The Best Boots for Rucking for Men and Women
Here is a list of the our picks for the best rucking boots. We broke this up into 4 categories. There are two types of boots that are great for rucking. Military style tactical boots and hiking boots.
We wanted to make sure our inclusive list covered both men and women's needs. Read on for an indepth look at each opf the products we have listed here.
Best Men's Military Boots for Rucking
Best Women's Military Boots for Rucking
Best Men's Hiking Boots for Rucking
Best Women's Hiking Boots for Rucking
Want to lose some weight? Interested in a new outdoor adventure? Rucking can be the answer.
This interesting and challenging cardio workout is a great addition to your fitness regimen, especially if you like spending time outdoors.
Rucking is well known in the military as it helps army personnel become fitter and increase their stamina while working out in the wild.
However, choosing the right gear will play a great role in the success of your rucking experience. Check out our Rucking Guide for more information.
Just like hiking, jogging, and walking, the wrong footwear can make it or break it. This is why you need to pay attention to the boots you pick before you grab some weight to start rucking.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know before buying the best boots for rucking. We will also review 5 of the top products on the market so you can pick the pair that suits you.
Be sure to review our other article on Rucksacks. You cant ruck without one!
What to Consider Before Buying Rucking Boots?
Supporting your feet is extremely important when you’re rucking. Your ordinary sneakers won’t work because rucking involves putting more weight on your body and feet. This is why you need to make sure that you’ve bought the right footwear to add to your rucking gear. Here are a few factors to think about.
Rucking boots are meant to be durable; otherwise, your boots will break into pieces after a few times. You need to make sure that they’re made of durable leather or synthetic materials that can withstand the harsh elements.
Leather is an excellent choice because it’s abrasion-resistant. However, some types of leather can be too stiff so they might make you feel uncomfortable after a while.
Nevertheless, leather tends to get soft after the break-in period, so it’s a good choice for avid rucking enthusiasts.
The leather keeps your feet warm so it’s suitable for cold conditions. It should, however, be paired with mesh or cotton lining that wicks moisture and keeps your feet dry.
Synthetic fabrics are suitable for people who need lightweight boots. Nylon is more flexible than leather but it’s not as sturdy.
When you’re choosing between leather and synthetic fabrics, it will be a trade-off between sturdiness and flexibility. In most cases, boots will be made of both materials.
The padding or insole of your boots supports your arch and guarantees that you won’t feel any strain at the end of the day. Some boots have foam insoles that distribute the weight and absorb shocks.
These are designed to keep your feet comfortable and strain-free even if you go rucking for a long period.
You must make sure that your boots are padded in the right areas where you need that extra cushioning.
Well-made cushioning doesn’t thin over time and retains its properties even if you wear your rucking boots every day.
The outsole will provide good traction on all types of surfaces including mud and wet surfaces so you go rucking safely.
Some boots are abrasion-resistant. This means that the boots won’t be punctured and the outsole will retain its status even if you step on sharp rocks.
Best Men's Military Boots for Rucking
Military style footwear is the optimal type of boot for rucking. Many of these boots are designed for load bearing activities such as rucking or carrying heavy objects.
The average weight a soldier carries into battle is 60-100 pounds. This means their footwear is an important part of their kit.
Below we have picked our choices for tactical boots. We have chosen full 8 inch boots for the most part due to the ankle support and the ability to provide a tight fit on your feet.
1. 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Load Bearing Boot - Our Pick
If there was ever a pair of boots made for rucking it would be the 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. Load Bearing Boot. It is literally in the name. Atlas was the titan in Greek mythology that held the world up.
5.11 is one of our favorite tactical brands and we could not think of a better place to start this list than with our favorite pick.
A.T.L.A.S. stands for All Terrain Load Assistance System. In other words, this boot is made for aiding you while you carry heavy loads. Rucking... heavy load on your back.... this boot... yeah.
What makes this boot so appealing as a rucking boot?
The included insole is amazing. It is made of a foam that rebounds energy. Which means that your feet are taking less of the force you exert on them. The foam also keeps your foot nice and snug inside the boot.
Combine this with Rucking Socks as well as the Ortholite footbed, and your feet won't move. Less movement in the boot means less friction means less of a chance of getting a blister.
The upper sole is made of an air mesh that is also water-resistant. These boots will keep your feet dry and allow them to breathe while you are on the trail.
The outsole is very high traction. This boot is designed to be aggressive. Foot pursuits, climbing, and trail running is just some of the actions the A.T.L.A.S. excels at.
The only drawback we have found with these boots isn't really the boots fault. If you are using this boot exclusively for rucking, it is over 100 dollars. However, it is well within the price of a good boot and you won't be disappointed.
- Water resistant suede leather upper with high abrasion air mesh nylon
- Locking ankle eyelet for secure lacing and fit
- Slip and oil resistant high traction outsole
- 5.11 A.T.L.A.S Support Plate
- Echo Foam (TM) high rebound/energy return PU and Force Foam(TM) lightweight PU impact cushioning
- Ortholite® footbed
- 5.11 A.T.L.A.S. All Terrain Load Assistance System
2. Danner Men's Tachyon Military Boot
If you’re looking for a sturdy yet lightweight boots, then you need to take a look at the Tachyon Military Boot from Danner.
They’re designed to take all the extra weight without jeopardizing comfort and support.
These boots are made of high-quality leather and textile to offer the best combination of comfort and rigidity.
They’re tight in all the right places while accommodating your heels and ankles so you can walk for long hours.
The upper is made of durable synthetic material with the ultra-fast dry time so they’re suitable for people who love going rucking in the rain.
They feature speed lacing with a 3-layer comfort system for the snuggest and most comfortable fit.
Unlike other models at the same price range, the rubber outsole is designed for better traction on all surfaces.
It’s also abrasion-resistant so you can take them for a rucking adventure in rocky terrains. The construction is designed to minimize sweating and keep your feet cool for maximum comfort.
Because they’re lightweight, they’re prone to lateral damage since the sides are flexible to support your feet.
These boots change shape quickly because they bend according to your feet movement so you need to store them properly so they can return to their original shape.
The only drawback with these boots is the price. Unless military style clothing is your style or you are involved with the military, these boots might be pricey if you plan to use them strictly for rucking. But, you get what you pay for.
3. Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Military Boot
If your feet get hot fast, then we recommend that you take a look at the Valsetz Tactical Boot from Under Armour.
They’re made of synthetic material that expands to accommodate your feet after spending all day hiking and rucking. It’s also more breathable and provides good airflow that keeps your feet cool.
Thanks to the second-skin technology, your ankle will enjoy maximum flexibility so you can move freely.
The UA ClutchFit technology provides you with an amazing feel and incredible support that protects your ankle from accidental strains and injuries.
The upper is made of durable textile and leather welded together for maximum durability.
They’re abrasion-resistant so your boots will last for a long time. The boots feature a comfortable Full-length Micro G foam insole to absorb shocks and support your heel and arch as you hike for long distances.
These boots feature an incredibly lightweight TPU shank for mid-foot support so they won’t strain your feet.
However, the low-profile outsole might be a bit uncomfortable if you’re always exploring rocky terrains.
These boots aren’t waterproof which is a bit disappointing since they’re more expensive than other models on the market.
4. Smith and Wesson Breach 2.0 Boot
Smith & Wesson is a famous name in the world of hunting and other outdoor sports. The Breach 2.0 are specifically made to withstand the harsh conditions in the wild as you carry a rucksack.
At first glance, these boots look like most of the tactical boots sold on the market, but they offer more support to the avid ruck hiker.
Although these boots are very sturdy, they’re still loose in areas where you want your boots to hug your feet, especially after hiking for a long period. They won’t press on your feet or cause any discomfort.
You can easily adjust the lace for a tight fit, but there’s room inside to provide comfort when you take a long hike.
These boots are made of durable leather to withstand the elements and they come with a tongue that keeps the debris out. It also prevents friction for maximum comfort.
The rubber outsole is slip-resistant on all types of surfaces so you can stay safe even if you’re hiking in the mud.
The laces on these boots are very durable so they will last for long. Moreover, the boots come with a zipper on the side so you can put them on and take them off in no time. They’re available in 2 colors; coyote and black.
However, these boots aren’t waterproof which isn’t a major concern given their price. You can apply a coat of wax, silicone or any other sealant to wick moisture and protect the leather.
They also tend to get hot so they’re not suitable for people who enjoy rucking and hiking in extremely hot conditions.
5. Bates Men's GX-8 Boot
If you’re concerned about the safety of your toes, then you can check out the GX-8 Boot from Bates. These tactical boots come with a composite toe that protects your toes against impact and compression.
Say goodbye to pain upon kicking a rock by mistake because the composite toe will block the impact and eliminate the pain.
However, you shouldn’t worry about your boots feeling too heavy. Composite is very durable but it’s lightweight so you can still move freely while wearing these rucking boots.
These boots feature a long shaft to eliminate the risk of ankle strain and support your ligaments, especially when you spend a long time rucking.
They’re made of durable waterproof Nubuck leather with 1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon for maximum protection.
The leather and other synthetic materials are properly welded, guaranteeing that your boots will last for long.
We recommend these boots to people who like to go rucking in all weather conditions because they’re designed to withstand the elements. Moreover, they come at an affordable price so they’re a good value for money.
Breathability is an excellent feature that you can consider while wearing these durable boots. They come with a breathable lining that wicks moisture to keep your feet dry and odor-free.
The outsole provides good traction on all surfaces and is also abrasion-resistant so you can walk comfortably on rocky surfaces.
Moreover, it’s resistant to electric hazards so they’re also good boots for the job site if you work in the construction business.
However, it’s quite disappointing to put them on because the heel is cut low. The sizing is a bit inaccurate so you should pay attention to the manufacturer’s chart before making a purchase.
6. Merrell Men's Moab 2 Tactical Boot
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Tactical Boot is an excellent boot to round out the men's section of the military boots list. This boot is almost as good as our pick the A.T.L.A.S. and we had a hard time choosing between the two for our best pick.
This boot is great. Merrell is a company best known for its hiking boots and this tactical boot inherits much of the time tested features of its hiking cousins.
Waterproof, and ripstop upper sole allows you to handle whatever terrain you are looking to throw at it. The vibram shank is a proven feature that handles the roughest trails.
Your feet will fit snug in this boot. The lacing system ensures a good tight fit. Once these are broken in there is very little chance you should develop a blister while on a ruck.
This boot is lightweight and fits your feet great. You might consider aftermarket insoles however.
The arch support was not as good as other boots we tried, but, all feet are different. In fact most boots would benefit from an aftermarket insole.
Overall this is a great tactical boot from a hiking boot company that makes it an amazing choice for a rucking boot.
Best Women's Military Boots for Rucking
We believe there is an underserved segment here. Finding a boot military style boot for women that is also a functional piece of rucking equipment is a challenge.
However, we believe that we have put together a list of great options for our lady ruckers out there.
The criteria was the same, we wanted full size boots that offer great support and traction, while being durable enough to dominate the trails.
7. Under Armour Women's Stellar Military and Tactical Boot
Under Armour Women's Stellar Tac Boot is a fantastic option for a rucking boot. This boot emphasizes comfort is more like wearing a pair of trail shoes than boots.
Another aspect that makes these boots very attractive is the price. These boots are under 100 dollars.
They fit great! They are snug and form-fitting. Combine these with proper socks and, you will have no issues during a ruck. Remember, less friction means less of a chance in developing a blister. And the Stellar Tacs are great at hugging your feet.
There is a short break-in period. Now let's talk about protection. These boots are water repellent and breathable, so your feet will not get wet on rainy or snowy days.
The bottom of your feet needs protection as well. With a TPU shank, these boots can handle the rocks and rough terrain demanded by a rucking boot.
Overall the Under Armour Stellar Tacs are a great boot that maximizes comfort without sacrificing functionality.
8. Danner Women's Prowess Military and Tactical Boot
Danner Women's Prowess Boot are another great option. Danner is a well known company for their military and first responder footwear. The Prowess is great boot that any rucker should consider.
Designed with the first responder in mind these boots are for someone that will be on their feet for extended periods of time. They are durable and will withstand multiple environments.
With these boots you have a side zip for easy on and off action. The lacing pattern allows you to make these boots tight to your feet. However, we noticed some voids in the boot, the run a bit wide.
You will want to invest in aftermarket insoles and good compression socks if you want to makes these your go to rucking book. However, you can not argue with the durability here.
The leather top outsole will keep your feet protected on the street or down a trail. They feature great ankle support and non slip rubber outsoles for great grip.
The prowess is also very breathable. They are not waterproof, so if you need that you will have to apply sealant yourself.
This boot meets the US Army AR 670-1 requirements for optional wear (if purchased in Coyote), they come in black and coyote.
9. Reebok Women's Sublite Boot
Reebok Women's Sublite Boots are like walking on pillows. What would you expect when Reebok takes their Sublite shoe and makes a boot. This boot is fantastic.
The Sublite Boot is designed for law enforcement and military personnel for all-day comfort and load-bearing. This is an 8-inch boot that will support your ankles.
Its side zipper allows you to put these boots on quickly or take them off delicately. We have always been fans of side zip boots. For example, you are on a trail and develop a blister.
What is going to hurt more?
Removing a boot with no side zipper that will rub against your foot. Or one a boot with a side zipper that allows you to expand the boot without having to mess with the laces.
These boots feature Reebok's Sublite midsole as well as the MemoryTech Massage footbed. Putting these boots on feels like putting on an athletic shoe.
The inner lining of this boot wicks moisture away from your feet. Combine the right socks with this boot and your feet will stay dry all day. This is perfect for rucking.
During a ruck, you will be putting more stress on your feet than usual. These boots are great for taking as much stress off your feet as possible.
The outsole is a targeted rubber and can handle any trail you could walk on. A major complaint we have that truly holds these boots from greatness is the lack of a protective shank.
If you are looking for a great boot that you could wear like shoes, this is the boot you are looking for. From its leather and ballistic nylon exterior to its Sublite and memory foam insole structure, this is one of the best values we have seen in a boot.
10. Merrell Work Women's Moab 2 Boot
Merrell Work Women's Moab 2 Boot is another great addition to this list. This is a tactical boot with a hiker's soul. The Moab 2 work boot features its Vibram outsole, which is one of the best outsoles to hike a trail.
This outsole will make short work of not only trails but virtually any terrain you can put your feet on. You should consider this boot if you are looking to ruck off the beaten path or on rocky terrain.
In terms of comfort, this boot is no slouch. The Moab 2 features Merrell's Kinetic Fit technology. The footbed and arch support are fantastic in this boot.
As a waterproof boot, you will not have to worry about getting your feet wet from the outside. However, we found this boot to be not very breathable. Be sure to wear moisture-wicking socks and even then expect some sweaty feet.
You might want to consider some anti-friction balm, such as Trail Toes, with this boot.
The Moab 2 is a rugged boot that will support you and your ruck.
11. Belleville Women's Hot Weather Boot
Belleville Women's Hot Weather Boots are a no-nonsense buying option. These are great for hiking canyons and trails in hot desert climates like Arizona.
These hot weather boots fit great. You can lace them tightly. These boots will provide amazing support during your ruck. The price is great for these boots as well.
As a no-frills option, this boot will require some aftermarket love to be the perfect rucking boot.
We found the insole was not as comfortable as other boots. We recommend an aftermarket insole such as the Currex HikePro.
Belleville's boot is great for hot climates. It is vented for maximum breathability. The Vibram outsole is great for rough terrain and lets this boot grip surfaces extremely well.
These boots do run a full size higher than a running shoe. For example, if you are a size 9, consider ordering this boot at a size 8. When rucking you want your boots to fit just right to avoid friction blisters.
Great boot, amazing price, just need a better insole and it's perfect.
Best Men's Hiking Boots for Rucking
Maybe you are not a fan of military and tactical footwear. Rucking can be done just as a easily in a pair of hiking boots. The major difference is the ankle support.
With a hiking boot you will not have as much support for your ankles as you would if you went with a military style option. However, ever plenty of people backpack in hiking boots.
Rucking is a fitness exercise so you will be engaging yourself more often then a weekend backpacking trip. Your ankles might become more sore with these options.
For our hiking boot considerations we wanted boots that offer great support, comfort, and the ability to handle rough terrain.
12. Salomon Men's Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking Boots
Salomon Men's Quest 4d 3 GTX Backpacking Boots are very stable. This is a hiking boot that works great as a rucking boot. It is almost a 7 inch boot and can be laced to provide excellent ankle stability.
The Quest 4D hugs your feet nicely and the midsole flexes nice once the boots are broken in. The Ortholite insole is fantastic. It molds to your feet and provides little slippage inside the boot. Less friction, less blisters.
This boot also protects the foot by preventing debris such as rocks from getting inside, thanks to the gusseted tongue.
You will be able to ruck long distances in comfort with this boot. The Contagrip outsole literally grips to everything. Wet terrain, rocky, terrain, sand, these boots will handle everything you throw at them.
They are waterproof and breathe relatively well due to the GORE-TEX lining.
These are our favorite hikers, but they are not perfect. The biggest draw back for these boots is the price. Expect to pay north of 200 dollars for these boots.
However, they are hikers which means you could wear these for more then just rucking.