Boots, and socks

Quite a few months ago I had a comment on a post asking what type of boots and socks I use. I know in the past I have written about boots, blisters, and foot care ad nauseum. I suffered through a lot of bad blisters over the past couple of years, mostly to poor fitting boots. And I tried everything that was suggested to me by former Infantry guys and then some. Suffered is an understatement.

After wearing Naval steel toe flight boots, Army GI issue boots (23 years worth), reading a lot of boot reviews, talking to other joes, and a number of bad choices, I landed on Rocky boots, S2V type. I have rucked, did some running in them, and with around 500 miles over the last year and change. I, have not had any major foot issues since wearing these bad boys. The only 2 things I have done since the initial purchase was to replace the insoles with the same Rocky branded type that I bought direct from Rocky for around $30. I just wore out the original set out, so they needed replacing. The other was, I just used some GI suede boot cleaner/conditioner to keep the leather pliable.

This is not a sales pitch for Rocky boots, but I highly suggest a consideration if you are shopping for hiking boots.

The stitching is solid (triple stitched) and I have not had any separation of any kind anywhere on the boot so far. The Vibram soles still look like the day I took them out of the box and the laces have held up very well with no wear or rub marks from pulling them though the eyelets. The inside of the soles are made for Air Assault repelling (which is not something I do on my weekends) High Walled I think is the term Rocky uses along with a Cordura patch for abrasion resistance.  Rocky thought these boots out for the person or warrior that will be living in their boots.

The point I am trying to make is, with so many kinds of boots on the market you may have to spend some money, do research to find the kind of boot that is right for you. I think an even bigger issue is you have to walk in them, with weight on your back. Just can’t get around it. You have to walk with a pack on your back.

Boots are like anything else you have to find what works for you. My friend wears Keens, I can’t I need the extra ankle support that Keen’s do not offer me.


Socks, again like the boots above. You just have to try different types out. I have worn cotton white tube socks, GI issue socks, Fox brand socks, and a couple others that I can’t remember the names of. I settled on Bass Pro Red Head Mountain Bear socks. Just can’t beat them in my book. The Red Heads are knee high, a wool blend that washes in a normal laundry cycle and dries quickly.


As long as you are changing your socks you won’t have foot issues. Just a fact.

I normally change my socks every 5 miles or so when I am rucking. Just having dry socks on (winter or summer) not only keeps your feet in good shape, but dry socks are a real moral booster.

What do you do with your wet socks? hang them off the back of your ruck and let them dry as you walk. Simple huh?

That’s my thought’s. Everyone is different, feet sweat more, or less. Need more ankle support, blister easy or less, wear their boots tighter or looser. But, to beat a dead horse, you have to ruck march with a weighted pack.




I think I found the perfect pair

And I don’t mean my balls. After much consternation, reading, and more reading of reviews I settled on two pairs of boots to try. Both are AR-670-1 compliant boots. Being AR 670 compliant was not a requirement for me, just worked out that way. I need that 8 inch ankle support and have not found a civilian variant that offers the same as a mil pair.

The first pair I tried was the Garmont T8 Bifida with a price that is good and listed at $140. The boots fit really well like tennis shoes but the funky eyelets on the boot cut into the sides and tops of my feet. All I can say is the eyelets were just weird. I even tried to not lace the set of eyelets that were cutting into me the most with no noticeable change in the fit across the tops of my feet .

I liked the heel pull tab on the back of each boot, pretty hard core soles, with good stitching throughout.


The Garmont Bifida’s  felt really cushy walking around the house but I just couldn’t see myself wearing them for very long with those funky eyelets. The laces are a flat type.

The manufacturer is from an Italian company and made in Vietnam. I requested a RMA from U.S. Patriot and sent them back.

The second pair I purchased was the Rocky S2V Whoa! is all I can say. Not a sexy looking pair, fit well, cushy, no pinches, and made in the USA from the Rocky Boot company out of Ohio.


Hardcore stitching all around, aggressive tread design, speed laces, partial cordura uppers, and the boots breath pretty well.

Two cons that I have, they are heavy boots and there is no heal pull loop to help you slide your foot in the boot. Minor gripes really.

The price was a bit more than other boots I looked at and tried on. This pair came in at at $190. Just over $200 with shipping.


So far I have hiked a little over 30 miles in these boots. I use the 2 mile rule. If I get a hot spot or blister in that first 2 miles I have a shitty pair of boots on my feet. So far I have had not one blister, which is pretty amazing.  I started to get a couple hots spots during a 8 mile ruck. It was my own fault for not powdering my feet before stepping off and not changing socks during my “walk”.

I have had a lot of shitty boots on my feet over the years. Oh those lovely steel toed flight boots I lived in for 17 years! I remember begging the Riggers to order me new boots when the heels were falling off and separated from the rest of the boot. Shesh! Nothing like a nail sticking you in the heel every time you walked across the tarmac to remind you why you hated the Para Riggers.

U.S. Patriot was great with shipping and the returns. Both sets of boots I received 2nd day, with the Rocky’s shipping direct from the factory.


Remember, boots like any other piece of gear are end user dependant. What is good for me is not necessarily good for you.