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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS
The Finnish M91 boots, which can be purchased in Finland for about 150 Euros, look very similar to contemporary German Bundeswehr boots. The out-sole tread pattern is practically identical to the German "Berghaken Profilsohlen", which is anti-slip in different directions and provides good adhesion to different types of surfaces.
The out-sole itself consist of not two pieces as the German one (leather + polyurethane), but of three layers (leather sole, soft polyurethane foam and an outer layer of a solid and elastic rubber, which is oil and petrol-proof and resistant to wear and low temperatures). Accordingly, the Finnish footwear manufacturing companies "Jalas" and "Sievi" have chosen not brown-yellow solid polyurethane soles (used in Bundeswehr boots), but light grey, softer composite material, the same as on the Swedish military boots of model M/90.
Most likely, this is due to much colder climate in Finland and Sweden: the polyurethane out-soles turn to be more slippery and tough in the cold, so it became necessary to eliminate this drawback. The heels of the Finnish army boot, the same as Swedish and Norwegian boots, feature longitudinal grooves intended for attaching skis and make the heels more lightweight.
The design of the top and the lacing system look like German Bundeswehr boots due to:
- Foam insulation and an additional layer of leather on the bottom of the boot just above the malleolus bones;
- Speed -lacing system consisting of the seven pairs of "MARK"-made eyelets plus lacing hook clamp;
- Leather loop for fixing the excess length of lace wrapped around the top of the boot;
- "Half-closed" flap of the tongue, which is stitched almost to the boot's top.
It is worth pointing out some other differences from Bundeswehr boots:
1) Finnish military boots are generally designed for "wide" feet (national peculiarity of Finns and some other North European nations), while there are practically no model for "narrow" feet, as opposed to American army boots;
2) The top of the boot feature soft leather "collar" (padding), absent in the German army boots models prior to the "Model 2000" Bundeswehr boots;
3) The leather loop on the rear side of the boot is not stitched down to the boots top along its entire length, but it is stitched only in its lower part, so one can often see "hanging down" loops on the photos of Finnish and Estonian soldiers;
4) The nose of the boot and the top part (with lacing) are not only stitched (as it is seen on the German boots), but also reinforced with a pair of steel rivets on each boot;
5) The leather of the Finnish boots is smooth, but not "grainy" as on the old models of Bundeswehr black boots of the 1980s.
The long-term supplier of the Finnish Defence Forces, the company "Jalas" ("Urho Viljanmaa Oy"), was established back in 1916, and in recent years it has become one of the main suppliers of boots in the Nordic countries (up to 60% of the company's products were exported). The manufacturing site, which employed up to 200 workers, and the company's headquarters were located in the Finnish city Jalasjärvi. In 2008, "Jalas" became a part of the Swedish "Ejendals Group" corporation, the largest supplier of professional footwear and gloves in northern Europe which was the business partner of "Jalas" since 1984. The financial profit from "Ejendals" and "Jalas" companies merging reached about 100 million Euros just during the first year. Since 2011, "Jalas" operates under the new name: "Ejendals Suomi Oy".
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