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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS

As it was mentioned earlier, the design of the leather cuffs and the buckles of the Polish military boots are very similar to the French BMJA Mle 52 boots (model of the 1952), but the leather of the boot's top is much more "friendly" to the soldiers' feet. The Poles used the out-soles tread pattern of their own design, in particular, one should mention "Salute"- type tread pattern.

Just as in the French boots the boots tongues of the Polish "opinacze" are sewn together from two parts, and the resulting seam is located the middle and along the height of the tongue.

In the very first models of "opinacze" the cuff was not leather, but made of canvas. Similarly to the USSR, the "socialist" Poland had the problems with the provision of a wide variety of goods, including specialized footwear. So the Polish military boots were very popular among the civilians as well and these boots were widely used for hiking, fishing, and as casual footwear, like hunting and winter boots. This popularity was caused by good workmanship and reliability of the "opinacze".

On the specialized Polish web-forums there are many opinions, that the brown and black "opinacze" were the best boots the Polish Armed Forces ever had, especially when compared with later version, the "landing" black boots without buckles (the so-called "skoczky" boots).

Similarly to the Hungarian army combat boots, the Polish boots were issued with removable white plastic mesh insoles, which provided air circulation inside the boots.

Today you can still find "opinacze" on sale, but they made no less than 20 years ago. By some opinions, the earlier versions of "opinacze" were the best by the quality of leather and overall workmanship (the robustness of the boots was enhanced with additional rivets). But the boots made since the late 1980s to the early 1990s are not as good in quality and they lack the metallic rivets due to economy reasons.

At first the production of brown "opinacze" was stopped, while black boots were still manufactured for some time. The highest in quality were those boots, the soles of which were marked as "OLEJOODPORNE, i.e. "oil-resistant".

In addition to the use of these boots by the Polish Armed Forces, as well as the footwear for hikers, hunters, and even builders, the "opinacze" were widely used in the environment of the youth subcultures (metal-heads, punks, goths, skinheads ...) before the "real" stylish boots like "Grinders" and "Dr.. Martens" became available in Poland.

The robustness and reliability of the old Polish military boots ("opinacze") was glorified even in the Polish sergeant's joke, with which they met every group of young recruits:

"...stara sier żancką podpuchę unitarkową:

- Zołnierze! Każdy, który w czasie treningów marszowych rozwali buty, dostanie nowe z magazynu i zostanie zwolniony z wszystkich dalszych treningów.

Naiwne młode wojsko tupie zawzięcie o beton do upadu, a buty to wytrzymują. Ja przynajmniej nie słyszałem, by udało się komuś przetrzeć szwy podeszwowe, czy jakoś inaczej rozwalić buty maszerowaniem. Nasze buty wojskowe niszczy się wyłącznie brakiem natłuszczania!"

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