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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS

Military Footwear of Finland (Leather and Rubber Boots)

The Finnish Defence Forces ("Puolustusvoimat" in Finnish language, "Försvarsmakten" in Swedish) consists of three main components: the Finnish army ("Maavoimat"), Navy ("Merivoimat") and Air Force ("Ilmavoimat"). Border Guard ("Rajavartiolaitos"), which includes the Coast Guard units are the part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Finland. However, if necessary, they can be fully or partially incorporated into the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF), in the case of bringing them into full alert.

After World War II the servicemen in Finland, as in many other armies of Europe, wore high boots or low boots with laces. At that time the leather top of such boots was glued and stitched down to thick leather out-sole, the heel featured rubber tips. Just like the Swedish army footwear, the Finnish boots also had longitudinal grooves on the heels for skis fastening.

By the 1970s the high-laced boots were finally introduced in the Finnish Defence Forces. Before transition to M91 model military boots the FDF used the boots, very similar to the Swedish ones (namely, the semicircular cut in the lower part of the boots top, just under the malleolus bones).

The neighbouring Sweden traditionally used middle-height army boots, and high lace-up M/90 boots were introduced only in 1990. According to the Swedish Army Statute the pants should not be tucked in the boots, and are to be worn over the boots. The Finns started using high lace-up boots in the 1970s, and these boots even a bit higher than the boots of contemporary European counterparts. The lacing system is provided by 11 pairs of simple round eyelets, unlike conventional 8-9 pairs in Europe. The design of these boots, in general, is standard: the leather upper is stitched and glued to the leather middle sole, over which the protector of solid vulcanized rubber was glued. There were different tread patterns, mostly shallow and zigzag-formed, or even grainy.

The upper part of such boots featured a novelty -soft leather "collar". The top of the boots (the lower part of the lacing system) is reinforced by metal rivets.

The stitching of the boot's welt ("Goodyear" system) is very similar to the one used in the Belgian "Rugak" boots and West German Bundeswehr boots of the 1970-80s.

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