Most folks that are or have been involved in any kind of sport have heard of the apparel company Under Armour. What they may not know is that Under Armour also makes clothing, gear and footwear for our men and women in the armed forces. Now that April showers are turning to May flowers, it was time to take a look at the Under Armour Sage Jungle Rat Boot offered by US Patriot Tactical.
The first thing I noticed when unpacking the Jungle Rat was that they are aesthetically pleasing. While they look similar to other traditional warm weather boots, they do stand out. They are a sharp-looking boot. The sidewalls of the soles have a shark-tooth like pattern. This pattern helps grip terrain and aids in climbing ladders, ropes and things of that nature.
The Jungle Rat is very lightweight. The 8” high boot is around 17.5 oz. a piece. Construction of the boot seems to be pretty solid and well-made, yet flexible. The manufacturer states the boot is made from a combination of materials to include lightweight 900 Denier nylon, and Under Armour’s UA Storm performance fabric with their Durable Water Repellant (DWR) finish on the suede leather. The Jungle Rat is designed to resist water and dry quickly.
The boot is double stitched and has ventilation holes for air circulation and drainage. There is a leather pull loop at the upper rear of the boot for easy on and off. The tongue of the boot features the company logo and crossed Ka-Bar knives on a leather patch, which is a nice touch. The laces on the boots appear to be speed laces but they don’t really act that way. They require the user to start at the bottom and work their way up in order to properly cinch the boot. The length of a shoestring is adequate for either lacing all the way to the top or leaving the top eye unlaced and wrapping the remaining cord around the ankle which is my preference. In addition to the shark tooth feature previously mentioned, the soles are made of a soft and flexible rubber with a low profile, micro tread pattern. More on that later.
The interior of the boot is simple with a thin, removable insole. The insole has a rigid section for arch support. While thin, it seems to work well enough. Initially I was a little skeptical that it would provide enough cushion, but I was pleasantly surprised. There is a lot of spring in the boot thanks to the full length Micro G foam cushioning.
The pair I received were in a Sage color. I am a size 11 and my left foot is slightly larger than my right foot, which would explain the additional free movement within my right boot. I had to tighten the laces a bit more on the right boot, but that’s due to my anatomy and not the fault of the boot. I may buy thicker insoles in the future to fine tune the fit, but I have been wearing these boots almost exclusively ever since I received them and they are very comfortable. They don’t require any sort of break in thanks to the flexible soles. There is not any discomfort on the side of my feet or the front of my toes or even the back of my heel. Keep in mind this is a warm weather field boot so the ankle support is minimal at best and will not provide much stability. Keep that in mind when traversing rough terrain. This is the price one must pay for light weight and fast drying.
The first day I wore them, it was around 62 degrees in the morning and heated up into the mid 70s by the afternoon. The socks that I usually wear are made by Wigwam or similar and, while they aren’t the coolest or thinnest socks out there, they do a good job of keeping my feet blister free on the trail and the thicker socks also help fill out the boot. Even with the warm temperature and the heavier socks, my feet didn’t feel uncomfortable or overheated.
Thanks to the Micro G padding in the boots, my knees didn’t take too much of a beating when worn on a hard pack surface such as pavement and asphalt. I am confident it will also be a benefit to the military man or woman standing at attention or marching all day long on the parade field.
The boot handles extremely well on dry pavement and on the trail. Many of the trails I run consist of hard-packed rock that transition to loose, unstable gravel. The boot did very well while walking, running and stopping. Even though the boot features ventilation holes, they also have screens on them which will prevent larger particles from entering the boot – causing discomfort. They may even stop larger granules of sand; however, finer grains will most likely sneak past. I did find some nylon material that was sandwiched between the plug on one of the vents which is a minor quality control issue. Nothing major, easily removed and nothing that affects the boot’s performance.
As mentioned previously, the soles have a shallow, micro tread pattern and the heel is slightly raised. The reader will notice in some of the pictures that even on dry hard pack the treads will collect small twigs and grass and whatnot due to the denser pattern. Because they can collect more debris and material, there is the possibility that excessive buildup will degrade the traction over time. However…
While walking down steep hills, the foot does have a tendency to slide a little bit forward in the boot. That being said, the additional room is nice as my toes did not feel too cramped and I feel that going a half size smaller would sacrifice comfort. The boots provided for an interesting experience while walking over metal that had condensation on it . As one would imagine, it was extremely slippery. I’m not sure any boot would have held firm.
While walking over moss on concrete, the Jungle Rats held fairly steady as long as moss held firm. Walking over dry, flat rocks on an incline, the boots performed very well. I think that’s in part due to the malleability of the soft rubber sole, as well as the dense tread pattern giving more surface area to grip the surface. Trail running is where these boots really shine, as they give you the traction one would expect from a boot while giving you the flexibility of a typical trail running shoe.
Walking in the mud wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be, even though all of the lugs did fill up with material as soon as I walked into the mud near a shallow stream. That being said, it easily washed out in the water with very little effort. The water I waded in was approximately one to four inches deep and, as one would assume, my feet stayed dry until the water got up to the ventilation holes and then I could feel some of the water trickling in. While not waterproof, these boots did show that they have a pretty good ability to repel water droplets and to dry out quickly thanks to the minimalist nature of the boot – which would be very advantageous in a hot and humid environment. No wonder Under Armour named them the Jungle Rat.
I do wish that I had these boots during my beach runs along the Silver Strand in Coronado many moons ago. Thus far, I am very happy with these boots and I plan to continue to use them during the spring and summer seasons. Take note: because of the suede material, these boots can’t be polished. The exterior will collect dirt and will stain to some extent, especially if it’s mud; however, sand brushes off very easily – as does gravel on the loose organic debris. As a disclaimer, the consumer should know that they are made in China.
If you are looking for a fast drying, light weight, comfortable boot, the Under Armour Jungle Rat is definitely worth considering.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.