Nike Rethinks the Combat Boot


After an intensive, four-year development phase, Nike has just introduced its SFB military boot. It rethinks all the standard features: Thanks to an upper made with synthetic leather and polyester, it requires no break in and dries quickly; the foam sole radically reduces the boot's weight; it's also protected from punctures with a thermoplastic forefoot shield, and a puncture-resistant layer of leather and kevlar in the sole.

Nike promises that it's the lightest, fastest drying boot on the market. And though it's not going to be standard issue for the Army, the design cannily addresses an under-appreciated market. Soldiers and contractors are a particularly gear-obsessed bunch. They don't settle for the standard issue when something better exists. Going off to war, they spend $150 million dollars each year, fitting themselves with gear in the name of safety and style—we're talking $200 flashlights, $150 sunglasses, and everything in between. As the Christian Science Monitor notes, the market has grown from essentially zero on September 10, 2001. Boots are a particular weak point in the army's standard issue equipment. But there is one weirdly off-key detail in the new Nike boots: What's up with the skeleton outline on the treads insoles? Wouldn't that be considered bad luck?



[Via Core 77]


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  • Graham Miller

    the NIKE SFB. Where to start?
    so i have a pair, some guys from nike came to our base and said hey try these out and tell us what you think, oh and heres a free pair of socks. Wow a free pair of nike socks? deal. So i wore these boots for about 4-6 months and the only good thing i can say abaout them is that there light. theres no support, theres no protection, were in the army not running a marathon, they fall appart quickly, your effed if you walk more than 2 miles in them. Id rather stick to the boots im issued. cool nikes trying to make an eatra buck and help the army, make a boot or gear that we can use not something for looks and a conversation piece.

  • J K

    you are correct in one aspect Cliff...
    skeletons are often used symbolically by US spec ops -
    because if you are coming up against America's best,
    it will mean bad luck for you.
    nike obviously did their homework.

    And FYI - these boots have been being widely used by our nations best,
    globally and w/great success, for the last two+ years...

  • NoahRobischon

    @Brock I was wondering about that - it looked like a different shoe. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Brock Adamchak

    The skeleton feet are on the insoles, not the treads. Those are the standard insoles for all of the Nike "Free" line.