ST Explainers: History of army boots, Swan Socks

This is a fortnightly round-up of FAQs, pegged on news events, published on The Straits Times' website. Go to for more.

From the serious and practical to the gossipy and the light-hearted, ST Explainers tackled a myriad of topics the past fortnight. The passing of the creators of the Lao Fu Zi comic and Watership Down novel gave us a chance to introduce these writers to a younger generation, while the history of army boots in Singapore was a hit with readers on social media.

How SAF's combat boots have evolved over decades

The Singapore Armed Forces will be replacing the Frontier boots with a new model that can withstand prolonged storage. Here is a look at how army boots have evolved over the years, from the toe-capped leather boots to more lightweight and comfortable models.

5 facts about Swan Socks that were worn in the past

Ever heard of Swan Socks? These made-in-Singapore socks were once the staple for Singaporean schoolchildren and soldiers. The factory in Jurong was set up by Japanese company Ikeo Socks Co Ltd and offered employment to women. Read a potted history of the factory at

Survival tips and tricks for your kid's first school year

The new year meant a whole new crop of children heading for primary school for the first time. For anxious parents, ST Explainers offers a quick roundup of tips and advice on helping children cope with the jitters and the new environment.

Practical S'porean things to do for the new year

Forget new year resolutions. For more pragmatic Singaporeans, ST Explainers has a more practical to-do list to check off for 2017, from buying new parking coupons and chucking your paper road tax disc to cutting back on electricity usage and signing up for SingPass 2FA.

7 facts about the creator of Lao Fu Zi comics

Alfonso Wong Kar Hei, the creator of the beloved Lao Fu Zi comics, died on New Year's Day, aged 92. The comic creator was less well-known than his famous creation. Read seven things about the man and the comic at

5 things to know about the author of Watership Down

Another author of a beloved book who died on Christmas Eve was British novelist Richard Adams, whose epic tale of a rabbit community's quest for a new home Watership Down was an unexpected bestseller in the 1970s. Read about his late start as a writer and the success of his debut novel.

The Reddit co-founder who's engaged to Williams

Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on Reddit on Dec 29. Read five things about the tech millionaire who courted Williams and won her heart.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2017, with the headline 'ST Explainers: History of army boots, Swan Socks'. Print Edition | Subscribe