Break in Your Boots of SUFFER... EVERYTHING you need to know to properly break in your boots!
When it comes to ruck marching, a key aspect of success is having properly broken-in boots and the right socks. Without the right preparation, your feet can quickly become blistered and sore, making it difficult to continue the march. In this blog post, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to break in your boots and choose the right socks to prevent foot injury.
1: Choose the Right Boots
Before you can break in your boots, you need to make sure you’ve chosen the right ones. When selecting boots for ruck marching, it’s important to look for those that provide good support and protection for your feet. Make sure they fit well and have enough room for your toes to move around comfortably. I LOVE the Garmont NFS boots, and highly recommend them if your looking for a place to start.
Step 2: Wear Them Around the House
Once you have your boots, start by wearing them around the house for short periods of time. This will help your feet get used to the feel of the boots and allow the boots to start molding to the shape of your feet. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear them until you can comfortably wear them for a few hours at a time.
3: Break Them in with Short Walks & Hikes
Next, start taking short walks in your boots. Begin with walks of just a few minutes and gradually increase the distance you walk each time. This will help your feet get used to the boots and will also help the boots to start molding to the shape of your feet. Once you’ve worn your boots for short walks and are comfortable in them, try wearing them on short hikes. This will give you a chance to see how the boots perform on uneven terrain and will help you get used to walking in them for longer periods of time.
4: Choose the Right Socks
Choosing the right socks is just as important as choosing the right boots. Look for socks that are specifically designed for ruck marching and provide good cushioning and support. Avoid cotton socks as they can hold moisture and increase the risk of blisters. Instead, choose socks made of synthetic or wool materials that wick away moisture and keep your feet dry. Another personal favorite and recommendation of mine are the Fox River Fatigue Fighters. These socks are the best I've found out there so far.
5: Gradually Increase the Distance
As you continue to wear your boots and socks, gradually increase the distance you walk in them. This will help you build up the strength and endurance you need for ruck marching. It will also give the boots and socks a chance to fully mold to the shape of your feet, which will help prevent blisters and other foot injuries.
6: Use Moleskin or Other Protective Measures
If you do start to experience discomfort or hot spots on your feet, use moleskin or other protective measures to prevent blisters. It’s also a good idea to keep your feet clean and dry during the break-in period to reduce the risk of infection.
By following these steps, you can properly break in your boots and choose the right socks to prevent foot injury during ruck marches. Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the distance you walk, and always prioritize your foot health. With the right preparation and care, you can successfully complete any ruck march that comes your way.
In addition to the traditional methods outlined above, there are some unique methods that soldiers have used to successfully break in their boots and prevent foot injury during ruck marches.
1. Soak Your Boots in Water
One method is to soak your boots in water and then wear them until they dry. This allows the boots to mold to the shape of your feet and can help prevent blisters. However, it’s important to note that this method should only be used with leather boots and not with boots made of synthetic materials
2. Use a Hairdryer
Another method is to use a hairdryer to heat up the boots before putting them on. This can help soften the leather and make it more pliable, allowing the boots to mold to the shape of your feet more easily.
3. Wear Two Pairs of Socks
Some soldiers have found success in wearing two pairs of socks during ruck marches. The first pair should be a thin, moisture-wicking sock to help keep your feet dry. The second pair should be a thicker sock to provide cushioning and support.
4. Use Lube or Powder
Using lubricant or powder on your feet can help reduce friction and prevent blisters. Some soldiers prefer to use Body Glide, a lubricant designed for athletes, while others opt for foot powder to keep their feet dry and reduce friction.
While these methods may not work for everyone, they have been used successfully by soldiers in the past. However, it’s important to remember that each person’s feet are unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s always best to start with traditional methods and gradually incorporate unique methods if needed.
Don't neglect your feet! They are one the most important pieces of equipment you have!!