With millions of shoe designs on the market, finding a shoe or boot that’s perfect for a single activity isn’t hard. However, finding a perfect shoe or boot for every activity is the hard part – and that’s where the GORUCK Jedburgh Rucking boot comes in.
The Jedburgh Teams, also known as “Jedburghs,” that inspired these kicks were legendary commandos from WW2 known for their ability to sneak into any environment in 2 to 3 person teams, then run, shoot, and move in a way that disrupted entire armies.
That is the inspiring idea GORUCK had in mind – a boot made for any environment and capable of doing anything.
As an adventure traveler, this is the kind of gear I hunt for and recommend. Gear that looks good, a little rough around the edges, but stylish and understated – but at the same time, is ready for any workout, trek, or motorbike adventure I can throw at them.
Did the Jedburgh Rucking boots meet the standard?
Absolutely. As I write this review, I’m sitting on a hilltop having a coffee, staring at a volcano after a motorbike ride in the rain wearing the Jedburghs…and my feet feel solid.
Read on to discover the best and worst of the new Jedburgh boots, who I recommend them for, and why they’re solid for travel.
Note: This article contains affiliate links
QUICK VERDICT ON THE JEDBURGH RUCKING BOOT
GORUCK JEDBURGH RUCKING BOOTS REVIEW
The Jedburgh rucking boots are a solid creation true to their inspiration (the Jedburgh teams). From my experience, this boot is just as great for everyday wear as it is for hiking and adventuring. The aesthetic and style make them a good option for urban and daily wear. Last, the lightweight and packable nature make them a great option for travelers that split their time between city and backcountry.
All in all, these boots have become one of my two favorite pairs. They live up to the Jedburgh teams’ “ready for anything” reputation, and I can’t recommend them enough.
Read on to discover more about my experience with the Jedburgh Rucking boots.
Or, visit GORUCK to see available sizes and colors before they sell out.
Style | Fit – Vintage and “rough around the edges” urban style looks good, to accent a modern fit
Performance – Feels good out of the box, wicks water, breathes, still feels good after a full day of wear in normal life, rucking/hiking, or adventuring
Price | Value – At $175 pricier than most, but expect a long life from these boots and they’ll be the only boot you need, wearable as a shoe too
Comfort – Comfortable out of the box, but the deception canvas toe box will mold to your foot. Heavy hikers should try sizing up by 1/2
Durability – TBD but given the materials and build, I expect a long life
Material | Construction – Recycled polyester canvas, dual rubber compound sole for max traction and durability, and custom insole. Awesome materials/construction.
PROS | CONS OF THE GORUCK JEDBURGH RUCKING BOOT
Bridge is a little tight at first but breaks in well thanks to the adaptiveness of Deception Canvas
Stylish in an urban sense – translates to versatile wear
Lightweight yet solid build in uppers and soles
Comfortable, and comfort increases after a quick break-in as deception canvas molds to foot
Formed fit over bridge makes “loose lace” wear easy and possible
DON’T FORGET YOUR GORUCK EARNED SERVICE DISCOUNT
Be sure to check out our list of GORUCK discounts and coupon codes to see if your earned service (veteran, LEO, firefighter, teacher, or student) qualifies you for a 15% discount, and how to get it.
FULL GORUCK JEDBURGH BOOT REVIEW
THE STORY OF THE JEDBURGH TEAMS
While the Nazi army was sweeping across Germany during World War II, just one day before the D-Day amphibious invasion, the Allied Armies released a secret weapon – the Jedburgh teams.
The Jedburgh teams were multi-national 2 to 4 man commando teams with personnel from the US, Canada, the UK, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands with a simple yet incredibly dangerous mission – parachute into Nazi-controlled territory and cause as much chaos as possible.
With the motto of “surprise, kill, vanish,” these near superhuman warriors in tiny teams cut off entire supply lines to the Nazi army, trained and formed rebel fighting units, and created so much havoc that they distracted the Nazi Army.
286 men divided into 93, in enemy territory with no more than what they carried in their packs were able to disrupt one of the most fearsome military machines the world had seen.
Those were the Jedburghs.
During their mission, they improvised and adapted, covering every type of terrain in Europe to attack and avoid capture, capable of any mission required to disrupt the Nazis and aid the allied troops’ continued advancement.
JEDBURGHS INSPIRING THE GORUCK JEDBURGH BOOT
This story that is so grand it seems fictional is what inspired the Jedburgh boots.In my option, the execution and function of these boots stay true to the mission and mission of the Jedburghs.
Compared to other “hiking boots” and even the MACV-1’s, these boots thrive on more varied terrain and feel better on my feet during long periods. The Jedburgh boots thrive on urban terrain and “hard-ball” roads (like the small villages the Jedburgh teams assaulted and sabotaged in) as well as trail and backcountry (like the forests where many Jedburgh ambushes took place). Thanks to the comfort and function, this single pair of boots are versatile enough for any situation and extended use without complaints – just like the Jedburghs.
JEDBURGH BOOTS FOR TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE
Over the past couple of months, I’ve tested the Jedburgh boots as often as I can and paid attention to how often I instinctually reach for them when I’m not testing – and they’ve easily become my favorite all-around boot.
Right now, I live in Bali, Indonesia (waiting for global travel to reopen). This island of volcanoes presents all kinds of rugged opportunities to hike outside between surf sessions. Daily life is lived by motorbike, making hour-long rides on sketchy roads between scuba diving Beach territory and sacred volcano-filled highlands. By all standards, daily life here in Bali is adventurous travel.
This is the perfect testing ground for the Jedburghs. The Jedburgh design and intentions one-ups the MACV-1 and other boots because they’re made to perform equally hiking and rucking as in other urban adventures – and they’ve lived up to it.
Beyond the function, these boots are lightweight and packable, making them great for lightweight, carry on only travelers, and “one bag” travelers like me.
HIKING AND RUCKING
Though my volcano hike to test the Jedburghs got rained out, miles of walking everywhere else, on-street and trail, with the Jedburgs and a light pack (~25lbs) showed that they are designed first as a hiking and rucking boot.
These shoes are insanely light at 1 lb, 5 to 15 ounces lighter than your average boot. Despite the soles still feel sturdy. Not “stuff” in a way that traps your foot, but sturdy, just supportive enough to give an assist when you’re under heavyweight. If you travel a lot and get outside, trekking or adventuring on your feet for long hours, a sturdy, supportive sole is what you want. Here’s why…
Though I do love barefoot shoes in daily life – I still highly recommend the Xero Z-Trail, and I often run in New Balance Minimus shoes – you only want minimal support shoes when you have no weight, when you’re on natural surfaces (unpacked dirt), and when you’re not tired. Those are the situations the human foot was designed for without shoes.
However, if you are carrying weight, your feet aren’t naturally designed for that extra load and you want to support. If you’re moving on hard surfaces, like dirt-packed from thousands of feet, or asphalt, your feet aren’t designed for repeated impact on that. Last, if you’re tired from walking 10 to 15 miles in a day, and those tiny muscles that support the tiny bones in your feet are too smoked to work properly, you’re setting yourself up for stress fractures in your feet.
As unconventional as those situations sound – if you like to have fun outside, those situations aren’t uncommon. A weighted pack and a long walk are exactly what hiking the Himalayas or Yosemite over a week is. That’s exactly what exploring Paris, New York, or London by foot over a 10 hour day is. And that’s what a backpacking trip around the world is.
So this is why I’ve fallen in love with the Jedburghs. They feel great daily, but have been perfect for weekend adventures. I’d trust taking them on my favorite adventures over the last few years – trekking to Everest Base Camp and motorbiking the wild parts of the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos – which is my standard for recommending shoes.
WEARING THE JEDBURGHS IN DAILY LIFE
For as good as these shoes have been on hikes and weekend adventures, they’ve been just as solid in daily life.
These things are actually stylish if you don’t mind the “rough around the edges” look in daily life.Jeans, a t-shirt, and a flannel or field jacket are part of my normal dress code, so I love how I can wear these from morning to evening.
The lightweight of the shoe makes them comfy and unnoticeable throughout the day.
These fitted and slightly snug fit make it possible to wear these boots untied, which is clutch for daily wear.
First, being able to wear a boot loosely laced gives it a more casual and stylish look that looks let military and more casual, thus more versatile in style.
Second, here in Asia, you have to remove your shoes every time you enter a house, a temple, and sometimes a business. This doesn’t sound like much but untie and re-tie your shoes 10 times in a day, and you may start to lose your mind. However, because of the Jedburghs fit, you can wear them laced loose, and they still hug your feet enough to be functional and comfortable but slide off easily.
As a boot, the lightweight, fit, and look make them very easy to wear.
TRAVELING IN THE JEDBURGH BOOTS
The Jedburgh boots have been very solid for the short travels I have been able to do recently. Usually, weekend adventures or motorbiking day trips with a little hiking.
First off, for long days of wear from sunup to sundown, they remained comfortable and kept my feet feeling fresh, thanks to the support extremely lightweight of the boot. Add a pair of light to medium weight wool socks, and your feet will easily stay. This adds up to a boot that allows you to comfortably cover more ground in a day – think walking tours, 48-hour airplane transit with walks through the 5 different airports to entertain yourself, or backpacking through South America with one pair of boots for city travel and hiking.
Secondly, the aesthetic (which I’ll get into later) makes these boots super versatile. Instead of doing the “shoes + boots + flip flops” set up for travel, you could easily do Jedburghs + sandals, as long as you don’t plan on raiding Michelin star restaurants in France – if you do, pair these with the packable **Glyphs**, and you’re covered.
Third, these shoes are extremely light – like, tennis shoe level light – limiting the amount of weight you have to clear at the airport check-in kiosk. If you’re traveling with weight limits or “one bagging” with carry on only, that extra couple pounds are very helpful. Additionally, the shoes pack down like a tennis shoe thanks to the flexible deception canvas uppers with no mesh lining that folds over easily. This is great compared to regular, bulky hiking boots that don’t fold over at all and take up tons of space in your bag.
Last, these boots are clearly durable and have a long life ahead of them, so if you take these on a year backpacking around the world, you definitely won’t need to worry about replacing them – they’ll just keep forming to your foot better and better. I make this judgment based on 1) how sturdy the shoes feel on my feet and no issues thus far and 2) the build quality of the predecessor MACV-1 boots, which I own, use, and have had zero problems with.
The bottom line is these boots are perfect for travel and long adventures thanks to their lightweight, packability, and versatile aesthetic.
CATEGORGY BY CATEGORY REVIEW OF THE JEDBURGH RUCKING BOOTS
I have a normal to narrow foot, and size 9 in Converse Chuck Taylor’s is my all-time favorite classic shoe as a reference.
By comparison, the Jedburghs fit just snuggly, hugging the foot over the top of the bridge and with a shorter toe (in height). Even untied and loosely laced, the Jedburghs stay in place enough to walk in.
If you want a 100% hiking-worthy shoe that has enough room in the toe box for walking steep downhill trails without banging your toe on the end of the toe box, go a one-half size up.
Beyond that, the fit, hugging the foot just enough without being restrictive, is what makes these shoes so great for daily wear.
I’ll warn again, if you have wide or thick feet, the narrow nature of these may not work for you, so test the fit in the house before rucking.
Function and Features
So far, I’ve hiked (weightless), rucked, Adventurer (mostly motorbiked), and generally worn the boots daily.
You could wear these boots barefoot briefly, but I wouldn’t 100% recommend it. These boots perform best with lightweight wool socks for daily wear. One pair of medium-weight wool socks will get you to buy with about 3 days of wear without a wash in these boots, so plan accordingly.
Super sturdy and supportive insoles + 2-inch webbing for ankle support
I am a huge fan of minimalist shoes. I commonly run in the minimalist New Balance Minimus and carry the Xero Trail sandals when traveling. However, for lengthy adventures – think 12+ hours of hiking in a day – or adventures on foot with weight – think trekking in the Himalayas or rucking for a workout – I always opt for ankle and arch support.
The beauty of ankle support on long, weighted adventures
Yes, humans did evolve with amazingly complex feet intended for moving barefoot. However, our bodies (including feet) didn’t evolve to carry 45lbs loads day after day in unfamiliar conditions. Though it would be a great workout, hiking for extended periods under a load on uneven trails while fatigued puts you at serious risk of rolling an ankle when you hit a pothole but are too fatigued to react. The solution is ankle support.
The Jedburgh’s use the standard military boot approach of a thick but lightweight piece of 2-inch webbing that is situated to act like an extra tendon holding your ankle together. This way, when you slip on mile 9 of a hike and your muscles are too tired to react, that support ensures you don’t hurt your ankle.
Additionally, the back of the boot is just as supportive with reinforced canvas and a solid suede heel counter that holds your foot snuggly in place
And thanks to the military-style speed lacing, for most of my hikes, I simply unlace the boot halfway and tie around the ankle to allow more ankle movement and range of motion if I feel like my feet are fresh enough. This way, I get the best of both worlds.
The value of arch support
The same idea of maintaining sufficient support while fatigued applies to the feet in addition to the ankle. I love a good barefoot walk on the beach or in the grass as I can feel my feet engaging and working more. However, walk 10 miles in a day and those tiny muscles in your feet that aren’t conditioned as the hunter gatherer’s from 7,000 years ago, and you may have some issues. Fatigued muscles in your feet don’t fire as efficiently as you walk, setting you up for – at best – an uncomfortable hike and -at worst – foot injuries, including tears and stress fractures as your foot repeatedly hits the ground improperly.
GORUCK gear is built with Army Special Forces missions and training in mind, which includes A LOT of walking, so they’re extremely familiar with this concept – which is why these shoes have insoles custom-designed for GORUCK footer.
Put on the Jedburgh’s, and you’ll immediately feel that despite how light they are, these shoes are STURDY. This is thanks to the durable midsole and outsole, but also thanks to the “Workhorse Insert” insole. Normally shoes use a cheap insert with foam diluted with water for cost reasons resulting in something light and flimsy that will collapse with wear. You can feel it when you buy new boots, which is why many outdoorsy types opt for solid inserts like Superfeet for support, costing an extra $35 to $45.With the Jedbugh’s and the whole MACV-1 line, you don’t have to buy extra inserts because the stock one is that solid.
The Jedburgh and MACV-1 Workhorse Insert is made of two separate high-quality undiluted foams – one foam is a soft, comfortable, yet resilient one like in the beefy shoulder straps of the GR1 backpack. The other is a more dense and super-tough foam that is supportive and holds shape through the life of the boot. To top it off, each batch of inserts is custom cut to each size of boots shape for a perfect fit.
Did I just write a lot about arch and foot support – yup. Why? Because in the tens of boots I’ve worn, the factors that made them most adventure worthy were comfort and performance on those last few miles of the hike, and how many years I could get out of them – because once I break in a pair of boots I want them to last forever.
The foot and ankle support on the Jedburghs, thanks to design and construction, is awesome. You’ll be hard-pressed to find better.
All around lightweight
“One pound on your foot is like five pounds on your back” is the backcountry adage that sums up the idea that weight on your feet will tire you out and slow you down MUCH more than you think. Shaving ounces off your boot is one of the easiest ways to save energy and make your hike more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, most hiking boots sacrifice being lightweight for being beefy and durable. Though durability is non-negotiable, the optimal situation is to balance the two, and GORUCK did that with the Jedburghs.
At 16 ounces per boot, this boot is just 2.5 ounces heavier than the Nike Air Max shoe, which is designed to be extremely lightweight and comfortable for basketball without the durability.
By contrast, the Lowa Renegade Pro, one of my favorite “lightweight hiking books,” is 3.5 ounces heavier at 19.5 ounces per shoe.
The Merrel Moab Ventilator, another super popular hiking shoe that was common amongst teammates in Afghanistan and Iraq, clocks in at 31 oz.! Nearly twice the weight of the Jedburgh, without the ankle support and without the durability.
A boot being lightweight should be a non-negotiable point, and the Jedburgh leads the pack at only 16 oz.
Breathable: Draining eyelets, breathable canvas
I learned the hard way that waterproofing is bad when I was partway through a weeklong trek in Patagonia because 1) waterproof shoes not only keep moisture out but also keep moisture in, and 2) breathable waterproofing isn’t breathable.
The solution is to get a non-waterproof, fully breathable boot.
Now, here’s the logic behind reasons #1 and reasons #2
When I was hiking through Patagonia for a week, my waterproofed boots were great until I accidentally stepped into a river on day 2. To my surprise, the outside of my boots dried, but the inside never did because there was no way for the water to escape. By day, my feet did warm up the water, but the waterproofing (Goretex) didn’t allow it out quickly enough to evaporate before night hit, and the boots cooled, trapping the water in for the night. Having thick wool socks saved me from blisters, but one week in cool, wet boots every morning taught me a hard lesson.THAT is why I avoid waterproofed boots now.
However, I would have thought that the “breathable waterproofing” of Goretex would have saved me, allowing the vapor from my feet to escape. In actuality, the Gore-tex acted like a trash bag wrapped around my feet, releasing the warmed water too slowly to beat the cool nightfall. Yes, Goretex is excellent for some applications, like waterproof jackets, gloves, and rain shells, but with something that sweats as much as feet and the risk of clumsily stepping into rivers, your best strategy is to let it in when it’s forcing its way in, and let it out just as easily.
For massive flows of water (like my little river), the eyelets on the Jedburghs allow for quick drainage. For the sweat from your feet and vapor that hangs around, the porous nature of the deception canvas has done well at keeping my feet dry, whether I’m wool socking it or sockless.
Though I’ve only been testing the Jedburgh rucking boots a couple of months, I’ve had enough gear and boots fail on me that I can tell good from problem-ridden very quickly. The Jedburgh boots have materials and build that can be expected to last as long as a good boot and much longer than a shoe.
The dual-compound sole rubber approach served just as well on my motorbike as it does on my Xero Z-Trails (which I still own and use after 4 years of use).
The glue that holds these shoes together is the same as the MACV-1’s, so I trust “falling apart” will never be an issue.
I will keep this section updated as the year goes on.
Deception Canvas: Tightly woven recycled polyester with a vintage look
From my experience wearing, the duck canvas loosens very slightly, shaping to my foot well over the first week. The canvas handled a 1.5 hour-long motorbike ride through the rain and actually kept my feet dry the entire way. On arrival, a short sit in the sun-dried the boots quickly.
According to GORUCK, this eco-friendly recycled polyester canvas is 3x more tear-resistant than duck canvas and dries 5x faster than duck canvas too.
The look of the deception canvas material is vintage – somewhat rough and ready without having the military look of smooth black leather or roughed out leather look of the Iraq/Afghanistan war-era military boots. The canvas does tend to pick up a bit of dirt if hiking on dry trails, but I have no problem with that.
The cut of the boots is smart as well. The more snug fit of the bridge and toe box gives a slightly more fashionable cut (like an urban shoe), making the boot look more natural in daily wear.
The cut of the boot is high enough to offer ankle support, for when you’re tired of scrambling/hiking weighted on an uneven trail, but just short enough to maintain a fashionable aesthetic.
These boots actually look good enough for urban wear and not in a forced way. I normally opt for black, but the grey is just as stylish and versatile without looking military.
The ability to wear the boots loosely laced adds quite a bit of style options too.
- Coyote (Light Brown)::
MATERIALS, BUILD AND DURABILITY
Deception Canvas uppers are eco-friendly, breathable, adjust to the foot, and feel fairly solid
Super lightweight yet heavy-duty outsole make a shoe just 2.5 ounces heavier than your nikes
High traction yet durable outsole thanks to dual compound rubber: Dual-compound rubber uses stickier high traction rubber on the toe and more durable rubber on the heel – similar to dual-compound high-performance motorbike tires. This translates to a high traction shoe for toe-oriented activities – hiking, climbing, running, and durability for more common and less intense heel strike activities, like walking, flat ground rucking, and daily life. So, these shoes perform (with traction) when you need, but are built to last.
Custom workhouse insole insert by GORUCK outdoes the industry standard with a soft memory form layer and a firmer layer that beneath that won’t flatten like other standard inserts.
Roomy toe box, compared to shoes. After the break-in period, the shoe had plenty of room for the natural foot swell that happens after long hikes, at high elevation, and after long days on your feet.
13mm heel drop, referred to as GORUCK’s “rucking offset” take the stress of your tendons when hiking
Simplicity in design and as little as functionally possible – no spacer mesh means less material to trap moisture, dry slowly, and get funky.
“No break-in time” however, the fit gets better with wear. Just like on my GR3, the outer material softened and moved with my body while staying supportive.
2″ webbing ankle support, for weighted movements (rucking, trekking) and stability in scrambling or lateral movements (prevents sprains and rolled ankles) when you’re feet and ankles become fatigued on long hikes and walks
The features and comfort make this boot tie with my Lem’s Boulder boot, but the Jedburgh are far more functional.
However, for travel, function, and durability, the GORUCK Jedburgh rucking boots have become my favorite.
GORUCK MACV-1 VS. JEDBURGH RUCKING BOOTS
Though the MACV-1 and the Jedburgh boot have a lot of the same DNA, the subtle differences make the Jedburgh much more suitable for urban wear and the MACV-1 exceptionally suited for rucking.
The MACV-1 has a larger toe box in width, length, and height; this extra room allows for more foot spray and natural foot swelling without your toes touching the tip of the shoe.
The Jedburgh, on the other hand, hugs the top of your foot and has a smaller toe box which is what allows for loosely laced wear. Additionally, the deception Canvas stretches slightly over time and molds to the shape of your foot.
Both shoes use the same lightweight yet sturdy outsole and cust insole for a solid amount of support with very little weight.
All in all, though I love the MACV-1 for hiking and rucking, I prefer the Jedburgh as a travel, adventure, and daily wear boot.
JEDBURGH COMPARED TO OTHER BOOTS
The Jedburgh is one of the lightest boots I’ve worn, while its arch and ankle support punches far above its weight. The only boot I’ve worn that is nearly this comfortable was the Lem’s Boulder boot. Though the Lem’s boulder boot is comfy and packable, the lack of ankle and arch support limit it to unweighted day hikes.
Compared to all of the boots on our best rucking and hiking boots list, the Jedburgh boot is lighter, better for long days, and heavyweight, and is more stylish.
Just like the teams that inspired it, the Jedburgh rucking boot is hard to beat.I highly recommend them, and you’ll likely see me climbing a mountain in them soon.
Though I highly recommend the Jedburgh rucking boots, you should definitely know all of your options. Be sure to check out the GORUCK MACV-1 review as well as my list of the 11 best rucking boots on the market right now and the 15 best travel boots on the market.