Choosing the appropriate foam for military footwear involves many factors as different boots are designed for select areas of specialty, which can greatly differ between the Marines, Army, Navy, and Airforce.
Military footwear is unique in that it is designed for a specific walking/running/climbing surface ranging from wet smooth landscapes to cold, rocky ones. In years past, previous designs did not focus on performance or energy absorption — but rather on the nature of the material of construction. This approach changed around the time of the first Gulf War and into the early 2000s when the Army began to notice the number of soft tissue injuries to the foot caused by walking on rough terrain.
Today lower limb injuries remain a continual and serious issue for military personnel. Keeping these needs in mind, in more recent times the military changed the boot specification to one based on performance in shock attenuation. Shock attenuation during running is the process of absorbing impact energy due to the foot-ground collision, reducing shock wave amplitude between the foot and head.
Griswold understands many of the unique material needs that address shock attenuation and energy absorbance, and so we developed a foam that could support these performance requirements. Our enlighten-u® product has excellent compression-set resistance and shock-absorption properties making it an ideal material for military footwear. The foam is also optimal for overcoming common wear-and-tear challenges. Based on its durability, it offers strong cushioning properties that wouldn’t physically wear away easily and provides better value than most closed-cell neoprene products.
Today, hundreds of thousands of military men and women are counting on Griswold materials to contribute not only to their boot comfort but also on the absorption of energy that can prevent them from receiving foot and leg injuries. We salute our troops for the sacrifices they make every day to protect our country and are honored to support them every step of the way.