The Best Boots For Rucking – A Guide & 5 Top Boots Reviewed

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Written by Penny Cooper

Rucking is a fantastic way to get in shape and maintain fitness without excessive amounts of gear. It is ideal for those who live in more natural environments and a thirst for adventure. All you need for rucking is a good backpack, some weight, and a nice pair of rucking boots. 

You need to take the time to choose the best boots for rucking as your feet will carry the bulk of the load. 

This article includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the products we have discussed in this article, we may receive a small commission.

We have you covered with everything from our top pick:
Rocky S2V Predator, and our four other top choices:

Our Top Recommendations: Best Boots for Rucking

Below we will explore the top five best boots for rucking that we think you should consider. 

1. Rocky S2V Predator Military Boot – Best Overall

Rocky S2V Military boots are one of the most well-known brands in tactical gear. They are a very basic and excellent military boot.

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Rocky’s are fantastic because you get the best value for the price. They are not overly expensive and still deliver high-quality performance. 

These boots are made from a combination of leather and 1000D Cordura Nylon. That means that they are incredibly resistant to tears and scuffs.

The boots are reinforced with triple-stitching all over as well to ensure maximum performance. They are also coated for flame resistance and have drainage holes to keep water from accumulating in the shoe. 


  • Fast drying
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect for Military use


  • Narrow – not ideal for wide feet
  • Grip wears down
  • Issues with the sizing

2. Salomon Forces Quest 4D Tactical Shoes – Best Performance

The Quest 4D Forces boots from Salomon are great for rucking and are highly ranked combat boots. They cost a bit more than some of our other picks, but they perform better than other military and rucking boots on the market. 

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They are made from mesh that specifically keeps debris out of the shoe and nubuck leather. All boots from Salomon have a trademarked non-marking contagrip that ensures minimal slipping when in use.

These boots are lighter than other combat boots, which makes them an excellent choice for rucking without sacrificing any ankle support. They run about a half of a size bigger, so order appropriately. 


  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Extremely durable
  • Warm and great for winter


  • It takes about two weeks to break them in
  • Tread wears down over time
  • The sizing is a bit off

3. 5.11 Men’s Tactical ATAC Boot – Most Affordable

Budget boots for tactical use and rucking are always essential to hit on. The 5.11 ATAC Boots are some of the top rucking boots on the market that will not force you to empty your wallet.

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They are some of the best boots for rucking that you will find around $100. 

5.11 Tactical boots come equipped with a knife pocket on the big enough side to hold most pocket knives. 5.11 is known for high-quality gear, so you know that you will still be getting a well-performing shoe when you go with them.

The main difference with these boots is the simplicity of the design and ability. You do not get any added frills. Once you wear them in, these boots are fairly durable and comfortable for rucking. 


  • Comfortable and wear in quickly
  • Lightweight
  • Great for city use and travel


  • Not as slip-resistant
  • Not great for cold weather
  • Material is not as nice as expensive choices

4. Thorogood Gen-flex 2 Tactical Boot – Best Leather

Thorogood is another brand that many recognize in the tactical gear community. The Gen-flex 2 is one of the best leather tactical boots on the market.

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They are reliable and dependable military-grade boots that protect your feet in any kind of weather conditions.

Thorogood Gen-flex 2 boots are composed of full-grain leather. The leather gives them a more authoritative look that also performs very well. Full-leather also means that they are extremely waterproof and keep your feet nice and toasty in colder climates.

After a few weeks of use, these boots will be comfortable and worn in for heavy-duty use. 


  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Great for cold weather


  • Take a few weeks to break-in
  • The heel pad is not entirely comfortable
  • Not as shiny as the picture

5. Lowa Zephyr Mid TF Hiking Boot – Most Comfortable

Lowa Zephyr brand is another top choice recommended by those with a lot of tactical experience. These are ideal for rucking as you get the feel of sneakers while wearing an armored boot.

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That is what makes them the most comfortable boots for tactical use on the market. 

These boots have a robust runner sole wrapping around the base of the boot that gives the bottom added protection from the elements. The lining of the boots wicks away moisture to keep your feet warm and dry.

These boots are supposed to be used heavily and worn often and sit at the top of the list in terms of comfort and quality. 


  • Durable in harsh terrain
  • Perfect for rucking
  • Last for many years


  • Less slip resistant
  • Lace loops fray over time
  • Runs small

Why Do You Need Rucking Boots?

Many people who purchase rucking boots do so for one of two reasons: they want military-grade gear or enjoy adventure and day trekking. 

Essentially, rucking is walking with weight. It causes less strain on your knees than running but leaves you with a great cardio workout. Rucking also helps to build your core and strengthen your legs. In order to ruck appropriately, though, you need to have the correct footwear.

4 ruckers with backpacks, poles and the best boots for rucking

In order to start rucking, you need weight, a backpack, and a decent pair of rucking shoes. It is essential to have great shoes because you will be walking quite a bit and carrying a heavy load at the same time.

Rucking boots keep your feet dry, are comfortable, prevent falls, and provide you with support during your rucking workout.

What to Look for in Rucking Boots

The rucking boots you choose should ultimately provide you with a few critical things: durability, comfort, traction, and support. 


The main difference between everyday work boots and rucking boots is the durability of the shoe. This comes from the way the boot was constructed and what materials they utilize.

The top part of the boot should be able to undergo a lot of abrasions and torquing against sticks, twigs, and rocks. The best materials for this are leather and high-quality forms of nylon.

The soles of rucking boots typically have Vibram stamps, meaning that the tread life is supposed to last a long time. It is preferable that your shoes be stitched and not glued. 


If the shoe does not fit right and is not comfortable, then it does not matter how high the quality is your feet will probably suffer.

Rucking boots should be very comfortable because you walk in them with heavy loads for an extended period of time. 

Your heels should not feel like they are digging into the shoe because that can be uncomfortable over time. The boot should fit snugly across the top of your foot.

There should be enough room in the toe box for your toes to move naturally when walking without rubbing hard against the front of the boot. 


When rucking, you will likely be in both wet and dry conditions, so traction is critical. Without added weight, you can catch yourself in the event of a slip, but since rucking requires extra weight, you are more likely to get injured in a fall due to shifted balance. 

Generally, boots that have deeper tread patterns will perform better. They can grab rocks and jagged bits a little easier. Lighter weight shoes tend to have a more challenging time with traction. 


If you are rucking for the sole purpose of exercising, pay attention to your boot’s support. Higher boots give you much more ankle and lower leg support, though that is not ideal for everyone.  

With lower rise rucking boots, you can utilize more ankle mobility, which is better if you tend to be a bit more on the clumsy side. They also help you to build stronger ankles that can carry heavier loads. Support requirements vary from person to person, but it is crucial to consider before purchasing your rucking boots. 


Rucking is a great way to stay in shape without putting too much strain on your knees and ankles. To ruck successfully, you only need a quality backpack, some weights, and a solid pair of shoes. 

Our top pick for rucking boots is the Rocky S2V because you get everything you need in a decently priced shoe. It is the best boot because it hits all of the important criteria for good rucking boots. The Rocky S2V is comfortable, durable, provides decent traction, and offers great support. 

Take the time to learn what you need out of your boot when considering rucking boots because taking care of your feet is the most vital component of this activity. 

We have covered more on hiking shoes here. And for the heavier person, these shoe suggestions might be helpful.


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Penny is a Personal Trainer currently training as a wellness coach. She gained a BA in English at Edinburgh University. Redundancy from retail management hastened a move to helping people get fit and writing about all things fitness in middle age.

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