New hot weather and tropical boots may be in the hands of Marines by late 2019, according to Marine officials.
The tropical boots have been through various stages of development and testing over the past several years and now, according to a post on the government’s business opportunities website, the Corps is ready to order nearly 70,000 pairs.
In 2017, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, stomped around jungle environments testing three tropical boot prototypes from boot manufacturers Danner, Bates and Rocky.
From that testing, the Corps announced its desired tropical boot will be the brand name Rocky Tropical and Danner Tropical, or a similar produced boot, according to the posting.
This June, 400 to 500 Marines in Hawaii will help test the new tropical boots while conducting jungle training.
The Corps said the Rocky Tropical boot performed well in the 2017 user evaluations.
But, the new boots will not be part of an initial seabag issue and not every Marine will get their hands on them.
The tropical and hot weather boots are headed for Consolidated Storage Program, where they will be doled out to Marines during predeployment training before heading to a hot or tropical climate, Manny Pacheco, a spokesman for Marine Corps Systems Command, told Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement.
“Additionally, if the boot vendor submits for certification, the boot can be sold at the Marine Corps Exchange as part of the optional boot effort,” Pacheco said.
The Corps wants the Rocky and Danner tropical boots to weigh between 1.85 pounds to 1.5 pounds for a size 10R, and the boots should be able to perform in hot and temperate climates for up to 12 months, according to the solicitation message.
And both styles of tropical boots will be between 9.5 inches and 10 inches in height, the posting reads.
The Corps wants its hot weather boots to operate in hot and dry environments ranging from 40–170 degrees Fahrenheit, while weighing 2.10 pounds per boot for a men’s 10R and less than 1.80 pounds for a women’s size 8RF, the solicitation message details.
And for the height, the Corps wants the new hot weather boot to be between 8.5–9.0 inches for the men’s boot and 8.0–8.5 inches for women, according to the posted message.
“Materials that trade water absorption and drying time for durability or overall performance are not in the best interest of the US Marine Corps,” the solicitation message for the hot weather combat boot reads.
The Danner Reckoning Hot Weather Boot was authorized by the Corps for wear in 2017.
The Reckoning and Rocky Tropical boots went through a user evaluation to test overall recruit improvement while wearing lighter boots. That evaluation was held aboard the recruit depot at Parris Island, South Carolina, in 2018.
The tropical boots will pair with the Corps’ “jungle jammies" — its new tropical uniform, which Marines have described as “light, like pajamas.” The new uniforms are expected this summer.
The Corps issued a contract for the tropical uniforms to SourceAmerica, in Vienna, Virginia, for $954,713 in August 2018.