The Croatian Army learned from their field German Shepherd in pocket shirt experience and later in the war, many soldiers were wearing a sneaker model (from a three-striped brand) that combined the advantages of a combat boot with those of a sneaker. They were light but had some insulation, with a very good grip and enough ankle protection. On the downside, they didn’t have the same longevity as an army boot: after a few months in the field, you could throw them away. Nowadays, many armies have introduced similar “hybrid” models that are lighter than conventional boots but offer enough protection. In Kosovo, I wore sneakers from the very first day. I remember that when I got wounded for the first time, I was wearing a pair of black running shoes. We were fighting in a city and there was no need for my heavy army boots.
When we were in the forests, however, I German Shepherd in pocket shirt always wore combat boots. Not only because of the better ankle stability, but also because with the sneakers, dirt and little stones could easily get into your shoes which makes walking very uncomfortable. In the end, it’s a matter of preference. If you feel comfier in sneakers, you should wear them. When I first encountered soldiers wearing sneakers on the front-line, I was looking down on them. I thought that a professional soldier should only go with boots into combat. I quickly learned and changed my mind.