Combat boots are built to be tough. After all, they’re expected to handle some of the harshest climates, terrains, and conditions on the planet. So, when a boot manufacturer gains a reputation as being tougher than their competitors, I can’t help but want to know more.
Rocky Boots first gained attention among service men and women with their C4T boot. This tough, no-nonsense boot was popular among both the military and civilians. If you’re familiar with the C4T, you’ll feel right at home with the C6 Lightweight RLW boots. Check out the complete Rocky C6 RLW boot review below. Rocky is an interesting company with several solid product lines. But are these boots really as tough as they say?
The C6 features many of the quality features Rocky boots are known for, including:
- AR 670-1 compliant construction
- Tough leather and Cordura PU and midsole materials
- An 8 inch upper with speed laces and NATO hooks
- A triple-stitched paddled collar (increased calf and shin comfort)
- 16 total ventilation ports (eight on each side)
- Soft, comfortable tongue with additional ventilation
- 5 inch high heel (mid sole)
- Water resistant and fast drying fabric
- A total weight of 18 ounces
The C6 RLWs are marketed as “lightweight boots,” but given their weight of 18 ounces I would classify them more as “medium lightweight boots” instead. What I like about the C6s is that they have about half an inch of additional rubber midsole on the heel for maximum comfort and protection, something most lightweight boots lack.
Ideal Environment for Use:
I would classify the C6 RLWs as boots suited best for garrison use and rucking. What I like is that the boots really don’t need to be broken in. The airport footbed makes it easy to walk on right out of the box. They were tastefully stiff and did not feel flimsy at all. The footbed also has air holes in the soles to keep the circulation active for every step and to keep your feet cool. Also, it’s probably cleaner than a typical DOD footpad, too – the air port is removable for easy cleaning. The grip was satisfactory on both dry and wet pavement.
The most exciting new features are the all rubber outsoles and the new lug. The perimeter lugs are large with a broad, square-shaped look. The interior tread is small, with a fine saw pattern. The boot has fantastic grip. I ran across wet pavement with total control, and had no problems with a post-rainstorm trail run.
These boots, compared to standard issue boots, are head and shoulders above the competition and they come in at the standard price point for premium boots; but, that’s the price you pay for comfort and maximum ankle support.
If you are looking for a lighter boot, then your best bet is the C5 Trainers because they are about 2.5 ounces lighter in weight. Does a 2.5 ounce differential make a big difference in the C6? That’ll come down to your preference; but for me, it felt just fine when I took them out for a few miles.
Sizing and Shopping:
The C6s run slightly large. Once I put the boots on and edged my foot all the way back, there was a bit of room at the toe. Not a deal-breaker, but for those sensitive about size precision, it’s certainly something to be considered. On that note, if you are wearing thick socks with these combat boots, then I recommend choosing your true size.
The Rocky C6 RLWs are currently only made in desert tan color. With that said, I am optimistic that they will come out with other colors, simply because they are known for making boots in both sage green and various colors of tan. Until then, I am fine with the tan color selection.
Rocky has a uniquely American beginning. In 1932, brothers Mike and Williams Brooks began Rocky Brands in an attempt to brighten their future after barely surviving the Great Depression. The location of their fledgling business was a rent-free factory. They made shoes with borrowed equipment.
In 1958, John Brooks, a nephew of the brothers, took over the company. He didn’t inherit it; he bought it from a third party after a family dispute. Eventually, John’s son took over the company. That son created the Rocky brand we know today in 1977, with an emphasis on durable, outdoor boots. Today, Rocky Boots is one of the top footwear companies in the entire world, with many big military contracts. Imagine what Mike and William would say if they could witness what their company had become.
My Field Tests:
Normally when I review a boot, I take it out into the woods near my house and put it through some field tests. I did that this time, too. The boot performed great in mud, up hills, over rocks and so on. The C6 RLW Boots are great for climbing strength and grip. To be honest, I expected this boot to perform well in the field, and it did.
What I didn’t expect was how much I enjoyed wearing the C6 during my everyday activities. I ran errands in them, went out to dinner with friends and just generally wore them like regular shoes. They really were that comfortable. Plus, they’re fashionable enough to fit in just about anywhere. I didn’t look like a guy wearing combat boots. With my jeans pulled over the boot, the C6 RLW boot’s looks pass the fashion test.
So, Are These Tough Boots?
The whole point of the Rocky C6 boot review was to determine their toughness. The verdict: yes, they’re tough for lightweight boots. They are made out of rough out cattle-hide leather, which is the toughest type of leather you can generally find in combat boots. The boots are “durably” water resistant and fast drying. If your whole foot were in water though, they would be soaked. The outsoles and insoles are both made out of multidirectional rubber to provide additional comfort. Hopefully that paints a broader picture of the durability on these boots.
Overall, the boot is lightweight, warm and well-constructed. On behalf of Authorized Boots, I recommend them. The full length airport foot bed is a differentiator to other lightweight boots. The C6s weight 18 ounces, which is a touch higher than the average lightweight boot, but that’s the tradeoff you have to make for more durability. If you are looking for even lighter boots, then I recommend checking out the C5Cs (15.5 ounces) instead. Regardless, they are a fine boot for garrison use and rucking.
The C6 RLWs have had a long, winding road to creation. But, these boots are some of my favorite. They’re tough as can be with superb comfort; that’s hard to beat.
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