The Canadian Provost Corps
1946 - 1968

Footwear - Shoes, Boots
And Puttees

As with most other items of clothing and equipment, footwear of Second World War pattern and manufacture was worn postwar by Canadian soldiers until existing stocks ran out. In addition, new patterns were trialed and adopted beginning in the late 1940s. Web anklets (gaiters) were eventually withdrawn from service and replaced by puttees.
Black shoes were worn by Other Ranks in offices or when walking out, various patterns of boots were worn on patrol duties or in the field. Officer's boots and shoes generally conformed to the patterns worn during the war.

Ankle Boots

Postwar patterns of ankle boots were generally similar in design to the wartime Boots, GS. Both rubber and leather soled boots were worn, rubber soles were introduced as rubber was no longer a scarce strategic resource as it was during the Second World War. For parade use, and to reduce wear on the soles, steel heel and toe cleats were worn in a similar manner to that in the Second World War.

Initial patterns of postwar manufactured boots were identical to those worn during the Second World War.

Detail of the rubber sole.

Typical pair of 1960s vintage ankle boots. One variation of these boots had a strap and buckle at the top, the cut ends of which can be seen. The buckles and straps were often cut off to provide a better fit when wearing puttees.

Boots RBLT

Issued for cold wet weather, Boots, Rubber Bottom, Leather Top were less than affectionally known by the soldiers as Rotten Bottom Leaky Tops. A Second World War design, Boots, RBLT were only marginally superior to the ankle boot in wet weather and were virtually useless in extreme cold. They were however very popular in Korea during the temperate seasons.

Unissued pair of Boots, RBLT. Note the single buckle and leather laces.

View of the sole showing the tread pattern and stamped size marking and inspector's stamp.

Detail of the single buckle with inspector's stamp. Boots of Second World War manufacture did not have the buckle.

American Combat Boots

As well as Canadian boots, various patterns of American combat boots were worn. Although similar in general design to the Canadian GS Combat Boots, American Combat Boots are easily distinguished by the two piece stitched and nailed sole, tread pattern and the 9 eyelets versus the 10 eyelets on the Canadian boots.

The tread pattern on the American boots. Dated 1963.

GS Combat Boots

In 1963, high topped "Boots, Combat, General Service" were adopted by the Canadian Army as part of the new Combat Uniform. The GS Combat Boot utilized a new process of footwear manufacturing at that time, the direct moulded sole. In this proc­ess the sole and heel are moulded and vulcanized in one piece onto the uppers. This provided a waterproof seam at the juncture of the uppers and the sole. The boot is leather-lined and has a strong leather insole to permit the absorption of foot moisture. GS Combat boots were produced in Mark 1 and Mark 2 versions. The Mk 2 version incorporates a speed-lace closure, modification to the pattern to give even greater protection from moisture and improved coun­ter (heel stiffener) materials.
Combat boots Marks 1 and 2 were quite successful and had an expected service life of 18 - 24 months.

An example of Mark 2 Combat Boots with speed eyelets.

Distinctive tread pattern on early production boots. Made by GREB Footwear.


When worn with ankle boots, cloth puttees provide more ankle support and are more effective in keeping sand and pebbles out of the boots than web anklets. Sometime in the 1950s, Provost began replacing the khaki coloured tapes with white tapes. This eventually became as much a Provost dress distinction as the white anklets had been during the Second World War.

Top: Nylon/cotton OD green puttees. Note the matching green tapes.
Bottom: Wool short puttees with white tapes worn by Captain M.A.S. Pittman circa 1965.

One method of wearing the puttees with Battledress trousers and Ankle Boots. The tapes are centered on the puttees and wrapped as a single layer. Another method was to wrap the white tapes around the top half of the puttees to give the impression of half green/half white anklets.

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