I remember spending hours bulling those damned DMS toecaps to a mirror finish - actually I also recall it being therapeudic!. The trick was getting a nice enough sheen onto the pebbled sections!
The Brit's have had a number of different 'Hi Leg' boots. The ones which came out in the 1980's had a different cut and no speed lacing. Even before those there was a special 'Northern Ireland' version (with softer soles for bitumen patrolling?).