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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS

Belgium

Belgian "Jungle" ABL Boots

Belgian army boots for wet and hot climate ("jungle" boots) are basically correspondent to the specific "Belgian" style. Similarly to the standard military boots of ABL (Armee Belge / Belgisch Leger), these "jungle" boots feature durable grain leather and the out-soles, which are glued and stitched. The boot's welt usually projects about a centimetre from the boot's top, providing thus the soldier's feet from potential injuries.

The Belgian ABL "jungle" boot's top is made of soft but durable black grain leather. In contrast to the "jungle" boots manufactured in the USA and Germany, top upper edge of the boots and additional oblique reinforcement strips on the both sides of the boots are made of grained leather as well. The fabric elements of the boot's top are made of black Cordura (nylon) - very lightweight and breathable material. The lacing system consists of eight pairs of simple round eyelets, made of rust-proof metal.

The black vulcanized rubber out-soles are of the classic "VIBRAM" tread pattern, quite common among many armies of NATO and neutral countries, from the UK and Italy to Austria and Switzerland.

The upper edge of the boots top features soft cushioning "collar" and made of soft "glove"- type leather inside. The number of lacing eyelets was increased by one extra pair, but, in contrast to the same type Dutch or Danish boots, the speed lacing system is not used. The lacing system elements, instead of a continuous leather strips is divided into 2 parts: 4 pairs of eyelets near the instep and five pairs of eyelets in the upper part. Between them there is a recessed curve, intended for convenience of the feet joint folding. The laces are of the circular cross section, as opposed to flat laces, used in conventional black ABL boots of Belgium.

Recently, the Belgian armed forces which take part in the UN and NATO operations are increasingly using the Airpower "desert" boots by "HAIX" company. This comfortable boots are lined with Gore-Tex, and the uppers are made of suede and composite textile materials. These boots are also widely used by the German Bundeswehr and a number of other armies.

This example clearly shows that globalization has also affected the armed forces: the standardization of uniforms and boots is combined with the decreasing of the national characteristics in the details of uniforms and equipment. It can be assumed that the gain of the process will lead to the situation when, for example the national uniforms of the Spaniards or Belgians will not differ from the uniforms of the Brits or Germans, with the exception of national symbolics like sleeve flags and military ranks.

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