What to Look for When Buying Tactical Boots
Whether you work in law enforcement or public safety, or you are an outdoor person in general, a good pair of tactical boots is an essential gear you shouldn’t overlook. These boots will not only keep you safe on the field, but will also enable you to engage in your activities and perform your duties to the best of your ability.
However, in order to achieve that, there are certain features that need to be incorporated in the tactical boots you purchase. The three most important qualities you should look for in the best tactical boots are durability, flexibility, and support. These characteristics will make sure that you don’t feel any type of discomforts, such as tired feet, rubbing, etc., when you are outdoors doing your job. In addition, you will be able to enjoy better protection from different hazards you are likely to encounter on the field.
Some of the other features you should look for in a pair of tactical boots are as follows:
If your outdoor activities or profession involves constant running, marching, jumping, and other such movements, traction is one of the first features you should look for in tactical boots. When you are outdoors, you will not have the time to think about or analyze the type of surfaces that could cause your feet to slip. Therefore, buying tactical boots with great traction will give you the necessary confidence and grip while you move.
If you expect to elements such as puddles, rain, or other water bodies where your feet are most likely to get soaked, choosing the best tactical boots that are water resistant or waterproof will give you an additional level of comfort. Wet socks, feet, and boots are not something you want to deal with when trying to hunt a target in the woods or chasing criminals.
When you are constantly on the move, may it be on the streets, in the woods, or up the mountains, you are actually punishing your feet. The level of stress encountered by your feet will be especially high when you walk on uneven surfaces. To eliminate, or at least reduce, the amount of stress imposed on your feet, choosing tactical boots with shock absorption.
Laces or Zippers
Choosing your tactical boots with laces or zippers is a decision you have to make depending on the activities you will involve in wearing them and the level of support you need. Tactical boots with laces will be perfect for those of you looking for great support and secure fit. Zippers on the other hand, will make it easy for you to wear and remove your boots, without having to spend time lacing up.
Breathability is an absolute essential feature because it prevents odor and moisture buildup. Having hot and sweaty feet can actually distract you from having a task done; therefore, choosing tactical boots with air vents or mesh lining will be ideal.
Best Fit is Crucial
When it comes to fit, the first thing to keep in mind is that tactical boots will not have the same fit as that of your regular shoes. Therefore, you need to make sure that the size you choose will keep you comfortable at all times. If you will be wearing thick socks, choose a size bigger than your regular boot size.
We live in an era of technology, so it’s no wonder many modern tactical boots are also manufactured using various new technologies that provide an extra level of comfort to users and also make the boots more durable. When choosing your tactical boots, be sure to look for slip resistance, proper linings for comfort, sufficient padding, and other features.
Obviously, price is an important factor when selecting the best tactical boots. It is quite normal for tactical boots to be quite expensive. But, as with any other product, you get what you pay for. To make sure that you invest in the right product, read reviews and also compare the features of the boots you shortlist.
- 1 What to Look for When Buying Tactical Boots
- 2 The Top 16 Tactical Boot Reviews
- 3 Best lightweight tactical boots
- 4 Best waterproof tactical boots
- 5 Best tactical hiking boots
- 6 Best tactical boots for law enforcement/police
- 7 Best tactical boots for running
- 8 Best black tactical boots
- 9 Best side zip tactical boots
- 10 Best tactical work boots
- 11 Best tactical boots for flat feet
- 12 Special Types of Boots
- 13 Buying Guide for Tactical Boots
The Top 16 Tactical Boot Reviews
5.11 Tactical Inc. is a company that delivers high quality trademark products for law enforcement people to enhance their performance, safety, speed and precision on field. All the gears that are provided by the brand are of top quality, durable, innovative and reliable. Law enforcement officers, military, police officers, fire professionals, EMS, outdoorsy people and even those who are fitness freaks will love the innovative product lineup offered by the brand. One such exciting product for field officers is ATAC 8 inches Men’s boot. You may be thinking what difference that a pair of tactical boots from this company is going to make. Well, let us find out.
ATAC 8 inches Men’s boot comes in two colors – Black and Coyote Brown. The brown colored option makes this boot a perfect fit for desert hunting. This tactical boot also comes with side-zip, just like the one we discussed earlier. Comfort and performance are the two main advantages users get by using this boot. High construction quality, superior grip, comfortable heel and reinforcements make it one of the much preferred and popular boots amongst officers. There is a moisture inner lining which keeps your foot dry even under harsh conditions. The construction is not only rigid, but also stylish in many ways. There are multiple feature specifics which make it the perfect boot for different combat situations.
Side zip functionality lets you save a lot of valuable time, which is very important for an officer. This allows you to get on and off the boot instantly and there is no need for lacing, which consumes a lot of time. Nylon upper makes it a breathable and also one of the most resilient products out there. The cushion foam is multi-layered and provides enough comfort for users even after long hours of operation. There is a hidden side pocket, which is one of the industry first special features offered exclusively on this boot. You can place your pocket knife or any other compact accessory you may own for handling certain critical situations.
As with all the Tactical 5.11 Inc. products, even this innovative boot incorporates the revolutionary SMS (Shock Mitigation System). This system maximizes the compression and rebound, thus enhancing performance. Key performance metrics enhanced because of this are traction, speed, control and stability. You can use this boot on any kind of surface and it will deliver the same level of performance on every single one of them. It is oil and slip-resistant, just like most of the top tactical boots. The laces are tight and sausage-like, and once you hook them up, they will stay in place for a very long time. If you are working long hours, then this feature should keep you happy.
ATAC 8 inches boot is designed to assist you in handling high combat situations. The outsole on the other hand is fairly quiet, which is very good for silent tactical combats. If you are quite old school and traditional, then we think you may not be too keen on this stylish, modern and innovative boot. These boots are not waterproof, but that should not be a major problem because most models is the category aren’t.
- Side-zip function.
- Side pocket feature.
- Durable and excellent value for money.
- Shock Mitigation System.
- Quality lace, design and construction.
- Not a traditional boot.
- Not waterproof.
2) Another great option for the warm weather is the Magnum Men’s Elite Spider 8.0 Boot. These are made of a waterproof leather upper and nylon.
There are many things we fancy about these boots, so here are our pros:
- they have a composite shank
- there are web-like overlays at sides and notched lace-up shaft
- the boots have spider mesh lining with moisture control, keeping your feet dry no matter how hot it gets outside
- the Vibram outsole is slip&oil resistant
- the contoured, removable sock liner is efficient
- the boots feature well cushioned collar and tongue, giving you comfort on the move
- the breathable aero mesh lining adds up when it comes to comfort
- the toe box is roomy and the heel cup keeps comfortable your heel
- the boots feel lightweight and are easy to clean
- it’s easy to tighten up the boots and the laces remain put
- the boots need no time to break in and they are flexible and comfortable right from the beginning
- they give good ankle support and take well any kind of rugged terrain
These boots are well made and keep your feet cool in the summer and there are only few downsides to mention:
- the toe area wears faster than the other part of the boot
- the eyelets could be of better quality
- the boots wouldn’t hurt more cushioning
- it’s better to go down a size or put on double socks for a better fit.
As you can see, these are minor issues and the boots are a good buy anytime.
3) Last to present for you is the Rocky Men’s C4T Tactical Boot, a military boot made of leather and fabric that comes with many qualities and some downsides, just as well.
Here are the pros:
- the boots are water resistant and fast drying, making them a great choice for the summer time, over the puddles and watery trails
- they come with speed eyelets and NATO hooks
- they are provided with 550 cord laces
- they are designed with round hiker toe
- the upper part is synthetic and features faux Molle straps
- the molded EVA brings more comfort to the feet
- the boots feel lightweight and are flexible
- the sole is soft, flat and wide and pretty grippy
- they give no blisters and the break in period is very short (only 2-3 days, if so)
- they are as comfortable as a pair of tennis shoes
- the boots are breathable and very well made
There are some things that don’t make these boots our no. 1 choice, but still a good choice anytime. Our list of cons:
- they are not for the heavy duty trails
- they are a bit noisy in the beginning, but the noise dissipates after the boots are broken in
- the boots feel a tad tight over top of the feet
- the seam where the tongue starts on the inside is quite large, causing lots of pain
- the boots are the high price side
All in all, these are military boots that work well especially in the summer time, on light trails.
Bates had their humble beginnings as a dress shoe manufacturer in the year 1885 and over the years they have become the no.1 brand for uniform officers. Shoes manufactured by them are used by many police, military and on field uniform officers all over the world. Since joining forces with Wolverine Worldwide Inc. in the year 2003, the company has seen new heights. The company has licensed its footwear to many leading brands that you may find in the market right now. We will discuss about the Ultra-Lites 8 inches tactical sport side-zip boot in our review here.
Bates Men’s Enforcer N/L Boot-M is the model we are going to review here. This one is quite popular because of its tactical side-zip aspect. This tactical sport boot will let you tackle even the toughest obstacles you might face on the field. Officers on duty will be able to perform their duty to the best of their abilities with ultimate protection. The boots are made of full grain leather and the EVA insert gives a shock absorbing heel that comes fitted with forepart pads for more comfort. You can remove the insert whenever you want and make the boots even more lightweight. The boots are designed to suit operating under different terrain conditions, thus increasing your performance tremendously.
Breathable mesh lining and the upper 1680 ballistic nylon gives it the best feel and performance. Side zipper is made of nylon and is fitted with a leather tab for easy removal. The rubber outsole of all the Ultra-Lites Bates series boots is oil resistant and this feature provides better traction and control even when running over slippery terrain. This is a totally non-metallic boot and perfect for officers who are going to board a flight. The collar comes soft padded and even has fiberglass shank. With a weight of just about 23oz, these tactical boots is one of the best for uniform officers, on-field officers, and for outdoor enthusiasts. Lightweight design prevents foot fatigue to a great extent.
Shooters, hunters and even outdoorsy people can buy these boots for better performance at different conditions. These boots allow you to wear the most advanced military grade technology and quality, giving you best comfort and performance. Nylon uppers are designed to stay durable even after days of use. The usual wear and tear you may find in other tactical boots is non-existent here, which also makes it a better buy. Improved stability, control, ease of use and control are provided by the fiberglass shank. Collar top comes with a Velcro which makes the job easy for the user.
If we were to talk about the negatives of this product, then we would probably have to nitpick some. Well, some customers have complained about the poor quality cushioned insoles. It is not waterproof either. Apart from these little issues, this Bates Ultra-Lites tactical sport side-zip boot is the best you can get from the market.
- 30% lighter than other tactical boots.
- Oil resistant.
- Slip resistant.
- Comfort adjustments.
- Not waterproof.
- Few customers have reported problems with the soles.
Danner Shoe Company was started by Charles Danner in the year 1932. Today, they have become one of the reputed duty boots brands in America. Duty boots were their main area of focus and expertise and they sure did manufacture and market some of the best duty boots you will ever find in the market. Even today, the tradition, quality and affordability of Danner shoes are still maintained. The extensive product line of boots will give you goose bumps, and you could find boots from the brand for every single occasion. Danner boots are sold across the globe in many international markets. Let us discuss about the most popular Tachyon 8” duty boots from the brand.
8” high cut Tachyon work boots from Danner gives you the protection and comfort you need even when working under extreme situations. These are one of the most flexible, maneuverable boots in the market right now, and also deliver best in class traction and control. Toe cap is wide compared to other tactical boots and this gives you more moving space and also acts as a security feature. This boot is designed to withstand the long haul, and we highly recommend this boot for officers who are on the field for hours or even days. You cannot find a better 8” duty boot that is lightweight, comfortable and offers ankle protection like this one.
Sole of this boot is incorporated with polyurethane footbed and EVA midsole, both of which are responsible for delivering a cushion effect, which in turn delivers comfort and stability. The boot weighs only about 26 ounces and this is one of the lightweight tactical boots you can buy in the market. The toe caps are scratch resistant and the boots are made of synthetic materials, making the boot light and enabling ultra fast drying. Laces are designed for easy on and off. The boots are designed using innovative technologies, making it one of the best shock absorbing boots.
Most people who are looking to buy an 8” tactical boot will worry about the break-in period. Well, you’d be surprised how small the break-in period is on these boots. It is so bleak that you can change your position instantly to become comfortable. Ankle protection offered in some boots make them heavy, but Danner have managed to make it perfect. Some of you may feel that these boots don’t look like a duty boot, given their military design, but you’d be amazed as soon as you start using them. As far as protection goes, rubber outsole and pentagonal lugs are the only protective aspects and it does not offer electrical hazard protection.
Another major drawback of this boot is that they are not waterproof, so you better stay away from water. The uppers are made of ultra drying synthetic materials and are also machine washable. These boots are not meant for officers working in cold regions. As far as the styling goes, you cannot say that this is the most stylish tactical boot, but it scores decently on that front. Different colors available are black, coyote, sage green and tan.
Danner 8” Tachyon duty boots should be your preferred option, especially when you are looking for a lightweight and comfortable 8” tactical boot. It does have some minor flaws as we have discussed above but is certainly one of the best in terms of affordability, comfort and light weight.
- Lightweight design.
- Break-in period is very small.
- EVA midsole and polyurethane footbed provide excellent comfort.
- Uppers are machine washable.
- No electrical hazard protection.
- Not waterproof.
Maelstrom Tactical are well known for the high quality and professional tactical boots and apparel that they manufacture. They offer excellent products for law enforcement officers, fire marshals, security people, tactical users, and also for uniform officers. When it comes to tactical boots, anybody can create a product for duty officers; but, Maelstrom Tactical strive to provide best in class innovative and high performance tactical boots and apparel that are both comfortable and durable. LANDSHIP 8” is one of the best tactical boots offered by the brand and we are going to discuss about the product in detail below.
LANDSHIP is a combat tactical boot that comes with a zipper for easy on and off operation. Military and other uniform officers will benefit a lot with this feature. The boot uppers are manufactured using a combination of full grain top quality leather, mesh and suede. The mesh is air breathable and this lets you stay dry even after long working hours. LANDSHIP also has a moisture wicking lining on the interior which makes your feet stay dry. Rubber sole construction makes it oil and slip resistant. All these features are there to make you feel comfortable. You can perform all your duty activities without worrying about stress and fatigue anymore.
The boots are designed using modern technologies, which make them durable, flexible and comfortable, all of which are not achievable as a lump in one exciting product. The outer leather is of the highest quality and is water and abrasion resistant, which means the boots are going to stay wear and tear free for a long period. Foam padding on the inside is breathable and adds to the comfort quotient. The moisture wicking lining also provides anti-microbial properties and this eliminates the accumulation of bacteria.
Shock absorbent midsole design is ultra resistant and can withstand high impacts. Stability and speed are accentuated by the excellent rebound and compression. Outer cushioning can be removed for better traction and the boots are completely oil and chemical proof. The zipper is designed for heavy duty use and not just as a fashion statement. You can wear and remove your boots within minutes. You can remove and wear the boot just by using the zipper alone. Padded design all around protects and offers comfort to your ankles.
Protection given for ankles and knees is one of the strong selling points of the boot and many customers have appreciated this benefit. The weight of the boot does not hinder their performance which is another advantage. Smaller size of this boot has received strong criticism from several customers. On the flip side, come customers said that the boot stretched to their size after prolonged use. Outdoorsy people and duty officers will appreciate all the benefits provided by this boot. It is affordable and provides all the comfort and features offered by a luxury product, which is exactly what you need.
- Leather grain breathable mesh upper.
- Moisture wicking inner lining.
- Rubber sole is oil and slip resistant.
- Removable sole.
- Composite trunk.
- Extremely comfortable.
- Advanced midsole design.
- Smaller boot size.
- Additional sole padding may provide more comfort.
Established in the year 1996, Under Armour is known to be an outstanding brand to rely on when it comes to performance apparel. The company’s products are known for their ability to keep users dry, light and cool throughout their practice, workout or game sessions. With their products categorized under three different categories: HeatGear, ColdGear, and AllSeasonGear, they cater to a wide customer base, and the quality of their products continues to attract new buyers. In addition to offering tops, bottoms, accessories, and shoes in general, the various tactical boots models for men and women from Under Armour is one of their best selling products.
Made completely out of synthetic, the Valsetz RTS tactical boots from Under Armour are one of the very few models you will find on market that are totally void of leather. If you are quite traditional when it comes to boots, this may not be your first choice when you think about best tactical boots; however, your skepticism is most likely to be destroyed by the performance of these tactical boots. The main selling point of the RTS tactical boots is the combination of water resistance, durability, and light weight.
The mid height tactical boots are designed mainly as hot weather or desert boots, and they will be ideal for the same. Even when you wear these boots continuously during the sweltering summer months, walking long trails, you will notice that wearing these boots doesn’t affect your running or walking pace. The unique ClutchFit technology wraps a lightweight “second skin” around your ankle, which protects your feet even when the heel hits the ground, thus providing complete support and great feel. Whether you use a flat surface or an uneven terrain, the kicks will manage to keep you comfortable, while still looking like new.
The Under Armour Valsetz RTS Tactical Boots are designed with excellent breathability, a feature that is very important for any type of boots in general. Available for both men and women, the design of these boots is in such a way that you will be able to feel a breeze on your feet when you head out on windy days. This reduces sweat and enables your feet to breathe. To make them ideal for all-weather use, the company has designed them to be water resistant. What’s interesting is that, despite the venting on the boots for breathability, they continue to remain dry when used in the rain. Therefore, these boots will certainly be a great option for occasions where you think you will be encountering some wet conditions.
Despite their excellent functionality, there are a few minor flaws that could have been eliminated to make this the perfect pair of tactical boots. One would be the fact that the light colored boots can get stained easily. Also, the product would have been much more attractive and much better if it had been waterproof, rather than just water resistant. And if you are used to heavy full-grain leather boots, you may need some time to get used to these synthetic boots.
- Light in weight.
- Very comfortable.
- High quality and extremely durable.
- Perfect for hot outdoor conditions.
- Provide great support.
- Available in a wide range of colors.
- Some colors can get stained easily.
- Water resistant only, not waterproof.
- You may need some time to get used to the feel of synthetic boots.
Best lightweight tactical boots
When it’s important to you to move freely and easy while on the run in the jungle, give it a go with the Blackhawk! Men’s Ultralight Side Zip Tactical Boots.
The boots aren’t just lightweight and colored for the best disguise when in the desert, but they come with more qualities:
- The boots are made with leather and textile
- The boots are long-lasting and comfortable for long wear
- The Cordura nylon and leather upper are abrasion resistant
- The boots are breathable and lightweight
- The polyurethane midsole gives you cozy cushioning and flexibility on the move
- The OrthoLite insole is breathable, antimicrobial and removable for cleaning
- The insole dries fast
- The insole doesn’t wear out quickly
- The Vibram outsole with open lugs gives oil resistance
- The traction is efficient and sturdy
- The boots have a good grip
- They run true to size and fit even the wide foot
- They don’t need time to break in and give no hot spots
- The laces give a secure and reliable fit
- The boots are roomy enough for a second pair of socks
- The YKK side zippers help you put on the boots fast
- The YKK zipper are sturdy and good quality
As for the cons, we don’t have that many:
- The boots don’t have a steel toe
- They are slipper on ice
- It’s better to wear high socks
- The vents could be placed better
No matter how we put it, we still see reliable, efficient, breathable and lightweight tactical boots, despite the minor issues.
Best waterproof tactical boots
The Corcoran 10″ Waterproof Insulated Field Boots aren’t just waterproof, but also comfortable, lightweight and reliable in many tactical situations.
Here are our top pros:
- The boots are made full grain leather
- The leather is water-resistant and breathable
- The boots feature a leather comfort collar
- They have 200grams of Thinsulate insulation
- They have a waterproof bootie
- The bootie is also breathable
- The boots have a high and supportive ankle
- The boots are made for extreme conditions
- The speed lace system is fast and efficient
- The DRYZ insole is comfortable and removable for cleaning
- The boots give great moisture control inside and out
- The Cambrelle lining is abrasion resistant and keeps moisture at distance
- The Fiberglass shank gives great support
- The polyurethane midsole is shock-absorbent
- The traction is efficient and the boots are grippy
- The boots are long lasting and take the heavy use for many years
- They are comfortable even for long wear
- They don’t need time to break in
- The boots are made in our USA
We also have to list our cons:
- The laces seem a bit short
- Some think they are not the best looking out there, but this is a matter of taste
- They are nor for the warm weather
All in all, the waterproof boots are for the heavy duty use, for a very long time.
Best tactical hiking boots
For those of you that don’t just fight, but also spend a lot of time hiking (as part of the job or just for fun-either way), finding good tactical boots that fit both situations aren’t such a difficult job anymore. The Bates Men’s Delta Gore-Tex 9 Inch ICS Waterproof Boots give you the comfort that you need when in the line of fire, but also the traction and the stability when climbing up the big mountains.
Here are our most important pros:
- The boots are made of leather and fabric
- The boots feel lightweight and comfortable
- The Vibram sole give sturdy, reliable traction
- The Gore-Tex waterproof boots keep your feet dry at all times
- The lining is also breathable so that the moist doesn’t stay inside
- The Cs adjustable comfort system gives the perfect fit
- The Vibram rubber outsole gives great traction on various types of surfaces
- The boots have a lightweight cement build
- The YKK nylon side zipper are high quality
- You can easily put on/take off the boots thanks to the side zipper
- The insole is well cushioned and removable for cleaning
- The boots have no metallic components so you can safely go through the metal doors
- You can wear the boots right out of the box
- The arch support is good
- The boots give no strange pressure points and therefore, no hot spots or blisters
No matter how much we like the boots, we also have to remind our cons:
- The boots may get slippery on ice
- They run a bit big
Despite the minor cons, we’d take the boots out for a hike any given day
Best tactical boots for law enforcement/police
When you are out there in the streets, trying to protect civilians, last thing you want to think about is the boots that are too tight or unreliable in the line of duty.
It’s not the case with the Belleville Waterproof Black Combat & Flight Boots, 700 as they present so many great qualities and only few minor issues. We listed the most important pros:
- The boots are made with canvas and leather
- The boots are both lightweight and long lasting
- The full grain cowhide leather gives, in time, a great fit, whereas the nylon fabric upper lowers the weight of the boots
- The boots come with Gore-Tex which makes them waterproof
- The VanGuard sole gives good traction
- The midsole is cushioned for more comfort
- The 100% rubber Vibram Sierra outsole means efficiency on many surfaces
- The grip is good, sturdy even on ice or snow
- The steel toe brings protection
- The boots are versatile, reliable and safe in many combat situations
- The boots are comfortable even for many hours
- The tongue is wide
- The boots are rugged and take well the heavy jobs
- They run true to size
- The laces hold good
- You can also shine the boots
- The boots have a good built and are ready to wear right out of the box
- The boots are made in our USA
Along with the good parts, come the not-so-good ones:
- The boots may seem pricey to some
- The cushioning could be softer
Despite the minor cons, we still think the boots make a good choice when fighting and protecting our citizens.
Best tactical boots for running
There are many great things about the Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS, and one of their best qualities is the lightweight and the comfort they bring on the run.
Here are our most important pros:
- The boots are made of synthetic, which means less weight
- The boots are made with textile upper for less weight
- The boots come with an abrasion-resistant film around the perimeter of the foot
- The MicroG foams ensures good cushioning for more comfort and it’s full-length
- The rubber sole gives a good grip
- The UA ClutchFit technology keeps your ankle tight, in a cozy way
- The boots give great ankle support, especially when running
- The TPU shank for mid-foot gives you support, but also great flexibility when running
- The molded Ortholite sock liner has memory foam top and PU base for more coziness
- The TPU toe cap means less rubbing on the toe
- The boots don’t need time to break in
- They run true to size and fit even the wide feet
- The laces are good quality
- The boots are quiet on hard surfaces
- The breathability is efficient
- The boots feel lightweight and don’t look, nor feel bulky
- They look great and have a nice finish
We do have some cons we need to pinpoint, though:
- The boots may fail the waterproofness test
- They are not quite long lasting
- The coating on the sides may peel off sooner than you’d like
Despite the minor issues, we still think the tactical boots make a good choice when you want more from your boots, like running with no problem at all.
Best black tactical boots
There are many black tactical boots that bring reliability and efficiency when out on the field, but we decided to go with the Belleville TR960z Tactical Research Khyber Lightweight Black Side-Zip Boot this time as they are not only nice looking, but also amazing on the field.
The list of our main pros is:
- The boots are made with leather and synthetic which makes them durable and medium-weight also
- The full grain cowhide leather gives the boots a decent life span
- The boots may be shined, which gives them a great appearance
- The nylon fabric upper helps with the weight of the boots
- The boots don’t need to be broken in
- The vibram sole is efficient
- The boots are petroleum, oil and lubricant resistant
- The boots are fairly water resistant
- The boots are easy to put on/take off thanks to the side zipper
- The laces are good quality and remain tied
- The boots run true to size
- The stability is good and the boots give efficient traction
- The boots are versatile and go all-around
- The arch support is well taken care of
- The non-marking sole is grippy and reliable on many surfaces
- The toe bumper means more comfort for your toes
- The boots are breathable
We have to balance the things a bit and list our cons just as well:
- The boots aren’t insulated
- The stitching needs to be better so that the durability of the boots expands
- The boots are a bit loud
- They could use more cushioning
- The boots are not waterproof
The cons aren’t deal-breakers though and we think they make a fair choice when looking for some reliable, efficient, nice looking black tactical boots.
Best side zip tactical boots
If you want comfortable, easy to put on/take off tactical boots, give it a go with a side zip model like the Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Rts Side-Zip Tactical.
We came to a very short list of pros to highlight the best features:
- The side zip gives you easy on/off access
- The boots are lightweight
- The mesh upper is water resistant and long lasting
- The boots provide efficient breathability
- The EVA midsole is fully contoured and compression molded to increase comfort
- The ArmourGuide gives you good foot-strike guidance from impact to propulsion
- The ArmourBound brings nice, cozy cushioning
- The ArmourLastic means the boot have good shock absorbency
- There is minimal distress on the heel and forefoot
- The molded Ortholite sock liner keeps your foot cozy and tight
- The boots keep your feet nice and fresh thanks to the Anti-Odor technology that minimizes odor causing bacteria growth
- The rubber toe rand is high-abrasion and protects your foot
- The rubber outsole gives a great grip on all kinds of surfaces
- The boots get through metal detector
- The boots feel lightweight and comfortable
- They are sturdy
- The boots are ready to wear right out of the box
- The arch support is great
On the other hand, we also need to mention our cons:
- The boots are not entirely waterproof
- The stitching is not high quality
- The zipper gets stuck at times
- The boots may not be very long lasting
Considering the price and the quality of the materials and performance, we think the boots may be taken under consideration when in need for a side zip model.
Best tactical work boots
When you take your tactical boots to work or the other way around, give it a go with the Bates Men’s GX-8 8 Inch Ultra-Lite GTX Waterproof Boots.
There are many good things related to the boost but we list the most important ones:
- The boots are made with leather and synthetic
- The full grain leather is waterproof and the boots give, after a while, the perfect, customized fit
- The Ballistic nylon side zip entry lets you put on the boots easy and fast
- The lining is both waterproof also
- The foot bed is fully cushioned for more comfort and removable for cleaning or in case of too tight fit
- The EVA midsole is molded for a cozy feeling
- The boots are comfortable all day at work, even for 16 hours’ shift
- The rubber outsole is oil and slip resistant
- The boots provide good arch support
- The tread patter is very aggressive and the boots have a very good grip on many surfaces, even on snow and ice
- The boots give great stability
- The laces are strong and good quality
- The hard toe and the rounded heel and bottom help with the comfort
- The ankle is secured nicely
- The zipper works fine and doesn’t stuck
As in most cases, we also have some cons that are worth to mention:
- The eyelets are a bit tight so it’s not very easy to use the laces in the beginning
- The boots need time to break in
- The breathability isn’t the best as the boots are waterproof
But, whenever in need to use tactical boots at work, don’t hesitate to try the boots.
Best tactical boots for flat feet
For those of you out there that have difficulties in finding the most comfortable tactical boots that take care of your flat feet, the search may be over thanks to the Danner Men’s Recon 200 Gram Uniform Boots.
Let’s highlight the main pros:
- The boots are made of full-grain leather
- The boots come with a reliable Vibram sole
- The lace-to-toe vamp is efficient and gives the right fit
- The collar is lightly padded for more comfort
- The lugged outsole brings reliable grip and efficient traction on many surfaces
- The boots give stability even on wet terrains
- The stitch-down construction increases stability
- The liner is Gore-Tex so it’s waterproof
- The liner is also breathable
- The boots come with 200gram Thinsulate that keeps warmth inside
- The Dri-Lex moisture wicking lining maintains your feet dry and fresh all the time
- The EVA foot bed is padded to increase comfort
- The fiberglass shank is resistant
- The boots are easy to clean
- You may shine the boots to expand their lifespan and give them a nicer appearance
- The boots give great shock absorption
- The boots are made in our USA
On the other side, we also see the cons, that aren’t deal breakers:
- The boots feel a bit narrow in the beginning
- They need time to break in
If you are willing to pay the extra buck in order to ease your flat feet pain, don’t sit on a fence and give these boots a try, as they will offer great support and stability for many years to come.
Special Types of Boots
Boots for Firefighters
Since this is a rather peculiar type of boots, we’d rather point you to the article on Sportsly’s 7 Best Wildland Firefighting Boots Reviews (With 2018 Buyer’s Guide).
Buying Guide for Tactical Boots
It’s quite obvious that combat boots are the military boots designed especially for soldiers so that they can handle military missions and the combat training in the best way possible. We’re not talking about the boots worn on parades and ceremonial activities, but about the ones that have other defining qualities.
The best combat boots give a good grip, ankle stability and protect the feet in any rugged environment. Typically, they are made of hardened leather and only sometimes they are waterproofed. Military boot manufacturers use Gore-Tex nylon side panels, for instance, to give tactical boots breathability and comfort.
There is a great variety of tactical boots. The best military boots may be jungle boots, desert boots and cold weather boots just as well. Don’t get surprised when you find tanker boots or jump boots on the market, since the specific uses have a say in the making of the boots.
A little know-how on tactical boots
When you take a look at the military boots market, you can easily see that there are so many types and styles. This is because each country has its own military, and therefore different kinds of boots just as well. There are military high cut boots and low cut boots. Keep in mind that not all countries make military boots, but you can find tactical boots made in the UK, France, Spain, South Africa, Germany and some others.
On the other hand, fashion got into the combat boots and, all of a sudden, hip people make fashion statements by wearing tactical boots. We need to admit that one can look good when wearing some military boots, though!
But the real tactical boots are not those worn on the catwalk, but rather those that work all year long. Some black leather Gore-Tex boots made in the USA are both waterproof and breathable. Waterproofness gets you through the rain and snow, whereas breathability keeps your feet dry and comfortable through the hot summer.
Army boots… breaking them in
As most of the best army boots out there are made of leather, they may give you some blisters in the beginning, needing some time to be broken in.
It’s better to break in your military boots at least two weeks before you need to work in them. Of course, it’s absolutely possible to break them in on the job, but… better be safe than sorry. The last thing you want to think about when on field, is how that blister bothers you!
There are two main methods to break your boots in: the wet method and the dry method.
Putting your wet military boots on sounds a little bit awkward, but, as uncomfortable as this may sound, this makes your feet accustomed to your new tactical boots rather fast. Avoid this method if you have high-gloss boots, or if the temperature outside is below zero. This method requires some specific steps and you can find the detailed method online.
The dry method takes a bit longer than the wet one, but it works on all boot types and during cold weather as well. Simply put two pairs of socks on and give it a week of wear for the combat boots to break in. Work the boots that week by climbing stairs, jogging, hiking- these activities help shape the boots to your feet and accustom the various pressure points of your feet to the boots.
Keep in mind that leather boots don’t break in that easily with the wet method and you need to always use dry socks.
You need to pay attention to your military boots especially when they’re made of leather. Never use water for suede boots, but brush them with a suede brush or a metal-bristle brush instead. Avoid heavy strokes or scrubbing motions as you might damage the leather.
In the case of stains, use a spot removal solution, rubbing it carefully with a toothbrush. Soak up gently the treated spot with a dry, clean towel and never ever rub the towel!
…conditioning your military boots
Only full-grain leather boots need conditioning as they tend to crack and flake if left unconditioned. Apply leather conditioner until leather doesn’t absorb anymore and work the boots with your hands. Bend, twist and flex the boot until the conditioner is fully absorbed.
Final step… waterproofing your combat boots
Many combat boots are already waterproofed, but it’s better to apply some waterproofing solution every once in a while. Go for a waterproofing gel on full-grain leather and rub it into your boots, let it dry partially and then wipe away the excess gel.
Don’t use gel on suede, nubuck or rough-out leather but instead apply a spray-on for waterproofing.
Always treat the military boots in their entirety and keep in mind that the waterproofing might darken the shade of your tactical boots.
Practice makes perfect
Once you get your military boots, you will have to find the best ways to take good care of them. The weather and environment conditions, the frequency of wearing the boots play the most important part in you learning how to keep your boots in the best shape for a long time.