Personal Experience and Personal Preference
I have served in the Marine Corps going on five years now and during my time, I have experimented with different boots. I have worn Danner combat boots, Garmont military boots, and Belleville during hikes ranging from three to 15 miles, training scenarios, and all kinds of military exercises.
Based on all that combined experience mixed in with opinions from other Marines, I can honestly say that military boots are great options for hikers and backpackers. What you choose to wear is based on your personal preference, but as for me, every boot I wore provided a great level of comfort for me and supported my feet well. If you’re looking for recommendations, the boots described below each have their own advantages as military hiking boots.
Danner – Reckoning 8″ USMC Boots
We’ll start with a dedicated Marine Corps boot. The Danner Reckoning Boots are built for hot weather traversal in all kinds of terrain. If you really enjoy hiking, you can’t go wrong with a boot specifically designed for Marines expected to hike and ruck all over the place. They’re crafted in the USA and have a Vibram All-Terrain platform designed for comfort and superb shock absorption, even in mountainous conditions. Additionally, the moisture-wicking air mesh lining allows airflow within your boots for long term comfort on the trail.
Garmont– T8 Extreme GTX Boots
Another military boot capable of tacking the terrain is the Garmont T8, a bestseller among military servicemembers. Designed for hiking in cold weather environments these boots offer Gore-Tex insulation to prevent moisture from soaking through whether it’s raining or snowing. The Bicram sole offers plenty of traction, stability, and shock reduction in nearly all environments. Plus, the suede leather fabric assists with heat transfer, helping keep your feet warm if you like hiking in snowy mountains or terrain.
Rocky Boots – Havoc Commercial Military Boots
Going for a hike on rough terrain? If so, these Rocky military boots are for you. With their shock-absorbing footbed to cushion and conform to your foot, you can hike with comfort. In addition, the boots are constructed with a fiberglass shank that allows support and a more natural movement to ease stress in your arches. It’s a lightweight, durable boot with plenty of support in a variety of conditions, making it perfectly viable for hiking.
Altama – Vengeance SR-8 Side Zip Boots
These Altama military boots have a a feature that sets them apart from other boots in this article. The side zipper allows you to take them on or off with ease, plus the gusseted tongue keeps dirt and debris out if you’re on a particularly difficult or uphill trail.. They’re also made of full grain leather and high quality fabrics, which only grows more beautiful with age as the leather burnishes and becomes well worn.
Belleville Boots – Khyber Lightweight Waterproof Tactical Boots
These Belleville boots have a highly cushioned, shock-absorbent midsole and an outsole made of 100% Vibram Ibex to give you an edge on rugged terrain. I like its aggressive lace-to-toe style that allows for a more customized fit. Something else you’ll love about this boot is its waterproof and bloodborne pathogen-proof membrane, which protects the inside of the boot from potentially harmful substances that leeches through the boot and onto your skin. So if the next trail you tackle is in swampy or muddy conditions, this is the boot for you.