French Style Combat Boot
Combat boots of the French army are nicknamed "rangers" because of their similarity to the M 43 American model. Since the end of World War 2, three models have been manufactured. The first model was based on the 1952 combat ankle-boots on which a leather high-top cuff with two buckles were added. It was made of sturdy but very stiff brown colored cowhide leather. It was called "brodequin à jambière attenante Mle 1952" and was widely distributed from 1956 on, in priority to airborne troops engaged in Algeria. In 1961, a simplified version was introduced, the boot and the leather cuff being made in one piece. In 1965 a new version of the 1961 model was introduced made of shined black grained leather more flexible than the original one. Their soles were of a direct molded type. In 1986 a transitory model with laces and enhanced waterproofing was experimented with under the designation "combat boots model F 2" but was not adopted. The first two models had to be blackened with colored grease and shoe polish. They were issued to French soldiers; including Foreign legionnaires, until the beginning of the 1990s, and then were kept in store in case of conflict. A lot of them have been released on the market after the gendarmerie dropped the territorial defense mission at the beginning of the 21st Century. A winter model, with laces and a Gore-tex lining was introduced in 1998. The third model and a winter model are still in service in the French army but are progressively being replaced in operation by more modern Meindl type boots.