Straw Overboots

You’ve probably seen such overboots worn by German and Russian soldiers on the Eastern front during the Second World War, but the very same straw overboots were already in use during the First World War on the Alpine front. Indeed, the standard metal-shod leather marching boots worn by most troops conducted the cold directly to man’s feet with awful consequences. These overboots made of straw enclosed the conventional footwear, and although cumbersome ideally insulated the leather boots against the effects of sub-zero temperatures. Shared by men on static duties, such as sentry details, this footware proved to be effective. Several examples of such items are displayed in MART Museum in Rovereto and were probably found in glaciers after the war.



2 thoughts on “Straw Overboots

  1. I’ve never seen these before and they are a beautiful handcraft. I wonder if they were supplied to the military by a factory or came from soldiers’ grandmothers. They must be very rare to find in good condition.

  2. The incredible thing is that I’ve found several examples of these items. Technically speaking, I think it’s impossible to see any difference between WW1 and WW2 ones. These ones were produced by craftsmen. In any case, the fact that so many of them survived until our days is pretty amazing.

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