After scores of chats, emails, and crayon-drawn letters, we've managed to restock the legendary Austrian paratrooper boot. Our goal is not only to supply you with stylishly functional boots, but also to empower you with the knowledge needed to maintain them.
These have seen a little more wear than our "Great" and "Resole Special" condition boots. Our Austrian paratrooper boots qualify as being in "Good" condition when the leather upper of the boot has received non-superficial damage.
Non-superficial damage is wear that you wouldn't receive from regular use. Scratches, divots, and scuffing in the leather that can't be repaired to 100% without help from a competent cobbler.
The outsoles of "Good" condition boots are not evaluated for condition.
We generally classify "Good" condition items between "Battle-Damaged" and our regular stock. In practical terms, this usually means imperfections that do not compromise the functional integrity of the boot.
Please note that all sales are final on these "Good" condition boots, and Battle-Damaged items.
- 2mm-thick leather, full-grain cowhide
- Black, easy to shine and polish, hides dirt and stains
- 10" tall, covering and supporting the entire ankle
- Ten eyelets and eight grommets on each boot
Metzelersole insert included (Ivan advises you replace this; it's pretty old and may have the imprint of another guy’s foot on it, but maybe you're into that)
- Hard-wearing lug soles
Recommended Aesthetic and Functional Practices
Your boots may or may not arrive with insoles. If they do, they will likely be worn and old. You should consider replacing them before breaking your boots in or wearing them more than casually.
Breaking In Your Boots
Generally, these Austrian paratrooper boots have already seen some use. This does mean that the leather is not as stiff as new boots, but a breaking-in period is still recommended.
To break in your boots, wear them as often as possible over a one-to-two-week period of regular activity (think grocery store trips, not hiking trips or guerrilla warfare). Use good, full-length wool socks, and take note if you feel any "hot spots" while walking around. Friction between your foot and the boot causes blisters. Breaking in your boots should help with this.
If hot spots persist, silk or synthetic "liner socks" (worn under your wool ones) are a cheap and easy way to protect your feet. They are freely available at most outdoors stores.
It is of Ivan's opinion that tying your boots with a speed lacing method is superior to that of any external bow or knot.
It not only looks cleaner, but also minimizes the chance that you will trip, get your boots stuck, or have them untie because you used a granny knot like a child.
There is an assortment of different speed lacing methods that will have these three attributes in common.
- Very long laces (The excess in lace is necessary. If your boots come with normal-size laces, consider investing in longer laces)
- At least one full wrap of lace around the ankle
- Tucking all excess lace deep inside the boot
Here are video guides for two different styles of speed lacing. [Style 1] [Style 2]
Most of the boots comes with laces that are a little too short for most conventional speed lacing (it is still very possible if you copy the way it is laced in the photos, but it is not as sturdy or easy as it could be). Luckily good laces are inexpensive. Warehouse Ivan recommends you pick up some 87" or 92" laces (regardless of shoe size, it doesn't affect the lace length like you think it would)
Blousing and Tucking Your Trousers
If you are not going to tuck in your trousers when you tie your boots and you are wearing baggy pants, we recommend investing in elastic blousing garters / "boot bands."
It will look cleaner and keep your trouser cuffs out of the way.
Basic repair and maintenance for leather boots is cheap and easy. We've created a photo guide of the bare-bones basics on our blog. The goal of this guide is to introduce every step you need to get Austrian boots up and running and keep them that way. No fancy tricks or boring conjecture. All with a low budget approach with minimal supplies!
We've consolidated everything into four steps. Follow all steps relevant to your boots in chronological order. All steps are hyperlinked. Simply click on a step to be directed to the guide.
Walk into any store that sells shoes and ask to have BOTH your feet measured.
If you find one foot is wider than the other, get that size and force the habit of leaning on the smaller foot when standing still.
If you plan to wear your boots with a thick insole and medium/thick socks, buy one size bigger.
For those with wide feet, you should follow your general style of fitting into normal shoes. For reference, a size 10.5 EE wide foot fits best in a size 12 shoe with an arch based insert. Flat feet or not, it is important to have an insert with a raised arch. The knuckles of your foot widen under your own weight. Displacing weight off that part of your foot will make it more comfortable.
The break-in period may be a little uncomfortable at first for wide feet, but the sides should stretch in time. If they do not improve after a month, reach out to us for a possible exchange.
Shoe sizing over the internet can be a little more finicky than clothing.
If you are unhappy with your boot's size and would like to exchange for a different size, ship it back to us, and we will pay for shipping the first replacement back to you.