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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS
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The modern "Försvarsmakten" (Armed forces of Sweden) uses the camouflage uniform and boots of the same model M/90, developed in the year 1990. While the geometric- pattern Swedish camouflage is just an advanced modification of the German World War II camouflage, the Swedish army boots were specially designed by the order of the National Defense Ministry. The M/90 model boots are manufactured by two companies: "Arbesko AB" (the Swedish company) and "Sievi Oy" (the Finnish company).
Since 2000, "Arbesko AB" ceased to produce the boots for the Swedish Armed Forces, focusing on specialized boots for athletes, industrial workers and tourists, and all the production for the military was moved to Finland ("Sievi" factories).
The Headquarters and one of the plants of "Sievi" (full name "Sievin Jalkine Oy") are located in the central-western part of Finland, near the Swedish border, in the eponymous municipality of Sievi.
The company started its way in 1950 as a small footwear workshop. Initially the company specialized in the production of very popular rubber high boots with leather upper.
By the end of the 1950s "Sievi" developed into large industrial enterprise. During the 1960s, the development continued. The fall in demand for leather and rubber boots encouraged the company to shift towards leather boots production, and by the end of the decade the level of company's production was equal to a hundred of thousands pairs of boots per year. Over the next decade "Sievi" actively invested in labour safety technologies, as well as in R&D (research and development), that prepared the company well for foreign export. In the 1980 "Sievi" launched an export company in Sweden, which began the main exports market for the company. Not less important markets for "Sievi" became such countries as Denmark and Norway, also the exports to the UK, Canada and the countries of continental Europe increased gradually.
Having become one of the largest footwear manufacturers in Northern Europe, in 1991 "Sievin Jalkine Oy" became the first company in Europe, which received accreditation for quality management system according to the standard ISO 9000, environmental management system according to ISO 14001, as well as the right to use the CE label for safety requirements conformity. Currently, up to 60% of "Sievi" production is exported.
In autumn 2002 the company "Lapua n nahka Oy" and "CTE Leather Oy" were incorporated into the "Sievi Group", and the company's staff was increased from 490 to 560 people. In 2009, the manufacturing site in Sievi was increased by 4000 square meters, having resulted in 40% increase in production. Considerable part of the company's products was manufactured by the orders of Swedish Ministry of Defence.
Black Swedish M/90 army boots are available in two versions:
- Marching (summer) boots;
- Winter boots (with extra insulation)
In Swedish they are called, correspondingly, "Marsch Köngor M/90" and "Vinter Köngor M/90".
The prices for these boots in Sweden are, respectively, 1295 and 1495 SEK (Swedish Kroner).
Both types of boots are very similar in appearance and by design: leather upper and composite nitrile rubber out-sole, but the winter ones have an additional layer of insulating material, the insole and out-sole are thicker, the "influx" on the rubber welt is also higher. All these features allow to distinguish visually the different version of Swedish boots.
The design of the Swedish marching boots represented in the picture below.
The top is made of thick but flexible "grainy" hydrophobic leather. The flap of the tongue is "closed", i.e. Stitched down almost to the top of the boot. The lacing system is provided by three pairs of simple round eyelets at the bottom and five pairs of "MARK"-labelled bronze eyelets of speed-lacing system. Between these elements of the lacing system construction the cut-out is provided to make the legs bending easy. On the back side of the boot, the flat nylon textile "loop" is provided to keep in position the textile lacing, wrapped around the boot. This is typical Swedish design boots, with half-round stitches below the malleolus bones level, showing the border between the insulated and not-insulated parts of the boot (the upper part of the boot has no insulation).
The toe and the counter of the boot are reinforced, respectively, with plastic "toe-cap" and plate. The leather out-sole is reinforced with steel-plate arch support. The heel features the shock-absorbing cushioning, while the out-sole itself is composite in construction, and is made of polyurethane foamy rubber and nitrile rubber.
Usually the Swedish military boots are supplied with two insoles, the first one is made of thick felt and the second one, is thinner and made of textile with antibacterial impregnation.
The tread pattern is of an original Swedish design. The marking on the out-sole indicates the manufacturer's name, the size of the boots in "Mondopoint" system (in mm), and bears the Swedish "Three Crowns" logo (which should be obligatory eliminated (cut off) from the boots out-sole in the case when such boots are designated for civilian market sale.
The Swedish winter army boots of model M/90 generally correspond to the design of summer "marching boots", with the addition of thermal insulation layers. The felt in-sole is of double thickness (10 mm in "winter" boots vs 5 mm in "summer" model), the out-sole is oil- acid-gasoline-resistant. The nitrile rubber out-sole is light grey in colour, it is good for both normal and low temperatures.
On the Swedish discussion forums one can read that the quality of Swedish army boots has deteriorated in the recent decade. There are some suggestions that this is due to the transfer of production capacities somewhere to the South-East Asia, and the purchase of the footwear components there. It is hard to say whether it is true or not. We can say only that the labels on the Swedish M/90 camouflage uniforms indicate, that the uniform pieces were made in the countries like Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Tunisia or even Poland.
The out-sole of the Swedish M/90 boots, with all its undoubted advantages, still requires more attention and care than the earlier models out-sole made of thick and hard vulcanized rubber.
If to over-dry the boots near the home radiator or, for example, to expose the feet in M/90 boots close to camp-fire, the sole shall certainly degrade, disintegrate its structure and crumble. The result of such situation is clearly shown in the photo below.
The peculiarity of wearing the Swedish M/90 uniform is that the pants are not to be tucked into the army boots, but are to be worn over them. With this purpose, the design of the pants provides zipper on the outer sides of the pants. In the most recent versions of M/90 uniform, the pants feature additional patches of water-proof and easy-to clean fabric of green-grey color.
On the front lower parts of the Swedish army pants feature special button-tabs for fastening the pants legs to the lacing. The side zippers are also protected from water and mud by special water-resistant flaps on the buttons.
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