Booting it out
The ubiquitous PT canvas shoe, usually with a muddy brown sole, said Indian Army just as much the khadi topi said Congressi or the khaki shorts said swayamsevak. But just as there’s hardly a Congress politician who sports the khadi cap anymore and the RSS has progressed from khaki shorts to brown trousers, generations of armymenissued their canvas shoes as part of their kit are set to move on.
The entire 11 lakh-strong Indian Army is set to be issued ‘proper’ sports/running shoes in the near future as part of standard kit instead of the canvas shoe with a sole that often made those who donned it complain that they could feel every little pebble on a track. Indeed, a bright spark even suggested that thecanvas PT shoes were issued to the men to keep them comfortable as many were used to walking barefoot in village India! Didn’t do our braves any harm, of course, but those days are far gone. Given that proper protective gear including lightweight helmets, weather-conducive combat dress and even food rations in the form a bar are now de rigueur, it’s time the Army’s boots on the ground, wherever needed, are of quality.
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