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If you’re looking for ways to shake up your fitness routine, a ruck march could be one challenging option to add to the list. So what is a ruck march, exactly? Read on to find out all of the pertinent details, along with what equipment you’ll need to successfully get your “ruck” on.
Also known as “rucking” or “loaded marches,” a ruck march is a staple military training exercise in which an individual wears a weighted backpack (also known as a rucksack) while walking or hiking a set distance in a set period of time.
Ruck marches date back to the roman army, where military recruits would complete these “loaded marches,” distancing anywhere between 18 and 30 miles with approximately 45 pounds to carry, and all before they were allowed to hold a weapon. Today in the United States, the standard time and distance for an Army recruit to complete a ruck march is 12 miles in three hours while wearing a rucksack weighing at least 35 pounds.
Over the course of history, ruck marches have taken on many names and standard rules for armed forces around the world. Today, ruck marches remain an effective training method for many of today’s active military and military training groups and have even found a home in modern-day fitness culture, benefiting everyday athletes training for special events or simply looking for ways to shake up their fitness routine!
Rucking is an effective, low-intensity aerobic exercise that can help build strength, stamina, and muscular endurance while burning extra calories compared to walking or hiking alone. If you’re a runner, rucking is an effective cross-training exercise to build strength and endurance for your long-distance runs.
There are a few essential tools you’ll need to complete your first successful ruck march.
The first essential item is a comfortable rucking backpack (or another durable trekking pack), preferably with cushioned shoulder pads that can safely hold your weighted objects, nutrients, and water.
A ruck march isn’t a ruck march without weights! You can use the weights you have around your home or workout area like barbells, plates, sandbags, or homemade weighted objects like bags of sand or rocks.
When starting out, stay conservative in your weight allowance. The recommended weight is about 10% of your body weight, but if after putting on your pack you feel as though it may be too heavy for your first ruck trek, don’t be afraid to leave a few pounds behind. You can even challenge yourself to work your way up to that whole 10%!
Ruck marches might be low-intensity, but they’re a far call from being a short trek. Before you head out on your first ruck, make sure you have super supportive footwear that can go the extra mile in keeping you comfortable.
One main area of focus is to wear sneakers or hiking boots that support your ankles and joints and won’t cause blistering. The other main focus is to wear sweat and moisture-wicking socks that will keep out sand, rocks, and other debris you happen upon along the way.
Merino wool socks like FITS® tactical socks are naturally sweat-wicking, provide excellent compression, and offer extra cushioning in the heel, toe, and arch for more comfortable rucking on all types of terrain. The patented Full Contact FIT® found in the Heavy Duty Tactical Boot Sock and our Lightweight Tactical Sock means your sock will contour to your foot and stay put–two features necessary to prevent uncomfortable rubbing and painful blistering.
Your long day of rucking is nothing without fuel. Pack plenty of water, electrolytes, and healthy snacks high in carbs. Some recommended snacks to pack on rucks according to Human Performance Resources include foods (in moderation) like:
Whether you’re rucking for a cause or incorporating ruck marches as part of your athletic training program, FITS® has the tried-and-true merino wool compression socks male and female athletes alike trust for all of their fitness endeavors. Browse and shop FITS® today to discover your new go-to socks for every adventure!
Your sock size shouldn’t be a guessing game. Our socks range from small to double XL, but the best way to know the perfect fit for you is to match your shoe size to the chart on the left. That way, you’ll know the size you select will give you the fit and feel you expect.
Between sizes? Go with your gut, but rest assured that your socks will still fit great. If you receive your order and find yourself wishing you’d gone up or down a size, just let us know. We’ll happily send you replacements for your preferred size.
Concerned about laundry mix-ups? All FITS® socks are coordinated by color and size, based on the colors you see on the size chart. So, you won’t have to worry about mixing up your sizes with the other FITS® wearers in your home. (But stray socks mysteriously going missing in the dryer? Unfortunately, we can’t help with that.)
Sock sizes are typically measured in inches, not by your shoe size. So, a sock size 6-8 will comfortably fit someone whose feet are between six and eight inches long. However, at FITS®, we make it easy for you to choose the ideal sock size without having to measure your foot. Simply use our sock size conversion chart based on your shoe size to select the right fit for you.
To measure your foot for socks, measure the length from the heel of your foot to the tip of your longest toe. The measurement in inches correlates to your sock size. For example, if your foot is 10 inches long, a sock size 9-11 should fit you comfortably. At FITS®, you can skip this step and find your sock size based on your shoe size using our conversion chart.
The sock size conversion refers to sock size compared to shoe size. While all companies may vary slightly on which size socks to purchase based on your shoe size, you can always measure your foot to find the right fit for you.
Because sock sizes are determined by the length of your foot in inches vs. your shoe size, shoe and sock sizes differ. The FITS® sock size to shoe size conversion is as follows:
Knowing this makes it easy to choose the ideal sock size based on your shoe size without measuring your foot.
Sock sizes typically don’t correlate with age. For kids, age can be a general indicator of what size sock they’ll need, but everyone is different. An adult sock size 9-12 fits anyone whose feet are approximately nine to twelve inches long. For kids’ sock sizing, check with the company to find exact details to ensure your little one gets the perfect fit.
Got more questions about finding the perfect sock size for you? Let’s talk.