If you don’t have time to read the entire review and just want to find the best boots for rucking, we recommend the GORUCK MACV-1.
Rucking is a challenging exercise that requires a high level of stamina. You don’t want your feet to suffer while navigating unforgiving terrain. Hence, choosing the proper boots can make or break your rucking experience.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information available. So we’ve rounded up our top seven options to help you choose the most suitable for you.
What to Consider When Looking for the Best Boots for Rucking
You don’t need much to start rucking. Some things are optional, like downloading a handy app to help you. Others are a must, like finding a pair of good-quality rucking boots.
You might have different priorities based on the surface, the climate, or your concerns. Whatever your priorities, here’s what to consider when looking for the best boots for rucking.
The exterior of rucking boots should primarily be made from leather. The most commonly used types are synthetic, full-grain, and split-grain leather. The main difference lies in breathability and durability.
The leather is usually blended with nylon or Cordura. Cordura is a sturdy fabric that is resistant to damage and water repellant.
Durability is one of the most essential factors when choosing the best boots for rucking. After all, it’s the primary difference between rucking boots and your everyday shoes.
Durability is mainly determined by the boot’s material and structure.
Breathable boots may save you from discomfort and painful blisters by keeping your feet dry. When looking for a suitable pair, make sure they’re breathable enough to allow continuous airflow to infiltrate. Breathability becomes even more critical if you’re rucking in the summer heat.
Breathability is mainly affected by the boot’s material. While full-grain leather is highly durable, it’s not particularly breathable. Split-grain leather leads the pack on breathability, but it comes at the cost of abrasion resistance. Finally, synthetic leather offers little ventilation resulting in warm and sweaty feet.
Note that waterproof boots are less breathable and take longer to dry after getting wet.
Every ounce counts when your feet support your whole weight and load. The lighter the rucking boots are, the easier you’ll move. If you’re aiming for speed and comfort, consider purchasing a boot under 2 pounds.
Remember that lighter boots might be less durable, so don’t go too overboard unless you want to buy new boots every year.
The higher the boot, the more protection it provides. Rucking boots usually come in three sizes.
Low-cut boots are usually four or five inches tall. You can use them for lightweight daily tasks, shorter treks, or lighter loads. It’s best if you wear them in more urban areas.
Mid-cut (six inches) and high-cut (eight inches) boots will protect your feet better. They’re excellent for longer hikes and heavier gear. These boots will perform best on rougher terrain.
However, don’t forget that the higher the cut, the less breathable the boots are.
Feeling uncomfortable in your shoes will likely ruin your whole rucking experience.
The best models will fit you snuggly in the heel and the bridge. As for the toe box, there should be enough room for your toes to flex naturally. Your toes shouldn’t touch the front of your boots while walking downhill.
But what truly makes a comfortable rucking experience is the boot’s insole. It provides extra cushioning, which will come in handy when your feet get tired and sore. Insoles also absorb the shock from each step your take, protecting your arch and preventing pain.
The outsole of a rucking boot provides traction, which prevents you from slipping. It should be made from 100% rubber.
You should consider military compliance as a factor if you’re looking for rucking boots to replace your government-issued pair. Boots worn in the military will be marked as “AR670-1” compliant.
Best Boots for Rucking
1. Best Overall Option | GORUCK MACV-1
GORUCK is arguably the biggest rucking company in the world. They make products for people of all walks of life, from adventurers to Special Forces soldiers. With this in mind, it’s no wonder their MACV-1 boots top our list of the best boots for rucking.
The MACV-1 boots are made from full-grain leather and 1,000D Cordura with 2-inch nylon webbing. This blend ensures extraordinary durability, breathability, and ankle support. Another plus for durability is the dual-compound rubber on the heel area, making these boots abrasion-resistant. Additionally, these boots are water-resistant, so don’t let the rain put you off rucking.
GORUCK is so confident in the quality of its products that they offer a lifetime guarantee. In addition, the company will fix or replace your boots if you manage to wear them out.
What’s cool about these boots is that you don’t need to break them in. As soon as you put them on, they hug the midfoot and the heel, leaving enough room in the toe box. They’re incredibly comfortable thanks to an insole specially made for rucking.
Another great thing to keep in mind is the laces. These boots feature 3mm speed laces. Unlike standard 5mm laces, these laces don’t collect much debris and mud. As a result, they’re faster to tie, rinse off, and dry.
Make no mistake, we know appearance isn’t the most essential factor to consider. But it never hurts to look good. The MACV-1 actually look great, making them an excellent choice for traveling. They’re available in various colors, including coyote, wolf grey, rust, and brown. Also, you can choose between a 6’-inch and 8’-inch boot.
Although you shouldn’t let the rain stop you from rucking in your MACV-1 boots, a storm is a different story. Some users have complained that these boots seriously lack wet weather traction.
2. The Most Budget-Friendly Option | Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side-Zip Boots
Smith & Wesson specializes in firearms. They have been around for 170 years and have successfully branched out into footwear with their Breach 2.0 series.
The best thing about these Breah 2.0 tactical boots is the long side zipper. There’s nothing worse than wrestling with laces after a long day of rucking. These AR670-1 compliant boots are the only ones on our list sporting this convenient feature.
These boots offer superior support due to their long shaft and steel shank. In addition, the nylon construction provides complete protection in any weather conditions, while the split-grain leather uppers increase durability.
They include the advanced EVA lightweight midsoles, which significantly reduce foot fatigue. In addition, the outsole is made from 100% non-marking rubber, making these boots slip-resistant.
The Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 tactical boots are available in 6’-inch and 8’-inch heights. What’s great about these boots is that they’re priced lower than most similar styles. This is especially noteworthy when considering how challenging it can be to find a good yet affordable pair of boots.
Another great thing to keep in mind is the gusseted tongue made to keep the debris and dirt away from your boots. The tongue is also foam-padded for increased breathability and protection.
However, some users suggest that the padding should’ve been saved for the insoles. Namely, there are many complaints about very little sole cushioning. Not only is the sole uncomfortable, but it also falls apart fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, the sole isn’t the only section that lacks durability. Users have reported noticeable damage on the boots after a relatively short period. The most common issues are the coating peeling off and holes and cracks appearing in the leather.
3. The Lightest Option | Belleville One Xero C320 Ultra Light Assault Boots
The Belleville One Xero C320 boots stand out because they are lightweight. At only 1.25 pounds per boot, these are the lightest pair on our list of best boots for rucking. What’s more, they are one of the most lightweight military boots available today.
Thankfully, their weight doesn’t come at the cost of comfort. These AR670-1 compliant boots are built to protect your feet and keep you comfortable throughout the day. While the removable insole protects your feet, the polyurethane midsole will absorb impact shocks making walking long distances easier.
As for the outsole, it’s 100% rubber with an aggressive tread that grips the ground like teeth and prevents falling and slipping.
This leather model features highly breathable nylon fabric that provides two ventilation zones when it comes to ventilation. This will keep your feet cool even in hot weather.
Note that these 8-inch boots run larger than your running shoe size. Therefore, the manufacturer advises ordering one size down.
Unfortunately, the durability of these boots is frequently called into question by users. Some reported that the stitching came apart only after light use.
Additionally, the placement of the laces might cause some problems. They don’t go very low on foot, so they won’t provide a snug fit. As the toe box is spacious, you might feel like your foot is flailing around. However, if you lace them tightly to avoid this, the eyelets may dig into your shins.
4. Best Choice for Women | Under Armour Women’s Stellar Tac Boot
Women might find it challenging to choose the best boots for rucking as the available products seem primarily geared to men. Thankfully, Under Armour comes to the rescue. The Stellar tactical boots top the Amazon’s list of Women’s Military and Tactical Boots bestsellers, which comes as no surprise.
First of all, they are tough but don’t weigh your feet down. Next, they sport a thick EVA foam midsole to keep your feet comfortable and supported. After that, you feel like wearing a pair of trail shoes rather than rucking boots. Finally, as they’re made from 100% leather, they’re water-resistant. But they’re still breathable and keep your feet dry.
A significant thing about these boots is their price. They’re one of the few quality boots that cost under $100.
However, some users claim that the boots remain stiff even after breaking them in. This can hurt your ankles and prevent you from staying on your feet for too long. What’s more, the stiffness in the ankle area makes it challenging to put on and take off the boots. Some even claim they have to unlace the boots entirely to get them on and off, which could prove highly inconvenient.
5. Best Urban Environment Boots | Danner Men’s Tachyon 8’’ Duty Boots
Danner is a trusted brand that delivers boots of superior quality and craftsmanship. It’s no wonder their highly coveted Tachyon boots made our list.
The Tachyon Duty boots are made from a blend of synthetic leather and nylon. While the leather is placed in the hard use points, the nylon was reserved for less abrasion-prone spots. This design aimed to lower the weight of the boots without compromising their lifespan.
Although it’s great they bend according to your feet, they might change their shape if you don’t store them properly. In addition, the sides are prone to damage as they are flexible to support your feet while walking.
The flexibility is especially noteworthy when it comes to comfort. Many users claim the Tachyon boots are one of the most comfortable boots they’ve worn, even right out of the box.
Unlike other models in the same price range, their aggressive outsole ensures good traction regardless of the terrain and the weather condition. As for the insole, it’s made from open-cell polyurethane, which maximizes airflow. These boots are also tight in all the right places, making them comfortable to wear for hours. They’re perfect for urban and suburban environments.
Unfortunately, you’ll probably not be wearing them in cold weather. These boots are designed to be quick-drying, wicking boots, resulting in water coming in and out more freely. As a result, they’ll be perfect for dry, hot, or humid environments but steer clear of the wet and snowy terrain.
6. Best Military-Styled Boots | Rocky Men’s S2V Predator Military and Tactical Boot
The Rocky S2V series is well-respected in the tactical gear community. The Predator might become your go-to boot if you’re looking for the best boots for rucking during deployment.
The reason is that they’re made from a mix of leather and 1,000D Cordura fabric. Cordura is the toughest nylon on the market. It resists abrasions and tears, so the Predator boots will escape even the roughest terrains unscathed. Additionally, the Predator’s fabric is PTFE-coated, meaning the boots are flame-resistant.
Rocky Boots also feature S2V Sieve technology. It entails putting drainage holes on the side of the boot, which significantly increases breathability and water dispersal. In addition, your boots will be able to dry while walking due to the air circulation.
Another great thing to keep in mind is the Predator’s lacing system. They’re designed to be taken on and off quickly, making you always prepared to ruck. After all, readiness is what the military is all about.
They adjust to your feet and become comfortable once you wear them in when it comes to comfort. They feature Vibram soles which provide shock absorption and good traction.
Unfortunately, you might not find the S2V Predator boots too comfortable if you have wider feet. Many users claim that the boots are too narrow in their widest part, leading to pressure points and discomfort. In addition, the sizing generally runs small, which further causes issues with choosing the right pair for you.
7. Most Adaptive Boots | Jedburgh Rucking Boots
Finding one perfect pair of boots for various activities is pretty challenging. That’s where the GORUCK Jedburgh rucking boots come into play. These boots were inspired by the Jedburgh Teams, known for their ability to sneak anywhere. Similarly, GORUCK made these boots adaptive to various rucking demands.
The Jedburgh boots have a custom foam insole that supports your whole foot. As a result, they have an ideal heel-to-toe drop, protecting your Achilles heel, ankles, hips, and knees. Additionally, it offers a comfortable rucking experience, even on artificial surfaces.
Artificial surfaces aren’t the only surfaces easily conquered by the “Jeds.” Their dual-compound rubber outsole performs in any environment, including muddy and wet terrain. Another impressive thing about these boots is their ankle webbing. It’s sewn into the heel counter and doesn’t pull forward when the boots are laced. This makes it perfect for airborne operations and uneven terrains.
As with the other GORUCK boots, you don’t need to break in your “Jeds.” They’ll be comfortable as soon as you put them on. However, they deviate from other GORUCK boots in terms of their sizing. Many users claim the Jedburgh boots are much tighter, especially in the toe box. Unfortunately, their sizing seems to be way off, resulting in a potential mismatch, even if you already own several pairs of GORUCK boots.
Ready Set Go
There are plenty of excellent choices on this list. However, if you’re looking for the best boots for rucking, our top choice is the GORUCK MACV-1 boot. This multi-use lightweight boot boasts essential rucking features while remaining simple.
Rucking is challenging enough without struggling to get your boots on and off, which is where the MACV-1 has the Under Armour Stellar boots beat.
Check out these amazing boots and set off on your rucking adventure if you want further information.