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Livin’ The Infantry Dream: Or, How to NOT Cripple Yourself Before the Age of 25. A Brief Treatise on Boot Selection and Foot Care for Security Patrolling in UW Environments

September 21, 2013

The gentlemen at WRSA posted a very good introduction to basic foot care from a reader recently, at the following post:

 

http://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/feet/#comments

 

While there is a great deal of wisdom in both the original post and some of the comments, I’m going to take the opportunity to add to the conversation, based on my personal experiences, growing up in the Ranger Regiment in the early ’90s, walking my way through SFAS, and hiking more miles than I care to count, both as a SF soldier, and on my own time, having hiked a large chunk of the Appalachian Trail, almost half of the CDT, as well as various back country solo treks throughout the western US and Alaska.

I was sitting at the PX at Ft. Wainwright in Alaska once, while on leave, waiting for a cab to show up to drive me and my heavy-ass Dana Designs ruck to the front gate of post, where I was getting ready to pull a two-week solo trek in the Bush. An unidentified Sergeant-Major was walking out and stopped and looked at me sitting there, on my ruck, stuffing my lip with Copenhagen, as I waited for the taxi.

 

Hey, Sergeant, what’s your unit?” he asked.

 

XX Group, Sergeant-Major,” I responded, far too casually, for being on an infantry post, since I didn’t even bother standing, let alone standing at parade rest.

 

MOS?”

 

18B.”

 

Can I ask you a question then?” his curiosity obviously outweighed any concerns for my apparent lack of military decorum. “You hump a ruck for a living, and now, you’re doing it for fun on your own time? Are you fucking nuts?”

 

Probably, Sergeant-Major.

 

It could be conceivably argued, if I were willing to sit down and do the math, that I’ve walked well over a quarter-million miles with a rucksack on, and it’s probably over the half-million mark. The argument could be made that, with only post-Vietnam deployments to my credit, any private with one year on Vietnam had more combat experience than I do. It can certainly be said that LOTS of guys in USASOC with multiple deployments between OEF and OIF have more combat experience than I do. I’d be hard pressed to be convinced that anyone has more experience walking around with heavy shit on their back than I do.

Boot Selection 101

 

To start with, this:

 

http://soldiersystems.net/2008/12/20/army-modular-boot/

 

from 2008, is an abortion of an idea. Even if that pull-on over boot thing in the photo is insulated, it doesn’t strike me that it would do a whole hell of a lot of good at keeping snow out of the space between the insulating outer shell and the intermediate/temperate weather boot. Here’s a science 101 lesson: If the cold stuff is inside of the insulation, it doesn’t work really well (granted, based on one photo, I could be misinterpreting the picture.).

 

The WRSA reader, QuietMan, adds the comment that,

 

In the 80′s, the Ranger Battalions came up with something similar, and more readily available.

 

I didn’t serve in the Ranger Regiment in the ’80s. I was just starting high school when they jumped into Panama. I did serve in the Regiment in the early ’90s though, when the Regimental SOP (RSOP) still mandated that we wore jungle boots for pretty much everything that didn’t involve wearing Class As. I’ve worn jungle boots in the desert, I’ve worn jungle boots in the swamps. I’ve worn jungle boots in the snow. I’ve even worn jungle boots in the jungle, of all the strange places to wear jungle boots….

 

I had one particular pair of jungle boots that survived 10 different re-sole jobs at the boot shop. I wore them in RIP. I wore them to Suck School. I wore them to Selection. I wore them through the Q. I wore them on deployments both at the Ranger Regiment and at Group. I LOVED those boots. After the second set of soles, they felt like sneakers on my feet. They were AMAZING!!!! (And yes, to preface the inevitable question, they were the older green canvas, not the shitty black canvas type!)

 

When I deployed to Afghanistan, my bags were packed with two pairs of jungle boots (one of them being THAT pair of “lucky” jungle boots), a set of Gore-Tex insulated Danners, a pair of USGI desert boots, and two pairs of civilian hiking boots, one a pair of Asolos, the other a pair of Vasques.

 

With the exception of one mission that required extreme cold-weather survival skills being put into play, due to environmental demands, I wore the jungle boots for one single mission, and the only other boots I wore the entire deployment, outside of the wire, were either the Asolos or the Vasques.

 

My lucky jungle boots died an honorable death, befitting old warriors, several months after my return from the ‘Stan, when they finally split along a crease in the leather toe and the cobbler looked at me like I had a dick growing out of my head when I asked if he could repair it….

 

Since then, I’ve owned and worn a couple pairs of desert boots, from both Altama and Belleville. I’ve got boots from both manufacturers stored away in my “Oh shit!” boxes o’ goodies even. The reality however, is, jungle boots, and military boots in general, blow ass for long-term wear, under a heavy ruck, if you value the structural integrity of the joints of your spinal column and lower back.

 

Reader “Chuck” points out that most after-market combat boots look like they are designed to absorb moisture out of noon desert air and fall apart at the drop of a hat. He’s right. I’ve known guys on ODAs who wanted to wear the cool-guy SWAT-type boots, and they generally fall apart quicker than a two dollar pistol in a real gunfight.

 

Finally, I have to give a nod to the “Old Gray Haired Hiker,” because he’s spot on. Yes, jungle boots or the older all-leather desert boots will last longer than the newer sport boot-based SWAT/DELTA/SEAL/NINJA/Commando boots. The reality is though, they suck. They’re piss-poor for maintaining good health in your feet.

 

You’re better off looking at what the dudes and dudettes through-hiking the AT, CDT, and PCT are wearing for boots. Sure, they’re going for the ultra-light backpacking thing, but here’s the rub, their ultra-light backpacking motif, when you factor in food and water, is still plenty heavy, and the civilian mode boots will last. I’m hard as fuck on boots. In fact, the only piece of my gear that probably gets more mis-treated than my rifle, is my footwear. I wear the same boots, day-in and day-out, through creeks and rivers, across sandy, sage-brush deserts, and dry-pine needle-strewn forest floors, as well as down concrete sidewalks and when driving long distances. I’ve been wearing a pair of Keens boots now for well over a year and they’re still holding together, without even needing to be re-soled. I’ve got a pair of Vasques in my go-to-war kit bag that I wore for a year before stashing them in the bag, with the confident knowledge that they’ve got another year or two of work in them, easily.

 

The sad reality is, when you start talking to old paratroopers, Rangers, and SF guys, who retired after 20+ years, rather than taking the easy way out like I did, and doing one or two enlistments, they’ll be the first to tell you, military boots will cripple you in the long-run. From guys who have compression fractures that never healed properly in their spine, to guys who’ve had to have their knees or ankles completely re-built, the military builds boots that are hell-for-tough, but the longevity of the wearer is seldom a design parameter.

 

My recommendations for boots include:

 

  • Keens. These are a relatively new brand. When a former Civil Affairs buddy showed me his and asked my opinion, I was ambivalent at best. I tend to not trust critical gear if I’ve never tested it, nor known anyone who had put it through the ringer, regardless of how comfortable it it. I found a pair at a local thrift store, still with the original store tags on it (thank God for living in the Rockies, where people buy cool outdoor gear on a whim that they never use), for a lousy $10. At that price, even if they sucked, I wouldn’t be out much, so I grabbed them. As I mentioned, I’ve been wearing the hell out of them for quite some time now, and they’re none the worse for wear. They’re also quite possibly, the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn.
  • Vasques. I wore Vasques, as I mentioned, in the ‘Stan, as well as on several long-distance solo personal trips. I love them, and for the price point, really can’t recommend them highly enough.
  • Asolos. The other civilian hiking boot brand I have a lot of experience with. These bad-mama-jamas are worth the price, but the price can be kind of high, last time I priced them.
  • Belleville Desert Boots. Of all the currently available .mil boots available, these ones are my favorites. I’ve worn them more than a little bit, both in my personal training, daily life, and in classes, with little complaint, beyond the typical, “they’re military-issue boots, and thus not very comfortable.”
  • Original Altama Jungle Boots (with the green canvas). I don’t recall the last time I saw a pair of these for sale. While they’re pretty far down the list, my old “lucky jungle boots” do still hold a soft spot of nostalgia in my heart, so if I came across a pair, I’d probably buy the bastards, just for old time’s sake.

 

FootCare 101

 

As several readers commented on the article, the real secret to boot selection is less what boot to wear (after all, G’s have been surviving and thriving for the last fifty-plus years wearing canvas sneakers and truck tire sandals, instead of combat-designed boots), than how you wear them, and what kind of preventive maintenance you’re willing to do to keep your feet healthy.

 

In the ever-present interest of intellectual honesty, I feel obligated to mention that a student in a class recently asked me about this, specifically what my personal routine for foot care was. As I answered them, “I don’t have one. I recommend certain things, but my feet are so far beyond fucked up, that I honestly don’t bother, beyond trying to remember to change my socks every couple of days.” With that caveat in mind, here are my recommendations on foot care, predicated on what helped me develop the kind of fucked-up feet that don’t really need a lot of foot care to stay healthy…

 

  • Wear your boots. Seriously. Learn to live in your boots. Obviously, if you were a suit to work, throwing your Asolos or Keens or jungle boots on isn’t going to be much of a realistic option at work. If you wear anything other than a tie and jacket though? Start wearing your boots to work and play in. If you do wear a suit, wear your boots anytime you’re not at work. The only time I don’t wear my boots is when I’m wearing my Tevas, and that’s generally only in summer (and I’ve done backpacking trips in Tevas, so…….).
  • Pick good, wool socks, and wear them religiously. I honestly don’t believe that, within reason, the brand name matters much. I’ve worn SmartWools, and had them develop holes in less than one day. I’ve worn cheap-o wool socks that Christ alone knows where I got them, and had them last weeks. The best socks I’ve found, for longevity, are the Carhartt brand wool socks that I picked up at the local feed and farm outlet store. I had one pair of them for over two years before they finally fell apart.
  • Sock Liners. I don’t have a legit opinion on sock liners, or Gore-Tex over-socks. I’ve tried both, in their specific applications. As far as sock liners, I tried some poly sock liners, specifically marketed to long-distance backpackers, and didn’t notice much benefit from them. No, I didn’t develop any blisters, but I hadn’t had a blister in seven or eight years by that point anyway. If you wear decent wool socks, change them whenever you get the chance, and lace your boots up snug (not tight) enough to keep the boots on, I don’t personally feel the sock liners are necessary.
  • Gore-Tex Over-Socks. I knew a lot of guys who brought these to the ‘Stan with them, and swore by their value. I fucking hate them. They make my feet sweat, worse than they do without the over-socks on, and as soon as you step into a creek or river, the water pours in the top, just like it does into the top of a “waterproof” boot, and they do not, contrary to the advertiser’s claims, sweat out the moisture fast enough to be worth a shit.
  • Have lots of dry, clean socks. I hate seeing guys, in the military, or in the civilian backpacking world, with lots of shit just strapped to the outside of their rucks, looking like an old Gypsy peddler plying his trade. It looks unprofessional, like they couldn’t be bothered to pack their rucks with any forethought, and it makes me worry that they’re going to lose some critical piece of gear. The exception I make to this is when I see socks strapped to the outside of the ruck where they can dry out. You probably can’t carry too many pairs of socks, but space and weight restrictions, as well as the necessity to carry lots of other mission-essential shit, sometimes limits what we can carry. I don’t believe there’s any reason to carry less than six pairs of socks. Wear one pair until it’s wet, then strap it to the outside of the ruck to dry, while you wear the next pair. Repeat as necessary, until you’re down to wearing the dirty, but dry ones again. Clean, dry socks are ideal, but dirty, dry socks are better than dirty, wet socks. At worst, you can beat some of the dirt and sweat salt out of them.
  • Use foot powder. Antiperspirant, talcum-based foot powder, baby powder, it really doesn’t matter. You’re just trying to get something on your feet that will help absorb the moisture of sweat to keep your feet and socks dry longer. I honestly, do not remember the last time I used foot powder.
  • Take care of your feet. From the WRSA comments: “I’ve seen guys lose half the skin on their foot from long foot marches (literally flaps of skin hanging off or blood leaking from their boots) but you typically don’t see that kind of damage from patrolling.”I’ve actually been that guy. On a ruck march as a junior NCO once, I got to the stop point and pulled my boots off, to reveal that you could see the bloody muscle tissue and bone on the ball of one of my feet. I’d felt the blister develop, and felt it pop. I even felt the blood, but just figured it was blister fluid. Another NCO, from another team, looked at it and declared I was an idiot and now combat-ineffective, because I wasn’t fit to fight. While he was probably correct (at least on the idiot part), he backed down when I laced my boot back up, rucked up, and asked if he wanted to walk back with me…. Don’t do stupid shit. If you feel a blister forming, especially during conditioning hikes, take the time to stop and dress the hot spot. Moleskin, 100MPH tape, whatever is going to work for you, just dress the hot spot before it becomes a wound. As a drill sergeant at Sand Hill pointed out to a group of very avid aspiring infantrymen once upon a time, (albeit in a different context) “An infantryman without the use of his feet and legs is pretty fucking useless.
  • Start conditioning your feet. The only way to condition your feet to survive humping a heavy ruck is….to hump a heavy ruck. So, figure out what weight you can carry, right now, for a couple of miles, and go carry it. Then, add weight, or miles, then the other, and increase your speed.

 

The Ruck-Conditioning Program

 

The following program is one I recommend to people who’ve never humped a ruck before, or have only carried a very light load for day hikes.

 

Start your program with a paltry 25-lb rucksack. If that’s too much, I suppose you could drop the weight to 10-lbs, but in the meantime, I’d suggest seeing your gynecologist for testosterone injections as well…..

 

Take the 25-lb rucksack out and go walk two miles. Time yourself for the two miles. Repeat, once a week, in addition to your normal running or sprinting PT, until you can do the two miles in 30 minutes or less. Then, double the distance until you are doing four miles in 60 minutes.

 

At that point, add weight to the ruck, up to 35 pounds, and continue the four mile hikes, until you can do them in the 60 minute time limit. Then, step the weight up to 45-lbs, and repeat. Continue at the four mile distance, with the 60 minute goal, until you’re doing that with 65 lbs.

 

Once you can do four miles, in 60 minutes, with 65 lbs on your back, add a mile, and continue pushing for the 60 minute time limit. That’s “Checkpoint #1.” If you can do a 12-minute mile for five miles, with 65 lbs on your back, you’re light years ahead of most people. Once you’ve accomplished that, keep trying to exceed the standards though. Push on to doing eight miles in two hours. Then, push to doing eight miles in 1:30.

 

I believe your goal should ultimately be:

 

12 miles in 2.5 hours, with 65+ pounds. I’d like to see people pushing the two hour time limit, with 75 lbs or more, but I’d offer that the 12 miles, 2.5 hours, 65+ pounds will put you light years beyond what most people in the military, let alone in the preparedness world, will ever achieve, or even bother trying to achieve.

 

DOL,

John Mosby

American Redoubt

From → Uncategorized

28 Comments
  1. Back in 08 after living a life of new Cadillacs and big boats since the 90s, I went shopping for tactical gear. The first thing I shopped for was BOOTS. You will know the right boot immediately. After at least 2 dozen tries I finally fell instantly in love with Bates Ultra Light desert boots. Awesome footgear. I right away bought a 2nd pair for future use. I still wear that 1st pair to this day. 6 fucking years now and they look like it too. Still as comfy as I have ever worn. I live in Northern MI where I have retired since I was 40 and am now 50. I work harder now than I ever did when I was a young 11B. I swear by those damned Bates Boots.

  2. parapearce permalink

    No truer words ever spoken. I like Salomans

  3. RobRoySimmons permalink

    If you are talking about those extremely hard rubber soled, metal shank jungle boots IMO you should of thought of wearing head protection to protect you from the repeated sharp blows to the melon you must have taken at a young age. On Okinawa we were allowed to wear them because the officers wanted to look cool sitting at their desks or something while wearing gungy ass boots the old lifers wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.

    And you don’t know shit boots till you wore the USMC issue boots early to mid 80s, WWII Italian Army bad. The RATs I recently purchased are gifts from the gods compared to those feet annihilators we had back in the day.

    Since I know where this thread will head off to I will start; 50 yrs old, 50lb ALICE pack 15 minute miles for 7 miles, but mainly level smooth terrain.

    And thanks

    • Semper Fi, 0321 permalink

      I served on Oki in ’73 at Camp Schwab with 1/9. We bought our own jungle boots at the surplus store in Kinville, he had lots of cool VN gear and cheap. Our issue boots were the black leather ripple soles, had mine resoled with Vibrams and they worked out great. Still have those jungle boots today, after many years of hard use and a few continents of walking.

    • Herk Mulligan permalink

      DITTO on the RATs! Ordering my 2nd pair. Also have a pair of Scarpa hikers that I wear everyday – pricey but would do in a pinch.

  4. Stefan v permalink

    LOWA GTX10. Black leather only (no fancy synthetics) with triple stitched seams, main body of boot made of only 3 pieces of leather (less seams to go wrong), Vibram sole, Goretex lined, good strong lace loops/speed hooks, and resolable by the manufacturer (keep the receipt!). Regularly lavished with high lanolin-content boot wax….best boot I’ve ever had. Simple, comfy, tough, reliable. Next best was the Aussie GP, also black. In third place, a pair of NVA (East German) jump boots (surplus stock after their regime caved in), these weren’t lined and the soles even had screws reinforcing the heel, they lasted me 10 years and I had to work them really hard to kill them. Tanks with laces! Speaking of laces……soak them in whatever you preserve your boots with, and always carry a spare set. They come in handy for other things as well.

  5. Matt in K.C. permalink

    I wear a suit & tie daily at work (much to my displeasure I might add). With proper choice you can and should wear boots with that suit. I wear my old Air Force Addison (FWU-3/P) Flight Boots with the speed laces. They are the good old fashion all leather boots with a plain toe.

    If you’re lucky you can still find them for a good price. I’ve been wearing my current pair daily for over six years and with the exception of replacing the laces several times they are still in outstanding shape. Though I never did while in the military I keep a bright black shine on them. With their plain toe they look just like ordinary shoes. I really should have stocked up on these while still on active duty.

    So take J.M.’s advice and wear boots daily, even if you have to wear a damn suit like I do.

    Matt

    • Hate to say it Matt, but the boots you linked are exactly what mosby is saying NOT to wear in the field. Boots like that are terrible for ruck marching.

      • Matt in K.C. permalink

        Bear,

        Not to put words in J.M.’s mouth, but he said “. . . Obviously, if you were a suit to work, throwing your Asolos or Keens or jungle boots on isn’t going to be much of a realistic option at work. If you wear anything other than a tie and jacket though? . . .”. Actually, one of the older guys I used to fly with always wore his green sided jungle boots at work and unless he had his pants hiked up for some reason no one ever noticed.

        What I’m saying is that even if you do wear a suit & tie at work you can still wear a good serviceable pair of boots if you choose correctly. Would you rather bug out from work wearing one of those bizarre low quarters shoes with the large square toe that everyone’s wearing nowadays or the above referenced boots. I for one will take those boots. My getting home on foot would take months and I have no doubt these boots would see me through. Once broken in they are as comfortable as any boots I have ever owned, with the exception of a hard insole (remedied with a good insert).

        Not every “suit and tie wearer” has the ability to keep spare sets of heavy duty foot wear close by. Unless you wear high water pants, the above boots look like plain old shoes and will go with most business attire. Would they be my first choice for rucking? No. Would I have any problems wearing them for any distance I might have to walk (with or without a rucksack)? Also no. Just trying to provide an alternative to those who are stuck behind a tie.

        Matt

  6. Mick permalink

    Oh yes, those extremely hard rubber soled, metal shank jungle boots, was wearing them in the early ’70s in the Canal Zone (and yes you can break that metal shank and the molded inner sole) Had to learn to go without socks to prevent jungle rot on the feet, on our side we had 290 inches of rain in 9 months. (we found out that “the rot” loved GI issue foot powder in the OD cans). Had a great time Toughening up the shins and feet for that. Once you broke them in and got used to them, never found anything better and wore that type of boot until I retired; my last pair being worn daily,wore out 5 years after I retired. lIke Mosby said, miss those puppies and wish I could find some more.

  7. I’m glad to see Keen making the cut. Last time I went boot shopping, my 1st stop was Red Wing, and nothing they have works for my feet. What I’d really like to find is something built like a Red Wing, but shaped like a Keen. I have what one guy at work calls duckfeet — too wide at the balls vs. the heels, such that with normal shoe / boot construction, by the time you get wide enough at the balls, you have too much heel slip. Unless I hear of something better, I’ll just get some Keens that are more heavy duty than the lightweight hikers I’m wearing these days.

  8. Bro, you forgot Merrell Moab’s. These things are the Bomb. I wear them daily, in addition to wearing them as a contractor in the woods. They are super comfortable, and the only boots you need, with the exception of danner’s for real cold weather.

    I busted out my “favorite” most comfortable green jungles the other year and went for a road marchin them. Didn’t make it out of the cul de sac! Can’t believe I thought those were comfortable.

    The other fix all for blisters is coban tape. You can use it preventively and wrap your feet before hiking. This is the stuff they use on race horses. I personally used it during the train up and during the cambrian patrol long range patrol competition in England.

  9. juice-qr permalink

    I’ll second Merrell boots, they are indeed the bomb, and I’d wager are one of the few that may outperform keens. Super comfortable, rock solid supportive in uneven terrain, and just hard to kill boots.

  10. RangerRick permalink

    Brother,
    your info always makes me smile. I just buried my 1968 issued green jungle boots yesterday, as with all good things, it was time to go.
    I will share this info tomorrow in my class at the Preparedness EXPO in Spokane. BOB and hiking home.
    Stay Dangerous, RangerRick

  11. spartanmonkey permalink

    This article brings back memories. I remember going through SFAS and seeing one big red-headed dude hobbling along. When I looked at his feet, he had literally cut the toe box and heel off his boots. They looked like red neck leather Tevas.

  12. Jaime Smith permalink

    Mosby you must have gotten lucky with those Keens. The first pair i had made duck quacking noises from the soles. They sent me another identical pair and after two weeks the stitching was coming apart. Too bad because the damn things feel great on the feet.

  13. SemperFido permalink

    I was 0341 playing with 60’s and 81’s. My jungle greens were the old issue, no spike guard and no panama sole. I freakin LOVED those boots. I wonder if they took out the shanks when yours were resoled the second time and that is why you suddenly thought they were sneakers. Mine finally wore completely out with split leather after almost 20 years. If I could find another pair without the panama soles I’d buy them without a second thought. I still wear my socks inside out and on the trail use baby powder sparingly so it doesn’t clump up. Best thing to do is to have a spare pair of boots to wear so you change out boots each day and socks a couple times a day. I still have great feet.

  14. B.C. permalink

    Do you have any experience with the green, (or sage), Wellco’s named HW lightning trainer
    The knowledge which you share with us, shortens our learning curve greatly, thank you.

  15. J.D. permalink

    Most of the posts here are priceless for the subtle but serious humor alone. As I sit here in a pair of Asolo boots I have had since 2000 I definitely concur with the thumbs up on the Asolos. I would break down and buy another pair but I am budget minded and only have this pair because I didn’t pay for them. I did pick up a pair of Keen’s on clearance at a sporting goods store for about $30 but haven’t had them long enough to give an opinion yet. I do still have 2 pair of my original issued 3 pair of OD jungle boots. One of the pair has been resoled numerous times and needs to be thrown out but for sentimental purposes still hangs around the garage. The other pair were my spits and I have often thought about resoling them but deep in my heart much like the commander of the 43rd cavalry has stated, I know they would suck compared to today’s technological advanced boots. Again I can’t make myself toss them but have no other plans for them.

    Anyway just thought I would chime in as I have walked a mile or two in boots and thought I would let the Gray Ghost know how much I enjoy the site as it reminds me how away from the first standing order I have fallen.

  16. You wanna protect your feet? Put vaseline on them prior to putting socks on. Learned this when I took up long distance running. Wish I had heard about it long before, as in when I was in the Marines. Gobs of it between toes. I NEVER got a blister. Yeah, it makes your socks a bit funky, but, hey, you are going nowhere with ruined feet, are you? I recommend Keens, also.

  17. Love Lowas, although the Zephyrs needed to be resoled after about 18 months of regular walking/hikng use. My favorites for comfort.
    Also love Asolos. Best way to get a good price: Sierra Trading Post sales. Sign up for their email notices and you’ll often get extra discounts; my most recent pair of Asolo Echo boots were gotten for under $70 delivered. So far, their soles are wearing like iron.
    Stopping hot spots? Bacitracin or the like antibiotic ointment applied to known hot spots before you head out (works to stop chafing in the nether regions, too). I do youth soccer matches on weekends (keep up with 17yr olds for 3 90-min games…that’ll give you a gauge of your fitness…or soreness…) and haven’t had a blister in over a year.
    As for ruck training, do you have any idea how much my COMHOMEFOR cringes when the neighbors ask me why I have one when out walking the mutts? She thinks I’m nuts. When they find out there’s a cinder block in there…well, maybe I am just nuts.

  18. Attack Company 1/75 permalink

    Story… After being in Regiment for 3 years the Army decided to stop giving us OD jungle boots. They replaced them with the black speedlace jungles. Due to the flaws in the black jungle boots (the stitching on the back of the boots blew out), after 1-3 months of being issued these, Regiment (or maybe it was 1/75) made a deal with the Marines. They gave us all of their OD jungles and we gave them all the black jungles. Everyone DX’ed their black jungles for the OD’s the very next day at CIF. It was a sweet deal for us for sure.

  19. David permalink

    I would like to get an opinion on the Mountain Combat Boot from Belleville? I will be checking out other boots listed in the article and the various replies, but wanted an opinion on the mountain combat boot. Thanks.

  20. Reblogged this on disturbeddeputy and commented:
    LEARN TO RUCK NOW.

  21. john permalink

    John care to tell what model Keens, Vasques, and Asolos you recommend? I would say first (waterproof) as a nessesity.

    • Honestly, no. The particular models that work for me may or may not work for you, so it would pointless. I’d hate to recommend a model that works great for me, to have you go out and buy a pair to discover they flat suck for your feet. I recommend just trying different pairs out as much as possible in the store, and going with what seems to fit.

      As for waterproofing in boots, I hate it. It never “breathes” like it should, so even in dry weather, I end up with soaking wet socks, and misery. If I can get boots without insulation and/or waterproofing, I’ll take them any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

      DOL,
      JM

  22. draeke permalink

    Thanks for taking the time to write that out, looking for for advice on the best mountain combat boots, but seriously forgot how important proper foot care can be when downrange, also like the ruck march training plan, IOTV with plates can get pretty heavy but factor in that 80 lb ruck and most people can’t hump it very long

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Mosby: Livin’ The Infantry Dream, Or, How to NOT Cripple Yourself Before the Age of 25 – A Brief Treatise on Boot Selection and Foot Care for Security Patrolling in UW Environments | Western Rifle Shooters Association

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