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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS
The Swiss army of the 20th century has been widely used the gaiters, especially with low boots. Before the Second World War the puttees had been widely used as well. The early gaiters were made of thick leather, with side adjustment buckles and a leather adjustable stirrup type strap that runs under the boot to help secure them on. Further on the Swiss began using the zip-up gaiters of laminated wool fabric. The gaiters used to be worn over the footwear, and usually one size fits all. The military gaiters are designed to withstand even the most harsh conditions of use and stand up to tear-and-wear.
Flexible, strong and durable material (especially the leather) is to protect the soldier's feet from damage, punctures and cuts as well as from water splashes, small pebbles, stones, dirt clods, the branches of bushes, ground cover and other natural pests. The gaiters are designed to fix the ankle and cover the boot's lacing, protecting it from unleashing and scrambling. This is very important, especially for walking in the mountains and on the glaciers. Leggings are also designed to protect the feet from bad weather - the air space between the legs and fabric or leather allows to keep the feet dry and thermally comfortable.
In the Swiss army the leather gaiters were used with low (ankle) boots until the 1970s. In different years these leggings featured various designs, and were fixed to the leg with lacing with three side adjustment leather straps with buckles. The gaiters are sometimes confused with leggings, but the difference is as follows: the gaiters extend to the high ankle only and are worn with full leg trousers, while military leggings extended to the bottom of the knee and are buttoned to the bottom button on the knee-breeches, being often fixed on the leg with lacing. Another elongated strap on the buckle is used to secure the gaiters to the boot's out-sole. The size of the leather gaiters is approximately 35cm x 22cm.
Currently the leather is practically not used as the material for gaiters, except parade dress uniform or cavalry equipment. After the beginning of the massive use of Gore-Tex-type membrane materials, the benefits of leather were outweighed by their disadvantages, because leather is exposed to natural degradation, shrinkage, and the damaging effects of moisture. Such organic material as leather is not waterproof, and leather gaiters are so tough and dimensional - they can not be compactly folded and put into one's pocket or at the bottom of a backpack, but this is not a problem for modern synthetic gaiters.
The gaiters made of wool-comprising cloth material feature zipper fasteners on the outer side of the legs. These zippers are often labeled "riri", as well as the original Swiss TAZ 90 army jackets. This specially treated (laminated) wool material is water repellent, it is not as tough as leather, but more warm and windproof. Above and below, these gaiters feature come with elastic bands (two at the bottom) and the ties on the bottom and top to regulate the tightness of the leg coverage. On the inner side, opposite to the malleolus bones, the additional protective patch of vinyl are sewn. The same material adjustable elastic strap with buckle runs under the boot to help secure the gaiters firmly on the boots.
On the inside front side of the gaiters, the hooks are sewn to fix to the lace-up boots. The height of the gaiters is about 15 inches (38 cm).
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