Some would say that you can wear any comfortable pair of shoes you like when hiking. But when it comes to rucking, choosing the best boots is non-negotiable. Otherwise, you could end up with highly blistered, bloody, or swollen feet. Or worse, you can get an injury. Rucking is a demanding sport, to say the least. Make sure that you choose a pair of boots that can keep up with the demands.
If you do not want to be saddled with injuries and excruciating pain, or affect your overall performance, then you need to do your best to research the perfect pair of boots to get the job done. You have come to the right place – in this guide, you will not only discover the best boots for rucking in the market, but also find a buying guide to help you when shopping.
Top 10 Best Boots for Rucking
Here is a list of the top picks of boots for rucking. You will also find an in-depth review of each model for you to choose the right product.
1. Danners Men’s Tachyon 8″ Boot
Danners is not a new name in the footwear industry. They first started out in the business of manufacturing boots in the 1940s when there was a high level of demand for military boots. Thus, the addition of the Danners Men’s Tachyon Boots is an excellent choice for rucking. It is a great example of advanced engineering and high-quality boots that are durable and lightweight at the same time.
Despite being lightweight, it does not sacrifice stability. In fact, it feels so good once you put it on because it seems to blend with your feet nicely – this is one of the reasons why it is a popular choice for a ruck run. This ultra-light boots also does not sacrifice looks to achieve its functionality. It boasts of a rugged design and military-inspired aesthetic that comes in a slew of exciting colors.
Other additional features of the Danners Men’s Tachyon boots include a speed-lacing system, nylon shanks, polyurethane footbed, and abrasion-resistant toe cap.
2. Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Size Zip Boots
Some would claim that the Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots are the best military boots for rucking. This isn’t a surprising claim knowing that this brand is long associated with the production of some of the world’s most sophisticated firearms. When it comes to the design and manufacture of military footwear, they know what they’re doing.
The brand is committed to the production of tactical boots that offer a seamless construction. This pair is also noted for its superb durability and its budget-friendliness. In addition to its board-tested construction, the Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots also comes with a steel shank for added support. It has a super rigid design that enables it to keep its shape even after years of use.
In terms of style, the Men’s Breach boots look a bit similar to many steel-toe boots available in the market today. Despite its rigid construction, though, this pair remains flexible so you can get outstanding control and comfort when wearing this even for long periods of time.
3. Magnum Men’s Elite Spider 8.0 Boot
The Magnum Men’s Elite Spider 8.0 boots makes the list of the best boots for rucking because of the fit itself. It comes in a variety of sizes and each one offers a nearly perfect fit so you can get excellent comfort and support while wearing it. In fact, it has been considered by many as the best army boots for rucking.
This pair of rucking boots features a very strong tread so you can expect superb slip resistance. At the same time, this pair of boots might be made for men but its look and style can also work for women’s use. The boots feature great ankle support that gives you assurance when you use it for intense activity. In fact, these boots are ideal for rucking on nearly all types of climate. Its tread and soles are highly resilient that they do not wear easily.
4. Under Armour – Mens Valsetz RTS Tactical Protection Boots
Under Armour is a brand that is associated with excellent sports performance. While this might look like it is designed for use on a basketball court, do not underestimate the performance of the Men’s Valsetz RTS Tactical Protection Boots. It has been formulated and designed to withstand the conditions of rucking and you can rely on it for ankle flexibility.
It is one of the lighter weight boots on this list and that is a welcome feature for those who prefer lightweight boots. At the same time, the width around the shaft is smaller so this is also recommended for those who dislike wearing boots with high tops. It also comes with a side zipper that makes it easy to put on or take off.
This pair of boots features the patented UA ClutchFit Technology that wraps around your ankle like a second skin. Hence, you can expect an incredible feel and superior support with these boots. The cushioned landings made with Micro G foam give support even on explosive takeoffs and come with the right amount of rigidity.
5. Garmont Men’s T8 Bifida Tactical Military
The Garmont Men’s T8 Bifida Tactical Military Boots is one of the best boots for rucking because of its adaptive nature. It is suited for all types of climates, which makes it an excellent investment for rucking. This boot, in particular, is suited for a variety of terrains and can provide superior protection when carrying heavy loads. These tactical boots can deliver unyielding support on all types of rucking conditions.
The Vibram outsole enables the Garmont Men’s T8 Bifida boots to provide maximum traction. This particular material is also responsible for the shock-resistance and stability of the boots. It has a well-ventilated upper construction so your feet can stay comfortable at all times. The ergonomic footbed technology delivers added protection to your knees and ankles.
Meanwhile, nylon engineering offers great stability when wearing these boots. It is also excellent in shock absorption so you can get sufficient support for your bodyweight and any additional weight you are carrying.
6. Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoes
The Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoes is another excellent choice for rucking boots. While they are primary designed as hiking shoes, they are also equipped with features that make them suited for rucking. The construction and material used offer it extra durability so that it can handle all kinds of terrain and impact. Its rubber sole also gives this pair maximum traction so you can be confident to wear it no matter what the weather conditions might be, or whatever type of surface you are dealing with.
The Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoes is built for distance and longevity. Even if you use it regularly on the most rugged conditions, it will still feel comfortable and won’t show any signs of wear and tear – as long as it is given proper care. It also comes with a protective mudguard so that you can prevent any debris from getting into the base of your feet and into the foot bed. Meanwhile, it feels comfortable on your feet even when you wear it for several hours at a time, thanks to the high performance EVA foam that absorbs shock very efficiently.
7. Rocky Men’s Rkc050 Military and Tactical Boot
If you are looking for the best boots for rucking that offers excellent ankle protection, choose Rocky Men’s Rkc050 Military and Tactical Boot. This tactical boot is manufactured in the USA and boasts of the many features available in most military boot models. These boots are made to keep your feet dry at all times, which is vital in rucking. It is also a military-compliant boot so that in itself is a good option if you are looking for reliability in extreme outdoor conditions.
First and foremost, the Rocky Men’s Rkc050 Military and Tactical Boots are designed to provide protection and support in grueling outdoor conditions. However, it comes with a lightweight frame while remaining sturdy. Ankle protection is one of the main features of Rocky shoes. Thus, you can ensure that your ankles will stay in good shape no matter how rough the conditions are that you have to deal with.
With all the strict military requirements met, you can rest assured that these military boots can get the job done and give adequate support when rucking.
8. Original S.W.A.T. Men’s Classic 9-Inch Tactical Boot
The Original S.W.A.T. Men’s Classic 9-Inch Tactical Boot is another excellent entry for the best boots for rucking. One of its standout features is the addition of a steel shank. It is different from steel toe boots because steel shank boots maintain the shape of the boots itself while protecting your toes from external hazards. In addition, it also protects your feet from sharp objects that might puncture it.
This pair was initially designed with law enforcement agencies in mind; thus, you can expect superior reliability and performance with the Original S.W.A.T. Men’s Classic 9-Inch Tactical Boot. Foot protection is, therefore, the main priority so the wearer can handle even the most hostile conditions. These shoes are also designed to withstand all of these various conditions.
The side zipper feature of the SWAT Men’s 9-inch tactical boot makes it easy to put on and off. Meanwhile, it comes with a padded collar so you can get added comfort without compromising on the breathability of the material.
9. Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
If you are looking for the best rucking boots for beginners, the Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot is an excellent choice. While the name might suggest that it is made for hiking, it is also built to survive extreme rucking conditions. You can wear it for long hikes or for extreme military drills – choose whatever routine or intensity you like.
For beginners, these rucking boots deliver excellent support and comfort. However, the shaft is pretty low so it is best for beginner-level rucking or when you are not carrying extremely heavy loads. It is made from 100% leather so you can expect durability and quality.
Other noteworthy features of the Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots include a Vibram outsole, climate-control footbed, polyurethane midsole, and full-length nylon shank.
10. Bates Men’s 8″ Ultralite Tactical Sport Side Zip Military Boot
Rough terrain is a common hurdle when it comes to rucking. Good thing, the Bates Men’s Ultralite Tactical Military Boot is one that is designed to overcome that. Hence, it is no surprise why it makes the list of the best boots for rucking. This pair of tactical boots is designed for excellent durability from the toes to the tread. It can sustain whatever conditions and even the toughest terrain.
The material for the Bates Men’s Ultralite Boots is a blend of leather and nylon. It also boasts of the DRYGuard waterproofing technology to keep your feet dry and comfortable for longer. The side zip closure delivers a quick on/off the system so you are ready to start on your next adventure whenever you need. But while this pair of boots is built for toughness, it is designed to be lightweight so you can wear it with ease all day long.
The military boot is available in two color options – black and coyote – to match your style. At the same time, it comes with a composite toe so you can protect your feet from any hard impact while out battling rough terrain.
How to Choose the Best Boots for Rucking?
Efficient foot support is vital when choosing the best boots for rucking. Needless to say, you cannot rely on your good old sneakers for support, especially since this sport involves adding more weight than your feet are normally used to. It is important that your choice of footwear matches the environment and the level of demand that is needed by your chosen sport. This is extremely important with rucking since you could suffer from minor foot injuries, nerve compression injuries, fractures, and injury to the knee, ankle, and lower leg.
When buying boots for rucking, it is also important to take into account the potential risks that are present in this type of activity. The training intensity, in particular, is one of those factors. The load weight is another important risk factor. Carrying an additional 10% of your total body weight alone can boost your risk of suffering from musculoskeletal injuries. At the same time, you must factor in the individual conditions around you.
To help you choose the best boots for rucking, here is a breakdown of the important features you need to be looking for in your chosen footwear.
1 – Material
The best rucking boots are made of durable material, such as leather (especially the exterior). Other excellent options for material include Cordura or a blend of leather and nylon. Cordura is a fabric that is known for its water-repellant, damage-resistant, and abrasion-resistant qualities. Given the extreme conditions your boots are exposed to when rucking, make sure that you choose a material that can withstand all of these.
2 – Construction
The quality of the construction goes hand in hand with the choice of material. It does not matter how good the material you choose, if it lacks quality construction then it is still no good. The best option for rucking boots would be Goodyear welt construction. Other options include cement material and seamless construction.
The Goodyear welt construction is the primary option because it is made of two-level locking stitching. This ensures a solid construction of the insoles, outsoles, and upper material. Most of the rucking boots you find in the market are made out of this type of construction.
3 – Insole
The insole material in your rucking boots is extremely important because it defines the level of support your feet can get. In particular, it is essential in providing adequate arch support. With adequate support, you can ensure that your feet won’t feel strained even with intense rucking activity. It is also designed to keep your feet comfortable so you can focus on your performance.
There should also be adequate padding in the right areas so your feet are well-cushioned. If the cushioning is too thin, it could easily hurt your feet.
4 – Outsole
In addition to the insole, the outsole is another important feature you should look into when buying the best boots for rucking. A good quality outsole must offer good traction on all kinds of surfaces such as wet surfaces or mud. This will give you confidence that you won’t slip as easily even when walking over low-traction surfaces. At the same time, the outsole must be thick enough that it won’t get easily punctured even when you walk over sharp objects (such as rocks).
The best option for outsole material is rubber. You should also look for outsoles with more indents and treads so you can get more friction and grip.
5 – Breathability
Some types of materials and boots construction are more breathable than others. Make sure to pick boots that belong to the former category. With proper ventilation on your boots, you can keep your feet comfortable. It is also important for your safety and protection against injury when you are rucking in warm weather conditions.
Breathable materials enable your body to release heat from your feet so you can regulate your body temperature. Moreover, breathable construction wicks away moisture so your feet are less likely to smell after you sweat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few common questions you might find yourself asking when buying the best boots for rucking.
What is the ideal closure system for rucking boots?
There are numerous lacing systems that are available for rucking boots to keep them secure. The straight-bar lacing is recommended for those looking for a sturdier grip and for additional ankle support. Other types of closure systems include criss-cross lacing and army lacing.
Which type of midsole material is best?
The midsole plays a vital role in choosing the best boots for rucking. The EVA midsole is one of the most common and preferred types of material since they provide adequate cushion. If possible, choose removable midsoles so you can put your preferred inserts, whenever desired.
What is the average cost of rucking boots?
The prices of boots for rucking vary significantly. In particular, you can find decent boots within the price range of 100 to 150 USD. The overall cost would largely vary in terms of material, construction, brand, and features available.
Is military compliance necessary?
No. Military compliance is not necessary when you are shopping for boots for rucking. However, you can expect quality standards when you find ones that are certified for military use.