Rucking is a unique exercise that has garnered much popularity in recent years. Having the right gear is essential for getting the most out of this challenging workout. This includes comfortable boots, supportive socks, sturdy pants and shirts, a hat, and a reliable rucking backpack. It would also be beneficial to have a detailed workout plan at hand if you’re a beginner.
A good rucking pack will also be comfortable to wear for long periods of time, even when it is loaded with extra weight. We’ve tested many of these bags ourselves and have reviewed the best options below.
Rucking is a tough workout that builds both endurance and strength. Whether you are military or just someone who likes to trek and explore, rucking can be an excellent addition to your training regimen. It is easier on your knees than running and helps build strong, stable legs and a durable core. But in order to get the most out of this challenging exercise, you need comfortable boots.
Boots with a good fit are necessary to prevent blisters and other discomfort while you’re rucking. They should hug your foot snugly, but not so tight that they’re uncomfortable or restrict your movement. The toe box should be wide enough to allow your feet to splay naturally when you walk, but not too loose that they rub against the front of the shoe or boot. You also want to make sure that the heel doesn’t dig into the back of your ankle or Achilles tendon.
For the best rucking shoes, look for something that is lightweight but still durable and sturdy. Look for a combination of materials, such as leather and heavy-duty nylon or Cordura, to ensure that your footwear can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Durability is especially important if you’re planning on rucking in hot weather.
Another essential feature of a good pair of rucking shoes is that they are breathable and well-ventilated. If your boots are too tight or don’t have enough ventilation, your feet will become sweaty and uncomfortable very quickly. This is why a pair of socks that wicks moisture away from your feet is so important. Look for socks made from merino wool, which not only keeps your feet warm and dry, but they also help prevent chafing and blisters.
A good pair of socks are one of the most necessary rucking gear, since your feet take the brunt of the day’s march. Proper socks will prevent blisters, and it can also help you to perform better.
Your socks should be made from a material that wicks moisture away and doesn’t retain it. Merino wool is a great option, as it preserves heat in the winter and keeps your feet cool in the summer. It’s also naturally antibacterial and resists odor, so it’ll keep your feet fresh and dry.
It’s best to avoid cotton socks, as they retain moisture and cause sweat to build up around your feet. This can lead to blisters, so it’s important to have socks that will wick away moisture and odor.
These socks are designed to be worn with tactical boots in mind, so they’re a perfect fit for rucking. They’re lightweight, breathable, and feature an elastic arch support to prevent bunching or sliding. These socks are also comfortable to wear, and they don’t have any irritating seams or extra fabric.
You’ll want a sock that fits tightly around your foot and leg, so it won’t slip. The tight fit will keep your feet from moving too much, preventing them from rubbing against each other and creating blisters. The tightness of the sock can be adjusted, so you can find the right amount of stretch for your needs.
While they’re not as durable as other rucking socks we tested, these Danish Endurance socks are a good choice for anyone who’s just starting out. They’re made from a blend of natural and synthetic materials, which makes them affordable and durable enough for rucking. They’re also lightweight, breathable, and provide good compression to improve blood circulation.
Moisture-Wicking T-Shirt or Tank Top
The perfect shirt for rucking is one that’s moisture-wicking. Moisture wicking fabrics use microscopic fibers to pull sweat and perspiration away from the body, helping it evaporate more quickly so you stay cooler and drier. These shirts are usually made from synthetic fabric, since natural materials like cotton don’t have this capability.
The best moisture wicking t-shirts and tank tops are engineered to feel great in a wide range of activities. They’re also crafted to resist color-fading, wrinkles, and snags for long-lasting wear. These features will make them a great option for hiking, running, biking, or other workouts that can cause you to build up a lot of sweat.
When choosing a moisture-wicking shirt for rucking, look for one that’s specifically designed for this activity. For example, the Outdoor Research Echo is built from a lightweight and quick-drying AirVent fabric that is treated with the anti-odor agent Polygiene to keep you feeling fresh. It’s also crafted with flatlock seams and raglan sleeves so it will not chafe against your arms when carrying the heavy weight of a backpack.
Another top to consider is this Joe’s USA long sleeve wicking shirt, which is highly-rated by Amazon reviewers and comes in a variety of colors. This style has a soft, comfortable nylon and polyester fabric that wicks away sweat and is available in regular sizes XS-4XL.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly moisture-wicking shirt that still feels comfortable to wear, this Jessie Kidden button-up shirt is a great option. It’s made from a soft, stretchy polyester material that wicks sweat, dries quickly, and resists snags for lasting wear. This shirt is also available in regular sizes XS-4XL and is perfect for hiking, sightseeing on vacation, or weekend jaunts.
When you go rucking at night, you need to make sure you are visible. It is easy to get lost in the dark, and if you are walking along the road during sunrise or sunset, it can be even harder for drivers to see you. These reflective bands from GORUCK will help keep you safe by reflecting light back at vehicles. They attach to the external MOLLE of your ruck and are easily adjustable.
Another necessary accessory for rucking at night is the HVS-V, created by Todd Forkner (aka Gear N8tion). This strap goes over the bottom of your ruck and stretches around to the front. When you are rucking, it keeps your arms and hands free to carry things like a compass, phone, and map, while still giving you visibility. You can also use it to hold a flashlight or lantern.
If you are going to be rucking in the dark, it’s also a good idea to bring a survival kit. These kits are usually pretty compact and include everything you need to survive in the outdoors, like a poncho, sleeping bag, blanket, firestarter, and more. These kits are great for beginners or advanced ruckers, as they can be used to supplement your existing gear or as a backup in case you lose some of your equipment.
A hydration pack is also important, as it will allow you to stay hydrated throughout the day and will prevent your legs from becoming too dry. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a hydration pack, you can make one yourself with some duct tape and a plastic water bottle. You can even get a special hydration pack that has built-in storage for tools, first aid items, and other supplies.
A high-quality backpack is essential for rucking. You’ll want to find one that has a frame sheet that helps to distribute the weight evenly across your shoulders and back. The frame sheet may be contoured or flat, depending on your preference and how much the pack weighs. It’s also important to consider how many compartments the bag has and if it can accommodate a laptop. If you’re planning on participating in sanctioned events or workout challenges that require you to remove your ruck, handles on the top and bottom of the bag are a necessity.
A padded and breathable back panel, a chest strap, and a waist belt are necessary features to look for in a good rucksack. They help to evenly distribute the weight of the backpack and make it more comfortable for long walks. It’s also a good idea to find a pack with a lot of external pockets and attachment points, which you can use for things like hydration bladders, ruck weights, and radio accessories.
If you choose a bag with a MOLLE system, it can enable you to attach rucking accessories and other pouches without having to fold the shoulder straps. The MOLLE system is also useful for attaching a chest harness, which can add additional stability to your rucking.
The best rucking backpacks will be made from quality materials with heavy-duty reinforced stitching. They should be waterproof and include a lifetime warranty. If you’re on a budget, you can still get a great rucking backpack by finding one that is durable and fits your needs. Some of these backpacks are even designed for travel and are TSA compliant, which is a win-win for anyone who loves to ruck in the airport.