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New boots of the Swiss army: KS LIGHT (AKU) and KS SCHWER GTX (AKU)

The introduction of new boots instead of the previously used KS90 boots was planned within the framework of IMESS (Integriertes Modulares Einsatzsystem Schweizer Soldat - Integrated Modular Combat System for the Swiss Soldier) implementation. Developed in 2011, IMESS, according to the plans, is to come into force within the current year.

New military boots are going to replace the previous KS90 military boots, which were used in the armed forces of Switzerland during the last 20 years and were available in 96 different variants of the size and width.

Among the most probable candidate boots the Armed Forces of Switzerland has chosen the military boots - KS (Kampfstiefel) of two types (the so-called "light" and "heavy" boots), developed and manufactured by "AKU".


The manufacturer of these boots is "AKU Italia s.r.l." - an Italian company founded by Galliano Bordin in mid-1980 as a small boot repair booth. Practical experience gained while repairing various kinds of boots and the enthusiasm of the enterprise' founder turned a modest shop into a fairly large industrial enterprise. For over 30 years, the company has been one of the leaders in the design and manufacture of high-quality footwear for hikers and skiers.

The main R&D center of "AKU", as well as the trekking and hiking boots production facilities are located in Montebelluna city, the province of Treviso in Northern Italy. Technologically advanced and expensive boots of this brand are manufactured there, often by hand-made. The second production site of "AKU", where more simple and cheap models are manufactured, is located in Cluji Napoca, Romania.

The company invests in research and development of new technologies, which are used in its production. For example, the military boots of "Pilgrim"series by "AKU" are in great demand in the UK . In particular, the Ministry of Defense approved the use of such models as AKU Pilgrim HL DS MOD Brown (retail price is about 159 British pounds) and AKU Pilgrim HL GTX MOD Brown (169 British pounds).

The process of new lightweight boots introduction (as well as new, more technologically advanced and user-friendly socks) was originally planned for about 10 years and consisted of several stages by years:

2008 = "Biomechanical" tests of new lightweight and heavy boots, feedback and user complaints analysis, as well as prototype optimization (Truppenverifikationsversuch "biomechanische", Optimierung);

2009 = The first stage of the upgraded boot testing ("1. Passformtests");

2010 = Testing of new advanced socks, that help to reduce the likelihood of feet injuries ("Socken / Leisten");

2011 = Final boots tests by the Armed Forces ("1. Truppenversuche");

2011-2012 = Technical and quality control tests ("Technische Versuche (Qualitätsprüfung)");

2013-2014 = Second stage of the final boots testing by the Armed Forces ("2. Truppenversuche");

2015 = Order and purchase of the approved new boots from contract manufacturers;

2017 = Official deployment of th approved boots by the Armed Forces of Switzerland.

However, according to the information of the Swiss Groung Troops Training Center (Ausbildungszentrum Heer) web-site ( at the beginning of 2016, the time schedule was delayed for several more years. In the Chapter "Neue Fussbekleidung" ("New boots") the following schedule is specified for the "lightweight" boots:

2015 = Preliminary development of an experimental prototype of the boots (Vor-Prinzipversuche);

2016 = Development of an experimental prototype of the boots (Prinzipversuche);

2017 = Testing by the Armed Forces (Truppenversuche);

2018 = Verification tests of the boots by the Armed Forces (Verifikation Truppenversuche);

2019 = The planned purchases of the boots (Geplante Beschaffung);

2020 = The planned implementation (Geplante Einführung).

Regarding the schedule of the new "heavy" boots (Kampfstiefel schwer 14) implementation by the Swiss Armed Forces, the following information is stated on the website: "The decision is not made yet" (Einführung noch nicht bestimmt).

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