Boot History – WWII US Service Shoe

WWII US Service Shoe Type II

Here’s some US military boot history…

Before the “Two buckle boot” came into service later in the war, foot soldiers and others in the US Army during WWII wore the “Service Shoe” covered by a set of leggings. The Service Shoe, more of a low boot than a shoe, went through various evolutions to increase wear length, to reduce the amount of raw materials used and reduce production time.


  • The Type I, introduced in 1941, consisted of a leather upper and a leather sole with a rubber heel.
  • The Type I was quickly replaced by a Type II Shoe because the Type I’s leather sole wore out extremely fast. The Type II featured the addition of a composition (rubber) tap to the leather sole.
  • The Type III introduced a full length composition sole and a rough out design, meaning the rough part of the leather, rather than the smooth side, faced out. This allowed for better weatherproofing.


This image shows the outward appearance differences between the Type II and Type III styles. There were various specifications within each Type:

  • Type II: Specifications BQD 75, 75A, & 75B (1942)
  • Type III: Specification BQD 110 (1943)
  • Type III: Specification BQD 110A (1943) – no toe cap

I’ve illustrated various differences between the types and specifications in the examples I’ve adapted from below. The first image shows a version of the Type II Service Shoe while the second shows the Type III and it’s rough out design.



WWII US Service Shoe Type II



The Service Shoe was usually worn with “M-1938 Olive Drab Dismounted Canvas Leggings.”

The Shoe was replaced for overseas troops with the “Double Buckle Boot.”

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