Joining the army and heading to basic training is one of the most exciting yet nerve-wracking times for new recruits. As you prepare your bags and say your goodbyes, a crucial decision is which pair of boots to take with you.

The right boots can make all the difference during the intense physical challenges of basic training.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Your best bet for army basic training boots are lightweight, supportive, well-cushioned boots like the Nike SFB, Belleville C390, or Garmont T8. Avoid heavy boots that require a break-in period.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about choosing the ideal boots for army basic training…

What To Look For In Army Basic Training Boots

Lightweight and Breathable

When choosing army basic training boots, it is important to look for ones that are lightweight and breathable. During training, soldiers are constantly on their feet, and heavy boots can quickly lead to fatigue and discomfort.

Lightweight boots not only make it easier to move around, but they also reduce the risk of foot and leg injuries. Additionally, boots with good ventilation help to prevent moisture buildup and keep the feet dry, reducing the risk of blisters and fungal infections.

Ankle Support and Cushioning

Another crucial factor to consider is ankle support and cushioning. Army basic training involves a significant amount of physical activity, including running, jumping, and navigating challenging terrains. Boots that provide proper ankle support can help prevent ankle sprains and other injuries.

Additionally, cushioning in the midsole and heel can absorb impact and provide added comfort during long marches or extended periods of standing.

Durability and Traction

Durability and traction are essential qualities to look for in army basic training boots. Soldiers often face harsh conditions and rugged terrains, so boots that can withstand wear and tear are a must.

Look for boots made from high-quality materials that are resistant to abrasion and can handle various weather conditions. Additionally, a good tread pattern on the outsole is crucial for providing excellent traction on different surfaces, including wet or slippery terrain.

Proper Fit

One of the most important aspects of choosing army basic training boots is ensuring a proper fit. Ill-fitting boots can cause discomfort, blisters, and even foot problems in the long run. It is recommended to try on boots in person and walk around to ensure they provide enough room for the toes to move freely without being too loose.

Remember to consider factors such as the width of the boot, arch support, and the option to add custom insoles if necessary.

For more detailed information and reviews on the best army basic training boots in 2023, you can visit reputable websites like Army Times or These websites offer valuable insights and recommendations based on expert opinions and user experiences, helping you make an informed decision.

Reviews of the Top Boots for Basic Training

Nike SFB Field 8″ Boots

When it comes to the best boots for basic training, the Nike SFB Field 8″ Boots are at the top of the list. These boots are known for their durability and comfort, making them a favorite among soldiers.

The high-cut design provides excellent ankle support, reducing the risk of injuries during rigorous training. The lightweight construction of these boots allows for greater mobility, ensuring that soldiers can move quickly and efficiently.

With a rugged outsole and water-resistant material, these boots are built to withstand the toughest conditions.

Belleville C390 Boots

The Belleville C390 Boots are another excellent choice for basic training. These boots are designed with a focus on comfort and durability. The Vibram outsole provides superior traction, making them ideal for various terrains.

The moisture-wicking lining keeps feet dry and comfortable, even during long training sessions. The Belleville C390 Boots are also built to last, with reinforced stitching and a tough leather upper. These boots offer the perfect combination of support, protection, and comfort.

Garmont T8 Boots

For soldiers looking for boots that can handle any terrain, the Garmont T8 Boots are a great option. These boots are designed for rugged environments and provide excellent traction and stability. The Vibram outsole is durable and offers superior grip, while the EVA midsole provides cushioning and support.

The Garmont T8 Boots also feature a quick-drying and breathable upper, keeping feet cool and dry in any condition. These boots are a reliable choice for soldiers in basic training.

Rocky C4T Boots

When it comes to lightweight and comfortable boots, the Rocky C4T Boots are hard to beat. These boots are made with durable materials that can withstand the demands of basic training. The synthetic upper is water-resistant and quick-drying, keeping feet dry in wet conditions.

The EVA midsole provides cushioning and shock absorption, reducing fatigue during long training sessions. The Rocky C4T Boots are also designed to be slip-resistant, ensuring stability and safety on various surfaces.

Bates Lites Boots

The Bates Lites Boots are a classic choice for basic training. These boots are known for their durability and comfort. The full-grain leather upper provides excellent protection and support. The cushioned insole and lightweight construction make these boots comfortable to wear for long periods.

The Bates Lites Boots also feature a slip-resistant outsole, ensuring stability and traction on different surfaces. These boots are a reliable option for soldiers going through basic training.

How To Break In and Care For Your Boots

Breaking In New Boots

When you first receive your new boots for Army basic training, it’s important to properly break them in to ensure maximum comfort and prevent blisters. Here are some tips to help you break in your boots:

  1. Start by wearing your boots around the house for short periods of time. This will allow your feet to get used to the fit and help soften the leather.
  2. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear your boots each day. This will help your feet adjust to the boots and prevent discomfort.
  3. If you experience any discomfort or areas of rubbing, try using moleskin or blister pads to provide extra cushioning and protection.
  4. Consider using boot stretchers or wearing thick socks to help widen the boots if they feel too tight.

Remember, breaking in your boots may take some time, so be patient. Taking the time to properly break them in will ensure that they fit comfortably and perform well during your training.

Caring For Your Boots During Basic

Proper care and maintenance of your boots during basic training is essential to keep them in good condition and prolong their lifespan. Here are some tips to help you care for your boots:

  • Keep your boots clean and dry. After each use, wipe off any dirt or mud and allow them to air dry. This will prevent the buildup of dirt and bacteria that can cause odors and damage to the leather.
  • Regularly apply a leather conditioner or boot oil to keep the leather soft and supple. This will help prevent cracking and extend the life of your boots.
  • Inspect your boots regularly for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any loose stitching or worn-out soles, take them to a professional cobbler for repairs.
  • When not in use, store your boots in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help prevent the leather from drying out and cracking.

By following these care tips, you can ensure that your boots stay in great condition throughout your Army basic training and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

What boots do they issue at basic training?

At basic training, recruits are typically issued standard military boots that are designed to provide durability and support in various environments. The specific type of boots may vary depending on the branch of the military and their current regulations.

For example, the U.S. Army often issues the “Army Combat Boot” or the “Hot Weather Army Combat Boot” to new recruits. These boots are designed to withstand rugged terrains, provide ankle support, and are made from materials that are resistant to water and other elements.

Can you wear your own boots to basic training?

In most cases, recruits are required to wear the boots issued by the military during basic training. This is to ensure uniformity and to maintain the standards set by the military. Wearing your own boots may not be allowed as they may not meet the necessary safety and performance requirements.

It’s important to remember that basic training is a time for individuals to learn and adapt to military life, and part of that process involves adhering to the regulations and guidelines set forth by the military.

What socks should you wear with army boots?

When wearing army boots, it’s crucial to choose the right socks to ensure comfort and prevent issues such as blisters. It’s recommended to wear moisture-wicking socks that are specifically designed for physical activities and prolonged wear.

These socks help to keep your feet dry by pulling moisture away from the skin. Additionally, choosing socks with padding in key areas, such as the heel and the ball of the foot, can provide extra cushioning and reduce friction.

Remember to avoid cotton socks, as they tend to retain moisture and can lead to discomfort or blisters.

For more information on army boots and basic training, you can visit the official websites of the respective military branches:


Heading to basic training in the right footwear is critical for performing your best and avoiding injuries. Look for lightweight, supportive boots that offer cushioning and ankle stability without excessive bulk.

Give yourself time to break in new boots before basic and take good care of them during training.

With the top-rated basic training boots reviewed above, you’ll be ready to take on any terrain, obstacle, or march that comes your way. Go get ’em, recruit!

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