Non-issue lace ups for parades

There’s a cadet and an officer on my sqn who can’t wear the stores issued shoes as they don’t accommodate their orthotics (shoe inserts). What are the options for footwear, particularly for parades?

They seem to be ok with their boots, so it’s just the parade shoes causing issues.

1358c says that DMS shoes are to be worn, however the practical reality is that (as they’re private purchase) as long as the footwear is black leather, has a rounded toecap and can be polished, anything is suitable.
Indeed, I’ve known regulars who did not wear the DMS shoes due to fit issues.

Doc Martens used to do a good, plain, shoe which always seemed the common alternative, and were more than smart enough to be in uniform.


I know several regular serving people who wear non standard shoes or boots, for the same reason as you’ve described. They get issued DM’s from stores, with a med chit. So I don’t see why others shouldn’t.

There are lots of options for ‘similar to issue’ styles available. A google for “oxford shoe” will yeild results at varying price ranges. I’ve had a number of cadets struggle to get DMS shoes in their small size, so they opt for a £40 pair of oxford style civie shoes.

Though, where the issue is fitting orthotic insoles I would have thought that, ironically, the issue shoes - coming in three different widths per shoe size - might actually provide the most combinations. If the wearer is a Size 9 for example, and a 9L won’t fit with the insoles, would a 10M perhaps work?
I go up in boots for that very reason. It certainly can be tricky, but there are definitely options available to them. Nobody should have a problem with it.

The med issue trumps dress regs. Very tricky legal grounds for anyone who says otherwise.

We’ve had Cadets in the past who were unable to fit a standard parade shoe for whatever reason, they just had to get the closest they could. Never caused any issues in practice.

I have only ever found 2 widths - M & L - and neither fit nicely on anyone with normal feet (males - the ladies shoes seem a bit better in that respect)

Shoes are just one of those areas where ‘you need to follow these regs but we don’t issue it to you’ causes confusion!

I’ve seen the small widths in the wild… But I don’t know how common they are.

Someone offered me a 9S instead of 9M on my initial kitting (that was many years ago I’ll grant), which was met with a “thank you… But there’s not a hope in hell” response.

Most of my Cadet service I had a £12 pair of DMS look a like shoes from Asda. Comfier than issue DMS and no one ever made any comment. I still advise Cadets and Parents to have a look for same before resorting to online kit sellers etc.

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I had 10S shoes as regular in the 1980s but the S fitting has been discontinued for both DMS and Oxfords. Now I wear private purchase Oxfords with No1 and No2 dress.

DMs are so heavy but I’ll suggest it to them!
Is patent leather a no-no? It’s not easy to find plain black lace ups for females that will polish up

DMs are very expensive, but if they can use them for school it would be an easier sell, as they’ll last. As long as their feet don’t grow too much.
A lot of the girls at school wear patent leather shoes. The only problem is if they get scuffed that’s it.