Korean War Shoepacs

The Korean War really is a “forgotten war”, not only in the minds of people and in the media but also when it comes to uniform and equipment research. If you are looking for detailed info it can get quite tricky, this is in stark contrast to WW2 (ETO) were there is probably a whole range of books about things like German shoe lacesΒ  πŸ˜‰ . Since I have a collection of Korean War items (mainly USMC) I decided to post some of it here for reference. Even though it is not directly related to the main topic of my blog I hope some of you will still find it interesting πŸ™‚

I will start with the Korean War shoepacs (or shoe pacs). You can often read that the WW2 shoepac saw widespread use during the Korean war, especially in the first winter.
After checking out a lot of photos and some digging in books I discovered that not only the WW2 model was used but an updated “Korean War” model as well.

Here is a photo of “Korean War” shoepacs. The markings inside a very hard to read, but I think they are from 1950.


The difference between the two versions is actually quite easy to spot. The newer version does not have the ribs on the top side of the rubber section. WW2 model:



Newer model, no “ribs”



You can also see the 16″ high version of the WW2 shoepac in use. Seems like everything available was used by the corps (makes reenacting easy πŸ˜‰ )


The shoepacs were OK for the Korean spring and fall but inadequate for the harsh winter. Most Marines hated them. The boots were supplied with two pairs of felt insoles, those together with the socks were supposed to be changed frequently to avoid freezing of the feet!


There are several variations of shoepacs depending on the manufacturer. Especially the soles can be quite different, I spotted at least 4 different kinds in photos


Even though my boots are 64+ years old they are still in excellent and useable condition (makes you wonder about today’s “quality footwear” πŸ˜› ). Carefully treating them with mink oil and rubber care products should keep the boots serviceable for a long time πŸ™‚


~ by m1pencil on March 17, 2014.

One Response to “Korean War Shoepacs”

  1. There are also WWII dated Shoepacs without the reenforced toe cap, not just Korean war models πŸ˜‰

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