US MILITARY SURPLUS MICKEY MOUSE BOOTS
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- Cold Weather
- Developed during the Korean War of the early 1950’s, Mickey Mouse boots have become a vital part of the military’s extreme cold weather clothing system and a popular footwear option in the military surplus world. These thermal boots replaced the shoepacs of WWII and were first issued to the Marine Corps and then the Army to combat the cold and wet weather conditions in Korea.
- Cutaway view of Type I Mickey Mouse BootsMade of two layers of seamless rubber with wool insulation between, Mickey Mouse boots prevent heat from escaping the boot while also preventing cold air and moisture from penetrating the exterior rubber layer. One of the most significant aspects of the Mickey Mouse boot is its ability to be effective in weather conditions down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, even in cold and wet climates. While shoepacs had been effective in cold weather conditions during WWII, their leather and rubber design was not enough to prevent frostbite and other cold ailments Marines faced in Korea. They were also difficult to keep dry and required the constant changing of socks, which was a laborious task to do in cold conditions.
Evolution of the Mickey Mouse Boot
Since their development in the 1950’s, the boots have undergone some changes and revisions in their design to accommodate different conditions and scenarios. One of the biggest adaptation to the original design was the inclusion of an air valve in the 1960’s. By opening this valve, soldiers could prevent their boot from rupturing in unpressurized aircraft or high altitudes. Another development from the original design was a thicker, heavier version of the boot meant for cold weather protection in weather below -20 degrees. Aside from weather rating and weight, the other biggest difference between the two versions of the boot is their coloring – the first version features black, oil resistant rubber and the second version is made of white rubber.
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