Goruck Shoes Review: Ballistic Trainers & MACV-1 Boots

I’ve been a fan of Goruck for years, their bags (Commonly referred to as rucks) have gained a legendary reputation for their durability and sleek looks. I was really excited when I discovered they now offer footwear just as tough as their packs. Read on as we take a look at the Goruck Ballistic Trainers and MACV-1 Goruck Boots.


If you’ve ever had the good fortune to handle a Goruck pack, you’ll be pleased to notice the same bullet proof feel in both the Ballistic Trainers and MACV-1 Boots. The Ballistics feature 1680D Cordura uppers and a triple compound rubber outsole. Metal eyelets for the laces and 2 inserts depending on your arch support needs.

The MACV-1 boots reviewed have a full grain leather upper but are also available in suede. They also have metal eyelets with speed hooks for fast lacing. The high traction outsole is rubber and the midsole is a lightweight eva. 


The MACV-1 behaves like an athletic shoe with the support of a boot. Usually I feel like Frankenstein in a new pair of boots whereas these felt already broken in. Support in the ankle was adequate without sacrificing too much mobility when crouching. The tread pattern was just aggressive enough for the trail without feeling clunky on pavement.

The Ballistic Trainers are what I like in a gym shoe, simple and stable. The flat low drop on these made me feel more connected to the ground. Usually I go barefoot when squatting or deadlifting, but found I could keep these on and still feel stabilized through my lifts. Short distance running wasn’t an issue but I probably wouldn’t use these for prolonged jogging. 



I’m not really a fan of the overly “tacticool” look, and  thankfully Goruck was able to keep the aesthetics simple. The MACV-1 Boots have a very clean, unobtrusive vibe. They pair well with jeans, chinos, cargo shorts…you name it. The low profile outsole gets the job done, without being boastful. 

I really dig the Ballistic Trainers. In a world of foamed up outsoles that look like you stepped in glue and walked through a marshmallow patch, I appreciate the sleek, no nonsense look Goruck presents here. The brown gum bottom contrasts well with the black uppers. It’s a gym shoe that pretty much states, “I’m here to train, end of story.”



I was very excited to test out the Goruck Ballistic Trainers and MACV-1 Boots in this review. They do not disappoint and live up to the Goruck standards set by their famous packs. I would have liked to have seen them made in the states given the price point. The durability and build on both shoes is impeccable and a great alternative for someone jaded by contemporary footwear.

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