Excellent article on ruck training

BountyHunter

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When we ran students thru the special forces training, we used to emphasize conditioning of feet . We used to use tincture benzoin and foot powder to toughen the foot soles. The article is correct core and upper body strength strength is key. Our standards were 12 minute miles for 8 miles and 15 minute miles over that with 45 lbs. That was on sandy trails. There is a different stride people need to learn and focus on stride length when rucking. Your feet will kill you quicker than being out of shape. If you want to last long term, toughen the soles of the feet up. That foot powder and tincture of benzoin will make them like leather. Use the tincture first and then add the powder and let dry. Will not look pretty with sandals, but then who cares.
 
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Bravo 4

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I concur with you, BountyHunter, on the feet issue as far as rucking goes. We just had a 12 miler on loose gravel and we have lots of skin missing from the heels and balls of the guys’ feet. Don’t care how good shape you’re in, if your feet aren’t conditioned for it then life sucks for a long time both during and after.
I usually have feet that look like thick leather but loose anything other than flat-tight (hard packed) terrain can get ya. You need good boots (that fit) and socks as well. The first time I ever had blisters was day 1 of military mountaineering school about 10 years ago. I had a pair of newer lightweight tennis-shoe type of boots and rucking (hard and fast) uphill all morning and then down that evening tore off a half dollar size piece of skin on my heels and I had blisters on all my toes (and grew an extra pinky on each foot somehow). They were trashed quickly and haven’t had a pair since.
 

Steel Rain

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Jan 20, 2011
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When we ran students thru the special forces training, we used to emphasize conditioning of feet . We used to use tincture benzoin and foot powder to toughen the foot soles. The article is correct core and upper body strength strength is key. Our standards were 12 minute miles for 8 miles and 15 minute miles over that with 45 lbs. That was on sandy trails. There is a different stride people need to learn and focus on stride length when rucking. Your feet will kill you quicker than being out of shape. If you want to last long term, toughen the soles of the feet up. That foot powder and tincture of benzoin will make them like leather. Use the tincture first and then add the powder and let dry. Will not look pretty with sandals, but then who cares.
This is good data! I am going to do this. My feet get boogered up pretty good since I quit wearing a green suit. Thanks for sharing.
 

Litehiker

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Sep 15, 2012
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Mojave Desert, Nevada
A bit of "sole" advice.
I've found that using heat mouldable SOLE brand insoles (3 thicknesses) has kept me from EVER having blisters on the soles or bottoms of toes. Some blisters on the sides of my toes but none on the bottoms.
These insoles are available at REI.

Eric B.
 

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