At The Front N1 Field Shoes / Boondockers


Here is ATFs repro of the WW2 “N1 Field Shoes” aka “Boondockers”. Before I bought them I tried to find some reviews or some more detailed info but no luck, not much on these on the web yet it seems. So I risked it all and simply ordered a pair πŸ˜‰

Direct competitor are of course the excellent WWII Impressions Boondockers and there are some surprising similarities, more on that later.

The Boondockers come in a plain box, nothing that gets the heart pumping. But well…


On to the boots! Quality rough out leather, Goodyear welt construction, Raw cord “conservation” sole, Made in USA. Very nice! But at $259.99 not cheap



The WW2 Pattern raw cord sole is a real highlight! Correct narrow and pointed shape, yeah! πŸ™‚





The boots come with very nice original WW2 laces



OK now take a look at the paper tag…


…and now at the WWII Impressions Boondockers here. Made by the same company (Corcoran?)?! Seems so. Construction is pretty much the same down to the minimal finishing flaws which I also noticed on the WWII Impressions Boots. Leather seems to be the same as well.

Markings inside are also very similar


So what are the differences between the ATF and WWII Impressions N1s?

  1. ATF 7 eyelets, WWIIImp 9 (both OK, 7 probably more common)
  2. Different raw cord sole. Personally I prefer the underside of the ATF sole because it is period correct and lacks the non WW2 company logos. Shape is also a bit different with the WWIIImp boots having a slightly more pointed toe box.
  3. ATF Laces are original WW2. WWIIImp laces are too fat and too short.
  4. Price: ATF $259.99, WWII Impressions $249.99
  5. Sizing. I have the ATF boots in size 9 1/2 and the WWIIImp boots in size 9. They fit about the same, so either ATF runs small or WWIIImp large (IMHO WWIIImp runs at least half a number large).

The WWII Impression Boondockers are comfortable and hold up very well. Since construction is so similar I expect the ATF boots to hold up well too, will report back about this. I will also make another post with direct ATF / WWII Impressions comparison photos later.

That’s it for now, now I’m out to break in the boots 😎 but of course real bad boys don’t need boots at all! XD


~ by m1pencil on September 18, 2016.

24 Responses to “At The Front N1 Field Shoes / Boondockers”

  1. I was looking at these new generation boondockers too but that price tag hurts.

  2. Thank you for the comparison/review! was looking at getting a pair of one of these two boots but as you said there is nothing online regarding the ATF boots.

  3. Thanks for your review. Would you prefer ATF over WWII Impressions?

    • Maybe I’d give the ATF boots a slight slight edge all in all, but I think both are great, can’t go wrong either way. Comes down a bit to personal preference too (7 or 9 eyelet pairs…). Of course I still need to see how the ATF boots hold up and how comfortable they are. I will post comparison photos after I have used the ATF boots for a while.

  4. This is probably a dumb question, but I’ll ask it anyways. What boots would you recommend for one with very wide feet. By very wide I mean normal wide shoes run 2E-4E width; my shoes ALL run 6E-7E width. I’ve asked both companies and WW2 Imp is looking into making wider shoes while ATF will not make them at this time. Should I just go a size up or buy my regular shoe size sans width? Buying them in my regular size of 10 1/2 would be period in that you got what you got, but I’d also prefer not to waste ~$250 on good boots that would rip/tear/fall apart because my foot doesn’t fit properly.
    Any help/recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    • Difficult to answer, the boot style is a bit on the slim side already, so regular size might be a problem for you. Maybe size up and get some insoles? Since I have no experience with wide boots I can not be of more help sorry :-/

      By the way the ATF boots are the “deal of the day” on their site, half price!!! If you are in the US it should be no problem to return them if they do not fit (don’t know their return policy so maybe check with them first).

  5. Unfortunately there is one fatally glaring error with these boots – they are a ‘roughout’ style, whereas the N-1 Field Shoe had the smooth side of the leather outermost to allow the application of dubbin for waterproofing.

  6. Would these Boondockers or the WWII Impressions ones have a lined vamp (Toebox)? Or are they unlined? I’m trying to get some information regarding these boots so I can have a pair made for myself.


  7. I wish I had known ATF was going to make their own version – I’d have held out for these over the WWII Impressions pair I got several years ago. I’ve always liked ATF more than WWII Impressions for some reason. The tread looks way better and I’m sure the eyelet situation is just better in general – the WWII Impressions boots are tiresome to get in and out of if you’ve got them laced all the way. Great review as usual.

  8. While we’re on the subject, would love to see a post with your opinions about the various reproduction USMC gaiters available. I can’t quite figure out which company makes the best one!

    • Actually I am looking for new ones too πŸ™‚ I used WWIIImp leggings for ages, when i first got them i almost immediately ripped out a hook but since then they have held up pretty well despite years hard use.At the end of last year one of the straps finally disintegrated.
      I wanted to try ATF ones as they look nice from the photos. But shipping would be 62$?! WPG seems to be out of stock for some sizes as does WWIIImp. Any other makers I am not aware of?

      • Sadly the only options I’m aware of are ATF and WWII Impressions for them. I had the ATF leggings for years but recently sold them during an ebay selling binge and wish I hadn’t. I liked them a lot and used them regularly back when I played airsoft. In general I trust the fieldgear repros from ATF almost implicitly so I’ll probably get another pair if I ever get back into this.

        Shame about the ridiculous shipping from ATF for you! Try ebay?

      • The Navy actually kept making the same pattern up through I think the 60’s or 70’s for dress uniforms or some such. Only way to really tell is the DSA code on the inside. Good quality/authentic and they are usually cheap because they are not original WW2. I think I got mine for $10. Granted in was years ago and a random find but it might solve the cost/quality problem. If I come across some I’ll post the link.

  9. Where’s the update on the N1 boots from ATF? Also, the side by side comparison to the WW2Impressions.

  10. Can you comment on how the sizing of these compares to other non-military boots and shoes? For example, my true brannock measured size is 8.5D and that’s what I wear in dress shoes. However, in Red Wing, Chippewa, and Alden boots I size down a half and wear 8D. Are the ATF N1 Boondockers true to measured size, or true to a usual boot size? Thank you!

    • Hi, I wear Red Wing Harvesters in the same size as At The Front N1s (both in 9 1/2 and both with rather thick socks). I would say sizing is about the same after wearing the boots in. But I am hesitant to give sizing recommendations on boots as personal preferences as to what is a good fit seem to be all over to place πŸ˜‰

      • Thank you so much for the quick reply! That’s extremely helpful. I am familiar with that Red Wing last. Also, the person who answered the phone at ATF said to order my usual US-made (Red Wing, Chippewa) boot size. So that’s a match in response.
        Again, I appreciate it, and thanks for the posts about these and the WWII Impressions Boondockers!

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