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.
The Top 5 Tactical Boot Reviews
1) If you want to go safe, go with the 5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Men’s Boot as your military mission might need some good tactical boots that work amazing mostly in the spring/summer time.
These tactical boots are made of leather and fabric and feature a synthetic sole. They have many qualities, and here are the pros:
- they come with heavy duty YKK zippers on the side
- they are made of full-grain leather and rugged nylon
- there is antibacterial& moisture wicking lining
- the boots have shock Mitigation system
- they have a toe reinforcement and semi rigid heel
- the cushioned insole and polished leather toe bring comfort on the move
- the boots are easy to clean, feel lightweight and are waterproof
- they work great on any rugged terrain, feeling sturdy
- they give great arch and ankle support
- there is good grip and efficient traction in these boots, no matter how slippery or rocky the trail gets
- the hidden pocket in the upper part of the boots is a nice and helpful detail
- the boots are well made and come in nice colors
- the price seals the deal, for sure
As many as these pros are, there are some minor issues related to these boots. Our cons are:
- the boots have no steel toes
- they are a bit stiff at first and need to be broken in
- the boots feel a tad tight around the toe area
- they perform great on difficult trails, but they are not as durable as you’d think
All in all, these are still great tactical boots, breathable and versatile.
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) Whenever you want to get the comfort of sneakers while wearing tactical boots, try these Danner Men’s Tachyon 8″ Military Boot.
They feel lightweight and have many things to like about:
- they come with an EVA foam midsole and abrasion-resistant toe cap
- the boots are flexible and give a good ankle support
- they work great in the summer
- the upper part of the boots is completely synthetic for superior weight savings
- the speed lacing and 3-layer comfort give a snug, comfortable fit
- the boots are shock-absorbent and make the rocky trails be easy-peasy
- they feature just the right amount of padding
- they have metal breather holes and metal lace loops all the way up
- they come with simple, but efficient insoles
- the boots give a true fit and run true to size
- the tow box is very roomy
- the boots work amazing in all kinds of outdoor activities, including running
- they feature a minimalist tongue
- they have a tachyon slip-resistant outsole
These boots are worth every penny, but there are some things that could be improved. Our cons are:
- the boots need some time to break in
- they could use more padding in the upper laces portion
- they might give some red spots in the toe area
- they are not very long lasting
Despite these issues, these Danner boots are very good tactical boots that give flexibility on the move, no matter how hot it’s outside.
4) A fair priced military boots is the Maelstrom Men’s LANDSHIP 8 Inch Military Tactical Duty Work Boot with Zipper.
They have a polishable leather and nylon upper and are well made boots. There are many good things about these boots and here are the pros:
- the boots come with a rubber sole
- there is a breathable moisture-wicking lining that make these boots a great option for the spring/summer time
- the rubber outsole is slip/oil resistant and make the boots sturdy on all kinds of rugged terrain
- there is a removable, high-performance, shock-absorbent cushion insert, giving you comfort on any rocky trail, all day long
- the boots feel lightweight and the shock-absorbing molded midsole provides more comfort
- the boots have YKK heavy duty zippers with closure for fast on and off
- they come with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
These boots give good traction and a good grip on difficult trails, but there are some flaws. Our cons are:
- they run narrow and short so sizing might be off
- the heel cup pinches a bit
- the quality of the materials could be improved
- the boots might not be very long lasting
All in all, there are more good things to mention than bad things, so you don’t get a lemon if you buy these boots.
5) 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.
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.