The Pentagon is distributing an online boot survey to collect feedback from all active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard service members regarding their satisfaction with the footwear issued to them.
The information collected through this survey will be used to guide the design and requirements of future standard-issue footwear in order to most effectively meet the needs of all warfighters, according to a press release from the U.S. Army’s Product Manager Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment, the organization that’s leading the effort.
“Boots are an extremely personal item of equipment for warfighters, and are arguably one of the most important piece of protective equipment issued to them,” the release states. “In many cases, warfighters are essentially living in their boots. The materials, design, and overall performance of the boots have a major impact on a warfighter’s overall effectiveness in combat and quality of life.”
This survey represents an opportunity for all warfighters to have their voices heard and to influence the design of future standard-issued footwear, survey officials maintain.
Footwear project engineers constantly interface with footwear manufacturers and component suppliers to stay abreast of emerging technological advancements and novel designs, according to the release.
Project engineers also spend a large part of their time traveling to various military installations around the world to collect feedback directly from warfighters regarding both current issued boots and novel prototype boots.
However, these discussions often take place with only small samples of the overall DoD population due to the number of prototypes available and the logistical difficulties of testing in multiple locations simultaneously.
One of the goals of this online boot survey is to examine trends across the entire DoD population to identify performance gaps which may exist in the current standard-issue boots, the release states.
“The ultimate goal of this survey is to use the feedback provided by warfighters to optimize the design of standard-issue boots in order to maximize combat effectiveness and maintain our warfighters’ dominance on the battlefield,” survey officials maintain in the release. “Meeting this goal will require widespread participation from the entire DoD population. We are asking all soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guard … to please take 10 minutes to complete this survey and help us to provide them with the best possible equipment.”
Here's the web address to the survey. (Note: the survey address requires you to be using a Common Access Card (CAC) Enabled computer).