Leaders Book Notes from the Sergeant Major of the Army - Boots  


In this edition of my leader book notes I would like to inform leaders of the authorized and unauthorized Commercial-
Of-The-Shelf (COTS) and Army issued boots for wear with the ACUs.

There has been misunderstanding with the ALARACT Message 140/2007 with leaders in interpreting which COTS
boots are authorized and which are not. My intent is to add clarity to the ALARACT message giving leaders a better
understanding of which boots are authorized for wear and why.

With regard to pure COTS items, Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier and U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research,
Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) do not have a certification process for boots. AR 670-1 and
ALARACT messages provide guidance on what approved standards industry uses to manufacturer boots that are
authorized for wear. This includes what material requirements have to be met to ensure boots meet the durability
and performance requirements for Soldiers. These guidelines provide the aesthetic requirements to ensure any
authorized items maintain uniform standards for our Soldiers.

The Army authorizes COTS boots as long as they are between 8 to 10 inches in height and made of tan rough side
out of cattle hide leather, with a plain toe, and with a soling system similar in color to the tan upper materials. The
soling materials cannot exceed two inches in height, when measured from the bottom of the outsole, and cannot
extend up the back of the heel of the

Boot or over the top of the toe (See attached pictures), The exterior of the upper boot cannot contain mesh but
must be constructed of all leather or a combination of Leather and non-mesh fabric. Boots with metal or plastic
cleats in the bottom of the soles and sewn-in or laced-in zippers or velcro inserts are not authorized (See attached
pictures). There are other leathers, such as pigskin, that do not meet the performance criteria of cattle hide. Cattle
hide leather is more durable, and provides better performance in combat over pigskin.
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pig skin boots
Soldiers should be aware that some companies sell 'Warrior Leather" which is a common-use name for pigskin