- Price $195 on goruck.com
At this time, the boots are on sale at $99.
- Dimensions 4.25″ (w) x 6.5″ (h) x 12″ (d) / 107 (w) x 165 (h) x 304 (d) mm
- Weight (per one size 9 boot) 0.86 lbs / 13.79 ounces / 390 g
- Made in Vietnam
GORUCK has achieved legendary status when it comes to the quality of their backpacks. Founded by an ex-Green Beret, GORUCK is certainly no ordinary brand. With strong military roots, many of their products are made for well-above anything the average one bagger could throw at it. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you could take their bags to war and have it hold up in the harshest of conditions.
After cementing their cult status with backpacks, they moved on to the next piece of gear most military people live in, a boot. One badass enough to live up to the stage the backpacks have set.
After years of designing and testing, the MACV-1 boots were born. The MACV-1 is inspired by and named after MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group). The MACV-SOG was a highly classified US special ops unit that conducted covert unconventional warfare ops during the Vietnam War.
This used to be an ad, but noone likes ads. So, I decided to remove them completely from my site. I spend hours and hours researching, testing and writing about each product, so it would mean the world to me if you lend me your support by becoming a Patreon. Every dollar helps.
The MACV-1 comes in a few styles, the original being a black leather version. They also have a suede version, and a coyote colorway. The one being reviewed in this article is the original design, the 6-inch black leather model.
To allow soldiers to wear the GORUCK, they even have an 8-inch, coyote-colored, suede version to meet AR 670-1 requirements. That size and colorway is the official regulation for army attire. But still, they can only be worn as allowed by their commander and not replace the official ones.
As someone who went through 2 years of mandatory national service, I’ve gone through my fair share of jungle boots. In the Singapore Armed Forces, there are basically two styles of boots for the field. There’s full leather boots which are preferable for parades, and a half leather boots for outfield.
The half leather boots have leather covering only the toes and fabric up the ankles. They give a slightly more casual look compared to full leather ones.
I found that the boots have been slightly modernized to look more appropriate for city wear, yet retain many of the jungle boot aesthetics.
I got my usual size, a US 10.5 and have found that it fits true to size. There was a little extra height that would cause my feet to separate from the sole each time I take a step. This would make me rub against the insides of the boots, potentially resulting in sock holes.
Since these boots are unapologetically made for hardcore rucking sessions where your feet would swell with extended rucking or traveling, the forefoot comes wide to reduce friction between your feet and the insides of the boots.
I like the height lets you pair it with long pants or shorts well.
On the whole, I’ve found that the style of the MACV-1 boots are true to its military inspiration, reflecting many of the details that I love about the style of combat boots.
The upper of the boots of made of full-grain leather. The shaft of the boot is made of 1000D Cordura so your mobility does not get hindered by tough leather.
The insert is GORUCK’s Workhorse™ Insert which uses a dual-layered compression foam system that supports your entire foot from heel to toe. Those that need arch support would be happy to know that it includes contoured support for long rucking sessions.
The midsole uses EVA foam and combined with the rubber outsole gives you the traction you need when you’re rucking in rocky terrain or doing push-ups, yet maintain its lightweight needed for travel.
As opposed to most laces which are 5mm, the MACV-1 comes with speed laces which are 3mm. Supposedly, less debris and mud would be collected and would rinse off and dry faster as well. This is technically true, since less lace equals less dirty and faster drying time.
While many boots come with spacer mesh as lining, which is a soft and comfortable material often used for extra cushioning. But GORUCK sees it as a trap that sucks up water and stay heavy and proudly excludes it from the design.
While the boots are described as “proudly not waterproof” with Shielding Drain Holes that lets you push water out as you walk, I’ve found that the boots do a good job in repelling light showers. They would only get wet if you submerge them completely in the water.
As described, putting it on for the first time, there was no break-in period necessary. It was comfortable from the beginning and felt close to how a sneaker would feel.
At the same time, it brings back memories of combat boots I used to wear during my years in service. The durability and quality was something that could be felt. Like those boots, however, the leather is of soft leather which can be scratched and scuffed up easily. These are, by no means, boots made for a parade.
The weight really sets it apart from conventional boots for me. The weight is comparable to your favorite sneakers which makes it a joy to wear on a regular day out to the mall.
One of my favorite things about it is how it’s kinda waterproof, but yet not completely waterproof. As in, the naturally waterproof leather would stand up to light showers but the drain holes allow breathability that my sweaty feet definitely appreciates.
As expected from a GORUCK product, the quality is superb. There is no hint of it looking like it would ever break down, and even if it does, the assurance that it can be taken care of by the GORUCK Scar’s program is assuring.
I’ve taken the MACV-1 hiking, traveling and around the office. They fit a variety of situations in both style and comfort.
Even at full price, the GORUCK MACV-1 is worth the money to me. I was actually surprised they could offer such quality at that price. If you think $195 is too expensive, be sure to read my post on how to get discounts on GORUCK products.
Like this review? See all of my in-depth reviews on the highest quality travel gear.
Also, consider supporting me by being a Patreon. Every cent given will go back into improving the content of this blog.
Read my disclaimer on these review.