really uncomfortable, so don't think it was an unfamiliarity with that type of footwear. They were just really crappy boots for walking in. If the problem is immediately fixed by swapping the soles, probably a good link.
 

MJP

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So anecdotal, but with a really high correlation of the same type of boots. Not necessarily causal, but if dozens of people have the same busted feet, and all are wearing the same boot, with no one else having the same issue with different boots, it's a reasonable assumption to make a causal link as a precaution. That was back in 2005/2006ish, so pretty fuzzy on the details, but we ended up partly carrying the two tough SOBs that limped through the final ruck march with busted feet so they didn't have to redo the entire officer course, so it sticks out.
The Royer boot that most people are talking about is the more recent (2015/16ish) zippered boot that had massive quality control issues. The boot I remember from 2005/6 having the slipping issue was the wet weather boot which had a sole replacement strategy applied to it after everyone and their dog fell wearing them the moment the temps dropped. I can't remember if that was Royer or not honestly but once the sole was replaced I didn't mind it. It was an overly heavy boot from what I recall.
 

dimsum

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The Royer boot that most people are talking about is the more recent (2015/16ish) zippered boot that had massive quality control issues. The boot I remember from 2005/6 having the slipping issue was the wet weather boot which had a sole replacement strategy applied to it after everyone and their dog fell wearing them the moment the temps dropped. I can't remember if that was Royer or not honestly but once the sole was replaced I didn't mind it. It was an overly heavy boot from what I recall.
I'm pretty sure those boots were Boulet.
 

MJP

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I'm pretty sure those boots were Boulet.
Sounds familiar, almost makes me wish I kept some of my boots when I retired....almost. Regardless I am sure that even the temperate boot was crap as well, I just remember falling in the parking lot heading into work at like -1 wearing the WWBs!
 

Eye In The Sky

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SKTs CANEX solution would be great if we could get CANEX onboard, but imagine there are probably some arms length rules that we have to follow.

CANEX in my location is stocking some of the boots on the approved list from the RCAF; I bought my pair of coyote Rocky SV2s from the Canex ($334.99/pr before tax...). The whole process for me took a few days, and the money was back in my bank account in about...5 working days.

And...happily, my trade made it on the "safety toe not required list" (shout-out to whoever wrote 'should' in the Sono Ref Guide for the safety footwear piece).

As for the MEGA Canex keeping enough of the approved boots in stock, in the required sizes...that sounds like a gold mine to me. Not sure if it has improved since I left there as staff ('07 timeframe) but the kit issue, boots included, would be accurately described as "a clusterfuck" so the boot parade thru the CANEX might actually work better than it did at the GSS-run clothing stores.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I'm pretty sure those boots were Boulet.

Yup. The 'army' CWWBs...I remember people putting screws into the heels in hopes they'd reduce the 'skate' capability of them.


The RCAF 'CEMS' (Clothing and Equipment Millennium Standard) project boots (air force steel toe Temp Cbt Boot, CWWB and Desert Cbt Boot) were made by Terra IIRC (and were sub-standard by most people's accounts, mine included).
 
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