Digital Combat Boots Out In The Wild

Officers of the Eastern Field Command with their digital combat boots at the farewell parade for the Army chief on February 23, 2023. TD

SHAH ALAM: Back in July last year, the Army’s Logistics Headquarters floated a quotation notice for the supply and delivery of non-scale clothing (pakaian bukan skala), digital combat boots. It is unclear why the notice stated that the boots are non-scale clothing.

The notice stated that the 1111 pairs should be in digital camo; made of microfibre PU and comes in standard sizes. It must also be comfortable and durable; anti-slip and safe; fast drying, light and flexible. According to Eperolehan website, the quotation notice was awarded to PNA Holdings Sdn Bhd with a contract of RM499,950.

Army chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain and the officers of the GGK at the farewell parade on February 2, 2023. Note their boots.

It is likely that the digital combat boots have been distributed to its recipients as they were worn by some high-ranking officers at the Army chief farewell parade at the Muara Terang Camp in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak on February 23. The parade was held by the Eastern Field Command.
Army chief General Zamrose Mohd Zain arriving at the Muara Tuang parade ground. Note his boots and the digital combat boots by the other officers. TD

Malaysian Defence was told that the digital combat boots will become standard issue soon with the first batch going to high-ranking officers first. The rest of the Army will also get them once they are procured. Unfortunately, it is unclear what is the make of the digital combat boots seen. AFAIK, soldiers, and officers can purchase non-standard boots, but these cannot be worn during parades and other ceremonial duties for obvious reasons.
Updated with added information.

— Malaysian Defence

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21 Comments

  1. Saw plenty of shops in Kompleks Pertama selling what looks like combat boots. Whether they are legit or not I cannot tell.

  2. At least not as striking as the maroon one which he wears to some of the recent events 😅

  3. “Whether they are legit or not I cannot tell”

    Fine line between whats legit or no; especially with private purchase stuff. As long as it’s popular with troops. In the past the gold standard with boots were Danner, Matterhorn and Altberg. All were non issue but very desirable by troops.

    Like everywhere else there’s cheap and not so cheap stuff in Pertama. You get what you pay for. A decent brand is Magnum; it’s not that expensive and is worth what it’s paid for.

    Ed,

    Maroon boots have been around for a while now; mostly with airborne units. What I hope we’ll never get are camo berets … A big no.

  4. “Fine line between whats legit or no”
    That is interesting as I have no first hand experience wearing ATM issued boots so I couldn’t compare and tell which is a proper combat ones, a lot I seen there looks like Timberland hiking boots so I’m skeptical of their genuine purpose. I will have a relook on Magnum when I’m back there.

  5. ” looks like Timberland hiking boots”

    Which are great for hikes and camping but not to be worn for hours or days on end. Quite often commercially produced boots [like the brands I alluded to] are much better in terms of comfort and durability compared to issued boots. Magnum is considered entry level; affordable but cheap and is/was used a lot by SWAT teams and such.

    Boots that were quite comfortable were the rubber soled canvas ones worn up until the early 90’s by the army and Field Force. It was a locally produced variant of the British 44 Pattern boot. At one point it could be seen widely used by grasscutters. What came after and was standard issue for years was a locally produced version of the U.S. jungle boot [as worn in Vietnam] – uncomfortable.

  6. Is that the one I was referring to? Green canvas and rubber soles. A copy of the 1944 Pattern [introduced for tropical conditions] boot which we had during the Emergency and used for many years. Up until the early to mid 1990’s you could still buy it and it was popular with grasscutters and labourers.

  7. “tell which is a proper combat ones”

    There isn’t any per see. It’s what troops find suitable. Also depends if one is SWAT or SF/SOF work or is an infantryman or vehicle crew.

    Soviet troops in Afghanistan has a rubber soled Adidas copy. Selous scouts who spent weeks in the bush had cheap rubber soled shoes which were far more suitable than the issued leather boots. Fighters of the National Liberation Front [better known as the VC] had sandles made from tyres.

  8. back then the police utan used rubber cleat, commonly nicknamed as adidas kampung besides their regular boot during their month long jungle operation (same goes with thailand’s thahan phran unit) while TNI soldier uses those black/green rubber boot like the ones used in pasar basah in the backwater provinces like kalimantan or west papua, so the term “proper combat boots” is ill defined when the foot units themselves preferred other types of footwear than these “proper” boots

  9. “There isn’t any per see.”
    Well in our local context I would say, it is the standard combat boots as issued by ATM. That would be the benchmark for those who’d prefer to buy outside the services.

  10. The standard issued boot is the ones made by Kulitkraf Sdn Bhd. As they are standard issue, they are not sold to the public, though some might leak out. Small batches of imported boots are also issued out to specialised units, and those depend on which local companies got the contract. The units themselves have their own liking for certain brands. Some prefer Lowa, some orders Original SWAT and other brands. One unit from the police even ordered the boots that were tendered be Original SWAT…

  11. ”That would be the benchmark for those who’d prefer to buy outside the services.”

    No… there is no ”becnhmark” per see. The ”benchmark [if one wants to use that word] is a matter of how much one wants to spend as non standard commercial boots are often than not more comfortable and lasting than standard issue boots. It also depends on what the boots are being used for. This applies true whether in a ”local” context or not. I have friends and acquaintances in other militaries; who just like people here; only wear issued boots on parades and other occasions.

    Boots by Kulitkraf Sdn Bhd can be bought if one knows where to go to and are decent but why anyone would buy them is a mystery to me as other more comfortable boots can be bought for a bit higher or almost the same price. Like everything else the skies the limit to how much one wants to spend on a pair of boots. When MALBATT were issued Goretex lined Matterhorns [U.S made with vibram soles] for Bosnia in the 1990’s they were retailing for about 120 pounds. Troops who went to Saudi [I won’t go into the Yemen thing] were also issued high grade desert boots. A pair of entry level Magnums can be bought in the RM200 range.

  12. During my time, the official jungle boot were the Fung Keong n Bata jungle boots. Rubber soled n canvas sides. Dry ok. But when wet, the canvas would become stiff n very difficult to dry.
    Then, come along the kulitcraft n Bata combat boots. Rubber soled n leather uppers. Ok. Good.
    Then, if anyone goes to the Thai border town, would ask them to buy the anti spike Vietnam style, half canvas, leather n articicial rubber sole

  13. “Standard” is the benchmark of anything, whether it be boots, or electronics, or hardware, or software, or cars, or even SPM results. There are good standards, mid level standards, and bad standards. But I do understand people get nonstandard things just cuz standard often aren’t very good (especially in Malaysian context).

  14. Thanks for the lesson but as has been explained there is no ”benchmark” when it comes to this. The ”benchmark” is what one can afford and what one finds suitable.

  15. ”(especially in Malaysian context).”

    In other context too. There are stores in the UK which gain the bulk of their revenue selling various types of kit; including boots; to service members. Same in the U.S. In the U.K things have changed however and issues boots are of a much higher quality. Gone are the days when troops were issued boots such as the DMS which was found to be terrible in the Falklands and which I had the unfortunate experience to use in the CCF.

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