The Drop: GORUCK Rough Runners

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It’s a big EDC market out there, and tons of awesome gear is released all the time. We made The Drop to help you discover the latest and greatest essentials worth a spot in your EDC.

When you think GORUCK, the first thing that probably comes to mind is their legendary EDC bags. Along with their regular special forces-inspired events, that’s certainly their bread and butter, but more and more they’re building out the pieces of a very tough, very high-performance everyday wardrobe, from shirts and pants to socks and now a whole lineup of training shoes and boots.

Their latest foray into footwear is the Rough Runners, an alternative to their ballistic trainers focused more on pounding the pavement rather than a more focused training shoe. They’ve put a lot of thought into it, developed it a ton during their 2023 GORUCK Games, and cobbled together many features in one shoe that the big athletic brands don’t even do.

While I personally prefer a big stack of pillowy cushion for my everyday shoes and general gym excursions, the Rough Runners instead are dialed in for key objectives: maximum support, responsive cushioning, and lateral stability. They achieve this with a combination of a gradient density EVA midsole with triple arch support, a 10mm offset, a 3D-molded heel lock and a TPU heel counter, and a custom high-density PU foam insert for said arch support. A lightweight, TPU-reinforced, 100D polyester mesh upper and trail-ready outsole covers the bases on the top and bottom of the shoe.

It’s a lot more foundationally sound than the max cushion or racing shoes I’ve tried or currently use and is a pair I’m looking forward to putting to the test to compare against my usual rotation. I do think it’s also one of their better footwear designs, with two solid colorways to choose from and a competitive price against most mid-tier running shoes on the market today.

What I like: The Rough Runners are newcomers to the crowded running shoe market, but with GORUCK’s background, experience in extreme use cases, and dedication to making ultra-tough gear, I think this could be a strong contender.

What to watch out for: The understated design may not be for everyone if you’re after a bit more flair for your feet. Understandable given GORUCK’s utilitarian design language, but I do think this is their best footwear design yet.

Final verdict: This is very likely the next stability shoe I pick up.

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