UPDATE: Effective 31 May 2023, GORUCK has launched the new MACV-2. I’ll be doing a review on these boots once they come in the mail.
GORUCK was founded with the mindset of meeting the demanding requirements of the Special Forces community. Their products are some of the most durable pieces of kit that you can buy out there, and are backed by the most no-nonsense warranty I’ve ever come across, which we’ll get into more detail about further down.
The GORUCK MACV-1 boot is definitely worth the price tag, and in my opinion they could even get away with charging more. The MACV-1 is durable, lightweight, comfortable, affordable, AR 670-1 compliant, and meant to last a lifetime – literally! As mentioned earlier, these boots are specifically designed and made to meet the most demanding requirement by some of the most professional individuals to wear the uniform, often times in places you will never know about. That is unless they sell the story to a movie crew who then changes the unit involved, changes the location of the mission, and slightly changes the outcome of such mission… like the film ‘Tears of the Sun’. Just gonna to throw that out there.
GORUCK makes some of the most rugged and durable gear you can buy! Just recently someone in the Special Forces community saw me walking with my GORUCK GR1 backpack and approached me to talk about the gear because the GORUCK community isn’t that large where we’re at. They personally own the Kit Bag (Special Forces Flight Bag) and said how indestructible it is! Keep in mind this guy is going into some of the most gruelling conditions in some of the most harsh environments you can think of, and they swear by GORUCK’s gear. Unfortunately this bag is sold out now, but I’m hoping GORUCK restocks them!
(UPDATE: GORUCK has restocked the Kit Bag!)
If this is all the information you need, then you can check out GORUCK’s website here for the latest prices on the MACV-1 modern jungle boot! If you want to continue reading on about this lightweight boot, then keep on scrolling!
Weight: 28oz per pair (for the 6″ boot)
Colors: Coyote, Black, Light Brown, or Dark Brown
Height: 6″ (Mid Top) and 8″ (High Top)
Heel-Toe Drop: 13mm
Upper: Suede Leather or Challenge Leather, 1000D Cordura, 2″ Nylon Webbing
Midsole: Lightweight EVA
Outsole: High traction rubber
AR 670-1 Compliant: 8″ High Top – Coyote Suede
CANFORGEN 165/20: Black or Coyote, 6″ or 8″
3mm Speed Lacing
No break-in time
No Gore-Tex option
Not Made in USA
At the time of this article the price of the MACV-1 ranges from around $155 to $170 depending on whether it’s a mid-top or high-top and if it’s made of suede or challenge leather. I have seen these boots get marked down to between $120 and $140 when stock and sizes are limited.
GORUCK also has what’s called Earned Service Discount which gives military, first responders, and government employees (including teachers!) a 15% off discount on full-priced gear! (25% off all events!)
My first impression began with my order online of course. Selecting the boot was simple, and GORUCK has a sizing chart that goes based on the dimension of your foot oppose to a simple shoe size comparison. The GORUCK sizing chart by the way is very accurate now that I’ve tried the boots on. I don’t live in the USA so I used the FedEx international shipping. It was only a few dollars more for the priority option, something like $65 USD. I ordered the boots on a Wednesday, they were sent Thursday, made it to my country on Friday, didn’t move on the weekend or Monday (due to a holiday), and arrived on Tuesday. So it took 3 business days to get from GORUCK to my door (72 business day hours).
As soon as I put on the MACV-1s I noticed how lightweight they were and how soft each step felt. I took these boots for a quick 3 kilometer run just hours after taking them out of the box and they felt amazing! There is no break-in time at all, which can’t be said by many combat boot manufacturers. I even tried doing some squats with them on and they were very flexible and didn’t restrict my movement at all. The 13mm heel-to-toe drop is actually very suitable for doing squats as well!
I usually wear a size 11 shoe but opted to go with the 11.5 size in the MACV-1. Reason being is that I usually wear a thicker sock while I’m wearing my uniform serving in the Armed Forces. That being said they feel fine when wearing normal socks in civilian attire. There is plenty of toe room as well, so don’t size up to get more toe room! I would say that the MACV-1 boot is true-to-size.
Right away I liked how simple these boots look, as do most jungle style tactical boots out there. The outsole runs smoothly along the side of the boot where it joins the suede/challenge leather, and it also has a unique pattern on the bottom which offers enough grip on rough terrain, but also looks cool for when you’re on the ground doing flutter-kicks!
The upper shaft portion is made up of mainly 1000 denier Cordura, which is a very durable yet lightweight material. 1000D Cordura though does not provide the same protection as the suede/challenge leather does, but GORUCK addresses this issue with a 2” wide piece of nylon webbing which will provide you with a good amount of ankle protection. This webbing material is also great for if you’re doing any sort of fast rope repelling, like say from a helicopter in the pouring rain 70 feet above ground.
Quality & Workmanship
The quality of the MACV-1 is phenomenal! The stitching all around the boot is either double or triple stitched. Stitching different types of materials can be tricky, but GORUCK’s products are all made to the highest standard. After testing these boots though, I noticed the stitching which holds the GORUCK logo on the tongue started to fray and come undone, but this has nothing to do with the boot’s functionality.
Unfortunately, the boots are manufactured in Vietnam. It would have been nice to have them made in the USA, but you can’t win at everything. Perhaps Vietnam was the chosen location because of the story behind developing a boot for Special Forces guys.
I like the design on the bottom of the outsole as well, which is both appealing and functional. The GORUCK logo on the rear outer side of the MACV-1 is nice too.
GORUCK has arguably the best warranty out there with their Scars Lifetime Guarantee. Essentially, if you manage to break their gear, they’ll either fix it or replace it. You don’t even need the receipt because GORUCK says they can recognize their own stuff. Here’s their statement below:
All GORUCK built gear, apparel, and footwear — everything we manufacture — comes with our Scars Lifetime Guarantee. If there is a defect in workmanship or materials or if you actually manage to wear our stuff out, GORUCK will fix or replace (at our discretion) your item, free of charge. No receipt necessary — we can recognize our own stuff — and your date of purchase does not matter. Hence lifetime.– GORUCK
When it comes to footwear though, it’s expected for them to wear over use and time, so GORUCK will only fix or replace their footwear that have defects. That is unless you completely wear out all the tread on the boot, then GORUCK says you’re worthy of having it replaced!
The outsole is made of a dual compound all-terrain rubber which is incredibly soft! I’ve already gone on ruck marches using my GR1 with a 20 Pound Ruckplate while wearing the MACV-1s and I have had zero issues with my feet or joints. I’ve had some muscle pain in my quads and a tiny bit of shin splints, but muscle pain is good meaning you’re doing what you want and getting stronger, and the shin splints is usually due to the heavy load you’re carrying on your back! In the first 2 days of having the MACV-1s I’ve done runs and ruck marches and my feet have never felt better after wearing such a new out of the box boot.
The outsole also goes up to the front toe of the boot which is great for when you’re doing pushups as the dual compound rubber outsole is more durable than the suede leather, allowing your boot to last longer.
I did notice that the glue that joins the suede and rubber outsole was breaking apart slightly near the toe, but if you have this issue just reach out to GORUCK and they should give you an answer on how to rectify the problem. I would have mentioned this problem to them, but I had another problem which couldn’t be fixed, and got a replacement pair of MACV-1’s.
The insole of the MACV-1 is almost like a memory foam material so your foot forms to the boot better. Most tactical boots I’ve bought had an insole that was almost like a softer piece of cardboard, but GORUCK upped a level and used a decent insole keeping your foot comfortable for any and all scenarios.
The upper of the MACV-1 is made of either Suede or Challenge Leather. The boots that I purchased are the Coyote Brown Suede leather. My wife also has a pair of the same boots in the 6″ model, and I can tell a difference between the two suede leathers. The smaller size 6″ Mid Top has a smoother feel to it while mine have a more rough feel, but they’re both great quality. I’ve gotten them a little wet also and it does a good job of repelling water. After looking closer at my pair of MACV-1’s though, I noticed that each boot had a slightly different suede material, which also made the boots feel slightly different. At first I thought my feet were the problem, but soon realized that it was a problem with the manufacturing of the boot. All I had to do was submit a defective gear form and GORUCK sent me a new pair of boots days later.
On the inner lower portion there are two drainage holes on each boot so when your boot gets soaked full, the water will drain out of the boot with each step. Being a modern jungle boot, the MACV-1 was designed to NOT be waterproof, since your feet are bound to get wet in those environments. That being said, I would like to see GORUCK make a GORE-TEX boot in the future!
The shaft of the MACV-1 is made of 1000D Cordura which offers excellent strength and durability to the boot. To add ankle protection GORUCK uses a 2″ wide nylon webbing. There is no pull tab on the back of the MACV-1, which most tactical boots these days have, but the MACV-1 is so easy to get on and take off that a pull tab isn’t necessary, so I’m glad GORUCK didn’t attach one just because most boots have them.
3mm Speed Laces
The laces on these boots might be one of my favorite features! The 3mm speed laces remind me of 550 Paracord, but the laces dry quickly, they don’t absorb any debris easily, and if they get dirty you just rinse them off and they’re good to go! I find that other laces I’ve used on combat boots take a while to dry off and end up fraying and falling apart within the first year of having the boot. The GORUCK 3mm speed laces though are probably one of the best laces for a combat boot. If you’d like to buy these laces separately you can do so on GORUCK’s accessories page. Be sure to check the sizing you need, because it depends on the size and height of your boot.
Because these laces run so smoothly, you might find it a bit tricky keeping your laces tight as you’re doing up your laces. What I do is pull the laces from the middle section, then I’ll place a finger where they intersect at the highest point, then with my other hand I’ll pull from the top. What I did to keep the laces from coming undone at the very top when untying is I made a single knot which will prevent the laces from coming out of the eyelet. These laces run very smooth so if you don’t do this they’ll come out probably every time you undo your boots!
I found too that if you’re not going to tuck the bunny loops in the boot (which I do when I’m wearing in uniform) then you can wrap the laces around the the top of the boot and then tie it in front. If you don’t want to do that then just purchase a shorter set of laces on the GORUCK accessories page.
When I went on a run in the MACV-1s my feet were definitely warm as the temperature was in the 20’s Celsius / 70’s Fahrenheit, but my feet stayed comfortable throughout the run. Reason being was they were able to breath the entire time. I’ve warn tactical boots in my career that as soon as my feet got warm, they would begin to pain soon after because my feet were not able to breath. The MACV-1 has excellent breathability keeping your feet comfortable regardless of how you’re using them. During that run I was on, my feet were warm yet comfortable, but as soon as I paused and walked for a moment, they cooled right down!
I’ve used the MACV-1 boot on all different terrains and my feet were comfortable in all situations. On soft terrain they offer good traction and on hard terrain they had a good cushion preventing my feet from hurting.
Driving while wearing the MACV-1’s is very comfortable, almost like wearing a shoe. I’ve worn other tactical boots while driving and it felt very awkward, but the MACV-1’s were extremely functional while driving. This is important if one of your main roles in the Armed Forces is driving a vehicle, and would also make an excellent boot if you’re a pilot!
The GORUCK MACV-1 lightweight modern jungle boot is a all-terrain versatile boot that is wearable in almost any situation. Whether it be used by Special Forces personnel in austere environments, conventional soldiers either in garrison or outside the wire, for working out in doing anything from jogging to squats or for ruck marches, or just to wear as an everyday footwear, the MACV-1 does great and keeps your foot both comfortable and protected.
Normally as soon as I wear a combat boot I can find a few things I don’t like, but with the MACV-1 it felt like I had to cherry pick something to not like! I do wish there was a GORE-TEX option, and they’re not made in the USA, but that’s about the only thing I could complain about. Even with the few issues I’ve had with the first pair of MACV-1’s, I do believe these were a manufacturing problem, and with GORUCK’s amazing service, I was still 100% satisfied.
I hope this article has been helpful to you, and if you have any questions at all regarding these boots, send me a message through the Contact page.
The views expressed in this article are the personal views of myself and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of National Defense.
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