Best Rucking, Gear, Reviews

Best Shoes/Boots for GORUCK

What are the best shoes or boots for rucking? That’s the question we posed to our readers in early 2017 with our first annual “Best of Rucking” survey.

Below are the top three shoes/boots recommended by our readers, especially for those looking to complete a GORUCK Light, Tough, or Heavy. But, they’re also really good if you’re just looking to get into rucking.

NOTE: GORUCK has officially launched its own rucking boot, the MACV-1 which looks to be a serious contender for best rucking shoe/boot. Check it out.

#1 – Salomons

The contest wasn’t even close. Salomons won by a long shot, getting 4 times more recommendations than their closest competition. Salomon XA Pro 3d were named most frequently with other Salomon X series shoes as well.

Best rucking shoe according to readers. Click to shop for Salomon XA Pro 3D.

#2 – Moab Ventilators

While not as popular as the Solomons, the Moab Ventilators came in second place in our voting. As the name indicates, they have a lot of ventilation which is not only good for keeping your feet cool, but it makes for great drainage whenever your feet get wet.

The Moab Ventilators are a great rucking shoe. Click to shop for a pair.

#3 – Rocky C4T or 5C5

While the vast majority of shoes recommended are shoes, Rockey did manage to crack the top 3 with just a few less votes than the Moabs above. If you’re considering boots over shoes, it would appear our readers would point you in the direction of either the Rocky C4T or the Rockey C5C.

Looking for rucking boots? Shop for a pair of Rocky.

Honorable Mention

A common theme in the survey results is that shoes are a great way to go. Two other popular shoes in the survey were Brooks adrenaline and any Nike running shoe.

Notice any shoes/boots left out of our top 3 that should be included? What do you wear for your GORUCK Light, Tough, or Heavy? Let know in the comments below.

16 Replies to Best Shoes/Boots for GORUCK

  1. HI. I appreciate all the information here. I am new to rucking – I have a few group rucks and rucks on my own under my belt, with a GORUCK tough event coming up at end of April. Looking to nail down my shoe. I think I’m going to pull the trigger on the Salomon X Ultra Prime. The universal standard seems to be the Salomon XA Pro 3D, but that is a heftier pricetag. After buying a ruck, plates, the cost of the event, I’m ok with cutting a corner. My main question is will the X Ultra Prime handle water like the XA Pro 3D. They promise us we will get wet. This is my last concern before I buy. Any opinions?



    1. I ruck in LaSportiva Wildcats, so I can’t speak to the Salmon’s specifically. My recommendation is that if you have an REI near you, see if they carry a pair. REI has a 100% return policy, even if you’ve worn the shoes. So, take them out, soak them with a hose, and go for a walk to see how they drain. Also, I’ve done events in my Brooks running shoes and did just fine. Shoes are important, but they are easy to overthink. Find something that feels good and drains. You’ll be fine.

      1. Thanks Ryan. I did end up buying. I think I was putting too much thought. Ended up buying. Will put them through this test. I still have time to figure this out.

  2. I’ve converted from Merrell Chameleon Stretch 7’s to almost exclusively Innov8’s, specifically Roclite 305’s. AMAZING shoes.

  3. Those Moabs are made by Merrell. Speaking of which, I’m rucking in their MQM Flex hiking shoes. Wide forefoot and not over built.

  4. No right or wrong answer here. Shoot for a durable hiking or workout shoe that will work for the likely conditions of your ruck (street or trail) and won’t tear your feet to shreds. Once you have a bum wheel, the rest of the ruck can be brutal.

    I’ve worn Salomons, GoRuck MACVs, NoBulls, and inov8s. All are great shoes but I generally make sure to take options with me and try to scout the conditions we may encounter before deciding.

  5. I use salomon speed assaults. They’ve been great and have lasted over two years. Though i’ve never done an event with them. Just trail and sidewalk rucks.

  6. I’ve been wearing Reebok Nano training shoes for rucking. The Altama OTB Maritime Assault look like they might be a good choice for a pair of rucking shoes.

  7. I’m in the middle of a “heavy” train up and in only 4 months have completely destroyed the Solomon’s. Therefore I give them poor ratings for durability. Secondly and more importantly, for my foot, the speed lace tie down point that is located over the “knuckle” of the big toe has really been a pain (literally). I’ve had several nasty blisters and sore spots in that exact spot due to the geometry of the shoe vs my foot. So that’s two strikes against them.

    I won’t be getting those again….seriously considering the Moab 2 ventilators. Any comment on the weight difference between the two? When wet does the leather/suede upper retain more water and become heavier? Read…is the weigh difference noticeable? Or does that become a non issue after a few weeks of training with them?

  8. Garmont is the best pair of boots in durability and confort from rucking to deployments this is one of the few that has held its own and the only one to never make my feet hurt. No blisters no pain. Having gone through various pairs of boots these are the top dog. They’re heavier than the lightweight nikes, but they don’t fall apart after getting wet. Just be sure to pretreat the leather with lanolin, and do periodic maintenance to keep the leather up to snuff.

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