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Old 01-19-2021, 08:39   #1
Old Dog New Trick
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Boots in storage for 20-years.

Hey guys, I know there are a lot of “boot” threads but this is something different. How many of you have a bag of boots either issued or purchased that you haven’t seen in a long time?

A month or so ago someone started a Corcoran Jump Boot thread and it made me look. So the originals with hard leather soles are fine but the new EVA mid soles have disintegrated. Always stored in the house/closet.

In the next picture you will see a brand new rarely worn pair of Rocky Gore-Tex boots I pulled out of an M-5 Kit bag from the garage today. The “rubber” if it’s that, and not just some oil based composition have turned into a sticky/chunky sawdust of black goo.

So, if you have a survival bag sitting on a shelf somewhere you might want to pull it out today and take a look at your kit. It may need some updates!
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Old 01-19-2021, 09:15   #2
JJ_BPK
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I have had similar problems with footwear in storage.

But not my Corcorans nor my jungle boots.

I received a nice set of not to be named insulated hunting boots for xmas years ago. Put them away until next season in the box they came in. Opened them up next fall and the soles has de-laminated and become a gelatinous mess.

When we lived in the Florida Keys, I would hang my old Sperry top-siders in the workshop. no sun nor chemical gases, but the soles would crumble within 8-10 months, like dried out play doh? I could wear the top-siders for a year with no problems, they held up well in the salt water, but stop wearing them and they died.
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Old 01-19-2021, 10:22   #3
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Living for years in the tropics I have had the same outcome.... but a few looked just like they always did.
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Old 01-19-2021, 19:18   #4
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I went through that experience earlier this winter. Have several pairs of "retired" boots stored in master bedroom walk-in closet. Sitting there for the last decade or so.

Pair of Rocky Goretex insulated hunting boots that I wore in OEF I for just a few months of that first winter, then never wore again. Like yours, the Vibram soles just kinda disintegrated while sitting there. Some of it "glued" to the storage shelf. The rest just peeled off in crumbly sticky soft chunks with light tugging. Tossed 'em.

Pair of Raichles I was issued over at 1-10 back in the late 90s? GTG. Even put them back into this winter's dog-walking-in-the-snow rotation.

Two pair of desert Belleville jungles last worn in 2012? Still GTG.

My original pair of dress Corcoran jump boots, leather soled, circa 1977? Last worn in 2011. Still GTG, but my big ass oft-broken feet no longer fit into them. I'll literally never be able to wear them again. But I can't stand the thought of tossing 44 year old still serviceable boots. Go figure. Guess I'm a Hoarder.

Besides the unexpected death of that pair of Rocky's soles, I was surprised to find that my big flat feet have gotten a half-sized bigger over the years. Various shoes and boots that fit me years ago are now too short and too narrow for comfort. I guess late middle aged spread hit my feet as well as my middle.

But yeah, those commercial Vibram soles seem to have a half-life. I've seen it before with other boots in long storage. They look OK to the eye, but the sole material degrades to the point of crumbling in your hand.

Maybe they rely on regular use and foot funk to stay serviceable?

This thread reminds me that I need to go check on a pair of LNIB Danners I keep stored out in my vehicle for winter use. Haven't actually worn them in years. The soles may have turned to crumbly dust...

Last edited by Astronomy; 01-19-2021 at 19:27.
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Old 01-19-2021, 20:05   #5
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I’m thinking there must be made in the USA Vibram soles (says so right on the sole) that Danner and other reputable brands use and Chinese Vibram soles that Rocky and some others use. I’ve got boots that are a lot older and their rubber soles are still pliable rubber.

I’ve got my issued leather mountain boots that everyone in SF was issued at one time or another (can’t find the name but they are the ones that lock into the telemark ski bindings and use hook type eyelets half-way up to the top) and those soles look brand new...must be 30+ years old. Always stored in the garage. All my jungle boots and Danner’s are well worn but serviceable.

I get the EVA foam mid-sole breaking down but hearing that others with Rocky boots had the same breakdown that’s interesting.

Sorry to hear about your feet growing Astronomy I keep getting shorter.
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Old 01-19-2021, 22:24   #6
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Originally Posted by Old Dog New Trick View Post

Sorry to hear about your feet growing Astronomy I keep getting shorter.
I am, too (and I wasn't that tall to begin with) but my nose and ears are getting bigger and nose and ear hair longer. Or is that an optical illusion?
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Old 01-20-2021, 06:33   #7
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Quote:
I’ve got my issued leather mountain boots that everyone in SF was issued at one time or another (can’t find the name but they are the ones that lock into the telemark ski bindings and use hook type eyelets half-way up to the top) and those soles look brand new...must be 30+ years old.
. Bates?

I’ve seen that disintegration on other boots but haven’t experienced that myself.

I use to wear Danners religiously, the name of that boot has changed a little, Brigade Quartermaster sold them initially, I believe they are now called Recons by Danner. A beautiful heavy boot however in the mountainous rain forest I guess I was to hard on them and the price point kept rising so eventually gave them up. I had another desert style Danner which strangely had the worst soles ever? They had zero traction on some ground and were flat out dangerous, never understood why however you could feel the sole wasn’t the same material as the others.

Tried some Lowe Boots once, sized small fronts blew out straight away.

Have had good luck with Salomons and can’t say enough about the quality of Sportivas!
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Old 01-20-2021, 09:55   #8
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Two pair of desert Belleville jungles last worn in 2012? Still GTG.
Ditto; that's a good boot. Even my waterskis are comfy.

Pat, it's not an illusion. Our ears don't stop growing, for one thing. Get a load of Tommy Lee Jones sometime.
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Old 01-20-2021, 16:18   #9
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I had an O-6 Bethesda NMC cutter (spinal surgeon) once tell me that he could look at the x-rays or MRIs of anyone who had spent a career in airborne grunt units... and conclusively ID that service from those images alone. Tell tale bone damage and spinal compression unique to long career parachuting and rucking. Especially SOF guys.

Told me that, whatever my height upon entry into the Army, I'd be at least 1" shorter when I retired from SF. That was back in 1993.

He was correct. At my Retirement physical in '11, I was indeed 1+ inch shorter than when I initially entered the Army.

On the Vibram sole thing, I agree that it depends upon the factory sourcing for those soles. I've owned American made rubber soles that were immortal. Who fucking knows what the Chinese use for boot sole ingredients? Could be recycled sex toys stamped "Vibram".

I just hope they use the same crappy recipe for their military issue footwear.
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