GORUCK MACV-1 Boot Versus Altama OTB Maritime Assault Boot Review

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Need boots that are made to get wet – and let you keep going afterward?

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot Versus Altama OTB Maritime Boot Review
GORUCK MACV-1 Boot Versus Altama OTB Maritime Boot Review – which one is the champ of the mud, water, and swamp?

Let’s put these two top contenders to the test – the GORUCK MACV-1 and the Altama OTB Maritime Assault Boot (Buy on Amazon).

Here’s some of the products we used during this test:

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot (Coyote Suede 6") The GORUCK MACV-1 is a lightweight rucking boot. It's made for high mileage in the outdoors. This is the 6" version in Coyote Suede. It's lightweight (for a boot) and has a 13mm heel to toe drop. With the excellent cushion - it's a great long-distance boot. It drains water reasonably well.
Altama OTB Maritime Assault Boot (MultiCam Black) This is a serious maritime boot - water drain ports low down on both sides of the boot - and it uses materials that won't absorb water. It's light on cushion - and heel to toe drop - but drains water quick and offers excellent grip and stability.
GORUCK MACV-1 Boot (Black 6") The MACV-1 is also available in Black (6")
IRONLACE Unbreakable Boot Lace The only weak point of the MACV-1 is the laces - they break relatively easily. Upgrade them with something like IRONLACE, and you'll never have that problem. Guaranteed for life, waterproof, fireproof, won't stretch, won't slip, won't freeze. All that and made in the USA.
Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew with Cushion (1466) How do you make an excellent boot even better? Wear excellent socks. These hikers from Darn Tough get the job done. Darn Tough calls this the ultimate hiking sock - and it's a good pick for rucking too. Like their other socks, the not-so-secret ingredient is Merino wool - and other great features.
MudGear Ruck Sock Also made with Merino Wool (Are you seeing a trend?) this ruck sock from MudGear was built with ruckers in mind - and the result shows that. Made in the USA. This works very well with the MACV-1 or the Altama
MACV-1 - Brown Leather (Coyote Brown) The GORUCK MACV-1 is an artistically and skillfully designed, lightweight combat boot that is more robust with its new full-grain Challenge Leather on the upper. The dual-compound rubber outsole gives an all-around performance in any conditions, including increased friction on slippery and muddy ground. The forefoot rubber is formed for improved hold while the heel area is formed for abrasion resistance and improved durability. MACV-1 is tested by Special Forces in cities, mountains, forests, and wastelands to make sure it will not fail you.

Let’s compare and contrast. This is GORUCK MACV-1 versus Altama OTB.

First, let’s take an in-depth look at each.

GORUCK MACV-1 Jungle Ruck Boot Overview

We’ll start with the GORUCK MACV-1.

I’ve had these for quite some time now, and these aren’t just one of my favorite pairs of boots – they are one of my favorite pair of shoes – period.

Custom compression insert for the GORUCK MACV-1 rucking boot
The GORUCK MACV-1 boot uses a removable insert for cushioning. It’s very comfortable.

There’s two heights of boot – 6″ and 8″.

I use the 6″ extensively, but if you need an AR 670-1 compliant boot you might want to look into the 8″ high version (and in Coyote Suede, of course.)

What do I like about these? They are made with leather and 1000D Cordura. They are tough, good looking and offer reasonable traction via the all-rubber outsole.

GORUCK MACV-1 Rucking Boot - Outsole for All-Terrain usage
The improved outsole on the MACV-1 boot has a more aggressive tread pattern for better all-terrain performance. The rubber compound is grippy up front, and tougher and more durable in the heel.

The outsole tread is mild for a boot. But that’s ok, I like that. It means this boot doesn’t look out of place anywhere – not just on the ruck march.

It’s also lightweight (again, by boot standards). My pair (US Men’s Size 11.5) weighs in at just over 22 ounces per boot.

Last but not least, this boot has magnificent cushion and a 13 mm heel to toe drop.

I’ve gone 18 miles with 40+ pounds on my back in these boots. I can’t say my feet didn’t hurt, but these boots definitely helped me go the distance.

This video focuses more on the GORUCK Rucker, but it’ll give you an idea of how I test this gear:

Altama OTB Maritime Assault Boot Overview

At first glance, you may not recognize this shoe as a boot.

Altama OTB Maritime Assault Mid Boot (37)
Sometimes called "tactical chucks" these boots are very sneaker-like. Great grip and light weight. They are made with materials that won’t absorb water.

It looks like a Chuck Taylor converse sneaker – and in fact, the design was inspired by that shoe.

These boots were designed specifically for water-borne or maritime operations by the US military.

They offer a mild outsole tread pattern – but the rubber compound used is optimized for wet traction.

Altama OTB Maritime Assault Mid Boot (12)
Minimal lug pattern is meant for maximum surface area contact. The rubber is specially formulated to provide wet traction.

The minimal tread means you can get maximum surface contact area with wet, slippery obstacles – or on a caving ladder.

Being mil-spec in nature, there’s an interesting array of color options. This one in particular is using Crye Precision’s MultiCam Black camo pattern.

Altama OTB Maritime Assault Mid Boot (24)
These are MultiCam Black. The upper is 1000D Cordura, and that tough rubber toe is what makes this shoe boot like.

Being almost sneaker-like – these weight in at about 15 ounces.

Being boot-like means they offer a mid-cut height, nice padding (and support) around the ankle, and the rubber toe guard is very thick and dense – great for protecting your toes and forefoot.

With a very mild drop (if any) and minimal cushion you get a low to the ground stable feel. There’s less material keeping you from the ground.

You feel like you can sneak around like a ninja in these boots.

Altama OTB Maritime Assault Mid Boot (18)
Creep around like a ninja in the Altama OTB

Now, let’s compare them head to head.

GORUCK Versus Altama

To show you what they look like side by side:

I took these to the local state park – the swampy state park.

10 miles with 40+ lbs – and a whole lot of mud, muck, and water.

What was the outcome?

The Altama’s use of non-absorbent materials, low drain ports, and midsole made it the champ as far as draining water quickly.

Not only that, they gave great grip on all those cypress knobs, tree roots, and mud.

The mid-cut and foam around the ankle provided good ankle support.

But as I’ve experienced with these on dry land – they just don’t have the cushion for carrying weight for long-distance.

In contrast, the MACV-1 was less effective at draining water.

The drain ports are higher up (but that also means your socks stay dry in shallow puddles), but the insole absorbs water.

When it came time to hike back out (approx. 5 miles) I switched back to the MACV-1 – so that I’d have all that glorious cushion (and drop) to help me go the distance.

Altama OTB Maritime Assault Mid Boot (5)
Those very low, very effective drain ports are great at letting water out (and letting water in!)
GORUCK MACV-1 Shielded Drain Ports
The shielded drain ports in the MACV-1 work as advertised. Once immersed, you’ll pump out water with every footstep. Note that the drain ports are up relatively high, so a shallow puddle will NOT soak your socks.
GORUCK MACV-1 Jungle Ruck Boot in the mud
Here’s the sort of mud and muck I dealt with during this testing.

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot Versus Altama OTB Maritime Assault Boot Review – In Summary

And that’s our review of the GORUCK MACV-1 versus the Altama OTB Maritime Assault Boot (Buy on Amazon).

Going long distance? The GORUCK MACV-1 is tough to beat. It compromises some of its water-draining features but works better in the dry.

If you are doing something truly aquatic (or amphibious) the Altamas are going to be your best bet.

They do indeed drain water quickly, and there just isn’t much material to absorb any water that does get in.

Low and stable, it lacks the cushion for comfort over long distances (especially with weight.)

GORUCK MACV-1 Ruck boot in the wet
Testing these boots was not easy, but it was fun.

Not only was this testing fun, it was great exercise. I burned over 1,700 calories in that 5 hour test. Find out more about rucking calorie burn.

Lastly, If you are going to get into rucking do it right with the GORUCK Rucker 3 and some ruck plates.

Photo Credits

Some product photos (but not many) on this page are property of GORUCK or Altama.

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