USMC Boot Review: Bates Boots

The Bottom Line: Reasonable Boots for Every Occasion

Bates are generally the least expensive of the small number of officially approved USMC boots. Anecdotally, they seem to be the most widely-worn brand in the fleet. There are several different models, so don’t get confused:

Bates E30501 Men’s USMC DuraShocks Hot Weather Boot

Bates E30501 Men's USMC DuraShocks Hot Weather Boot
Click for current pricing

This is the temperate or hot weather boot offering by Bates. Hot weather boots of any brand are generally less insulated than cold weather boots and include the two small drainage or vent holes under the inside arch of the feet. These boots are probably the best deal out of any of the USMC-certified boots out there. They are rugged, long-lasting, and look good. You’ll probably want to invest in a better pair of insoles than the stock models, however–especially if you have flat feet.

Check the latest prices on Bates hot weather boots here.

Bates E50501 Men’s Bates Lites USMC DuraShocks

Bates lights boots
Click to see the latest prices on Lites

Bates Lites. You’ve heard about them. Not too expensive (everything’s relative) but not too rugged either. Best for garrison or boots and utes running. Definitely not recommended for climbing the ragged peaks of Afghanistan or Colorado, but a very popular choice for candidates and Marines alike. Probably most Marines own a pair of Bates Lites.

Grab a pair of Bates Lites for yourself.

See other posts on Bates Lites here.

Bates Rugged All Terrain (RAT) Boot

See how cheap some Bates RATs would be for you

The Bates RATs were originally issued to troops headed to Afghanistan but were discontinued after the first batch delivered to the Marine Corps was of shoddier construction than their Danner competition. They are, however, extremely comfortable, and the waterproof front and back parts are very helpful when walking through wet grass or in snowy conditions.

However, they are often not allowed at OCS. (Except for priors.) Please confirm current rules with your OSO.

They would be fine to wear around the woods going on nature walks or to get used to running in boots before OCS, but not a useful boot for OCS or deployment.

Bates RATs can only be recommended if you need a cheap option to train in, or as a garrison boot post OCS.


You might consider buying Bates a size too big, to fit thick boot socks. Although some sites online claim “Bates USMC Lights: Select a size one-half smaller than your dress shoe size. They used to fit true-to-size, but something changed in the production line and they fit differently now.”

Order with enough time to return for a different size.

Bottom Line

Bates are the boot of the everyman. You’ll probably get a hot and cold weather Bates at OCS or after. They’re not too expensive, but you’ll want to get a comfortable and supportive insole to go with your pair(s).

9 thoughts on “USMC Boot Review: Bates Boots

  1. The boots are the important gear a soldier needs ,and the boots have to be comfortable and tough to keep the soldier active and make a move in any kind of terrain.

  2. Do you to recommend buying Bates Lites or Bellevilles before heading down to OCS?

  3. Hi, i just came back from Ocs for the plc jr 6 wks. we were all issued the Danner Rat boot. People only had bates or bates lights if they brought those from home. I dont think it really mattered if you were prior or not, Since i had lights im not prior and the staff didnt care.

    1. Hey, would you say the Lights or the Hot weather is better? I found a good deal on the Hot weather Bates but I didn’t want to get the wrong ones I guess.

      1. They’re different. The lights are lighter, faster to run in, and less durable. You’ll get issued hot weather boots so you’re better off buying the lights

  4. Worst boots ever. Ask any Marine who’s worn them for a few years. The soles don’t last and will end up coming apart when you least expect… such as on a hike or CFT.

  5. Just got off the phone with Danner. Apparently, the Danner Reckoning EGA is a military contract boot only and isn’t sold anywhere. Is

    1. Didn’t finish my question. Is there any confirmation that these are the boots that they are issuing at OCS now?

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