Bates lights on Amazon

Bates Lights boots at OCS

A short primer


Bates Lights were used and were “kosher” for any and all events when I attended OCS. They were especially useful for the E-Course, but were disallowed or discouraged on the O-Course since they have terrible traction on the rope.


Bates Lights were disallowed from OCS totally, according to multiple sources.

“I am going to OCS on May 27 this year. I figured I’d let you know that Bates Lights are not allowed this year. I figured you could change your information to keep it as up to date as possible. I purchased a pair of Bates Hotweather Durashocks to take with me. Just wanted to let you know, if you want to update your blog.”

2012–They’re Back!

From a candidate yesterday to me:

Bates lights on Amazon
Officially E50501 Mens Bates Boot

Bates Lites and all USMC regulation boots are authorized for wear at OCS. Upon arrival, candidates are issued both hot-weather and
cold-weather boots of various brands including but not limited to Bates, Belleville, Danner, and Altama. The website is up-to-date and includes tips on purchasing boots prior to arrival. It is strongly encouraged that candidates begin to break-in regulation boots prior to shipping to OCS to prevent blisters and other boot-related injuries during training.”

This is a reply email i received from Coordinator of Student Activities OCS this morning, answering my question about Bates Lights.

Multiple candidates who just spoke with Sergeant Instructors this past weekend confirmed: Bates Lites are allowed.

Advice (reiterated)

Candidates are issued a pair each of jungles and ICBs. ICB stands for Infantry Combat Boot, and is a good heavier duty boot with a thicker sole.

I suggest breaking in a pair of Bates lights boots, and keeping one pair of boots clean and perfect for inspections.  You can use the Bates on runs and for PT, especially for when you’re going to get your feet wet (they drain well).  However, Bates lights don’t grip the ropes well, so I would recommend wearing another pair for rope climbs.

Buy lots of good thick boot socks to avoid blisters! I wore boot sock liners throughout, to good effect.

Click here to grab a pair for yourself


I have no clue if I should be writing “Bates Lights” or “Bates Lites.” Sorry if any of you suffer from OCD.

13 thoughts on “Bates Lights boots at OCS

  1. Sir,
    I bought a pair of belleville 550 jungles a few months back to break in and bring to juniors this summer. I was wondering if you knew, or anyone else knew if I’d be able to bring those, buy ICBs, but buy bates lights at OCS instead of buying the same pair of jungles I already have. Are bates lites considered a jungle boot you can buy?

    Thank you, Marines or Candidates.

  2. Yes, during the 2011 cycle, bates lites were banned. The Sgt Instructors inspected every candidate prior to the E-Course and Obstacle course for integrity violators. Also, you might as well get used to heavier boots because you can’t do the E-course without the obstacle course anyways.

  3. to confirm what was said above: At last summer’s cycle at OCS (OCC-207), bates lites were banned, and Sgt. Instructors were indeed checking to see if anyone had them. Having a boot that is banned is a potential integrity violation, and can get you sent home. However, if they are allowed this year then I would concur that having them is good and I would recommend, if only for keeping for inspections (last summer, Bates Lites were allowed for inspections; the only reason they were banned otherwise was because a candidate at OCC-206 had falled off rope at end of ecourse because of boot slippage, and got injured badly).

    The only other thing to consider is that you won’t have unlimited room to store boots at OCS. You will only be allowed to keep two pairs of boots in the squad bay under your rack, as EVERYONE’s racks have to look the same (incl. how many boots/go fasters are there and in what order). So, if you have an extra pair of boots, you’ll either have to keep ’em in your liberty bag, or else in your wall locker (depending on how strictly your sgt instructors enforce the cand. regs–technically boots are not allowed in the wall locker, so some ppl might force you to keep in your liberty gear, and only pull out for inspection or select e-course/o-course events.) So, don’t go down expecting you’ll be able to keep an unlimited amount of gear easily accessible.

  4. Not sure what company/platoon you were in Thomas but last year, during the summer (2011) non of the S.I.’s cared much about if bates lites were worn or not. There was like a week where the command “banned” them but everyone still wore them if they wanted to. And also, I bought a pair of boots beforehand and kept them super clean so when inspections came along I would bust those out to look extra sharp. You break in your boots quite quickly and the only thing I would recommend is to buy better insoles such as these or the ultras on there too. And one more thing to add, if you are going to wear the lites, do not wear them on the humps, a couple candidates wore them and their feet got pretty messed up due to the lack of support, added weight from the ruck, and a softer cushion.

    1. Don’t forget the s on the end of CandidateS–! Just like the real school. Officer Candidate School without the S is Army.

    2. Don’t forget the s on the end of CandidateS–! Just like the real school. Officer Candidate School without the S is Army.

  5. So I followed that link you have there at the bottom to the Amazon page. Should I be getting the “Tan” or the “Beige/Khaki”? Thanks

    1. Robert, either is fine. I never even knew they had different colors. If you don’t have a preference, just grab the beige/khaki. It might limit discoloration due to wear.

  6. I’m going to OCS this summer and was told by my OSO to get a pair of Bates Lites and start breaking them in. Im about to order them online and am just wondering if these boots run large like the Belleville jungle boots or if they are true to size. Thanks a lot!

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