Not so long ago, in a historical perspective, the good old footcloth was widely used in the domestic army. A piece of fabric wound around a leg will seem to many modern people to be something absolutely uncomfortable and impractical. However, in reality this is not at all the case. However, today we are not talking about the merits or demerits of footcloths, but about where she came from in the Russian army.
What could be simpler and better at the same time than a footcloth? For a long time, this beautiful in its simplicity wardrobe item replaced socks for servicemen (and not only). Mankind has known footcloths since ancient times. It was worn not only in Russia. It has been used for literally several centuries. It was only in the 20th century that such windings were abandoned everywhere in the army. For example, in the GDR, the footcloth was abandoned only in 1968, in Finland in 1990, in Ukraine it was used until 2004, and in Russia until 2010.
In Russia, the footcloth was called the word "port". It also designated any other piece of fabric. It should be noted right away that footcloths were worn by people of the military class in Russia for many centuries. There was no charter on this score. Even after the appearance of the regular recruiting army of Peter I, no one introduced the footcloth, since its wearing was taken for granted. Around the same time, along with a footcloth, a stocking was used in the army, which was massively used in the infantry along with a boot.
Officially, the footcloth was "introduced" into the Russian army only under Catherine II, through the efforts of perhaps the most intelligent and enterprising favorite of the empress - Prince Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin, who, after analyzing the experience of the Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774, came to the final conclusion that it is necessary to completely transfer the army from the use of stockings (in addition to the cavalry) to the good old footcloth. The prince expounded his thoughts on the numerous merits of the sock from the people for the infantry to the Empress in the "Note on the Clothes and Armament of the Army" from 1782.
The decision to introduce footcloths was directly related to the decision to introduce high-top boots into the infantry. This is because most of the line units created by Peter I were equipped in a European manner and wore boots without ankle boots on their feet. At the same time, the leg was covered with boots. This combination was not very convenient and practical for the Russian climate. Therefore, Grigory Alexandrovich tried to finally achieve the transition to boots and footcloths. However, for economic reasons, such a large-scale event could not be fully implemented.
Continuing the topic, read about How tarpaulin boots appeared in the USSR in the last century.