The Kanady vz. 72 are derived from the vz. 60 boots and are the first major modification of the Czechoslovakian family of combat boots. The main differences compared to the previous boots are a radically different sole pattern (however, again featuring the same number of reinforcement screws on the same places), different cuff and buckles, (which were not chrome lined anymore) as well as different seam composition.
Probably the most notable modification is the buckling, which is reversed and which also makes them specific when compared to all other boots of similar design (double buckle style), since the buckles in their case now became a part of the front, overlapping part of the boot, sewn onto the rest of leather and reinforced with a single screw while the straps are located in previous buckles place, that is, sewn onto the side of the boot - in contrast to vz. 60, which had a classic style of buckles sewn onto the side, non overlapping part of the boot and with straps as just an extension of the rest of the leather (like in the case of the rest of the boots, such as Polish, Yugoslavian, American, Soviet or French ones). Also, buckling is now done simply by tighting the belts, there is no needle on buckle to insert through the hole on the belt, like on their predecessor and others. However, despite radical changes, they still feature carachteristic leather rings on the side, intended to pull through the belt surplus when tightened and buckled, exactly like their mentioned predecessor.
They were designed as a replacement for vz. 60 and vz .62 boots, and were thus the first universal combat boots of Czechoslovakian People's Army, due to being used for both officers and rest of the soldiers, since the vz. 60 had a previously mentioned brown model intended only for officers; the vz. 62. They were in production and usage for full eighteen years; from 1972 until the 1990 when they were replaced by new, vz. 90 combat boots for both newly formed Czech and Slovakian armies, which were basically just vz. 72 boots with only buckling removed and replaced by slots for laces until the upper end of the boot. It should be also noted that vz. 72 are almost always incorrectly described or marked as vz. 60, due to which many think that they are just another variant of already existing vz. 60 model (and due to which their actual designation is very little known), while they actually replaced the vz. 60 in both usage and production back in 1972, as their sole designation says.
Like their mentioned predecessor, the vz. 72 were always completely made exclusively from highly durable black genuine leather (calfskin) and triple (three layers of) hard rubber sole with heel as the third/last part. They also always feature protective metal (steel) cap installed on toes as well as on heel part, which together with the fact that soles are naturally not hollowed inside, makes them relatively heavy as well as very sturdy and reliable combat boots.
For comparison with other competitive combat boots of similar type, alhough they are still just slightly lighter than their Yugoslavian counterpart as an example (reaching weight of two and half kilos at most; due to the fact that they feature no wood layers of sole), they are much more solid and firmer, mainly due to even slightly harder made rubber on soles as well as due to mentioned steel cap inside, although the leather is as just soft and is of similar type (since it is also genuine). Their soles are much more sturdy and reliable, since the ex-CSSR was technically much more advanced and industrilized country than ex-SFRY, so the boots were always manufactured by automatization; machinery which glued them on much higher pressures, so they did not necessairly needed and depended on additional screw reniforcement of the soles like the Yugoslavian did, which were exclusively (and sometimes relatively sloppy) handcrafted. Finishing process was also more meticulous due to mentioned; every pair was precisely and accurately manufactured, being completely identical and symmetrical to the other one. However, exactly due to being so sturdy, they are not elastic at all and thus, foot is not much free and flexible while wearing them. Also, they are somewhat inferior by means of waterproof, since the two sides of holes for laces can never be linked together, what always leaves relatively large gap between them for water to penetrate inside more easily. Moreover, they feature relatively thick, non detachable/integrated, synthetic (artificial) insoles what naturally results in not as good as feet hygiene, and since they feature fourteen holes due to which the laces goes high up the boot (almost until the upper end), it takes longer time and is more difficult to properly tie and buckle them as well as vice versa.
Still, the vz. 72, along with their predecessor, the vz. 60 & 62 were probably the finest-quality manufactured combat boots of all ex-Eastern bloc countries, primarly due to good selection of materials combined with, as previously mentioned, highly developed and automatized CSSR industry and production when compared to most other Socialist contries of that time (including USSR), because of which they could always be manufactured very accurately and meticulously; using machines to achieve finishing process of highest possible quality and precision.
The vz. 72 were also the last such pattern of Czechoslovakian boots (double buckled), since they were later replaced by all-out laces boots, the vz. 90, which also finished the line as the last of very successful family of Czechoslovakian combat boots (vz. 60, 62, 72 & 90) which inspired many other types of boots, including Yugoslavian and Soviet, which both copied the mentioned design.
A little bit ironic, although they were boots of Czechoslovakian origin intended exclusively for their army, they were only time actually baptised in war and used in combat by Croatian forces during Yugoslavian wars of 1990s, which, together with firearms, received them from Czech republic and Slovakia during wartime, along with many other military equipment from different countries as a donation of old and uneeded sulprus and were so used by Croatian army for a brief time (~not after 1993), which also logically explains why they are, apart from their place of origin, also possible to find in modern day Croatia (although very rare).
In popular culture
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