GORUCK's latest is inspired by Vietnam. So that's where they went to test it.

Eye on Veterans
December 07, 2018 - 10:57 am

Photo Courtesy Jason McCarthy

Jason McCarthy, Green Beret vet and founder of GORUCK, launched his company with the GR1 Rucksack that drew heavily from his time in Special Forces. Staying true to form, his latest product, the MACV-1 boot, is also inspired by Special Forces gear. The boot draws on the style and name from an era, and unit, that both came long before McCarthy's time in service.

The boot is named after the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MACV) and is styled like a Vietnam-era "Jungle Boot" but is designed for modern function. McCarthy describes his original goal as having a shoe with the light feel and function of a sneaker, but the ruggedness to make it through any terrain. 4 years after first coming up with the idea, the MACV-1 was ready for testing and McCarthy decided to do it "the right way." To him, that meant the only choice was bringing the boot to where its predecessor thrived.

"We went back to Vietnam with a guy named Richard Rice who was in MACV-SOG, a very elite Special Forces unit in Vietnam," McCarthy says. "Went back and retraced his steps in Vietnam all over and went through his time and his stories there... it was one of the great honors of my life."

Also along for the trip was Paul Litchfield. Described as "the ultimate shoe Dog" Litchfield is perhaps best known as the inventor of the Reebok Pump and also played a part, along with Rice, in the development of the MACV-1. While McCarthy says both he and Litchfield were pleased with the performance of the boot, what really mattered most to him was the thumbs up he got from Rice. 

Photo Courtesy Jason McCarthy

"The most important opinion was Rich's," McCarthy says. "The goal was just to really pay tribute to what that boot meant to his generation."

You can read more about Rice's experience returning to Vietnam 45 years after he left at the GORUCK website

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