The army's off to develop yet another new combat boot. The problem the army has is that they can only produce a few models of combat footwear for 450,000 customers. And they have to do it cheap (under $100 a pair.) The troops, at least the more experienced ones, know this is an impossible situation. The experienced troops, like Special Forces and senior NCOs in general, know that there are better boots out their from commercial manufacturers, but you have to pay $200-300 a pair for them. These are the boots favored by people who work outdoors a lot (lumberjacks, construction) and consider such boots a business investment. Better quality commercial equipment is a relatively new phenomenon that developed in the last century. Before that, it was the military man that was buying the best that was available. But military bureaucracies are more likely to get something that is "good enough" (sort of), rather than the best.