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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS

However, such boots are relatively heavyweight: a pair of French BMJA 65 "Rangers" weighs from 1.6 to 1.9 kg, depending on the size. For the size 42 the weight of a single boot is about 860 grams.

"Rangers" BM65 represent by themselves the further development of the French army boots (they were designed after the model introduced in the year 1952), which, in contrast to the previous models (of the years 1917, 1919, 1941, 1945), were higher - up to the middle of the ankle. Preproduction models of these boots were tested in 1952, just at the end of the Indochina conflict. The first BMJA Mle.52 boots were issued to the paratroopers in 1955, subsequently they were supplied to the other branches of the Armed Forces of France.

The most surprising fact that even nowadays one can buy these almost 60 years-old boots, as thousands pairs of French boots of early models (made from the rough-out natural leather) were kept in stock for a long time as a "mobilization reserve". However, such footwear is made of natural materials and is subject to degradation - they are no way eternal, and during the last decade the French Ministry of Defence has been gradually "cleaning" the old stocks. So the old boots are periodically written off from the warehouses and sold in large lots at auctions, often with all the warehouse storage labels and stickers.

Among these boots one can find older models of low boots that are to be worn with gaiters, very seldom they are in new condition, more often - after the repair and out-sole replacement. The boots of the model BMJA Mle.52 are often sold in the conditions from "very good" to "excellent", but sometimes the buyers complain that the out-soles tend to crack or crumble. Of course, the most important question is the storage conditions of these boots, whether they were not kept in extremely dry or hot environment..

A well-known fact: BMJA Mle.52 boots, the predecessor of "Rangers" BM65, represented by itself a type of boots with laces up to the ankle and sewn-on leather cuff (the so-called "guétron") on the top of the boot. Such cuffs fixed the ankles well and were fastened with clasps of single buckle, later on - with two buckles. From 1961, the design was modified: leather cuffs became an integral part of the boot's top, but not sewn on separately.

Soft and thin leather tongues of the French army boots have no padding and is composed of two parts, the seam in the middle of the tongue is covered with additional strip of leather. The boot's flap is half-"closed", i.e. stitched to the boot's top on the level of the high-most eyelet.

The French BM65 "Rangers" use to come in different versions: with or without an extra lining of thin "glove"-type leather of different shades of yellow, from light to dark. The unlined version of French BM65 boots are black-coloured inside.

The original colour of BMJA Mle.52 was brown, but the soldiers of some combat units began to paint their boots in black from the year 1960. The final decision to use black colour as the main for the French army boots was made next year, in 1961. After such a decision the early models boots, which have been issued before had to be painted black with the help of appropriate shoe polish or fat mixed with black paint.

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