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I've had a few people ask me about different jungle boots as i now have a supplier in the States who is one of the DOD clearance houses, basically as the DOD retire NOS from their stores he buys up what he thinks is usable and then sells it on. He has a stockpile of War dated Jungle boots, in a various range of sizes. Now heres the interesting bit, he agreed to send me some 1968 dated Jungle boots in size 11 which i was chuffed about as big sizes are like unicorns! When they arrived i gave them a cursory look over and found that they had the Original tag and the original square tipped DOD laces, so all looked good however i flipped them and found that they had no heel seam - i thought something was odd so i checked the dates again to see if they'd been altered but no they were definately 68 dated boots! So i did some digging on a few websites and found that they were indeed genuine, and not only that but that Moores Militaria mention them as being an exception to the rule.
I found a brief history of the boots including that in 1965 Ro-search were awarded the first jungle boot contract for their boot design, they were producing 5000 pairs a day and licensed technology and designs to 11 other companies, this explains the range of manufacturers you can find, Genesco, Hi-Pals, Bata and Endicott Johnson to name a few that i'm familiar with. So at the height of production you had 11 companies all making jungle boots and adding tweaks which is why you have all the variation, ie: the material of the reinforcements, the drainage eyelets being painted or bare brass, the fact that some seams have double stitching, the diagonal reinforcement sometimes has 5 rows of stitch and sometime 3, and the most quoted heel seam, or lack of it?
I even spoke to Paul Hood who has found that he's bought boots before and found that they've got a heel seam but are late 80's dated, and then he's had boots without that are clearly 60's dated. He maintains as do i that the only way to really check is to read the tongue/ boot collar stamp.
If you have a pair of jungle boots that aren't seamed at the heel and you aren't sure if they are the Endicotts or not you get more chances than most to confirm it - Endicott used to stamp the tongue and the inside of the boot collar, plus they moulded EJ into the sole of the boot in the bridge area. If you do have some of these then you're lucky because they are not only rare than say for example Genesco's, but they are also really comfortable as i've tried some.
I hope that is of interest to people
Now one thing that is very different is the repro boots sold by SOF these are shown at the bottom of the page.
This is Moores site reference copied exactly from their site:
Third Pattern Jungle Boot (Panama Sole): The upper of this boot is identical to the Third Pattern Jungle Boot with the Vibram sole, except that it has the Spike Protective Panama Sole. The Panama Sole with spike protection was approved in 1966 along with the new spike plate being added to the Vibram sole, but does not seem to be used on production boots until mid 1967. The delay is likely a result of the extensive process required to make new molds and the fact that manufacturers still had existing contracts for the old sole. The pair shown below are the earliest that I have seen and are June 1967 dated. However, it is not uncommon to see boots from Late 1967 and early to mid 1968 with Vibram soles as well (see above). From 1969 on, production is exclusively Panama. Despite these production dates, the Panama sole never reached the issue numbers of the Vibram during the Vietnam War and are not as commonly seen.
Notes: When shopping for leather boots, check to make sure that the boots do not have a "notched" relief cut in the lacing area at approximately ankle height. When shopping for Jungle Boots, check the tongue of the boot or the reinforcing band at the top of the boot for an ink stamp that includes the date of manufacture. If this stamp is worn, check the heel of the boot for a short stitch line running perpendicular to the sole. The vast majority of VN era boots have this stitch, but it is not a 100% guarantee that all boots with the stitch are VN era as I have seen post war boots with the stitch dated as late as 1980. As a side note I have seen several pair of late 60's dated boots made by Endicott Johnson Corp that do not have the stitch.