Home > US > All U.S. Products > U.S. Footwear > Boots & Shoes >

Service Shoe, Reverse Upper
Type III Roughout Service Shoes


 
: $299.99


Service Shoe, Reverse Upper*:


Qty:
:
 
Product Description Sizing Information
 

WWII "Roughout" Service
Shoes

Made in USA

On the correct Munson last

Goodyear soles & heels

Outstep

Instep

Rear

Original WWII laces


New, USA made WWII US Army "Roughout" Service Shoes. Officially called "Service Shoes, Reverse, Upper" by the US Army Quartermaster, (as well as "Type III Service Shoes" in official correspondence). These shoes were designed to replace the russet brown Type I and Type II Service Shoes that had been standard issue to all soldiers and airmen since the 1930's.

History: In the Fall of 1942, the US Army Quartermaster developed the "Type III" service shoe. The new boots looked very similar to the ones issued during the First World War. The most obvious change from the previous models was the leather being turned flesh side out, which was more water repellent, especially once dubbing was applied. Most had a full rubber sole, although some were made with hobnails. Early versions had toe caps and riveted quarters, features which were dropped during the production runs. The design was quickly approved and orders were placed in January 1943. Contracts for the Type II Shoes were amended to change to the new style during production.

Rush shipments were sent to England during the late Spring of 1944 in anticipation of "Operation Overlord", the invasion of Normandy. Replacement troops would have been largely equipped with this style, and its prevalence increased as the War went on.

Production continued into the postwar period until they were replaced by the Combat Service Boots.

ATF's Boots: Our US boot odyssey began in the Fall of 2013 and it took three years to get these from the drawing board into production and delivered. The main problem was that correct WWII style soles and heels are no longer available, so we approached Goodyear Tire & Rubber who we have dealt with in the past. This involved them re-trademarking their "wingfoot" logo , and us paying them a royalty on every pair we sell.

Once the rubber was sorted out, we sat down with HH Brown and went over the original boots, making numerous small changes from their previous products. The leather color and thickness, stitch patterns, toe shape, and nail patterns all came directly from original examples. In 2002, I had been persuaded to purchase 10,000 pairs of original WWII nylon service shoe laces by a surplus dealer who was retiring. 14 years later, we found a good use for them.
Sizes: Our sizes are accurate as per US government specifications, and it is the same as the US military uses. Do not "order up" as the sizes were designed to allow for the wearing of cushion sole socks and feet to swell. These usually correspond well to most leather work and hiking boots. If you've spent your entire life in Skechers and shower shoes, or are unsure, it's best to visit a shoe store and have your feet measured on a Brannock device.

Widths:
We cannot have EE sizes (wides) made at this time because they will require new molds from Goodyear for wider soles & heels. Those molds will cost $21,800. We simply don't sell enough wides to justify the cost.

Laces: Our Service Shoes are made with genuine, 40" WWII production (August 1943) nylon laces. This is the size issued in all service shoes during the War. The shoe size has no effect on what length lace is needed- the eyelet run is the same length on all sizes. That said, a few people have wanted longer laces, which we have on the boot care page.


ATF vs. Original
The "roughouts" have proven to be a tough, hard wearing boot and one of the most popular products we carry. They're comfortable as can be, reasonably water repellent when properly treated, and simply a great all around work/ field boot. I have been wearing a pair for four years as my daily work shoes, and although getting rather worn, they're still going strong.

Below are photos comparing one our boots to an unworn example from WWII. 75+ years have darkened the original boot notably, as well as dried the natural rubber sole causing a slight curl. Service shoes were made with between 6 and 9 eyelets- I prefer 6, but making any changes tends to freak the factory out (long story) so I kept our boots with 7.

ATF (L) vs. Original (R) ATF (L) vs. Original (R) No toe box, just like WWII

The differences:
The WWII boot is notably darker- although unworn, this is due to the age of the leather and years of exposure, even to indoor light. (Unexposed areas like the tongues, tend to be as light as our boots, but less yellow- almost the color or light gray cardboard.) Once greased, ours and the originals are almost indistinguishable. There are minor differences in the stitching due to the machinery and production standards differing some between the current factory and the one in 1944. The thread is now nylon, which is far stronger than the linen used during the War. (Yes, I inquired about using linen thread and was politely asked to have my head examined.)

Roughout boots need to be greased.
Treat these boots! The US Army designed these boots with flesh-out uppers in order to improve their water repellency. This required "dubbing", which was a beeswax based leather treatment. It was issued with the boots and soldiers were required to apply it to their boots as part of their basic equipment maintenance. If you leave them untreated, they will have very little water repellency, and the light color will easily show stains. To accurately portray WWII military personnel, roughout footwear needs to be greased, as this was the first task given to the men when they were issued new boots. They did not fight wearing buff colored boots.

The modern equivalents are Huberd's Shoe Grease or Sno-Seal. We have them on our accessories page, or you can find them on Amazon. Sno-seal used to be available in shoes & outdoor stores, but last year I tried in vain to find it at Walmart, Cabela's and Bass Pro and no one had it anymore. That's what led to us getting our own distributorships. Mink oil and original WWII "Dubbing" also work.

Yes, the color change is as dramatic as the photo. The dubbed boots were treated once, wetted, then worn for an afternoon until they dried to break them in. That's it.



Made in USA