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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS

No wonder, that in the previous decades "GESKA" won every time the award for manufacturing the best combat boots of NATO countries."

- "ARWY NV" from Herentals, established on January 1, 1968, still exists today, taking third place in the industry.

The marking inside the boot generally consists of the manufacturer's name, as well as size and width of the boots in "Mondopoint" (in mm) and the European systems.

The out-soles of hard durable vulcanized rubber were produced by either:

- "SOLIDOR" ("Solidor Rubber & Products BVBA") from Lauva town in West Flanders. This is the first manufacturer of these boots (model 112). The out-soles with a classic "Vibram" pattern (lateral stripes on the welt and cross tabs, staggered in the middle of the sole and heel) of these boots show the logo - a walking little man in a circle, with inscription "SOLIDOR-BELGIUM" on the top and the bottom of the logo. This rubber production company exists today.

"Some Internet-sources (mostly forums) say, that "Geska" NV went bankrupt in the early 2000s, but this information is not true. "GESKA" stopped production in May 1997, because the taxes become too high and that was the reason that they closed the production line. Since this year the last of the old generation past away so the family sold all the machines to different footwear manufacturers, not only to Rubex.

Rubex was another footwear manufacturing company in Belgium, which worked together with "GESKA" to learn how to make the perfect "Rugak" out-soles. No doubt, neither company will produce such good combat boots again, because the secrets of Geska-Rugak boots manufacturing will stay in the family for ever."

- "RUBEX" ("RUBEX NV") was founded in 1959 in Moorsele. It was producing more soft and fast wearable out-soles. Since 2004, all the company's production was transferred to the town of Dolni Podluzi in Czech Republic, having left in Belgium only the headquarters and logistics centre.

Among the other manufacturers one should mention "FOSTEX" and different "copy-cats".

- "FOSTEX" is a Dutch company, founded in 1989, which now makes copies of classic Belgian military boots on China-based factories. Of course, only from the distance such copies are visually similar to the original Belgian boots.

By the level of production and the quality such boots are comparable to other replicas of the original army boots and other equipment: "Mil-Tec" (TSR = Thomas Sturm Rottenburg), "MFH" (Max Fuchs Hinterschmiding), "WRC" or "Roth Co." but falls far short of product quality to the level of contact suppliers, which follow the strict military standards. There are quite grotesque copies of Belgian boots from Chinese manufacturers which make and advertise their boots as "based on... " or made "...in the original Belgian-style". Such footwear looks similar to the originals only from far distance.

At the same time, one can still buy the original "RUGAK" ABL boots of the 1970-1990s, both new / used, which, indeed, fully maintain their excellent performance, still look great and are ready for use, for example, in the harshest conditions of multi-day hike.

Exclusively for cartalana.com

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