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Swedish Military Boots (from the 1940s to Model M/59 Boots)

From 1940s and up to the early 1990s, the Armed Forces of Sweden ("Försvarsmakten" in Swedish) have been using mainly medium height boots. In the last decade of the 20-s century the M/90 model boots (developed and approved in 1990) were introduced. What about the colour of the Swedish army boots, one should mention that in 1940-1960s they were brown, and in 1970-1980s these boots were black. However, colour change did not seriously affect the design and materials of these boots.

In 1959, the Swedish boots model M/59 was introduced, and today most Swedish boots, manufactured before 1990 use to be called this name.

According to the thematic forums, during the Anglo-Argentine war for the Falkland Islands (spring 1982) the British troops used to wear the Swedish army boots model M/59, which appeared to be great for cold and wet weather, typical for cold season in South Atlantic region. Today it is hard to say exactly, whether that's true or not.

In the 1940s the boots featured thick leather sole, stitched and glued. The toe and the heels could be reinforced with steel tips. The heel itself could be made of hard rubber, or composite of leather layers.

For easy mounting the skis the longitudinal grooves were made on the heels. With the same purpose the shape of the boot's toe was approaching rectangle.

Several designs of the boot's top were used: some of them were similar to American army boots (with reinforced toe and counter):

to purely Swedish design boots, which had minimum number of stitched joints.

The flap of the tongue is stitched to the boot's top, and the tongue itself is made of soft leather. On the tongue, the following information is indicated: size, width and "Kronmärkt" ("Three crowns") logo (the sign of belonging to the Swedish Armed Forces).

The marking was either hot-stamped on the leather or made by dot-punching.

The lacing system consisted of eight pairs of round aluminium eyelets, the laces could be either made of leather or textile.

The Swedish boots of model M/59 (shown at the pictures), which were manufactured until 1990, have a number of similar characteristics, such as minimum number of construction joints. In the early years the lower part of the boot's top was made of rubberised leather, the upper part was made of leather of more light and saturated colour. Later the leather of the same type and colour was used for whole boot's top.

The mid-sole of the Swedish boots model M/59, both of brown and black variants, is made of thick leather. The hard rubber out-sole, produced by "TRETORN", is glued and stitched to the mid-sile, the heels are additionally reinforced by boot's nails.

The marking the Swedish Armed Forces ("Kronmärkt") should be necessarily present on each piece of military stuff. "Kronmärkt" consists of three open crowns, one above the other two crowns. This emblem is a part of the Small Royal Coat of Arms of Sweden. It is also a traditional sign of the Swedish Armed Forces. The history and the meaning of this heraldic emblem are interpreted in different ways.

According to one version, this emblem was finally adopted in the years of the so-called "Kalmar Union" ("Kalmarunionen" in the Swedish, Danish and Norwegian languages), the personal union of Sweden, Denmark and Norway under the supreme authority of the Danish Kings (1397-1523). "Kalmar Union" has become the answer to the German Hanseatic cities trade expansion to Scandinavia. Three crowns, respectively, were to express the unity of Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

However, the "Three crowns" had been present on the Swedish Coat of Arms before the Kalmar Union, and no one can say for sure about the origin of this emblem. Undoubted is the importance of the sacred number "3": the Holy Trinity, the cult of the "Three Kings", who came to worship the baby Jesus, symbolically representing Europe (Magus Melchior), Asia (Magus Caspar) and Africa (Magus Balthasar, the Moor).

Perhaps the origin of the three crowns comes from the Dukes of Mecklenburg Coat of Arms, who occupied the Swedish throne in the fourteenth century. The latest version sounds re close to the truth, because the three open crown has become the main symbol of Sweden under the rule of King Albert of Mecklenburg.

One of the types of low black ankle boots, which were supplied to the Swedish Royal Air Force, had leather strap with metal buckle except normal lacing system. The design of these boots is different from the standard Swedish one, and more closely they resemble the design of the Italian boot for paratroopers (the lacing reaches almost the toes). The same system is used today in some kinds of army boots, because it is believed that it allows to adjust the boots width to the feet in the best possible way. The out-soles of these boots are made of solid vulcanized rubber.

The out-soles of these boots are of the standard Swedish tread pattern, but sometimes the tread pattern come across variations, such as it was with black boots of the 1970s. The toe and the heels are often reinforced with the screws (tips).

The flap of the tongue is sewn to the top of the boot. The rear side of the boot's top represent by itself a separate gusset, made of a single piece of leather, which prevents rubbing of the heels with in-seams. In such a way a problem, typical to the standard design boots, was solved.

The Swedish brown boots of the 1960s feature the following marking inside the boots: the duplicated data about the manufacturer (e.g., ABDS Docksta), the year of manufacture (e.g., 1964) and the size in millimetres (in "Mondopoint" system).

The traditions of the "old Swedish footwear style" are still continued by the shoe-makers of the "Lundhags" company, which offer a wide selection of traditional design high-laced boots.

The Swedish footwear company "Lundhugs Skomakarna" was founded back in 1932 by a local boot-maker Jonas Lundhag. Many generations of his ancestors specialized in the manufacture of leather boots. Jonas started his footwear production in a small workshop in the outskirts of the northern Swedish town Östersund. After 41 years, his factory grew big and moved to Järpen, being located near the Åre village, which lies on the way to the West Jämtland mountain range.

The company produces a very expensive and high-quality boots for tourists, climbers, military, and general fans of extreme outdoor recreation. The price of a pair of boots is about a few hundred Euros, depending on the model. However, unlike many of today's footwear manufacturers, with produce low-quality cheap "crappy" boots with small lifetime, the "Lundhags" company offers a repair service of its products irrespective of the period of their production, even up to the complete soles replacement. The "seasoned" travellers know that the best boots - are the good-quality "broken-in" boots. Therefore, the idea that the "soles replacement and repair are much more preferable than buying new boots" is justified from all the points of view.

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