Original WW2 RAF 1943 Pattern Escape Boots
A fantastic pair of original RAF 1943 Pattern Escape Boots, dating from the Second World War.
This pattern of boots was introduced in 1943 and saw widespread issue with the RAF. They also saw use with a variety of American flyers serving with the USAAF 8th and 9th Air Forces. They were designed not just for flying but for escape and evasion use as a huge amount of flying was by this stage in the war taking place over occupied Europe. The idea behind the boots was that the suede uppers could be cut off leaving a simple civilian shoe which would arouse less suspicion than a flying boot if worn in occupied territory. The suede uppers could then be zipped together to create a waistcoat and keep the owner warm.
Both the suede uppers and the shoes are lined with sheepskin for warmth when flying at altitude, giving them a snug feeling when worn. The uppers close with brass zippers which bear the War Department broad arrow to one side and the letter 'W' to the other. The shoes fasten with laces which only retain one of their metal ends, although this would indicate that they are in fact the original wartime laces. Crucially, the soles are also original and have not been re-soled in the post-war years.
The boots fit me at a size 9 but due to the sheepskin lining feel very snug. They would suit an 8 to a 9 in my opinion.
The condition of the boots is fantastic as can be seen in the pictures. The black leather shoes are in excellent condition with a deep shine to them. The suede uppers are equally as clean and the sheepskin lining is also very nice. The soles are good with some signs of wear and both the original zips work as they should.
All in all a stunning example of this pattern of boots which would be very hard to better. These would make an excellent addition to any aviation collection!