I’m kidding, right? Why should the boots be bloused in a SHTF environment or when training in the woods during all seasons? Afterall, casual observation of anyone involved in tactical, preparedness, or survival training whether civilian or even in the military will demonstrate the overwhelming style today seems to be wearing pants unbloused and long enough almost to drag on the ground. Sort of a ‘cool factor’ to it, apparently.
It really is a bad idea in any environment except when in or crossing over water deep enough to swim and/or drown in.
There are several methods to blouse the boots that involve straps, rubberbands and tie strings (on certain BDU style pants). They all work as far as appearance is concerned, and to a lesser degree, keeping things out of your pants. The method I consider to be the best that requires no excess straps or strings is folding and tucking the pant into the boot. I’ve done it for more years that I care to remember, and haven’t found a better method yet.
Here’s a few good reasons to blouse your boots:
- Keep small pebbles, dirt clods and other debris out of your boot, potentially damaging your foot to one degree or another as well as your sock.
- Keep small crawling things that bite not only out of your boot, but from your pant leg, where they can crawl up anywhere they want and have a leisurely meal on whatever part of you they stop at. Especially while you’re sleeping and may not notice their journey.
- Keep residual heat in during cold weather; keep cold air from wafting up your pant leg.
I don’t recommend blousing straps or the tie strings because typically the pant leg will be bloused over the boot, and it can slip up and off the top of the boot and allow debris/bugs to get into the boot itself. In addition, depending on your leg’s size, the blousing strap can cut off your circulation leaving an almost permanent indentation (read circulation problems) from long years of wear (ask me how I know).
Through long experience I’ve found the ‘old school’ way to be the most efficient method that ensures relative comfort found from lack of debris in one’s boots and lack of things eating your ankles or upper legs or wherever they can get. This method does need longer pant legs to work, however. For example, I wear a 34X32 size jeans. My field pants are 34X34. That extra 2 inches gives me all the material I need to make sure it’s done right. If the pants have tie strings, I very carefully cut the anchor stitches to the tie string (without cutting the pant material) and pull them out and discard before I blouse the boots.
This is how you do it:
- Pull the pant leg up over your socks.
- Make sure the sock is gently snugged in place (prefer over the calf or mid-calf length socks to cushion my leg, but it’s really your call).
- Put the boot on and keep the laces loose for now.
- Pull the pant leg down as far as it will go without force; tuck it in against the back of your leg and smooth it out to make sure there are no folds or creases in the pant inside the back of the boot.
- Pull the front of the pant leg so that all the excess is in front of the boot.
- Fold the excess over to the right or left (your preference) and tuck it in as flat as you can.
- Now start to lace or snug up the laces on your boot feeling to make sure the pantleg material is flat as possible around the leg. Remember not to tighten the laces too much. (You’re after ankle support, not blood flow restriction.)
- Now, after you tie your laces, tuck them into the top of the boot up to the knot.
- Don’t put the knot inside your boot top because it will be very uncomfortable!
- Tucking in the laces makes sure that the loops won’t catch on anything and get pulled loose.
- No guarantees, though, I’ve had things catch on the exposed knot and pull the lace out.
- The pant legs will naturally sag a bit and give the ‘bloused’ appearance in very short order.
There you go! It might not look all that ‘tacticool’ to have bloused trousers with tucked in laces, but it sure will save you some potential grief, depending on where you’re at when you’re training!
The very best thing since sliced bread when it comes to keeping your pants up! Think about it: Once one puts on a drop leg anything, or straps a knife to his or her belt, the weight of the items added to the just-about-guaranteed loosening of the belt on its own (friction-type especially), depending upon the physique of the person concerned. Even the hard-core ‘Greek god’ types who can pull their belts in so they don’t drop aren’t really comfortable because their circulation and digestive systems are compressed (or so medical people have told me when I asked about overtightening belts).
I have two kinds; they’re always with me, but one is on and the other is with my rain suit pants. The first is made by Spec-Ops, and is absolutely bomb-proof as well as built to last forever. With shipping, they cost about $40.
Expensive, yes. Worth the money? Absolutely. I also like the fast-tex buckle release so that you can ‘drop trou’ when you need to during field hygiene situations.
Not everyone has the inclination to spend that kind of money on suspenders. For those folks, here’s the second set I own (actually, I have about a dozen spares to either give out or replace mine when it wears out).
They have a nice little hook on them that goes under your belt from the inside (so the hook part is away from your body). You can get them from as little as $2 to about $10 depending on where you find them. They can handle most small, medium, and large regular folks. As with the Spec Ops type, they have a nicely balanced cross over on your back that doesn’t tire you out or seem uncomfortable. Truth be told, when I’m wearing either set, I forget I have them on.
As always, there are other ways to get to your objective; these are what’s worked in the past and still work for me.