Review of Rocky S2V 101
We think, and more importantly, the users & testers shared it in their reviews of the Rocky S2V that the little slips are forgivable when the company hears the user and corrects the mistakes.
By “little slips” we mean things like switching from Vibram Soles to whatever Rocky switched to back in 2008 (only to switch back to Vibram) and the Walk’em-dry confusion (more on that in a minute).
The ratings reflect that, and the S2V remains one of the best Rocky boots ever made. That remains true to date, in spite of the fact that this is the 14th update to this analysis.
- Are there some new arrivals from the company that we like? Yes.
- Can we put any of them in front of this shoe with a straight face? Not really. In the analysis bellow we’ll explain what the “really” part means and why this classic remains at the top.
(Last updated: March 2019)
The review of the Rocky S2V was probably (we can’t precisely remember to save ourselves) among the first dozen reviews we ever did back when SoleLabz was just a few hikers starting a website about hiking and specialized boots. We knew what we wanted to do but didn’t really know how to do it.
So this is like the gazillionth (yep, that’s a word now) update to this guide.
That’s why there’s a special place in our heart for the S2V – nostalgic reasons.
Initial thoughts on the S2V
Those of you who are regulars here at SoleLabz know that we’ve always loved Rocky. And we love the fact that we still love them (if that makes sense), meaning that we respect everything the brand stands for.
It’s a good old-school American brand and one that makes few compromises.
Rocky is one of a handful of brands that changed very little over the years, apart from introducing new materials and technologies that come along.
The boot fits well. With every boot out there, you’re bound to see people saying that it runs big or small. It’s normal and it usually happens when people switch brands without understanding the shape of their foot.
For the S2V, we would recommend going half a size bigger than you normally wear, especially if you like a bit of breathing room. The boot is snug and even if there is some extra space at your toes, we find that it’s not a problem.
Overall feel of the boot
A cozy and a warm pair of boots. We’ve had people telling us or sharing in online reviews that after long rucks in these, only their feet would feel cold. A big plus for insulation.
Construction and design
We are NOT fans of the placement of some of the stitches i.e. the one that runs horizontally in the heel area. We find it odd, think it can be a problem and cause pain until the boot is broken in and fully adjusts to your feet shape.
The COOL factor is there and it’s a great looking and more importantly, army-compliant boot.
As we said, we’ve been “following” this boot for years and back in 2008 Rocky made a mistake of switching from Vibram sole to something else (we never found out why in spite of our emails to the company).
During that period, we kept seeing reports of the sole breaking and, in our minds, it was inevitable that the company would switch back. And they did – the same year they switched back to the Vibram sole and pretty much acted like it never happened.
But it did happen and they learned their lesson from the slip. Rocky customers expect consistency and they are getting it with this boot.
Apart from that crisis, the S2V is one of the boots that’s built to last and it’s backed up by a 1-year warranty.
Drainage and over the top claims
Rocky packs a lot of claims about their sieve system of draining. It’s supposed to help with air circulation (which it does) and drain the water out if it gets inside the boot (which it doesn’t).
If in wet conditions, you are OK if your boot is not fully submerged. If it is, it stays in.
Maybe we’re expecting too much but we remember Rocky calling the technology “Walk’em Dry” before they went back to an ambiguous “sieve”.
Bottom line, the S2V will not walk itself dry. Don’t expect it and you won’t be disappointed.
How we review
As we expected, the process of reviewing a boot and rating it developed and changed over the years and we are proud to say that we’ve elevated our game to the level of pseudo-science.
However, the very process of the review is completely objective and unbiased and in time we grew from testing the boots ourselves and stopping there into including the reviews of our hiking pears and most importantly, regular people who shared their reviews online just for the sake of sharing.
This adds to the credibility of their reviews, especially sine Amazon instituted a policy of “Verified Purchases” to avoid their reviewing system being played.
What you’ll see in this review of the Rocky S2V:
- The fact sheet of the boot as per the company
- The PROs – chosen parts of the positive reviews customers shared
- CONs – negative reviews
So let’s get to the grindin and see what it is about the Rocky S2V to make it one of the 2 boots that have managed to stay in the TOP 5 best-rated Rockies (and anybody who knows anything about tactical, work and duty boots knows that’s a fierce competition)
What the company shared – the data sheet:
- Materials used are a combo of suede leather, Lycra tongue and what they call “superfabric” for the panels of the instep
- Entirely made in the USA
- Sole – rubber (Vibram)
- Dimensions – shaft to arch is 9”
- Heel 1.5 inches
- 3 parallel stitches for increased durability
- Water-resistant but breathable (air circulation enabled by Sieve technology)
- Shank – durable fiberglass
PROs – some of the positives users shared in their reviews of the Rocky S2V:
- Amazing value for money, I used to be faithful To Danner and Under Armour (owned two pairs Speed Freek over the years) until a friend from work convinced me to try these. Just as good as any of these for half the price…
- I’ve had these for 6 months now and while they do take up to a week to really break-in, once they do, they’re comfortable and light, especially for a sturdy boot they are…
- Getting this boot looks like it’s going to be the best 100 bucks I spent this year. It looks great, it’s easy to put on and off and it’s a great fit…
- I was skeptical about the arch support in the S2V because they have no padding, but the material used for the area around the ankles is so sturdy I can’t tell the difference between a fully padded boot like my old Bates GX8 and this one…
- I am a very hesitant buyer especially this time because I was looking for a boot that can withstand the abuse of a Riot training…after spending days reading review after review I decided to go with the Rocky S2V and didn’t look back, These boots were wet, on fire, on glass and they only have a few scratches…
- They look great with a uniform, the color is just right…
- It’s very easy to get mud off of them, just a few stomp and a hose and it comes right off
- Probably the best boot I ever owned in over a decade as an SGT with the Guard. It’s just the right balance between sturdiness, protection and flexibility…
- I used to wear these in Iraq and I got a pair with a few weeks of getting back. It was good for me there for any field job I cam across and they are good for me here as an every-day boot. They even look cool with jeans…
- I switched to these Oakley after reading all the praise and the raving reviews. I wanted to see what the fuss is about and I wasn’t disappointed. You can see the quality and the level of craftsmanship out of the box and you feel the difference in feet-cushioning and ankle support the second you put them on.
- I am not much for writing the reviews but I had to share my amazement with the durability of this boot. It’s been a year now since that box appeared on my doorstep and they have been quite the beating over the year, everything from hunting around the swamp to working 10 hour-days in the scorching sun and they are still ticking…
- I didn’t have great experiences with work boots and that costs dearly in my line of work. I work on an oil platform and if you get it wrong and have to get new boots it’s a pain, so I had to get it right.
I took my time, read every user review there is and luckily choose the S2V. Apart from lasting the full season without being compromised in terms of support, it’s crucial for me that the sole is just hard enough to take the heat and yet slip-resistant.
- Probably a thousand miles of hard rucking and these still stand tall. I am only getting a new pair because I want new boots. Before these, with my flat and wide feet, I went through two pairs of boots per year…
- It’s hard when you pretty much have every feet problem you can imagine and have to stand 10 hours a day for a living. In 2 decades of working construction I have developed Plantar Fasciitis, bunions and a chronic inflammation of some tendon in the ankle I can’t even pronounce. Enter the Rocky S2V.
With all the issues I have the pain is never going away completely, I know that, but since getting these it has subsided to the level that I forget about it and that’s all I need. For me, it’s simple, unless they change in quality I’m never getting any other boot…
- If you are with the Army there’s not much to think about, you know how specific they are about what you can and can’t wear and from the AR approved boots, the S2V stands alone in terms of comfort. Take it from someone went through at least 10 pairs over the last seven years…
- The problem that I used to have is that every boot I had would become brittle after getting wet and drying out. No such thing problem with the Rocky S2V, it hasn’t changed a bit…
- After my old Nike cat boot sand the Under Armour Valsetz went out of reg and I had problems finding a Danner in my size, someone recommended the S2V. I read the reviews and just ordered I pair because I didn’t have much choice.
My expectations were low and I was pleasantly surprised when I received these. They are a great army boot, of course it takes some breaking but it’s everything a soldier looks for in a boot – solid traction, good support and water and slip-resistant. They are worth every penny…
- For me, the fact that they all-American made was an important selling point. I got tired of feeling the difference in quality every time I would order a pair of boots that were very good the last time around only to see a substantial change in quality. I’m sticking with Rocky…
- It’s the nature of ordering online that you have to be prepared for potential fit problems. The S2V was true to size, had a good snug fit and supportive in all the right areas without cutting in into my feet. Five stars boot as far as I am concerned.
- With my wide feet and fact that I’ve been wearing standard issue for the last 5-6 years the permanent sore I developed was becoming a bigger issue every day and I just was to get something that would be more forgiving in rugged terrains. This is everything I was looking for, it offers good support and protection without sacrificing comfort…
- This Rocky feels like a trail shoe after a few days of breaking in
- An excellent choice for cold well insulated without sweating to a point of your feet being wet inside…
- Soldiers will now how big of a priority a good boot is. After a few Nikes, UAs and Danners I decided to give Rocky a go and I must say that this is whole level above anything in this price range…in all aspects from comfort to durability and grip.
- Just the right weight for the field. It’s a great boot and it hits that sweet spot between the feeling of wearing a tennis shoes like I had with the UA Valsetz and the feeling of walking with bricks attached to your feet as I felt with some of the heavier Danner boots
- It’s my second Rocky, after the C4T, and I can confidently write a review and say that this is a superior boot. Similar comfort and durability and an overall feel, but better traction and less ankle rolling
- A nice feel of cushioning and just the right shape of the foot bed. The inside of the boot has these rounded edges so that it keeps your feet firmly in place while not being restrictive.
- I’ve active in the military for 17 and a half years now, allow me to start the review by saying that, and I think that adds weight to my assessment of the Rocky S2V. The whole time I was wearing steel-toed boots and having this on my feet feels like going out of prison. Two main points – comfort and a great grip…
- Triple stitching in a domestically made boot, it was a no-brainer getting this and I’m glad to say that I was right in expecting a good boot.
- There is minimal lateral movement and this is a very stable boot. I’d say
- 6 years in Afghanistan with one pair of boots, this says it all about these boots. From 10 miles rucks to patrolling back and forth to an outpost which was on a rocky hill. All that with 35 lb. ruck…dry, wet, sun, this boots has taken it all. You can see what it went through on the boot but there’s no structural damage and that’s amazing to me because my friend here went through anywhere from 3-4 pairs over the same period
- Solid construction, well-made and stitched…
- You can feel the breeze going through the fabric if the wind is strong enough and yet they have kept my feet dry on a few rainy days for hours. I’m not experimenting and not trying anything else, this is the boot for me
CONs – less pleasant user experiences:
- During the first month of wearing these Rockies, the squeaking sound they make on any surface other than sand was a real problem for me. I had to get back to my old missions for field work and wore these around the base until they broke-in…
- There’s an area at the back side of the heel that rubbed and blistered my Achilles tendon. It was OK after they broke-in after about two weeks but the initial period was not a joyride…
- After reading the reviews, I had high expectations but they still feel tight in spite of the fact that I order half a size up from what I usually wear. I’m returning these and getting a wider version
- I didn’t like the laces that came with these and got a spare pair at a local shop only to realize that the eyelets are too tight to use the extra laces
- Beware, this is a hot boot. It does say breathable but if you are working long hours in the sun, you should keep looking. For me, I’ll probably go back to my safe choice, Danner Tachyon
- What happened to Rocky? I’ve been wearing Rocky boots since I started working construction and went through 4 pairs. The boot I received was defective on arrival, the stitching on the heel was undone and they even looked like a used product.
- It seems like well-built boot but the toe area is a bit too big for my taste
- This is a first, what I received is pair of boots that feel like they are at least half a size different. I’m sending these back…
- I have a high arch and after reading the reviews of the S2V, I got the impression that I wouldn’t need an additional insole. No suck luck, still not enough arch support and I had to get additional gel insole
Share your thoughts and become our contributor
This Rocky remains one of our top 3 picks among work boots, primarily because of the comfort and flexibility of both the sole and the body of the boot. That’s been the case for over 3 and a half years now (14 updates). It’s not often that we see this kind of consistency and it all indicates to, apart from the quality of the boots itself to good manufacturing practices that do not change, as no good thing should.
We rarely see that kind of consistency, since the competition is fierce. If you have any questions or experiences of your own you might like to share, that would qualify you for our yearly boots giveaway. All you have to do take part is share your experience, either in the comment section below or by e-mailing us directly.
(Last updated: March 2019)