What are the best boots for ruck marching? Well, there are many, so you will be spoilt for choice.
But first things first:
What is ruck marching? In some quarters, you will find it being described as the military equivalent of a hike. It is simply marching over a distance loaded with gear. It is also referred to as a forced foot march.
Ruck marching is no longer secluded to the army only. Today, even civilians can take this march, especially the weight watchers. However to do that, you need a pair of boots made for just that. It is such boots that we are going to review here.
Best boots for rucking reviews
The same way that you would pick long distance hiking boots is the same way that you should choose rucking boots. However, here, we recommend that you go a mile further and choose military rucking boots if available in the market.
Such boots can last a long time, are breathable and they give good value for money. Here are a few tested and proven boots:
1. Original S.W.A.T. Men’s Classic Work Boot
There are so many good things to write home about regarding this pair of boots. First, it is a high boot, measuring 9 inches in height from the arch. That should give you ample ankle support when hiking on different terrains.
Mainly, these are made to be work boots. However, you can also use them for outdoor activities because they are flexible enough.
Side zip for easier access
Another thing that you will love about the Original S.W.A.T classic work boots is the ease of access. They have a side zip so you can get into and out of them very fast. In addition, they have good lacing that keeps them secure on your feet. The long tongue stays in place comfortably without slipping to the side and it helps to keep debris from the trail out of your feet.
Thick rugged sole
The outsole is thick and rugged. In addition, the sole is made of rubber, so it is not too heavy and it has some flex to it. If you think you will be marching in the mud, you need a pair of boots with rugged sole to pull yourself out. This is one of the qualities that makes this pair one of the best hiking boots for rucking. They have a steel shank which increases the support for your feet.
Strong leather and nylon upper
The upper of the boots is made of breathable material. It is a combination of leather and nylon material. This is 1000D nylon, which is quite thick and durable. Combined with the full grain leather, these ruck boots are sure to last a long time.
When you are on a hike that will last many miles on end with a loaded backpack, comfort for your feet is paramount. These rucking boots come with a few comfort features. The interior is breathable and soft. The stock insoles are supportive and the collar is padded for extra comfort.
2. Rocky Men’s Rkc050 Military and Tactical Boot
When doing a civilian ruck march, you need a pair of performance boots. Such ruck boots do not come any better than Rocky Men’s Rkc050 Tactical boots. Looking at the design and features, it is easy to see why this pair of boots is good for rucking.
Rugged rubber sole
This is not exactly a lightweight or heavyweight boot. It is somewhere in between. Therefore, if you feel that you want to jog in some sections of your ruck march, these boots will allow it. The rubber soles are rugged, thick and have nice treads. If you will be marching difficult trails, you need to a sole that has lugs that can stabilize you and pull you out of the mud. This boot comes with such.
Leather and Synthetic Upper
The boot’s upper is made of 100% leather and synthetic material combination. It is strong and high measuring 8.3 inches from the arch. That is a lot of ankle support right there. With a load on your back and with some trails being difficult, you will be glad not to twist your ankle. The leather is waterproof so if there is a shower, you shan’t get too wet.
The interior of these boots is lined with Dri-Lex lining which is very good at wicking the sweat away from your feet. You will stay dry and comfortable for a long time. The tongue and the collar are padded for more comfort. Another thing you will love about the boots is the comfortable insoles. They have good arch support. If you are looking for the best army boots for rucking when you have flat feet, try these ones.
Size and Fit
This pair of boots runs true to size. However, some people have reported that it feels a bit narrow especially when it is new. We presume that it needs breaking in, preferably by wearing it with a pair of best socks for ruck marching. Regular wear will get the boots to conform to your feet nicely.
3. Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Some hiking boots such as the Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX also make the best shoes for ruck marching. This is a short pair of boots that measures 5 inches from the arch. However, that is ample ankle support for you even when you will be marching with a fully loaded backpack.
Leather and synthetic upper
The upper of these ruck boots is made with leather and synthetic material. The nubuck leather is high quality and it keeps your feet protected all the time that you will be wearing these marching boots. At the same time, the synthetic parts help keep the shoes lightweight and breathable. It looks and indeed performs like a sports shoe on all terrains.
Vibram is without a doubt the Holy Grail of hiking soles. Therefore, with the thick rubber lugs, these ruck boots are completely foolproof. They give you a perfect grip on different terrains. If you are caught in the rain, these lugs will get you out without a problem. To further help in stabilizing your feet, the boots have been designed with a full nylon shank. It helps prevent the sole from cracking.
While the exterior of these boots are rugged, the interior is exactly the opposite. It is comfortable and lined with Gore Tex lining which keeps your feet dry throughout the day. If you sweat, the lining wicks the sweat away completely leaving you comfortable and dry.
There is also a high quality footbed that keeps you cool during the warm weather and keeps your feet warm in cold weather.
Ruck marching is hard and punishing, but your feet need not feel the punishment with the best boots for ruck marching. The Lowa Renegade has a padded collar and tongue. They are very comfortable. Even if you lace up tightly, you will not feel the pressure of the laces through the thick tongue.
Talking about lacing, these ruck marching shoes come with speed lacing. With one tug only, the boots will be laced from bottom to top.
Buying Guide for The Best Boots for Ruck Marching
These are only three best ruck boots. There are many more. In fact, the variety is so wide such that it is a bit confusing for a first time buyer. Here are a few guidelines for you:
It should definitely be rubber for the outsole and a combination of synthetic and leather for the upper. Gore Tex lining can be included on the inside and outside too to make the shoes waterproof. However, if the boots are made of leather and synthetic upper, they may not be good at keeping you completely dry if you are exposed in a torrent. Therefore check the weather before you can go ruck marching in such shoes.
Comfort is everything in long distance ruck marching boots. Things such as climate control footbed, padded collar and tongue make any pair of shoes quite bearable and comfortable to use. Other things include wide toe room and lining with wicking ability.
Without sugarcoating it, the best boots for ruck marching are going to cost you a good amount of money. However, the quality notwithstanding, they still should not cost you an arm and a leg. From $200 going up, you should be able to get a high quality pair of ruck boots.