Thousand Yard Style

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“Heritage” gets thrown around allot these days. Everyone is wearing boots first made for iron workers, locomotive engineers, and miners. No problem with that, I am glad to see something so aesthetically pleasing come from our country’s rich past, and people returning to a mantra of quality. But there is always an air of costume that comes with it, something worn but not always earned.  So here is a pair with a story, and of Afghan vintage…

I got these Danner RAT USMC boots on my second tour (I think). Everyone got a pair, and everyone uniformly tossed them into the bottom of the kit bag. Thick overly constructed things of rough out suede, 1000 denier cordura and something resembling rhino skin, they looked the part for door kicking attire but in 125 degree weather, I wasn’t trading my ASOLO’s for anything. I do remember testing them though, after all you never know, but the robust shank killed my feet on the trial ruck run so in the kitbag they stayed. 

So for years they followed me in kit bags, seabags and boxes until I finally made it back to LA a free man. I had seen Robert at Scheaffers Garment Hotel re-crafting vietnam era boots and resoling them with white vibram soles (a la Redwing…) and had him re-sole mine as well. The contrast sole looks much better, and gave the Danners a much needed dash of style, and the “marshmallow” vibram sole? Perfection. Now they are the most comfortable, and flexible pair of boots I own, but more pleasure is derived from wearing something entirely my own, with a story to match.