Boots and ruck marches


May 21, 2010
Quick question that I'm sure any of your guys here could answer. I'm looking to get a pair of boots soon for some trail runs. Anyone have advice as to which brand I should get and how I should train with them? A buddy of mine bought a pair of Oakleys before deploying and he swears by them, but I don't have $500 for a pair. Also for ruck marches, would a weight vest suffice or should I get one of those big hiking packs and fill it with bricks and shit?
I would honestly say that you would be better off getting general strength and cardio training done.

You'll do ruckmarching in basic/boot/whatever. If you seriously want to train up on rucking because you haven't carried a pack before... buy yourself a $40-$60 surplus ALICE pack and toss your xbox/playstation and some other random crap in there.

All rucking is, is walking for X distance with Y on your back. It's not rocket science.

Other thing to consider is that more injuries seem to come from rucking than from running... running hammers you over time, but rucking can sprain ankles etc more easily. Don't break yourself before you sign up. Let the military do that for you, so you get a check out of it later.

Break now, you won't be able to enlist... and you get to foot the bill to boot.

First of all good on you for wanting to get yourself prepped for your upcoming adventure.

Second, there's a search feature available on the forum, and if you utilize it, you'll discover there's an extensive amount of detail on these topics.

Third, recognize that the Special Operations community is a community full of dedicated, motivated and highly intelligent folk who believe that hard work, prior planning and most of all research are key to successful missions. Asking simple questions without extensive research is NOT a mark of this community. If you want to be a part of that community, you must emulate them in ALL ways, not just being physically fit.

Thanks for the constructive criticism LibraryLady (no sarcasim). From here on out I won't
be so lazy about it.
Point taken RP. Thanks fr keeping me in line. Belated congrats on your daughter by the way.
$500 for a pair of boots? Wow. I hope that was an exaggeration.

My unit used to issue Oakley boots. I hated them. I guess enough people in my unit hated them too because now they're issuing BlackHawk boots. With the Oakely model we had, there was not enough lower leg/ankle support and the top of the boots were too low; everytime I sat down my pants popped out of the tops of the boots. I felt that the only reason people liked them is because they were Oakley and came in a box that said "Special Forces Issue." I wore them a couple of times and put them in the closet. Tell you what- bargain price for you, send me $300 and I'll send them to you :)

On a serious note, when I was doing my footmarch training, I used a pair of plain, black leather "leg" boots. If you get them broken in correctly they will fit your feet like a glove. Leg boots and two pairs of green wool socks. I never liked the idea of carrying bricks or other heavy objects in your rucksack if you could avoid it. I recommend you carry water- it's cheap, useful, form-fitting (if you use flexible containers) and if you get smoked and need to dump it, no drama. I had a couple of five-quart canteens I used to use.
No lie on the price. I was with him when he ordered them. His 1Sgt reccomended them to him. If I had the $300 to blow I'd take them off your hands though I was hoping for something in the under $150 area. I found a pair of Bates that I'm kind of interested in.

Thanks for the suggestion on marching to a destination. I'm gonna have to give that a try soon with my weight vest on or
something. Thanks again guys!
If the boots aren't custom made, $500 is way too steep. When I was doing the Army thing - I had a pair of $500 boots - but they were issued to me - Chippewa SF Mountain Boots - I still have them wit hthousands of miles on them and they are in outstanding shape... too heavy for most applications.

Here's something to remember - any selection or training course will require you to use issue gear... that's what you should train with to get ready; break them in or you will be in deep kimchi when you are required to use them and you aren't used to the issue boots.

Just my .02 - YMMV
LOL, Mara's still trying to unload :D

Zethra, buy a pair of boots that are issued to the branch you are going to join, train in them because thats what you will using when you get there.

RP is on the money, get a cheap ALICE and practice, I wouldn't go any heavier than 40lbs and I'd start at about 20lbs.
There is a correct way to march, in the absence of knowing how to do that just walk at a moderately fast pace.

I don't see any real advantage in walking with a weighted vest to prepare for rucking :2c:
Lowa Zephyr is the best light weight boot I have ever worn. I have untold miles in boots that range from the Old "Leg Boots" issued in Basic so long ago to Jungle Boots to Herman Survivors, to Danner's to Merrill's to Oakley's to you name them and the Lowa's are the absolute best!!! The Oakley's were a close second but hot and had poor traction. I am now wearing the Lowa's here in AFG and out most everyday. No heat build-up, good ankle support with lateral support, and great traction climbing up and out of irrigation ditches. You will pay from 170 to 190 for them but I assure you these will be the best you have ever owned!!! As for practicing rucking? ALICE Ruck on, Head down, and move out..... no other way to do it but to get moving and to do it often. Lean into it and move out!!!
No... did not see a need for them here after so many years of walking the ground here in southern AFG..... I prefer them to dry quickly when I get them wet in the canals. The price is not much difference though. I just did not have a use for the Goretex versions here. They might be appropriate for those AOs that one might encounter a lot of wet grass, rain, etc....

Hope that helps? It is over 110 degrees here in the south now and my feet are not hot or sweaty. The boots breath/vent really well.
SF4ever do you by chance have narrow heels?

Does anyone know if Lowa's are good for people with narrow heels?
Pardus -

Not sure what a constitutes a "narrow" heel? Never thought about it. I have good arches and what is determined a "D" width or normal width foot. IMHO these are the absolute best boot I have ever worn. I just wish they had been around when I went through a "long selection" course years ago - they would have made a huge difference although I managed to complete the course with the "boots of the day" ...... ;)

If you are near an REI Store they carry them so you might be able to try a pair on to see how they fit.