Despatch Rider’s Boots

Today we are looking at a curious pair of boots that I believe might be a variation on despatch rider’s boots. Despatch riders needed high boots with ankle protection and a way of securing the cuff of the trouser leg so that it would not get caught in the moving parts of their machines. Traditional anklets were not ideal as they were too loose and might come loose in service. Typically therefore dispatch riders boots had a tall leather ankle cuff secured by three buckles, this pair of boots however has only two buckles per boot: 

This ankle extension is sewn to the side of the boot and has two leather tabs with holes to secure to the buckles: 

The buckles themselves are sewn to the opposite side of the boot: 

The boots have separate toe caps: 

These boots are in very poor condition, so the studs on the bottom are well rusted now, however the pattern of the studding is clearly visible, together with the heel plate and the nails used in the construction of the boot: 

Although hard to see, each boot is marked on the sole with the size, 10, the date 1944 and the /|\ mark of military ownership: 

There were some twin buckled boots produced for the Canadian army, although this does not seem to be an exact match to that design. The boot does not appear to have been cut down from a three buckle boot either so the exact design is something of a mystery, although undoubtedly British and wartime in date. 

3 comments

  1. Err, looks somewhat like a US Army buckle boot of that vintage. Unmatched eyelets under the flap. The cap is non-standard. Lend-lease production?

  2. Maybe a few leftovers from the Canadian contract got put into general service ? Waste not, want not, especially in wartime and they’d hardly cause compatibility issues with any other kit so why not use them instead of storing them away ?
    I’d warrant that happened on a regular basis with non-critical things that didn’t have to mesh with other systems.

    • That, and most servicemen/women will immediately grab onto anything non-standard in order to set themselves apart from the others 😉
      I always considered this as potentially drawing unwanted attention from higher ranks, but most of them were no better and had their own little distinctive pieces of kit anyway.

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