Footwear for the Trenches.
It will be good news for many of the Canadians who must face the terrible mud of the trenches this winter that the Canadian Government has ordered 150,000 pairs of shoe-packs, with soles, for the use of Canada's soldiers. The shoe-pack-perhaps some reader of Canada will supply the origin of the name-is a form of footwear which, as used by lumbermen, partakes of the character of both knee-boot and moccasin. It is made of thick but pliable and soft leather, frequently oil-tanned; the boot-leg reaches to just below the knee, where it laces tightly; and the foot, being soleless and pliable, allows that free movement which is so necessary to keep warm the feet of the wearer.
Not even wet snow can penetrate the well-greased shoe-pack. During a cold spell in the Canadian lumber woods the lumbermen, who meanwhile don their soft moccasins, soak their shoe-packs with grease against the coming of a thaw. Fishermen in the Maritime Provinces, who turn lumbermen during winter, dress their shoe-packs with fish oil, which is said to have peculiar slush-resisting virtue. Worn all winter in its soleless state, the shoe-pack is hastily soled in the spring so as to resist the sharp snags and stones encountered in driving the winter's cut of logs down the rivers. The shoe-pack perhaps represents the most adequate footgear for withstanding wet and hard usage. For the former rubber is sufficient, but for the latter there is "nothing like leather." Let us hope that the Canadian footwear with the queer name will prove a match even for the mud of Flanders.