The so-called Schwarzkopf boot, the desert combat shoe redesigned last fall to the specifications of the allied commander in the Persian Gulf, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, should be making a civilian fashion statement this summer.
Wellco Enterprises, the Waynesville, N.C., company that manufactures the boots, is negotiating with various retailers to sell the shoes to the public.
And with the ground war so brief, the Department of Defense has been caught with a backlog of orders for desert clothing. The Associated Press said the government has contracts for 6 million camouflage jackets and pants, 49,000 shrapnel protection vests and 1.4 million pairs of Wellco's boots.
"Even though the war is over, they're still pushing us to make all we can," said Horace Auberry, the chairman of Wellco.
The boots, of tan leather and nylon, are designed to keep feet cool in extreme temperatures. They will cost somewhere between $100 and $200, Auberry said. The shoes are made in 105 sizes (truly), for both men and women. And they will blend right in on Fire Island.