As some of you may have heard, the Bates Lites boots were banned from use at Officer Candidates School last year. However, according to reliable information over at OfficerCandidateSchool.com, it seems that Bates Lites are now allowed to be worn by candidates again. Here is a quote below with the latest information on the subject.
“Bates Lites and all USMC regulation boots are authorized for wear at OCS. Upon arrival, candidates are issued both hot-weather and
cold-weather boots of various brands including but not limited to Bates, Belleville, Danner, and Altama. The website is up-to-date and includes tips on purchasing boots prior to arrival. It is strongly encouraged that candidates begin to break-in regulation boots prior to shipping to OCS to prevent blisters and other boot-related injuries during training.”
This is a reply email I received from Coordinator of Student Activities OCS this morning, answering my question about Bates Lights.
Multiple candidates who just spoke with Sergeant Instructors this past weekend confirmed: Bates Lites are allowed.
There you have it, Bates Lites will be allowed back at Officer Candidates School this summer. I would double check with your OSO, but the information seems to have been checked and rechecked, so it would seem fine.
Do you need Bates Lites? No, purchasing a pair before attending Marine OCS is not completely necessary, but it does help you get a feel for walking/running in boots. Personally, I purchased a pair of Bates Lites in May before attending OCS to get the feel for boots, took them on a few walks, started jogging in them and building up to a few lengthier runs. I used the Bates Lites pretty extensively at Officer Candidates School for the reason that they are light-weight and drain extremely well after being soaked in water.
Many candidates point to the E-Course and Junior’s stamina course as good events to wear the Bates Lites on. The boots are light weight which certainly helps for a faster time (although it’s probably mental) and the water drainage holes help after movement through water, the Quigley, etc. One drawback to the Bates Lites is the minimal grip on the bottom of the shoe, which makes it difficult to clamp your feet while climbing the rope on the obstacle course. I never had a problem with it (I used too much upper body strength to really notice it), but it really affects some candidates.
In review, the Bates Lites are great boots to break in prior to attending OCS. They’re also useful while at Quantico for their lightweight and water draining qualities, however they’re not 100% necessary as you are issued two pairs of boots upon arrival. I would personally recommend purchasing them if you are unfamiliar with movement in boots, but it’s not a must by any means. You can purchase the boots on the Bates Official Website, but they are quite pricey at $194.95. If you do decide to purchase the boots, make sure they are the USMC Bates Lites, which the link above will direct you to.
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