If you’re in Fayetteville, go to a used boots store and ask for the ‘SOPC’ Special. SOPC means Special Operations Preparation Course. It’s the course “X-rays” go to before they take a shot at selection. That course is a kick in the nuts. It is rucking and running intensive and these boots were designed for SOPC students.

Eventually, other selection attendees realized SOPC grads would take off and blaze through ruck challenges. It’s almost funny. When the rucks start every “X-ray” sprints and everyone else starts walking. It’s in part to their preparation and the boots that facilitate faster movement. Most people think “X-rays” are nuts for this reason.

Putting on the “SOPC” boot for the first time is the closest thing to walking on air I have experienced. I was accustomed to those uncomfortable boots the army sells. They’re rigid, take forever to break in, and the heel and toe inserts can be painful over time. The “SOPC” sole is cosmetic surgery to get rid of all of that. You’re still wearing an army boot – but without the baggage.

It’s done all around town in Fayetteville. Most used boot sellers are well aware of the ‘SOPC’ variant. Some argue that it removes the ankle stability and puts your toes and heels at risk. Except you won’t be working heavy machinery or at a construction site while at Selection. You’ll be moving long distances and the most important tool you bring is your feet, then your boots.