New, USA made WWII US Army Cap Toe "Roughout" Service Shoes. Officially called "Service Shoes, Reverse, Upper" by the US Army Quartermaster, (as well as "Type III Service Shoes" in official correspondence). These shoes were designed to replace the russet brown Type I and Type II Service Shoes that had been standard issue to all soldiers and airmen since the 1930's.
History: In the Fall of 1942, the US Army Quartermaster developed the "Type III" service shoe. The new boots looked very similar to the ones issued during the First World War. The most obvious change from the previous models was the leather being turned flesh side out, which was more water repellent, especially once dubbing was applied. Most had a full rubber sole, although some were made with hobnails.
These are reproductions of first production batch of the new shoes. The toe caps and riveted stays were dropped from the specifications in the Summer of 1943, meaning only those Type III's produced in the first 6 months had them. Originals examples of this pattern boot are now extremely hard to come by as most were issued and worn out during the War.
Rush shipments were sent to England during the late Spring of 1944 in anticipation of "Operation Overlord", the invasion of Normandy. Replacement troops would have been largely equipped with this style, and its prevalence increased as the War went on.
Production continued into the postwar period until they were replaced by the Combat Service Boots.
ATF's Boots: Our US boot odyssey began in the Fall of 2013. Thus it has taken nearly three years to get these from the drawing board, into production and delivered. The main problem was that correct WWII style soles and heels are no longer available, so we approached Goodyear Tire & Rubber who we have dealt with in the past. This ended up involving several attorneys, lots of paperwork, and a license agreement. They had to renew their trademark on "Wingfoot" and then we began developing the old designs with their contractor and the boot factory. We own the molds and are the exclusive licensee for these soles. (We will also have replacement soles and heels available in the near future for repair/ replacement.)
Once the rubber was sorted out, we sat down with HH Brown and went over the original boots, making numerous small changes from their previous products. The leather color and thickness, stitch patterns, toe shape, and nail patterns all came directly from original examples. In 2002, I had been persuaded to purchase 10,000 pairs of original WWII nylon service shoe laces by a surplus dealer who was retiring. 14 years later, we found a good use for them.
Finally, we had WWII pattern boxes specially made in Michigan complete with the crush weight decals and period correct labels.
Sizes: We have sizes 8-13. D (regular) width only. The sizes are accurate!
Widths: We cannot have EE sizes (wides) made at this time because they will require new molds for wider soles. Those molds will cost $9,800. We may spring for them in 2017-18 if sales make it look viable. But this is not certain by any means.
Laces: Our Service Shoes are made with genuine, 40" WWII production (August 1943) nylon laces. This is the size issued in all service shoes during the War. The shoe size has no effect on what length lace is needed- the eyelet run is the same length on all sizes. That said, a few people have wanted longer laces. We will have some longer, new production laces available later this year.
Made in USA