Canadian soldiers will soon be able to choose which combat boots suits them best. The Directorate of Land Requirements and the Directorate of Soldier Systems Program Management will give soldiers a choice about which type of Land Operations Temperate Boot (LOTB) they wish to wear. This choice marks a change in how combat footwear is issued, allowing soldiers to choose their preference from two designs of boots.
This is the newest development to address the requirement for a new temperate combat boot for the Army, and will replace the in-service combat boots, Mark III and the General Purpose Boots.
In order to achieve the most successful design possible, the Directorate of Land Requirements conferred with Canadian footwear manufacturers about the features soldiers were looking for in a combat boot. These findings were used as the starting point for the requirements of the new designs.
This phase of selecting the new LOTB began in Spring 2013. A total of thirteen boots were received for evaluation through a Request for Proposal, and went through a process of assessment based on appearance and technical performance. The top three boots were selected for a user evaluation trial.
In October 2013, a total of 600 soldiers from Valcartier, Petawawa and Edmonton were issued a pair of one of the three trial boots. Soldiers were directed to wear the boots for 45 days while conducting normal duties and training, and evaluate the boots on the new requirements.
The goal of the trial was to have one boot achieve a minimum of a 60% user performance rating in order for it to be deemed acceptable for issue. In the event that two of the boots achieved a user acceptance of 70% or better and were within 10% of each other, provisions were made to allow the contract to be split and allow both boots to be purchased.
At the conclusion of the trial period, soldiers evaluated the performance of the boots, and it was determined that two out of the three boots had achieved the needed performance rating. Accordingly, both boots were approved for distribution.
Production of the new boots will commence in the late Spring and Summer this year and will be ready for issue in early 2015.
By Elyse Van Herk, Army Public Affairs
With Files from Capt Leigh Mathieson