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Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole
Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole
Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole
Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole
Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole
Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole
Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole

The Background

The Waxi boot is an enduring icon of the Border and Bush Wars---Conflicts which dominated South Africa and present day Zimbabwe during the Cold War. Outside of Africa and certain military circles both of these wars have faded into obscurity. Don’t get the wrong idea though, they were anything but boring.


At the height of the Border and Bush wars, both South Africa and Rhodesia found themselves geographically, economically, and diplomatically isolated. They would be facing off against the best efforts of the USSR, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, and several members of the Soviet Bloc. All of whom would be providing training, arms, logistics and advisory support to a rainbow of communist terrorists, militant groups, and Sub-Saharan nation states. The resulting violence was characterized by its fast pace and indiscriminate brutality---with frequent attacks on public infrastructure and civilian populations.


This period of counter-insurgency combat in the African savanna and wildlands forced tactical and material improvisation. Scrambling to stay competitive, South Africa and Rhodesia would develop doctrines and equipment that would stay relevant for decades to come.



The Boots

Like many South African designs, the Waxi Boot is essentially a standardized field improvisation. Fighting in the bush necessitated two things, long term endurance, and bursts of high mobility during close contact. Traditional combat boots provided neither---especially when you consider the sweltering heat of Africa. With this in mind, many South African and Rhodesian soldiers opted to wear their physical training footwear instead of their issued combat boots. The most popular choices were takkies (hockey shoes) or commercial high tops from Converse and others.


This philosophy would eventually give birth to the Waxi or “Half Combat” boot. Sitting halfway between a high-top sneaker and a combat boot, the waxi runs, jumps and flexes like a tennis shoe while delivering the protection and durability of a boot.


Our Waxis are manufactured by hand, by the same family owned company who has supplied them to the SADF for decades. They are lightweight and strong, with a full Goodyear welt and double stitching on all load-bearing seams.

For the uninitiated westerner several things about the Waxi will come as a surprise. The first and most noticeable is the fit. The Waxi is built with an extra wide toe box. A feature which increases airflow and accommodates swelling from extended marches. We suggest you wear yours the African way: thick wool socks, regardless of the weather. 


Which brings me to the second thing most people will not expect; the thickness of the leather. Without a doubt the Waxi is a durable boot, however it does this without the weight and stiffness you might be used to out of a pair of Red Wings. This makes sense when you consider the Waxi’s parentage; it is a desert boot, not a logging boot for North American forests. 


This thin flexible leather performs two important tasks. It significantly reduces the time required to break in your boots and it increases comfort in hot weather. Spend a few days outside and will find that your pair readily shapes, creases and forms to match your feet. It’s also great for moisture transfer. You will find that you sweat straight through the leather of your boots instead of swimming in them.


The Recce

The Waxi boot was the brainchild of South Africa’s elite Recce units (short for “Reconnaissance”). The cream of the SADF, Recce were experts in both long-range combat reconnaissance and counter-insurgency. In truth though, they did far more. Recce quickly became the “go-to” fighting force for nearly everything, from airborne raids to underwater demolitions.

Limited by attrition and embargos, Recce frequently purchased their own kit on the private market. This included the first Waxi boots, which were made to order for individual soldiers. Among these first purchases were many of the now famous “anti-tracking” boots---variants of the Waxi featuring a completely flat sole. 

The anti-track Waxi replaced the Recce footwear of choice---black high top sneakers with the soles sanded flat. In the dusty conditions of the bush, the flat soles left faded prints, disguising fresh tracks as weeks old.

Outsoles

We offer two sole types on all Waxi Boots.

 

The Standard Lug Sole, reminiscent of a lineman's or logger's sole.
Great all-weather, all-terrain performance.

 

The Anti-Track Sole, a completely flat sole and South African military legend.
Widely used in the Border War to conceal troop movements, it has no tread.
This results in footprints which appear washed-out, older,
or too light to be visible, confusing would-be trackers.

Specs

  • Cowhide leather
  • Sturdy Goodyear welted rubber soles
  • 12 metal eyelets
  • Half-gusseted tongue
  • Iconic Angle belt
  • Double stitching
  • Flexible, built-in airflow, for heat dissipation and breathability

Waxi Boot, Black, Anti-Track Sole

Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 153 reviews
Regular price
$169.99
Sale price
$169.99
Regular price
$169.99
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The Background

The Waxi boot is an enduring icon of the Border and Bush Wars---Conflicts which dominated South Africa and present day Zimbabwe during the Cold War. Outside of Africa and certain military circles both of these wars have faded into obscurity. Don’t get the wrong idea though, they were anything but boring.


At the height of the Border and Bush wars, both South Africa and Rhodesia found themselves geographically, economically, and diplomatically isolated. They would be facing off against the best efforts of the USSR, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, and several members of the Soviet Bloc. All of whom would be providing training, arms, logistics and advisory support to a rainbow of communist terrorists, militant groups, and Sub-Saharan nation states. The resulting violence was characterized by its fast pace and indiscriminate brutality---with frequent attacks on public infrastructure and civilian populations.


This period of counter-insurgency combat in the African savanna and wildlands forced tactical and material improvisation. Scrambling to stay competitive, South Africa and Rhodesia would develop doctrines and equipment that would stay relevant for decades to come.



The Boots

Like many South African designs, the Waxi Boot is essentially a standardized field improvisation. Fighting in the bush necessitated two things, long term endurance, and bursts of high mobility during close contact. Traditional combat boots provided neither---especially when you consider the sweltering heat of Africa. With this in mind, many South African and Rhodesian soldiers opted to wear their physical training footwear instead of their issued combat boots. The most popular choices were takkies (hockey shoes) or commercial high tops from Converse and others.


This philosophy would eventually give birth to the Waxi or “Half Combat” boot. Sitting halfway between a high-top sneaker and a combat boot, the waxi runs, jumps and flexes like a tennis shoe while delivering the protection and durability of a boot.


Our Waxis are manufactured by hand, by the same family owned company who has supplied them to the SADF for decades. They are lightweight and strong, with a full Goodyear welt and double stitching on all load-bearing seams.

For the uninitiated westerner several things about the Waxi will come as a surprise. The first and most noticeable is the fit. The Waxi is built with an extra wide toe box. A feature which increases airflow and accommodates swelling from extended marches. We suggest you wear yours the African way: thick wool socks, regardless of the weather. 


Which brings me to the second thing most people will not expect; the thickness of the leather. Without a doubt the Waxi is a durable boot, however it does this without the weight and stiffness you might be used to out of a pair of Red Wings. This makes sense when you consider the Waxi’s parentage; it is a desert boot, not a logging boot for North American forests. 


This thin flexible leather performs two important tasks. It significantly reduces the time required to break in your boots and it increases comfort in hot weather. Spend a few days outside and will find that your pair readily shapes, creases and forms to match your feet. It’s also great for moisture transfer. You will find that you sweat straight through the leather of your boots instead of swimming in them.


The Recce

The Waxi boot was the brainchild of South Africa’s elite Recce units (short for “Reconnaissance”). The cream of the SADF, Recce were experts in both long-range combat reconnaissance and counter-insurgency. In truth though, they did far more. Recce quickly became the “go-to” fighting force for nearly everything, from airborne raids to underwater demolitions.

Limited by attrition and embargos, Recce frequently purchased their own kit on the private market. This included the first Waxi boots, which were made to order for individual soldiers. Among these first purchases were many of the now famous “anti-tracking” boots---variants of the Waxi featuring a completely flat sole. 

The anti-track Waxi replaced the Recce footwear of choice---black high top sneakers with the soles sanded flat. In the dusty conditions of the bush, the flat soles left faded prints, disguising fresh tracks as weeks old.

Outsoles

We offer two sole types on all Waxi Boots.

 

The Standard Lug Sole, reminiscent of a lineman's or logger's sole.
Great all-weather, all-terrain performance.

 

The Anti-Track Sole, a completely flat sole and South African military legend.
Widely used in the Border War to conceal troop movements, it has no tread.
This results in footprints which appear washed-out, older,
or too light to be visible, confusing would-be trackers.

Specs

  • Cowhide leather
  • Sturdy Goodyear welted rubber soles
  • 12 metal eyelets
  • Half-gusseted tongue
  • Iconic Angle belt
  • Double stitching
  • Flexible, built-in airflow, for heat dissipation and breathability
average rating 4.8 out of 5
Based on 153 reviews
  • 5 Stars
    128 Reviews
  • 4 Stars
    24 Reviews
  • 3 Stars
    1 Review
  • 2 Stars
    0 Reviews
  • 1 Star
    0 Reviews
100% of reviewers would recommend this product to a friend
Sizing
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Runs Small, 0 is True to Size and 2 is Runs Big
Performance
Rated 4 out of 5
Quality
Rated 4 out of 5
Customer photos and videos
153 Reviews
Reviewed by Mad M., from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
US Foot Size
9.5
Foot Width
Wide
US Size Purchased
9.5
How It Fits
Perfect
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Lovely Boots for Patrolling the Mojave

Quality is top notch! Like they say, it's a very light boot, but I like that it's flexible.

I'm a lifelong swimmer and have wide duck feet. It's a challenge to find comfortable footwear. I spend more time than women at shoe stores, not because fashion, but trying to find a perfect fit.

The toe box is nice and wide without making the entire boot too wide

I've used them for Hiking, Hunting and casually for gardening, where I squat and kneel a lot.

Really quick to break in and feel like sneakers, but with great treads.

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Sizing
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Runs Small, 0 is True to Size and 2 is Runs Big
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Daniel, from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
US Foot Size
11
Foot Width
Regular
US Size Purchased
10.5
How It Fits
Perfect
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

perfect hot weather boots

I bought these on impulse for a hiking trip I had planned, where I would be hiking over a steep ridge with all my gear on my back. I usually wear Goodyear welted boots like Red Wing Iron Rangers, but those are about twice as heavy and don't dry out overnight, so I would have had to bring two pairs to rotate between. Since the leather on these is much thinner and softer, and they are constructed using a Blake stitch (NOT Goodyear welt, despite the product description), I was able to use this one pair of boots for the entire trip and they were always dry and ready to wear the next day, even if I had sweated straight through them the previous day.

One note about the Blake construction: desert boots like this almost always use a Blake stitch. A Goodyear welt is heavier and makes the boots less breathable. Therefore, I don't consider it a downside that these are Blake stitched, but they should really correct the product description.

In any case, they held up excellently. The leather is much nicer than I expected, and they are breaking in well without any loose grain or other cosmetic flaws. The sizing is a bit odd since I am not used to boots this wide; when I first tried them on I thought they were too big but as long as you get the correct length for your feet, you will be good. The toe box is flat and totally unstructured, a nice surprise that gives them an appearance similar to WWII service boots. These boots punch well above their weight for the price and I got a lot of…

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Sizing
Rated 1 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Runs Small, 0 is True to Size and 2 is Runs Big
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Matthew C., from Switzerland
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
US Foot Size
10
Foot Width
Regular
US Size Purchased
10
How It Fits
A Little Big
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Light but sturdy boot

A rather lightweight and sturdy boot, quite well made. The size is unfortunately rather larger than would be expected and unfortunately the availability at present is rather limited. Nonetheless a great product

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Sizing
Rated 2 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Runs Small, 0 is True to Size and 2 is Runs Big
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by sasquatch, from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
US Foot Size
12
Foot Width
Regular
US Size Purchased
12
How It Fits
A Little Small
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Boots are fantastic

Unfortunately they fit a little smol so I sold them to a friend. I'll probably order another pair 1/2 size up

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Sizing
Rated -1 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Runs Small, 0 is True to Size and 2 is Runs Big
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?
Reviewed by Isaac, from United States
Verified Buyer
I recommend this product
US Foot Size
12
Foot Width
Wide
US Size Purchased
12
How It Fits
Perfect
Rated 5 out of 5
Review posted

Bootsiewootsies

Most comfortable boots i’ve ever owned, i got flat laces which is a plus. Nice and airy and they dont slip around too much.

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Sizing
Rated 0 on a scale of minus 2 to 2, where minus 2 is Runs Small, 0 is True to Size and 2 is Runs Big
Performance
Rated 5 out of 5
Quality
Rated 5 out of 5
Was this helpful?