British Army Officer’s Parade Shoes

Officers have traditionally worn brown shoes and boots in contrast to the black footwear worn by other ranks. The shoes worn for parade duties are often visually very similar to civilian shoes and the collector needs to take notice of stores codes and other markings to make a positive identification of such an item of footwear. The basic design has changed little over the years, the shoes being a simple Oxford pattern in brown leather:

The shoes have a leather sole and a rubber heel plate:

As the shoes will be used on the parade ground and would be expected to get some fairly heavy wear, metal ‘Blakeys’ have been fitted into the toe:

And heel of the shoes:

I am not sure if these are a factory fitted feature, or one that the original owner got added by his local cobbler to ensure the shoes lasted as long as they could. Blakeys are designed to wear down rather than the shoe and extend their life, also being much easier to replace when worn down than the sole or heel of the shoe.

What distinguishes these shoes as being for the military rather than just a civilian pair is the stamping inside each shoe which has an NSN number and the date of 1990:

One comment

  1. We called the metal plates on parade boots/shoes ‘clickers’ and they were strictly forbidden for use on parade in Hangars or on Flightlines, the first thing you did upon reporting to Borden for training was remove the clickers you’d paid to have put on in Cornwallis and woebetide any who showed up on the first training day with them still attached.

    I recall very early in my service watching an Army Captain being firmly escorted by two Senior Officers from a Hangar he’d wandered into…in his sock feet, carrying his shoes in his hand.

    There was one instance I do recall of someone wearing such a thing on parade when I was taking my turn on the Honour Guard , we had what were called ‘magazine shoes’ with copper plates attached to rivets going completely through into the inside of the shoe to make contact with your feet for grounding purposes in areas where static sensitive ordnance components were handled/assembled. Someone wore a pair to a practice parade for an upcoming Royal visit. He was strongly advised not to remove them from the buildup area again 😉

    Most magazine cells and assembly rooms had copper strips running all around the walls, bonded to ground every few feet so stores or trailers could be grounded easily and fuzing rooms were sometimes completely covered on the inside walls (and doors) with a fine brass mesh to minimize any stray RF, the shoes may or may not have been overkill but far better to be safe than sorry and they were more comfortable than work boots.

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