My 3 pairs of army boots

On the day I was enlisted many years ago, I was given 2 pairs of boots. 1 pair became known as combat boots, the other became parade boots. The boots were made of leather and were very uncomfortable initially.

The combat boots were worn daily in camp and for the various training, such as shooting, running around in the forest and mud. In no time, the combat boots were softened and became rather comfortable to wear. The requirement for combat boots was “brush shine” — using the brush and shoe polish to brush the boots clean and a little shine would do. So each time when we came back from the forest, we had to clean the boots. And when we booked out of camp, we also had to ensure the boots met the requirement of “brush shine” in case we got into trouble with the sergeant major.

The parade boots were worn only during parades, thus rarely worn. The requirement for parade boots was “finger shine” — using a cloth and shoe polish to polish the boots until the cap of the boots could reflect the teeth. It was not easy to meet the standard set by the sergeant major on this matter.

By the time I ended my 2.5 years of full-time service in the army, the soles of the combat boots were almost worn out, and thus I got a new pair of boots during my reservist training. It was known as gortex boots and it was very comfortable to wear. Unfortunately the soles came off during one of the forest training and I had to use duct tape to secure the soles to the boots for the remaining days in the forest. I figured it would not be feasible to use superglue so I reverted to wearing my old boots. Unfortunately I was left with the parade boots that, by then, had lost its shine. And the worst thing was they were still not seasoned as they were seldom worn, and thus uncomfortable to wear. Thankfully I need not wear them for long.

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