Manufactured by Italian bootmakers AKU, these are black leather pre-production GRIFFON samples which fall into what UK MoD would designate the Boots Patrol and Boots Combat High Liability categories.
The two pairs of boots covered here are very similar in design. The AKU GRIFFON Boots Patrol model has all-leather uppers and the company’s Boots Combat High Liability model has a combination of leather and textile uppers with a protective deep rubber rand above the sole.
A mid-length Gore-Tex boot, its designation is ML GTX PATROL BOOT, the all-leather model is said by the makers to be intended primarily for use in barracks and for a range of tasks from office to vehicle park to training to range work, plus its mid-leg length of around 8 inches (200mm) means it is also suitable for driving military vehicles. The leather and textile version, designated ML GTX COMBAT, is of identical length but AKU state this boot to be intended for use in a range of high intensity combat tasks in a variety of terrains including field, track, road, rubble and rock, when carrying loads up to 45kg, and it is claimed to be suitable for walking, running, kneeling, driving vehicles and lightweight patrolling.
With the exception of the collar and tongue area materials and the rubber rand, construction of both GRIFFON boot models is near identical. The leather used is waterproof and highly breathable and the new generation Gore-Tex Extended Comfort breathable membrane laminate, which doubles as a soft but durable lining, ensures cool dry feet in the warm and warm dry feet in the cold. Both boots also have an abrasion, POL, heat and slip resistant DAVOS Ranger rubber outsole bonded to a lightweight and stable EVA midsole which absorbs shock and cushions the foot when tabbing or yomping.
Aesthetically, in my opinion, the GRIFFON design probably comes closest to the Alt-Berg Defender as the lower uppers construction uses a single piece of leather which is joined only at the rear, under the Achilles stiffener, which means there are no joins to cause pressure or rubbing points on the sides of the middle foot. There are minor differences in the lower lacing system, with the PATROL having four leather lace tunnels each side whereas the COMBAT has a D-ring plus three metal tunnels, but both boots have pressed metal lace locks at the mid position and three metal tunnels each side above this.
Turning now to the differences in the collar and tongue areas, the PATROL construction is soft leather whereas the COMBAT is nylon mesh and both areas of both boot models are foam cushioned. On both models the tongue fillet, and Gore-Tex membrane behind, extend to about 7″ (175mm) to keep out water and dust. Both ankles are padded behind the scalloped leather uppers to provide knock protection. We expect both models may soon appear in MoD Brown.
AKU claim that the GRIFFON can be worn straight out of the box and no breaking-in is required. I took them at their word and was pleasantly surprised to find that both boot models were indeed comfortable from Day One. I like them.This article with detail images of the boots was first published in the
January 2017 issue of COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine.
Images © Bob Morrison