GORUCK MACV-1 (Gen 2) Rucking Boot in Coyote Suede Review

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It’s here! GORUCK has released the 2nd generation of their lightweight rucking boot – the MACV-1.

We’ve got our pair and we’re in the evaluation process – but here’s an initial look and quick thoughts on sizing and more.

GORUCK MACV-1 Lightweight Boot in Coyote Suede (Gen 2)
The new GORUCK MACV-1 Lightweight Boot in Coyote Suede (Gen 2)

Consider this a “first look” – but we’ll provide as much useful information as we can.

GORUCK makes rucking gear.

Rucking is walking or hiking for distance with a loaded backpack (aka rucksack.)

Do you need special boots to go on a ruck march?

No, you don’t.

But GORUCK has used their expertise in building super-functional and useful gear to make what are intended to be the best rucking boots possible.

We’ll tell you all about the special features of the MACV-1 boot in this article.

Here’s the products we’ll be reviewing:

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 - which is the version you will see in the majority of photos in this review.

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot (Coyote Suede 6") The 8" Coyote Suede version of the boot is AR 670-1 compliant - which means you might be able to wear these in the US military. They have the required height, colors, and materials as required by government regulations. This is the 8" version in Coyote Suede.

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot (Black 6") The MACV-1 is also available in Black (6")

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot (Black 8") This is the 8" version in Black.

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

Let’s take an in-depth look.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 – Hands on YouTube First Look

Reading not your thing?

We cover all the relevant points in our hands on YouTube review:

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen2 Boot – Fit & Sizing

First, let’s talk sizing, because that is what everybody wants to know.

GORUCK claims that the MACV-1 Gen 2 runs true to size – and it feels like it does.

However, GORUCK recommends that you go 1/2 size up to account for inevitable foot swelling that will happen on long ruck marches.

GORUCK MACV-1 Lightweight Rucking Boot in Coyote Suede
MACV-1 boot

I’ve now rucked with both an 11 and a 11.5 – and here’s my thoughts on sizing.

Either size works for me.

The 11 is a better fit – but I do get a little bit of rub. But, this can easily be handled by wearing two pairs of socks.

GORUCK MACV-1 Rucking Boot in Black Leather
I’ve done 6+ miles in both a size 11 and size 11.5 MACV-1 boot. Either works for me – just consider wearing two pairs of socks and make sure you fine tune to make sure the fit is PERFECT for YOUR feet.

The 11.5 does feel a bit too big – my foot can move around a lot in the boot.

But again, the trick of wearing two pairs of socks makes any issues go away.

Wearing two pairs of socks on a long march is a time honored trick to avoid blisters and hotspots.

Long term update: Use a quality hiking or rucking sock, and you won’t have issues. My 11s and my 11.5s both work fine with good quality hiking socks from Darn Tough and MudGear.

Darn Tough Boot Sock for Rucking
Here’s the black MACV-1 6" with the Darn Tough Microcrew Hiking sock – All hotspots and blisters not an issue. Knit in the USA.

The Darn Tough Micro Crew Midweight with Cushion is great for the 6″ high MACV-1 boots.

MudGear Ruck Sock with MACV-1 from GORUCK
The MudGear Ruck Sock is also excellent – but taller (as you can see here.)

I give a slight edge to the MudGear Ruck Sock (Buy on Amazon) shown above. – it’s even more comfortable than the Darn Tough, with a nice stretch fit – but it is taller. I’m in Florida, so more exposed skin is better for me.

Won’t your feet be extra sweaty and hot?

Yes, but remember you are wearing boots – these aren’t very breathable in any case due to the leather.

I’ve done ruck marches of 6+ miles with both sizes and I think either works – just make sure you understand the fit – and take any additional steps needed.

GORUCK MACV-1 – No Break In Needed?

GORUCK claims these boots need little to no break in.

I agree – provided you make sure the fit is perfect.

To test this, I took a brand new pair of MACV-1 right out of the box and rucked 6.5 miles with them.

I did end up with one small blister on my left heel – but that’s because I didn’t account for the fact that my left foot is ever so slightly smaller than my right.

The right foot had no issues whatsoever.

(Usually if shoes give me an issue – it’s normally the left foot.)

I’ve also done 7 miles on the Coyote Sued pair in 11.5 – with no issues at all.

My foot does move around more in the bigger size – and that can lead to a little more foot muscle soreness the day after – but it’s not horrible.

Just remember this – fine tune the fit with extra socks and other steps as needed.

And to be clear, I DO NOT recommend you wear brand new boots to a GORUCK challenge event – or on any sort of long march.

Understand the fit for YOUR feet (left AND right), go on a short test hike, and adjust from there.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen2 Boot – Performance Features

Ok, so what makes a rucking boot?

That’s what we’ll talk about here. Let’s start with the new changes in the 2nd generation of the MACV-1 boot.

The MACV-1 boots now use “Challenge Leather” – which is also used in the GORUCK I/O Cross Trainers.

GORUCK MACV-1 lightweight rucking boot in Coyote Suede (6")
The upper in the MACV-1 uses "Challenge Leather" which is a hard wearing type of leather that should get better with time and usage.

What’s so great about Challenge Leather? GORUCK claims it is hard wearing and will get better with time and use.

GORUCK MACV-1 lightweight rucking boot in Coyote Suede (6")
Suede upper – looks great in Coyote Suede. My pair of boots is flawless – no nicks, scratches, or other problems out of the box.

This is our first look, so we can’t say for sure yet – but I can say I’m very pleased overall with the suede look in these boots.

GORUCK MACV-1 lightweight rucking boot in Coyote Suede (6")
Close-up of the suede upper in Coyote.

And if you are wondering the ankle area uses 1000D Cordura and nylon webbing for support.

GORUCK MACV-1 lightweight rucking boot in Coyote Suede (6")
1000D Cordura and Nylon Webbing are used for ankle support.

The second big new feature is the improved all-terrain outsole.

The original version of the MACV-1 took some heat over having a boot tread that was less than optimal for real world conditions off the trail.

Here’s what it looks like now.

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.

What you can’t see in these pictures is that the outsole uses a dual compound rubber.

The forefoot rubber is grippier for better traction, whilst the heel area is tougher for abrasion resistance and durability.

GORUCK MACV-1 Rucking Boot Toe Guard
The outsole wraps up around the toe for better protection in tough terrain – and for the inevitable PT you’ll be doing like push-ups and burpees.

You can also see there is a very generous toeguard – this will help provide extra protection when hiking in aggressive terrain, or when doing push-ups.

These boots have a very wide toe box.

And that’s a good thing because when you are going long distance your feet will swell.

GORUCK MACV-1 Rucking Lightweight Boot in Coyote Suede
The MACV-1 has a wide toe box – which works out better overall after your feet swell.

The wide toe box in the forefoot area gives you extra space to help reduce friction.

That will prevent your feet from rubbing too much against the sides of the boot.

Unlike your average boot, the MACV-1 uses thinner laces.

The 3mm speed laces are easier to tie, and won’t collect as much debris or mud when you go off road.

Long Term Update: Based on many people’s experience the stock laces are week – we recommend IRONLACES or a similar upgrade.

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot with 3mm Speed Laces
The 3 mm speed laces are much thinner than normal boot laces – and that means they are quicker to tie, don’t clog up with debris as much, and they dry out faster.

Standard boot laces are much bigger at 5mm (almost 50% bigger) and the speed laces will dry faster as well.

And by the way – these boots ARE NOT WATERPROOF.

In fact, the MACV-1 boot takes the opposite approach.

These are made to drain water rather than repel it.

Why is that? Because rucking often involves total immersion – and in those cases your waterproof boots do nothing but HOLD THE WATER IN.

And that means soggy, waterlogged feet – and “trench foot” after awhile.

GORUCK MACV-1 Jungle Rucking Boot has Drain Ports
Drain ports mean you can pump water out with every footstep. These are shielded so that sand and dirt can’t get inside the boot.

The MACV-1 actually have shielded drain ports.

The fine mesh keeps sand and dirt out – but you can pump water out with every foot step.

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot has Drain Ports
If you remove the workhorse insert (insole) you can see daylight through the drain ports. They are quite large too.

Let’s look at the ankle support.

In the ankle are 1000D Cordura and 2″ nylon webbing.

Ankle support in the GORUCK MACV-1 boot
The ankle uses 1000D Cordura and 2" Nylon Webbing for support.

As GORUCK explains, that webbing is actually sewn into the heel counter.

Closeup of the ankle of the GORUCK MACV-1 boot.
Closeup of the ankle of the GORUCK MACV-1 boot.

You might be wondering – what’s the “heel to toe drop” (or “offset” or “drop”) on these boots?

The GORUCK MACV-1 boot has a 13mm heel to toe drop that is chosen specifically for long distance endurance.

(This means your heel is 13mm higher than your toes.)

What’s the benefit of that?

As GORUCK explains, that 13mm offset reduces the strain on your achilles tendon and helps accommodate a natural gait on nearly any type of terrain.

Speaking of endurance and comfort, these boots have a lightweight EVA Midsole.

That combined with a custom compression insert means a lot of comfort.

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.

I can confirm that these boots have an exceptional amount of cushion.

That insert uses a dense compression foam system to supports your entire foot from heel to toe (including arch support.)

GORUCK MACV-1 boot uses a custom compression insert
Here’s the custom compression insert that works in conjunction with the EVA midsole to give a very pleasant feel.

Here’s another important factor for comfort.

The heel counter is lined with suede for comfort – and to reduce (or eliminate) break-in time.

Heel counter wrapped with suede in the MACV-1
Suede lined heel counter helps reduce or eliminate break-in time entirely.

It’s hard to get a photo of it, but you can see the grey suede material there – covering the entire heel counter.

Heel counter is lined with suede in the GORUCK MACV-1 boot

You can also see the GORUCK spearhead logo makes an appearance on this boot.

GORUCK spearhead logo on the MACV-1 Rucking Boot
Rocking the spearhead logo.

spearhead logo
The spearhead logo is engraved in the heel area too.

MACV-1 – Weak laces?

Here’s the only real recurring problem with the MACV-1 (as experienced by many wearers of this boot.)

The stock boot laces that come with the shoe aren’t very durable.

Keep in mind they are 3 mm diameter speed laces – and if you like to tie them tight – that can lead to lace breakage at the worst possible moment.

We’re currently testing out Iron Laces (Buy on Amazon) as a solution.

IRON LACES - unbreakable boot laces on GORUCK MACV-1 Ruck Boots - left and right 2
The MACV-1 boot on the right has IRONLACES – unbreakable boot laces – black in 54" length. The other boot has the stock laces.

These are crazy tough laces available in different colors and lengths.

These are guaranteed for life, and stronger than steel – even though they are only 3mm in diameter.

They won’t break, won’t stretch, won’t slip – and they are fireproof too.

IRON LACES - unbreakable boot laces on GORUCK MACV-1 Ruck Boots -  Tips on Toe 4
Closeup of IRON LACES

They are also waterproof and won’t freeze. It’s like a super boot lace.

By the way, the stock laces in the Men’s Size 11.5 MACV-1 Gen 2 boot is 58.5″.

I’ll be using the 54″ Iron Laces with mine.

Your other option might be to use paracord – that’s really tough too.

Iron Laces - unbreakable boot lace for GORUCK MACV-1
Iron Laces – unbreakable boot lace for GORUCK MACV-1

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Boot – Also Available in Black Leather

The Black Leather version of the MACV-1 boot is identical to the Coyote Suede version, just in different color leather.

GORUCK MACV-1 Jungle Rucking Boot in Black Leather
This excellent boot is also available in Black Leather (8" or 6" – with 6-inch being shown here.)

It’s also not suede.

It looks great and gets the job done.

GORUCK MACV-1 Black Leather with Workhorse Insert
Of course the Black Leather version has that same workhorse insert with excellent cushion and arch support.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Boot – Made in Vietnam

GORUCK makes a lot of their gear in the USA.

But the MACV-1 boots are not one of those items.

The fact is it is very hard to do high volume shoe or boot production in the US (and still have an affordable product) – we simply don’t have the factories for it.

GORUCK MACV-1 Boot - Made in Vietnam
The GORUCK MACV-1 boots are made in Vietnam, to GORUCK’s strict quality standards. They are covered by the SCARS lifetime guarantee.

As such, the MACV-1 boot is made in Vietnam.

As you can see mine curiously have the I/O Cross Trainer label. But the size is accurate.

The MACV-1 is covered by GORUCK’s SCARS lifetime guarantee.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Boot – Lightweight?

Ok, so GORUCK claims these are lightweight boots.

How lightweight are they?

My Size 11.5 pair weigh 20.2 ounces per boot.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Boot has an improved all-terrain outsole.
GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Boot has an improved all-terrain outsole.

That’s about 7 ounces heavier than cross training shoes like the Nike Metcon 5.

That’s about twice as heavy as lightweight running shoes (like the Nike React Flyknit 2).

And as far as boots go, that is fairly lightweight.

(Remember all things are relative.)

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen2 Boot – AR-670 Compliant?

The 6″ Coyote Suede version of the MACV-1 is not AR 670-1 compliant.

But the good news is that there is also an 8″ version that is!

GORUCK MACV-1 8" coyote suede is AR 670 1 compliant
The 8" version of Coyote Suede is AR 670-1 Compliant.

For those in the US Military that are interested in this boot – this is the version that you’ll want to look into.

What makes a boot AR 670-1 compliant?

In a nutshell, it must be tan/brown/coyote, it must be 8″, it must have rough-out leather, it must have a rubber sole, and the sole must be the same color as the upper.

So, as you can see the GORUCK MACV-1 Coyote Suede 8″ meets all those requirements.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen2 Boot – In Summary

GORUCK created a ground breaking boot with their original MACV-1 jungle rucking boot.

It was lightweight, required minimal break-in, and was useful for what it was meant to be.

The new generation 2 of the MACV-1 brings some new things to the table, like Challenge Leather, while leaving other things unchanged (such as the shielded drain ports.)

The 2nd generation has a new and improved outsole that is better focused on all-terrain usage.

Overall, the Coyote Suede version looks nice, feels good and should be a nice “light duty” boot.

We’ll have further updates in the near future.

GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Boot has improved all-terrain outsole.
The GORUCK MACV-1 Gen 2 Rucking Boot has an improved all-terrain outsole – and now uses an improved leather in the upper.

Why GORUCK Products?
We are a GORUCK affiliate – so if you order apparel, rucksacks, shoes, or equipment after clicking the links in this article we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. But that’s not why we recommend GORUCK. It’s because their equipment is innovative, built to last, and backed by their SCARS lifetime guarantee. They are the driving force behind rucking not just as exercise, but as a way to make people better. And that’s why we love them.

Photo Credits

  • Some product photos on this page are provided by, and property of GORUCK.

GORUCK MACV-1 Lightweight Boot in Coyote Suede (Gen 2)
GORUCK MACV-1 Lightweight Boot in Coyote Suede (Gen 2)

GORUCK MACV-1 6-inch black leather sole and side
The Black Leather version has the same improved all-terrain outsole.

2 Comments

  1. Just received my new Gen 2’s. My old Gen 1’s went over 2000 miles in 53 weeks. I definitely think they are well worth the money. I’m going to keep wearing the old boots on pavement and the new boots off pavement. I want to see how long they go till I wear a hole in them.

    • That’s awesome, thanks for the info. I’m loving mine so far, I have both black and coyote suede, but only about 2 dozen miles on each.

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