Boots - Raider Dark Seal Brown. John Lofgren for ELC
The legendary ‘Raiders’ were elite units formed within the US Marine Corps. They were basically one of the earliest formations of what we refer to today as ‘Special Forces’. The 2nd Raider Battalion utilised their own privately sourced boots.
To produce the very finest version of this boot model has been on the wish list of our company for many years. Finally, through the strong collaboration between ourselves and the John Lofgren workshops of Japan, that quest has become a reality.Continue Reading
- Veg-tanned Horsehide in Dark Seal Brown
- Bench-made on traditional lasts
- Fully leather-lined
- Double row stitching
- Triple stitched at high stress points
Hand-stitched shaft seam
- SOLES & HEELA
- Custom made EASTMAN® branded raw cord
- Solid brass - blackened
- Woven shuttle-loom
- Available in half sizes 7 - 11.5 (UK sizing)
The legendary ‘Raiders’ were elite units formed within the US Marine Corps. They were basically one of the earliest formations of what we refer to today as ‘Special Forces’.
One of these units was the 2nd Raider Battalion commanded by Lt Col Evans Carlson. ‘Carlson’s Raiders’ (as they became to be known) were hand picked from volunteers by Carlson himself, who put themselves forward for the special unit from the ranks of the regular Corps.
Their remit was to engage the enemy in special guerrilla-style missions behind enemy lines. Training focused heavily on weapons practice, hand-to-hand fighting, demolitions, and physical conditioning, to include an emphasis on long hikes.
Carlson commanded his unit with an unorthodox philosophy (such was the nature of their specialised requirements) which was closely based on Chinese culture and communist egalitarianism. Every man would have the right to say what he thought. Officers would have no greater privileges than the men and would lead by consensus rather than rank. There would also be “ethical indoctrination,” which Carlson described as “giving conviction through persuasion.” That process was to ensure that each man knew what he was fighting for, and why. Their battle cry - “Gung Ho!” Chinese for “work together”.
The 2nd Raiders wore regular issue US Marine Corp combat clothing for their uniform in the field, with the exception of their footwear and some ‘special’ weapons. Carlson deemed the regular issue rough-out combat boot to be not robust enough for the kind of prolonged gruelling punishment across rough terrain they would need to sustain during their daring incursions into enemy territory. So a suitable alternative was sought. A variety of civilian-produced commercial work boots were trialled, and a logger boot model made by the Theodore Bergmann Shoe Manufacturing Co. was chosen.
This was an extremely robust boot, with a very thick sole, double-stitched welt, and a lace-to-toe design to enable better and secure adjustment to the foot. This iconic boot became a status symbol of the 2nd Raiders, in a similar way as the para-boot did for the airborne troops - so much so they have become known as ‘Raider Boots’.
Examples of the original Bergmann Raider Boots are extremely rare to find these days and are eagerly sought by collectors of WWII militaria. The Eastman® Raider Boot has been taken from archive sources of the few originals that exist to bring our customers the definitive high quality recreation of this iconic item of footwear.
In collaboration with renowned high quality bootmaker brand John Lofgren, these exclusive boots are bench-made in Japan by the best in the business using custom-made materials and fittings:
- Superior quality veg-tanned Italian horsehide leather, made to our specifications to emulate the handle, feel and colour of the original.
- Custom-made Eastman® branded ‘raw cord’ soles and heels, with tread pattern and colouring taken from the original.
- 16mm triple-stack sole with double-stitched welt, as per the original
- Perforated Eastman® branding to top of leg, as per the original branding style
- Leather laces
From Guadalcanal to Saipan ‘Carlsons Raiders’ earned themselves a formidable reputation as one of the most tenacious fighting units of WWII who struck fear into their enemy wherever they struck. The Raider Boot is a homage to their legacy - wear them with pride!
See 2nd Marine Raider veteran Ben Carson here recall some of his experiences of being a member of this illustrious unit.