Rucking, loosely defined as the act of carrying heavy shit over a great distance, is a full-body, Navy SEAL-approved workout that burns more fat than running.
It strengthens shoulders and straightens spines — without putting too much load on the knees — and has been described by some of its most vocal supporters as “cardio for people who hate to run, and lifting for people who hate the gym.”
This isn’t really a wrong way to do it, provided you have a supportive backpack and decent walking shoes. But considering the exercise involves performing one of the most uncomfortable tasks known to man, it’s in your best interest to pick up some comfortable, reliable equipment.
GORUCK is your one-stop shop there. The Jacksonville brand makes special ops-grade rucksacks, boots and trainers, all equipped to handle the rigors of the trail (or, in some cases, diabolical “weighted treadmill hikes.”) Plus, they’ve long maintained a partnership with Huckberry, which has led to limited-edition collabs.
Below, find some of our top picks for jumpstarting your new routine. The best part about this stuff? Each piece is built for rucking, but can easily pull double-duty in either cross-training or casual affairs. Your cash is going the extra mile here. Literally.
GORUCK Ballistic Trainers
The exterior here is made from Cordura, which is actually more abrasion-resistant than Kevlar, while the outsole is constructed from triple compound rubber, with a wide, grippy base. This shoe can heed the call for a rucking adventure, but it’s also a bang-up functional fitness shoe. We were happily surprised, also, by its flexibility; you wouldn’t expect those materials to be so malleable, but this trainer move with you.
GORUCK x Huckberry Slick GR1
This is GORUCK’S iconic rucksack, first released nearly a decade ago, replete with a rainproof exterior and zippers that have been tested in Middle Eastern sandstorms. It’s been strength-tested at up to 400 pounds, but we recommend starting easy, with a 25-pound plate, dumbbell or kettlebell.
Jedburgh Rucking Boots
Named for the select group of Allies who preempted the Normandy landings and created havoc for Nazis behind enemy lines, these boots are woven from a recycled polyester that’s three times stronger than traditional canvas. It dries five times faster, too, and never loses its shape. Not to mention, check out the EVA foam at the midsole, which gives the boot running shoe-level cushioning. For multi-day treks, you will find nothing better.
Rucker 4.0 – 20L Standard Frame
Reflective stripes, extra-padded shoulder straps, handles every which way, MOLLE webbing and all-black Cordura…this is as sexy as rucking gets. When you’re not on an outdoor adventure, bring this thing to the airport. It packs well, and turns eyes like nobody’s business.
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