Rucking boots

I have a pair of Garmont t8s on backorder, but I need a good pair of rucking boots as I'm attending the Bataan death march on the 21st and I need to get a pair so I can break them in as soon as possible. I looked at the otb desert lights, but grey group is backorderd, so need another choice. What are your opinions on boots for rucking?

These are my current choices:

danner acadias
lowa zephyr gtx hi tf
Otb desert light (uscav.com) has it in stock

---------------------------------------------- Better to fight for something than live for nothing. George S. Patton I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within. Douglas MacArthur

Original Post
depends on your tastes really and the terrain? i bought a pair of lowa mountains for selection and they are by far the most comfy things ever to have graced my feet , they are perfect fro tabbing around brecon,elan valley etc where the goretex comes in handy Wink as does plenty of ankle support.. But i don't have a scooby what the baatan death march is like so these could be a no go, however don't think you can go far wrong in lowa boots
better to be tried by twelve strangers than carried by six friends!
Late last year I sent MilitaryMorons an email asking about good rucking boots, and the DesertLites were the ones I was primarily considering; But he recommended I look at the OTB Ferdelance as well.

He explained that the Ferdelances have significantly more ankle support and weigh only a few ounces more, a really good tradeoff IMO.
Now that I've had my Ferdelances a while, I'm impressed. Very comfortable and very light.

MM has a detailed review of both on his website.
This is not a simple question to answer. What are your overall needs Are you military that rucks regularly? Carry a lot of weight? Civilian? If miltary, you are limited by your unit's requirements. If you are civilian you have to figure out how much weight you will carry, how strong are your ankles, and what boot manufacturer fits your feet.

It is easy for me to tell you to buy brand X when brand Y is a better fit for you. Not all feet are the same.

Beeleville 390s for example as recommended by Ralston are lightweight hot weather boots that I personally would not wear as I do not like the lack of ankle support. They are fine by Ralston. Catch my meaning? I wear the 790s everyday and they are not supportive enough for me to hump a heavy ruck with. They may be for you however.

Once you find a proper fitting boot, you may need to break them in before you can put some serious miles on them.

Heavier mountaineering boots will be much harder to break in and may not be necessary for you. Lightweight hikers may be perfect with no load but may fail you under the weight of a ruck.

All of the choices you listed are fine examples of boots, but do they fit you? A long ruck is no place to discover a bad fitting boot.
quote:
These are my current choices:

danner acadias
lowa zephyr gtx hi tf
Otb desert light (uscav.com) has it in stock


Of these three, it's OTB Desert Lites for the win. All are good boots and all would serve you well in different environments. But if you are going to do Bataan you need light, flexible, breathable, and shock absorbing features.
I've been reading some recent posts about boots and thought I'd try and jump in with a question.

I'm retired Army from a time when the clothes you wore came from the PX or not at all. So I'm pleased to see that the powers that be have gotten it through their noggins that soldiers should be able to wear what works for them providing it meets certain minimal requirements.

But all that is beside the point. I came here looking for a suggestion from people who wear boots regularly. I shoot pistol and rifle in competition so I don't need a set of boots for daily wear. But am trying to find a decent pair of light warm weather boots (mid or hi) that will support my feet and give reasonable traction on variable surfaces.

Here's the kicker, I've already blown my budget on a new AR build so I'm trying to find something for under a buck and a quarter. A couple people have suggested the Converse Desert Tactical boots, but to me Converse is a sneaker company.

What say you? Worth looking at or is there a better low cost solution for a weekend warrior?
When I did the Bataan in 1991, I wore issue leather combat boots. When I did it 199, I wore earlier edition Desert Boots. You will be on hardball and trails. Personally, I found the trudge up the hardball road and the ankle deep sand in the arroyo at around mile 19 the two big pains. Just make sure the boots are well broken in, and wear quality socks.

It's my TOP 3 choice of <SNIP> link removed. Malware  on site

  1. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots
  2. Danner Tachyon Duty Boots
  3. Magnum Elite Spider 8.0 Boots

These boots are extremely lightweight, comfortable and have an outsole with good resistance.

ADK posted:

Something tells me he found his boots.

He might still be training... 

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England,”  -George Orwell-

Eh, well, still an excellent topic to update.  Lots of water under the bridge since the G-WOT began, and even since this OP.

Where to start.  Someone mentioned buying boots from a sneaker company.  Well, yes, that's exactly what's been going on in a lot of cases.  But that's not all bad.  Combining the comfort/cushioning of a sneaker with the support and tread of a boot has been a big initiative in the mil-boot world.  Now some of this is for garrison comfort, but it also works well for road marches and light off-trail rucking as well.  Guys at bases have been taking perfectly good boots to nearby cobblers and getting them re-made as basically high top sneakers to wear on road marches.  The mid sole is replaced with extra cushioning layers to absorb pounding.  The tread is still aggressive but oftentimes much lighter as well.  Mfg's saw this and started making boots like this from scratch.    

Someone mentioned the Brecons, and surrounding area.  I did some tabbing over there as well, and found the Lowa TF Zephrs were awesome for this purpose.  After 4 pairs over the years, I can recommend them as a really good choice for road marches and trail speed marches, like the "Fan Dance".  

Someone mentioned individual fit, and the chicken should have fallen down (reference to obscure '50's game show).  The best boots in the world are useless if they don't fit YOU properly.  There are SO many choices out there; you just have to experiment, within certain classes, and find what works for you.  Go to a "General Jacksons"  or similar, around any post, and try all the boots on.  Yes, literally try on every friggin boot.  You might be surprised.  

Someone mentioned break-in.  Not so important with the "sneaker cousins" but still important for any boot with significant stiffness.  I am currently breaking in a new pair of boots from Crossfire Australia, which are old school, in that they do require some proper break-in.  But they are built from the ground up to be good ruck marching boots, for soldiers in various terrain and weather, so they are sturdier, like a classic boot, but made with newer materials and construction techniques.  So really this depends on your terrain and situation.  There are boots for speed marches and even races.  Then there are boots built for a soldier's life in the bush.  Especially those that still have to hump a rucksack.  Sneaker cousins can usually be replaced as required.  Real rucking boots, like the Crossfires, are a better choice for those in back-country without access to quick re-supply.           

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

Bill Rider posted:

It's my TOP 3 choice of <SNIP> link removed. Malware  on site

  1. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots
  2. Danner Tachyon Duty Boots
  3. Magnum Elite Spider 8.0 Boots

These boots are extremely lightweight, comfortable and have an outsole with good resistance.

I looked at your blog.  I have some concerns about your perspective or priorities for 'rucking'.  For starters, you mention the durability of the boot laces and the speed of donning as 2 of the 3 positives about your number one choice.  On your second-best option, you mention don't brush against rocks.  Durability is often a priority for rucking boots.  You also mention in the description of the category as the primary concerns are durability of the sole and tread, and not being too rigid.  While those may be correct, you don't mention ankle support, or load cushioning. These are just a few examples. 

LFer generally caters to .mil and LEO, with expectations that gear cited will work well for members in those occupations.  Your lane may have gotten a bit broad.

Tankersteve

 

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

tankersteve posted:
Bill Rider posted:

It's my TOP 3 choice of <SNIP> link removed. Malware  on site

  1. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots
  2. Danner Tachyon Duty Boots
  3. Magnum Elite Spider 8.0 Boots

These boots are extremely lightweight, comfortable and have an outsole with good resistance.

I looked at your blog.  I have some concerns about your perspective or priorities for 'rucking'.  For starters, you mention the durability of the boot laces and the speed of donning as 2 of the 3 positives about your number one choice.  On your second-best option, you mention don't brush against rocks.  Durability is often a priority for rucking boots.  You also mention in the description of the category as the primary concerns are durability of the sole and tread, and not being too rigid.  While those may be correct, you don't mention ankle support, or load cushioning. These are just a few examples. 

LFer generally caters to .mil and LEO, with expectations that gear cited will work well for members in those occupations.  Your lane may have gotten a bit broad.

Tankersteve

 

Pretty sure he doesn't know where his lane is, or where it is for that matter. I wouldn't put any of the boots he mentioned on my feet for any of the backcountry hunts I do, where we cover 8-12 miles a day with packs in adverse terrain daily.

"I'm proud of you fellas. You all kept you're head on a swivel, that's what ya' gotta do when you find yourself in a vicious cockfight!"

This is , as most, another interesting thread, with input from guys with some VERY respectable experience.  My rucking days are long done, but I still enjoy reading.  With my kid being a brand new Infantryman, I am amazed at the incredible gear he has been issued, even though I was aware it was out there.  His boot options (he loves his Danners and Garmonts) are nice.   I started in 1983, with those complete crap leather , chevron sole, POS issue boots.  Being in the Marines, I had no other options, except for jungle boots, which we couldn't wear CONUS until, I don't remember what year.  We couldn't even wear jump boots, as they had a cap toe.   Some guys would take the issue boots to the base cobbler and get a different sole, like vibram, or ripple, but that didn't help with footbed/insole issues.  I got my first pair of jungles in Okinawa in 84.  Got issued more in MSSG11 in 86 and 87.  We considered those as "high speed".  You got cool points if you used 550 cord for your laces.   I remember we considered the best way to break them in was to get them soaking wet and wear them.  Those soles were hard, and unforgiving.  I really envy the modern forces gear and options.  Good for them.  Boots were shit for so long.  When I left active duty, and jumped to the Army, options opened up (in the 90s).  Gear slowly started getting better.

 

Side note, I had gotten a pair of LALO low quarter athletic shoes a few years back, wore them once, and left them in my closet.  I liked them, but just didn't wear them.  Just gave them to my kid, and he LOVES them.  He's wearing them everywhere, and is taking them on a tropical deployment, soon.  I looked at LALO again, and finally just ordered a pair of the shadow intruder 5"  (https://lalo.com/collections/s...adow-intruder-coyote)    just to kick around in.   I expect they will be comfortable.  They seem like they will breathe well.  I love my Lowa Zephyr GTX, but they get hot.  ( Yes, I am aware of the LALO founder's legal issues, don't care. )

- Gene

____ "Fight like you're the third monkey trying to get on Noah's Ark...".

____ "If you can't do something smart, do something right." - Jayne Cobb

____ " Pull your huggies up, shut the fuck up." - gruntpain

 

Joined: 4/28/08   Location:  Seattle

 

tankersteve posted:
Bill Rider posted:

It's my TOP 3 choice of <SNIP> link removed. Malware  on site

  1. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots
  2. Danner Tachyon Duty Boots
  3. Magnum Elite Spider 8.0 Boots

These boots are extremely lightweight, comfortable and have an outsole with good resistance.

I looked at your blog.  I have some concerns about your perspective or priorities for 'rucking'.  For starters, you mention the durability of the boot laces and the speed of donning as 2 of the 3 positives about your number one choice.  On your second-best option, you mention don't brush against rocks.  Durability is often a priority for rucking boots.  You also mention in the description of the category as the primary concerns are durability of the sole and tread, and not being too rigid.  While those may be correct, you don't mention ankle support, or load cushioning. These are just a few examples. 

LFer generally caters to .mil and LEO, with expectations that gear cited will work well for members in those occupations.  Your lane may have gotten a bit broad.

Tankersteve

 

I appreciate your feedback, thanks for taking the time to explore my blog.

It's a really important note about ankle support, I will do my best to make my own content more reliable and truthful.

So road marching, moving fast I like Nike’s, not much ankle support but they are light and good grip over light terrain.

Fort Bliss and Irwin where would be hot with some mountains I like Lowa Zephyrs and Solomon Quest 4Ds both and super comfy, decent weight, decent grip, and good ankle support. Bliss is chia pet land and a few mountains but as you get close to the mountains there’s lot of rocks big enough to roll your ankle pretty good so ankle support is nice. 

Rocky S2Vs: I’ve had one pair for 5-6 years and the tread is still good and they are in decent shape. Ok ankle support and have rucked them in the mountains in both summer and winter, shin deep snow and down to the -40s in some cases and was still ok (darn tough Vermont socks, invest in them) tread has held up to several trips up a mountain covered with volcanic rock, which is sharp as heck and tends to do a number on the tread or most boots/ shoes.

Solomon Quest 4D GTX: I’ve had a pair of these for 3-4 years and they are comfortable and decent ankle support, I’ve used them a good bit for rucking and for tracking training in the swamps. Coldest I’ve ever been in my life wasn’t the -50s in Alaska or -40s in North Japan, it was in Louisiana. 9 degrees, raining, in a swamp, in ankle deep water, my feet were dry and ok not warm and comfy but good enough I could deal with it. Not the best on sand or ice but does ok.

Oakley LSA Water Boots: I don’t consider these a rucking boot, they are awesome for doing work around water that doesn’t have you carrying much weight but there is no arch or ankle support and not much cushion. 

Lowa Zephyrs: super comfy, decent weight, decent grip, good ankle support, and relatively short break in period, up to 12 miles I don’t get hot spots with these. Not the most breathable in the world but not the worst. For purely mid- heavy load rucking (55-70) these are awesome, as well as being able to run fairly decent in them.

Nike SFB Gen 1: These are my daily wear and light rucking boots. Comfortable, light, good grip, not much ankle support but I have good ankle strength so not much of a issue. These are awesome all around boots and are still 670-1 compliant so don’t catch heck for wearing them. If you’re military with a MOS that involves moving on foot these need to be in your gear box. Tread on the front tends to wear but they are still good after 2 years. These will wear down faster then the others but I fully intend to buy a couple more pairs. A note on the Gen 1s vs Gen 2s. Every dude in our unit that got the Gen 2s started getting the back of their heel eaten up, in some cases blood bleeding through the boots. Gen 1 is the way to go.

 

I love my Solomon 4D boots.  I still say they're the best all-around boot I've ever owned.

I have the Nike SFBs as well... they're a great lightweight hot-weather boot.

Still looking for a "holy grail" boot in something flight-rated. 

“One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack, pacifist, and feminist in England,”  -George Orwell-

Stupid question: Why boots? 

I grew up wearing 4" boots (Danner, 200g, goretex). Had untwistable ankles till my late 30s, and did a lot of bad conditions in them. Wore gaiters for deep snow, morning dew, etc. (I'd have them still, but as a kid was a typical asshole so deferred maintenance till they sorta rotted away in my mid 20s).

Lately, my UL backpacking friends have encouraged me to try actual running shoes. So, did the whole euro trip, and the whole Iceland thing — all the way up through rock scrambles and low-end mountain climbing — with my Topo ST2s. Worked fine. Surprisingly so. Meant to write it up (esp my weird lace experiment) but never did.  

Now, I KNOW there are downsides. Uniformity for many of you. Waterproofness for shallow stream crossing. But also, can go with the mindset of jungle boots: you will get wet, go drainage! This worked out through to freezing conditions. I wussed out at the run-n-gun, but since my boots got overtopped... maybe I made the wrong choice, I thought, as my feet got heavy. 

And, there are armies that have at least tolerated widespread use of sneakers (e.g. Soviets in A'stan), not to mention the many jungle revolutionaries we've fought who wear sandals. 

The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get rich quick theory of life. – Theodore Roosevelt

 

Joined: 19NOV2004   Location: Mission, Kansas

Yeah, I was surprised to read about thru-hikers on things like the Pacific and Appalachian Trail wearing trail running and hiking shoes.  But for .mil, the ankle support is there because you don't have the luxury of watching your footing, and ops don't stop for a sprain.  With a boot, you can bandage over the boot, hold down the swelling, and hobble on.

Which probably led me to having weaker than average ankles and more vulnerable when not wearing boots.  I've rolled them during PT a more than a few times, to the point that the physical therapist found it funny to pull my foot away from my ankle and notice the slack in my ligaments.  I've also rolled them stepping out of a Bradley into a mudhole, and off a Chinook and not finding the ground we were supposedly landing on, for about an additional 4 feet.  Fun with gear, rifle, and ruck, but luckily my face took the brunt of that one... 

Tankersteve

In Yorktown, VA.          Joined August 2008

Gov't Civilian, after retiring from active duty in 2015. 

 

'One's own open sore never smells.'  - Haitian proverb

I ruck in Solomon running shoes a good bit as part of my ankle strengthening. I’ve taken some nasty missteps enough that medics were asking me if I was ok and dudes were wincing like it hurt them and just kept on trucking as it didn’t really hurt. Rucking on uneven terrain in running shoes is a good way to build ankle strength but for anything real world (wether this be a fight or event etc) I’m not gonna risk it. Can I take a bad misstep? Yea, have done it plenty. Am I gonna take that risk when I’m humping a javalin up the side or a mountain in full kit? Nope. I’m a firm believer in ounces equal pounds but I also believe that if carrying around a few extra ounces in the form of boots over shoes keeps my buddies from carrying me and all my kit then it’s worth the weight.

Also with shoes, while they may work good for UL stuff, my loads on the military side aren’t ultra light. Think averaging 30-40 pounds without a pack, can easily get 15-20 more pounds with a Assault pack and 40-80 with a ruck. The extra cushion and support in boots make them vastly superior to shoes under those loads.

On this shoe versus boot thing.  There are all sorts of people running around in all sorts of footwear.  So we know what's possible.  But. The thing is how ready are your feet for it.  If you spent your life barefoot or in sandals, you can get away with carrying heavy loads with shit support.  If you grew up wearing shoes, then you have to train to be able to wear lightweight footwear under load.  That's the big distinction that's lost on a lot of folks.  I come from a running/rucking background.  So I am a hybrid of sorts.  I come from a 1st world country where we wear shoes all the time.  But I adopted a lifestyle that allowed me to train in lighter footwear because I've put the miles in over the years.

So it's a matter of what kind of "base" do you have.   If you've done the work, you can get away with light weight footwear.  If you haven't, or you have other issues, then you have to wear more supportive footwear.  You can't sit here and say everyone should go this way, or the other, or you're  a pussy, simply because your background is going to dictate your starting point and your training will dictate what you're capable of doing.

I train with 35 lb rucks in Hoka running shoes, because I can.  I'm not saying you should do that until you're ready for it.  I can ruck that same weight, on the trail, with Lowa Zephrs.  But if I was going up in the mountains, with maybe some technical work, I would switch up to my AKU Pilgrims.

Another consideration is concrete versus dirt.  I wear a totally different boot for asphalt, aka the typical "road march" boot, from what I'd wear on trail.  Since most folks spend a lot of time on asphalt or concrete these days, some consideration should be given to increased cushioning.  That's why Hokas shine.  But when I'm rucking over dirt, I need the extra stability from a boot, rather than the cushioning of a running shoe.  But again, I've been doing this for long enough to be able to pull it off.  If you're just starting out, stay in good boots until you can handle it.  At least the newer cushioned boots with ankle support.

I made an interesting discovery these past few years.  After 43+ years of running, I got back into ruck marching about 3 years ago.  What was interesting is seeing how the running base, including the strengthening of my feet/ankles/ knees/ hips transferred to the ruck marching.  I could actually run, under load, by using highly cushioned running shoes.  In the past, we would have never considered this.  But since the base was there, I could explore doing this.  The extra cushioning gave me the ability to move at speeds I would have thought impossible back in the day, with 2 lb, all-leather boots.  So there is something to be said, about these hybrid boots/running shoes, IF you put in the work to be able to use them.

But.  You have to look at what you can get away with in training, versus an operational environment.  I like what Crossfire is doing, simply because they are looking at what the soldier needs for sustainability, in an austere environment, versus what is possible in training, with unlimited re-supply.  So if these boots test out, they will probably replace my AKUs as my go-to combat boots.  Especially if we're talking about jungle or mountain environments.                        

"Pacifism is a shifty doctrine where a person claims all the benefits of the body politic, without any of the responsibilities, and then claims a halo for their dishonesty." Heinlein

runningwolf posted:

I ruck in Solomon running shoes a good bit as part of my ankle strengthening. I’ve taken some nasty missteps enough that medics were asking me if I was ok and dudes were wincing like it hurt them and just kept on trucking as it didn’t really hurt. Rucking on uneven terrain in running shoes is a good way to build ankle strength but for anything real world (wether this be a fight or event etc) I’m not gonna risk it. Can I take a bad misstep? Yea, have done it plenty. Am I gonna take that risk when I’m humping a javalin up the side or a mountain in full kit? Nope. I’m a firm believer in ounces equal pounds but I also believe that if carrying around a few extra ounces in the form of boots over shoes keeps my buddies from carrying me and all my kit then it’s worth the weight.

Also with shoes, while they may work good for UL stuff, my loads on the military side aren’t ultra light. Think averaging 30-40 pounds without a pack, can easily get 15-20 more pounds with a Assault pack and 40-80 with a ruck. The extra cushion and support in boots make them vastly superior to shoes under those loads.

Hi there!

What's model of Salomon do you use for rucking?

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