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Polish Army "Jump" Boots of Model 919/MON

The Polish army "jump" boots model 919/MON (aka "buty skoczka" or "skoczky" in Polish language) are issued to the country's Armed Forces since 1993.

They differ in appearance from the classic Polish "opinacze" by the lack of cuff with two buckles and the presence of a soft cushion at the top of the boot, which is intended to prevent the ingress of water, dust and pebbles inside the boots. The very first test models of these boots were of dark cherry colour, but later the main colour became black. Initially 919/MON "jump" boots were developed specially for the Polish airborne troops, but later they were supplied to land forces as well. Currently, these "jump" boots are used as summer footwear.

Almost immediately, these "jump" boots got the name "desantu", to distinguish them from "zajaców", i.e. "hares". The Polish paratroopers used this nick-name ("hares") to call the land soldiers, just in the same way as the American paratroopers used the term "straight-legs" to call their land-based companions.

Later it turned out that, despite the fact that the new boots were more lightweight and comfortable, the overall quality of raw materials, leather dyes and manufacture, the new boots were not as good as the old and time-proven "opinacze". It is difficult now to find out the exact backstory, but the new boots got a scornful nick-name "józefy".

The refusal from such elements as the cuffs and buckles on the 919/MON "jump" boots was caused by purely practical considerations: the buckles always represented a potential threat of catching on the equipment details. They could prevent the normal opening of the parachute canopy as well.

So the 919/MON "jump" boots now represent by themselves the high black-coloured boots, the upper part of which feature the quilted soft "collar" padding.

The top of these boots are made of natural cowhide leather with hydrophobic impregnation ("skóra naturalna bydleca wodoodporna" in Polish), the mid-sole is made of thick leather, it is glued and stitched to the vulcanized rubber protector (non-slip, resistant to abrasion and oil, gasoline and other solvents).

In contrast to the previous models, these boots do not have leather cuffs with buckles at the top, so the boots are fixed on the feet with lacing only. The quick-lacing system consists of eight pairs of eyelets, enabling quick putting the boots on and off.

919/MON "jump" boots feature thin grey-coloured lining of "glove-type" leather, which, in combination with soft stitched leather "collar" provides comfort of wear and protect the feet from possible injury and ingestion of water and small pebbles inside the boots.

The initial version of the 919/MON "jump" boots was slightly different from the modern version boots: they were cherry-brown in colour and a few centimetres higher (their lacing system featured an additional pair of eyelets).

The Polish sources inform, that during the development of 919/MON "jump" boots it were the "Alte Art" ("Old style") Bundeswehr boots (prior to the Modell 2000 boots), which were used as an example to follow: "Wzorowane czę ściowo na starszych modelach trzewików Bundeswehry".

The flap of the boot's tongue is "semi-closed", i.e. not stitched to the top. The out-soles of the boots are made of hard vulcanized rubber, oil-and petrol-resistant. There are two types of the out-soles: classic "Vibram" and Polish-developed "Salute" type (typu "SALUT"): oil-, petrol-resistant and non-slip.

The winter version of the 919/MON boots also existed. In such boots the thin leather lining was replaced by natural or artificial fur, and the standard plastic mesh removable insole was replaced with leather and fur or simply felt.

"Protektor SA" footwear company from Lublin is the main developer and manufacturer of the 919/MON model Polish army boots. The city and producer of certain pair of army boots are usually indicated on the boots out-soles.

Among the other manufacturers of these boots one should name "Spóldzielnia Pracy Wyrobów Skórzanych im. Jana Kilińskiego" ("Cooperative for the production of leather goods, named after Jan Kilińsky", and the companies "Demar", "Wojas", "Gdynia" and "Armex", which use the out-soles, made by "Protektor SA" (the developer of these boots), or their own-designed out-soles.

The cost of a pair of 919/MON boots in Poland is about 180 zlotyh (that is equal to 43 Euros).

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