British ammunition boots

British ammunition boots

This video will cover probly to most iconic pair of military footwear in the world. The British ammunition shoes have a strange origin story and very long service life with some commonwealth of almost 100 years. These boots have many different versions with many countries and I will cover some of the more common designs in the video. Hopefully you liked this video and subscribed if you like this sort of stuff. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions for future videos and I will do my best to answer them. As always thanks for watching.

Thank you,

Devin K.


  1. Groucho on November 22, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Since the introduction of FAD in the mid 2000s and the general issue of shoes for parades there has been a steady decline in ammo boots in the British Army. Prior to this you would either bull your second pair of assault boots or got some ammos for No.2 dress. Most units still let the old and bold use ammos in FAD but you’d better make sure they are gleaming for parades as they are an RSM favourite for inspections. The shoes are easier to polish and have rubber soles which you dont have to bull so they are now more popular (yes the badge man used to inspect the soles!) but they look crap and dont make the erection-forming crunch when marching. I had the same pair of ammos for about 18 years before I commissioned (officers wear brown brogue shoes in service dress rather than black shoes/boots so I had no need for them).

  2. DulallyKat on November 22, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    Wore thes a lot in the early 80’s once broken in they were like wearing slippers you would wear them all day long….

  3. Maverick Fox on November 22, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    I have the WW1 Reproduction variant with leather soles it had hob nails and steel toe & heel plates. I removed the hob nails and steel toe heel plates and added rubber under the leather soles.

  4. Sharif Rahman on November 22, 2022 at 9:39 pm

    Which one is the most comfortable Drill Boot? How to prepare it.

  5. Red army1 on November 22, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    "I think boot polishing needs to come back."


  6. On The Run Plmr on November 22, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    Good Video,  the pre WW11 Boots  had 25 hobnails and  apparently for  wartime economy reasons  these were  reduced in early 1942  to 15  and  then again to 13 !  As a Brit it shows  how difficult times  these  were  for  materials  if we has to worry about the amount of metal in hobnails !!

  7. B DeL on November 22, 2022 at 9:42 pm

    I want a pair!! Where can I get them? Please let me know, thank you

  8. AJ Othwal on November 22, 2022 at 9:44 pm

    Where can I get the same pair from????

  9. Cristiano Bisignano on November 22, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    These are Parade Ammo Boots, nothing compared to the old ones. These aren’t meant to "break-in", but to make a lot of noise during parades and be bullied to shine, reason why they have the sole extremely thick. If you want original top-notch-quality boots you should check Lennon website, they build them from scratches using the original machines or smwholesale. These parade boots ARE NOT MEANT TO BE WORE A LOT, avoid PARADE surplus if you mean to use these, even for reenactment.

  10. LrngMn on November 22, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Have a pair of ’52’s. Had lug soles put on em before I learned about the Commando custom. Great boots!

  11. Cj on November 22, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Where can I find these boots? How did you get them yourself?

  12. Billy McKeown on November 22, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    Ammunition boots were so called as ammunition was a very old term for something that came out of the stores. The original boots were properly known as "Boots, ankle".

  13. Harry Williamson on November 22, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    They are still in use in the British Army by the Guards Regiments for parades some other were them also for parades
    Its bulling your boots, Beeswax is the secret, brush on the melted wax get the wax smooth and bull them until very shiny. I had mine thrown out the window by my sgt major, I cried,
    well maybe angry

  14. Desmond Wallace on November 22, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    I would not mind having it, i love it!!!

  15. Lordracula on November 22, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Bull, not bully.

  16. Ian Storey on November 22, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    “Bully your boots”…..😂……… you mean Bull!!!

  17. frederic baudry on November 22, 2022 at 10:02 pm

    I got a pair of ammo boots 10 L, I use beeswax for the shine.

  18. B DeL on November 22, 2022 at 10:03 pm

    I want a pair where can I buy them?

  19. Stephen Cooper on November 22, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    These boots you have…..seem very different to original Ammo Boots (mine are 1953) they look as if they have been (‘Burned down’) this mean taking a hot metal spoon to the leather with dimples and smoothing it so that it would take a polish better and look better on parade, you were always issued with 2 pairs one for General duty, one pair as parade boots….though in the field you were required to take both pairs. (many soldiers found themselves an extra pair so that their parade boots didn’t get scratched. (Indeed in the later era of Boots High Leg, my RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major) couldn’t work out why, no matter what time of day or night he called an NCO’s conference I always turned up in shiny boots. One day he jumped in my truck to shelter from a burst of heavy rain and found my 4 extra pairs of very shiny boots sitting on the shelf. "Fucking Hell" he shouted "Even I only bring 3 pairs of boots on manouevres !!!!!! "

  20. paul greenwood on November 22, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    It’d be interesting to see someone walking round a shopping mall wearing these things. They’d be sliding and skidding all over the place.

  21. Desantos123 on November 22, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    right. anyone who’s curious to know the Guardsmen "secret" about shining boots, it’s simply heating up bee’s wax to a very thin liquid then using a paint brush to throw it on. Then heat it so it hardens

  22. Harry Williamson on November 22, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    The boots you are showing are not used in the war as the Philips screws weren’t invented then

  23. monobg antonina on November 22, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    These are the absolute shit version of the ammo boots. Absolutely NO comparison with the originals that were produced until the 60s.
    These have horrible last, horrible shape and leathers.

  24. Ohne Namen on November 22, 2022 at 10:10 pm
    You mean clean the boots like this?

  25. Blueband 8 on November 22, 2022 at 10:10 pm

    Parade pair with the thicker sole. Combat types were 2 layers on leather thick in the sole( i think.)

  26. Sean M Walsh on November 22, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    We still us them

  27. JJ RIDER 67 on November 22, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    The main reason for not studding the soles of Ammo boots issued to vehicle drivers/crews was that most military vehicles (including armoured vehicles) had plain steel cab floors and steel studded boot soles slip and skid dangerously on steel floors, whereas plain leather soles do have at least some grip. 
    Until the relatively recent introduction of the triple or ‘clover-leaf’ stud as on your parade boots the British Army used only two types of boot studs, the ‘Stud’ and the ‘Hob’ or ‘Hobnail’ – The Stud was the standard all-round grip for the ammunition boot, it is a round flat headed nail with a cross-hatched grip pattern stamped onto the surface (when new at least) It is approximately 9mm across and 3 to 4mm deep. ‘Hobs’ were only used where troops would spend the vast majority of their time on very soft ground such as loose sand or boggy conditions to provide more grip than the standard issue ‘Stud’. The Hob is also nail but with a conical tapered head around 8 to 10 mm deep. During WW2 the Ordnance Dept. reduced the regulation number of studs to 13 per boot and omitted one screw from the toe-plate to save metal.
    The boots you have here are modern parade specific boots, they have thicker soles all the way along to prevent the boot from flexing because this causes the layers of ‘bulled’ polish to flake off. The original pattern of this boot for general and field wear did not have thick soles, just normal double layer leather soles and as such were quite flexible once broken in, this was often forced by wearing the brand new untreated boots with two pairs of socks and standing in a bath of water for some time until the leather was thoroughly soaked, then going for a good long march. This ‘broke’ the boots to the wearer’s foot shape and once thoroughly dried at room temperature they were given a coat of waterproof ‘Dubbin’ for field use boots or ‘bulled’ to a mirror shine with polish for ‘best’ or parade boots.
    Before the introduction of your specific parade boots, boots used for parades had their soles built up to double or even triple thickness, but only the front part of the sole, not the instep – This allowed some degree of flex to remain in the sole making the boots more comfortable to wear.
    The term ‘Ammunition Boot’ does not pertain only to this pattern of boot (which actually came into use only just before WW2) but to ALL patterns of standard British Army boots ever designed and issued by the Army Ordnance Department, in fact ANYTHING supplied to the Army by the Ordnance Dept. was classified as ‘ammunition’.. From the start of the 20th century ALL leather equipment in the British Army (including boots) was regulation brown, right up until the introduction of this pattern of ammunition boot just prior to WW2, although Officers continued to wear brown boots (apart from those serving in Rifle Regiments who wore black boots throughout)

    Lastly, Ammunition Boots with studded leather soles were not worn by any British ground troops during the Falklands War, only the visually similar standard issue DMS (Direct Moulded Sole) Boots as introduced in the 1960s. Some Parachute Regiment troops did wear the far superior German Army paratroop boots of the time that they had ‘obtained’ by fair means or foul while stationed in Germany and a large proportion of the Royal Marines Commandos wore civilian pattern walking boots (mainly the ‘Cairngorm’ by the British maker ‘Hawkins’ in black leather with red laces) and of course the Special Air Service wore whatever they damn well pleased !…

  28. Desantos123 on November 22, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    my mates got a pair of the pebbled ones that he uses as drill boots.

    I’ve just got the standard issue Alt Bergs

  29. Dan Morgan on November 22, 2022 at 10:18 pm

    So these boots will hurt you more than the dentist from the Marathon Man.

  30. Venan SS on November 22, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    can I buy new pairs of these boots somewhere, some website, without being military? I’m interested, because I think it’s very beautiful!

  31. Danny Thorne on November 22, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Wher did you buy them i fownd them in size 4 and 5 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 but i nead size 6

  32. Roger Hudson on November 22, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    If broken in properly they are great with a gel insole and skived cuff top.
    To break them in soak upside down in a square plastic bucket using a mixture of alcohol, balistol and urine for about 4 days, put a plastic bag over your wool socked feet, lace tight and go for a 5 mile walk.

  33. WWIIRebel on November 22, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    I have a pair of ammo boots, but they are reproductions of the types issued during WW2. They are actually quite tough as the actual issued boots too.

  34. tuffymchardass on November 22, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    they are foot killers, i’ve worn them. those boots will outlive us all

  35. Râídêr-bríçkś on November 22, 2022 at 10:28 pm


  36. Paul Leigh on November 22, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Boots aren’t “bullied.” They’re bulled. Wore these in the Air Training Corps in the ‘60’s. Spent many hours bulling them. They were cheap. Hard wearing and uncomfortable by modern standards. They were treacherous to walk in on hard surfaces. Much skidding about and risk of physical injury. Made for good sound effects on the drill square. On route marches, the cause of much blistering to the feet. We were very hard in those days!

  37. Keith Orbell on November 22, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    Just a slight correction, you are correct that they are called “ammunition” boots because they came through the Board of Ordnance, which also administered the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers until 1855.

    I think you have modern Drill boots, mid 20th century Ammo boots had a pebbled surface which you had to “burn” down as part of the bulling (not bully), actually using beeswax and a lighter.

    From the introduction of Service Dress in 1900 to the 1920’s issued boots in the field were brown (check out William Lennon’s website).

    Ammo boots weren’t worn in the Falklands War, they were Boots, DMS (Direct Molded Sole), similar to ammo boots but with a rubber sole.

  38. Ivan Howe on November 22, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    I bought a pair at Silverman’s maybe year 2000. I don’t know if they are still in business. I’m in Boston and would be willing to help you get them to radiance.

  39. Willem Venter on November 22, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    the zulu wars was 1879

  40. Max Stratton on November 22, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    Anyone know where I can get a pair? Size 8 For RAF

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