Tactical Boots – There’s More Than Just One Type – Which One Should You Get?

Unless it’s a bottle of water you need, you should never take a stab in the dark with your buying. Suffice it to say, you may even give a second thought when buying yourself a bottle of water too.

It’s needless to say that you should almost never buy a pair of tactical boots without knowing the bits and bobs about them before.

From the materials, to the features, quality and performances, the tactical boots differ on so many levels and the more you know about them, the easier it’s going to be to choose the right pair for your needs.

When should you buy tactical boots?

Regardless of what one may think, you don’t have to be a military for using tactical boots. as a matter of fact, there are plenty of situations where tactical boots are going to be the best choice for any civilian. If you’re sitting on the fence and can’t decide if you should get tactical boots or not, scroll down for the main advantages of tactical boots:

  • They protect the feet from difficult environments
  • They take the heavy-duty use for a good amount of time
  • They ensure impressive support for ankles and feet
  • Most of them are water-resistant/waterproof and keep water and moisture away from the inside
  • They provide comfort during the long time shifts
  • They offer good grip and traction on various surfaces
  • They protect the feet from extreme temperatures (high or low)
  • They’re versatile and work when hiking, running or developing strenuous activities
  • They can help you in a self-defense situation
  • They’re long lasting and provide a rugged appearance

What are the main types of tactical boots?

Because tactical boots may satisfy different needs and have to adjust to various weather conditions and environments, they come in various types too. Here are the most important types of tactical boots:

  • Standard combat boots

The standard combat boots have a simple design and present little to no visual elements. They’re made to be functional and they sure aren’t designed to be fashionable. Most standard combat boots are going to be black and present a leather and fabric build.

They also offer good support and grip, protecting the feet against the elements. As they manage to accomplish basic needs in terms of tactical boots, they’re highly versatile. Unless you’re looking for a specific feature on your tactical boots, the standard combat boots are going to work just fine in most situations.

  • Tanker boots

Tanker boots are designed for helping the tank operators and vehicle scouts. They have a basic design and a simple appearance too. They don’t have laces, but come with leather straps. not having any laces getting caught on any parts inside the tank is essential, hence the lack of laces.

Most of the time, they’re made almost entirely of leather. In case of any spillage of engine oil, grease, chemicals or other dangerous fluids, the risk for damaging the tank operator is minimal.

They make the ideal choice for the vehicular personnel, but they’re not going to work in normal combat as the ankle support is lacking.

  • Jump boots

Also known as the paratrooper boots, the jump boots stand out with their high length. They’re made for the air force personnel (gliders, paratroopers, various airborne infantry). Their design ensures a good support and protection for the paratroopers that typical land hard on their feet. The rubber soles and reinforced heels are important features that give the support and protection. Tough toe caps that absorb really well the impact of paratroopers that land on the ground are specific features as well.

Their construction may seem rigid, but that’s only because they need to provide impressive protection for the wearer.

  • Desert boots

As their name tells, the desert boots are made for use in deserts by infantry personnel. They offer amazing stability and control. Made for keeping sand out of the boots and for efficient ventilation, the desert boots are made with breathable and long lasting materials. They stand out with an enclosed design and have no opening or eyelets.

Most desert boots are shorter than other tactical boots and have laces. They do look a lot to a combination between some loafers and casual boot shoes. They typically come in colors that help you mingle in the sandy environments (tan, light brown or khaki).

Leather and fabric are regular choices for materials used on desert boots. the type of material depends a lot on the environment and the needs you have. Desert boots have strong soled that take the high temperatures without sacrificing on the comfort. They don’t have steel reinforced toes or other metal parts so that the risk for heating up the boots is as minimal as possible.

  • Jungle boots

When you’re going on a jungle mission, the jungle boots should be your no.1 choice. Despite of what one may think, the jungle boots have been out there for quite some time now. They feature thick rubber protecting all sides of the feet, and ankle too. The bottom insole presents a special grip that improves the grip through the sticky and slippery surfaces (marshes, mud or shallow water). The jungle boots stand out with their amazing grip and comfort.

They feature small eyelets along the side so that any water can leak easier. The jungle boots are a reliable option in wet or muddy environments.

What about the tactical boots made for low temperature?

This type of tactical boots is designed to work for a specific temperature and environment. They do have classic appearance, but they come with features that recommend them for the low temperatures. They feature plenty of padding inside and on sides, keeping the feet warm and dry in low temperatures.

Most of them are also waterproof or snow proof on the outside, blocking any moisture to get inside the boots. The soles are made with thick rubber and they may even feature spiked for better stability in the snow. They make an ideal option for the military personnel that works in freezing environments.

Are there any other things to consider when selecting?

If this is the first time you buy tactical boots, all the diversity out there may become overwhelming. You don’t want to end up with a lemon nor pay too much for some tactical boots that surpass your needs.

Here are some other things not to forget when deciding which tactical boots you need:

  • Type of boots

Go over the aforementioned types of boots once again. If you know where you’re going and for how long, take another look at the types of tactical boots we’ve just talked about. You also need to know why you’re getting tactical boots in the first place. The more you know about what you expect from your tactical boots, the easier is going to be to decide.

  • Laces or zippers?

Not all tactical boots come with zippers. Some don’t have laces for safety concerns, but sometimes it’s only a matter of style. Even if zippers make it really easy to put the boots on/take them off, the laces come with their benefits as well. You should look for zipper boots if you need to be ready instantly or if your socks are thick.

Boots with laces are going to provide a better fit, as you can get it by adjusting the laces the right way. The quality of laces is also important and tough ones are going to take the heavy-duty use, presenting low risk for tearing or fraying.

  • Do you need waterproof/water-resistant boots?

Tactical boots that have water resistance/are waterproof, are going to block any moisture from getting inside your boots. There are different levels of water resistance so decide if you need waterproofness or water-resistance (no, they’re not the same thing!).

Waterproof tactical boots are heavier than regular boots as they’re made with tougher and heavier materials. Water-resistant boots may work in most situation, but they don’t handle submersion. Nevertheless, both water-resistant and waterproof tactical boots handle use very well and don’t wear out that fast (especially if you take good care of them).

  • Is breathability important for you?

If you’re going to work all day long, feeling comfortable in your tactical boots becomes essential. Breathability is going to help you feel better in your boots. look for the ones that come with mesh fabric which improves the ventilation inside the boots. the moment your feet get damp from sweat, your risk for developing hot spots and blisters increases tremendously. Breathability is something to appreciate on all tactical boots, even on the boots designed for cold temperatures (warm and sweaty feet isn’t something you want).

  • Shock absorbency

A regular pair of boots is going to ensure some sort of shock absorbency. The more you wear them, the lower the level of this feature is going to become, which is why the tactical boots stand out. Tactical boots come with hard rubber soles made from composite materials that are going to absorb shock from jumping from height or from dropping down. Not only that the tactical boots are going to protect from impact, but they also reduce the risk for any sort of injury.

  • Price

The price tag may throw some off and it may be a deal breaker for many. The price range is pretty generous, but the rule of thumb is that you should try your best and pay that extra buck for a good pair of tactical boots. The price reflects the quality of the materials, the features, the construction, the durability and the overall performance of the boots. Waterproofness, shock resistance, oil resistance- are only some of the features that raise the price of the tactical boots. You may get away with a cheaper pair of tactical boots, especially if you’re not using them on heavy-duty jobs. Nevertheless, you should always remember that the more you pay for them, the more you should expect in terms of materials and overall value.

What boots to choose for your job?

If none of the previous info helped you decide which type of tactical boots you need for your job, here are more suggestions to look at:

  • Police officers need to get black tactical boots, due to their professional dress regulations. The boots need to be comfortable as law enforcement professionals spend their day on their feet, running, walking. Wearing the right pair of socks is going to sustain the performance of the tactical boots and offer more cushioning between the foot and the inside of the tactical boots.
  • EMTs and firefighters should go with comfortable and tough boots that protect them from chemical spills, foreign objects and even bodily fluids. They need to be lightweight as firefighters and EMTs are on the move all the time. Puncture resistant midsole board (for protecting the feet from debris or nails) and waterproof material build are important features too. They should be heavy-duty boots that meet the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards requirements in terms of performance, design, testing and classification of safety footwear.
  • Highly protective EMT tactical boots have to come with safety rated steel or composite toe. The materials need to protect against bodily fluids and debris. Composite toe boots are lighter than the heavy steel-toe boots and more flexible too, managing to meet the protective standards at the same time.

In a nutshell

No one said that choosing your tactical boots is easy. The diversity of models, types, materials, performance, prices and quality may scare a newbie, but as long as you stay focused and patient when selecting, you should be able to get it right from the very first time.

It may take some trial-and –error until you get the perfect pair of tactical boots. it’s best that you do follow the tips and play it by the book when it comes to cleaning and taking care of your tactical boots. it’s also a great idea to get two pair of tactical boots right from the start. This way, you’re going to have one dry and ready at all time. Don’t get cheap when buying any of them as you may have to buy another pair sooner than expected. After all, your tactical boots should be a wise investment of your money any given day!



Robert Dwayne

Robert Dwayne

To say that I am an outdoors enthusiast is probably an understatement. I am hyper passionate about everything outdoors: hiking, survival, hunting. On this website I am sharing my stories and experiences, and I hope you'll find inspiration to take up your own adventures!