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Fake vs. Authentic Military Combat Boots - The Comparison

The Black Leather Combat Boot was a staple of the U.S. Army from its introduction in the 1950's until it was phased out in the mid 2000's along with the BDU's (Battle Dress Uniform). Since then the Combat Boot has become a top choice for campers, survivalists, uniform reenactment, hiking, and as a work boot. Considering the plethora of combat boots that are available, it is important to understand the differences between them. This article compares the differences between two of the most popular manufactured black combat boots - McRae and Rothco.


McRae Footwear - Black All-Leather Combat Boot with Panama Sole

Going to McRae's website, you can pull up the specs on this boot and you can see the quality materials put into this boot.

  • 10" Height

  • Water Resistant

  • Oil, Acid, and Slip Resistant to Military Specs - Vulcanized Rubber Panama Outsole

  • Removable Cushion Polyurethane Sock Insert

  • Black Full-Grain, All-Leather Upper

  • Internal / Integrated Padded Collar along the Top

  • Nylon Coated Laces - "Speedlace" lacing System

  • MADE IN USA

This Boot was made for comfort & durability for any task thrown at it. Additionally, it has polish-able leather and the vulcanization process insures that the sole is firmly attached to the boot. It is important to note that the McRae combat boot is made of Full-Grain leather which is the Best and Highest Quality Leather. (Leather Terminology)

It is important to note that the McRae combat boot is made of Full-Grain leather which is the Best and Highest Quality Leather.

Rothco - 10" G.I. Type Speedlace Combat Boots

Rothco's GI Military Style don't quite hit the same bar. With a lower price point, they sacrifice the quality that makes the combat boot so well-loved and well-known. As per Rothco's website, the specs are:

Rothco "Military-Style" Combat Boot
  • Brass Coated Combo Lacing System - Speed Hook System

  • Vulcanized Rubber Outsole

  • Removable Cushion Insole And Steel Shank

  • Action Leather Vamp And Upper Structure

  • Height Of 10”

  • Padded Leather Collar

  • Made In China

Unlike the McRae Combat boot which has polish-able and A-Grade Leather the Rothco Combat Boot falls short with Action Leather which is lower quality and not polishable. Additionally unlike the Made in America McRae Boot, the Rothco Boot is Made in China. Action Leather, like the kind used on the Rothco Combat Boot, is a low quality split leather that is plastic laminated - a cheaper alternative & important fact to keep in mind when purchasing boots. (More about Action Leather)

Action Leather, like the kind used on the Rothco Combat Boot, is a low quality split leather that is plastic laminated - a cheaper alternative and important fact to keep in mind.

The Overview

Rothco's Combat Boot is best for little usage or if you just want that style boot at a lower price point. However McRae's Black Leather Combat boot at a slightly higher price point is Made in America and provides better comfort and quality. You can find the McRae Combat Boot Here.

We sell the McRae All-Leather Combat Boot Here.
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