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If there's something the Finnish Defence Forces handle well, it's winter conditions. Take it from us: these M05 combat boots of the latest iteration are proper all-leather combat boots for the whole year, but they stand above competition especially in the cold.
The FDF M05 Combat Boots are designed for northern conditions, and it's not everyday you run into better footwear. The anatomic design and shock absorption are leading the industry, and if you only choose the right socks, these will be the thing to wear when you cover long distances on foot.
This combat boot meets or exceeds work shoe standard SFS-EN ISO 20347:2012, Category O2, Class 1 requirements and optional requirements:
The sole of the M05 is extended to cover the parts most prone to wear & tear, like the nose and heel. If you're tired of worn leather on your toe box, that's something you can leave behind with these.
In the latest iteration the traditionally lightweight boots got some heft and it's all in the sole: it resists torsion and bending better than before, which helps carry large loads over rough terrain. Those of you who want a more flexible sole, check out the Fantom Drylock instead.
Shock absorption and excellent traction are Finnish footwear legacy features. Kinda like all season tyres, these have such good grip on ice that you'd need studs to do better. The secret is not just the tread, but special material which doesn't harden in the cold.
The inner soles are also wide, shock absorbing and well ventilated.
The lacing is a very practical traditional speed lacing system. All metal parts are stamped sheet metal, which won't snap like crumbly die-cast rubbish. Once you have tightened the lower part, locking hooks at the instep retain lace tension and you can leave the shaft a bit looser for better blood circulation.
These boots are meant to be used with double socks at least, so there is no lining or padding. The idea is that a wet boot dries more quickly and can be stuffed with dry socks to get back into action. The shaft is padded at the top and features a loop to help putting the boot on.
These follow FDF sizing, which is practically speaking one size larger than the label says. So if you usually wear 44, most likely a 43 will fit you best, unless you plan to wear three pairs of socks of course. The last is wide.
Here's a chart of insole lengths. Measure your foot and pick a 1-2 cm (3/8" - 7/8") longer insole for toe clearance, or measure an existing insole of shoes that fit you.
Although Gore-Tex seems to be the thing today, traditional leather boots still have their advantages. Because of the simple construction, these will probably outlast most "hi-tech" boots and stand up to rough abuse. Grease these up once in a while to keep them waterproof and the leather supple.
Made by Jalas, the same company that makes these for the Finnish Defence Forces. We have used these enough to say that if you need really good traditional leather combat boots, here's a top choice - you get what you pay for.
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