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Flight Boot Development - 1940


Schnürschuhe für Fliegendepersonal (Baumuster unbekannt)

Lace-Up Shoes for Flying Personnel (model unknown)


Per order BLB 40, Nr.638 of 17 May 1940, the Luftwaffe introduced lace-up shoes for use by flying personnel.  It is yet unclear as to whether this footwear was intended to for use by aircrews, or merely by maintenance crews clambering over the aircraft. There certainly would have been issues with moisture on the ground working its way through the grommets and the resulting problems with frostbite at high altitude.  However, as it is abundantly clear that this footwear was indeed the choice of many pilots and aircrews, the lace-up shoes are included for discussion here.

Made of black leather, the shoes were identical to standard high top lace-up shoes with the exception of their non-skid rubber soles.  While very few examples of these boots have survived, if period photography is any indicator, it is apparent that this footwear saw extensive use, both on the ground and in the air.


Sources:

Angolia & Schlicht, III, 283.

Correspondence, Mick Prodger.

Author's observations.


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