90th IDPG Research


The M-1938 Legging - An Introduction

Published: Fall 2008
Author: Mike "Squirrely" Ellis

War Time Changes--

As the war dragged on, it became obvious that the design could use improvement in several ways. In fact, it was the deficiencies of the m38 legging which lead to the development of the universal combat boot – also known among reenactors as the “two-buckle”.

Reduced Eyelets --
One of the most common manufacturing shortcuts was to halve the number of eyelets on each legging. This could be accomplished by slightly altering the method of lacing. Shown below is a pair of 1943 contract leggings which features the economy eyelet configuration:


It is laced the same as the earlier pattern, with some minor differences. Compare the number of eyelets on early versus late leggings. Both types were issued interchangeably during the war:

There are two different ways to run the lace on 'economy' leggings, but the basic effect remains the same as the earlier pattern.




Army vs. Navy Markings

Wearing Them--

Correct Use
Lacing Methods
Putting Them On
Step 1-2
Step 3-5
Step 6-9
Step 10
Step 11

Different Ways to Wear Leggings--

The High Roller
The Cut Down
No Leggings?
Leggings For Dummies

War Time Changes--

Reduced Eyelets
The Change to O.D. #7
Leggings, Dismounted, O.D.
Factory-made Cut Downs?

Other Hints and Tips--

Taking Out That Rock




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