Finding the right tactical boot among all options available can be very tricky, time consuming and stressful. Besides going through the hassle of clicking on every link, successfully choosing the best one tailored for your needs can seem unrealistic sometimes. Size, durability, comfort and more factors to consider makes the process more tedious and confusing especially when you have no idea what to look for in a good tactical boot. Well, the process might not be as difficult as it seems with the right guide. Here, I have compiled 10 lists and reviews of the best tactical boots you can find, putting into consideration many factors that makes a boot one of the best.
But, before we move on, I will write a simple guide/ things to look out for and mistakes to avoid when you want to buy a pair of boots.
How to Choose the Best Tactical Boots
Watch out for the materials used
The materials used for making a footwear is very important, if not the most important as it is a determinant for other factors. I will group these materials into two:
- Leather type and quality:
Is it a genuine or synthetic leather?.
Thickness, texture and more are to be considered here. Checking the quality of the leather before buying or wearing your footwear will save you the hassle of returning it to be exchanged or wasting your money.
The best way I always use to check for the quality of the leather is by rubbing or scratching a small covered part that can go undetected gently, if it peels or becomes rough, it is not a genuine leather. You can also rub in any colorless fatty substance to see if it will get absorbed. A genuine leather will absorb it.
If you are buying online, checking the manufacturer’s credibility and reviews will help.
Pay attention to color:
This is to make sure that that cool attractive turquoise blue is not fading anytime soon or worse change into a shade of blue you don’t like. Some colors get lighter or deeper with continuous exposure to sunlight, moisture and water. I always tend to favor primary colors and deeper color shades.
- Outsole and midsole:
Hard outsoles are good for their ability to not wear off quickly. When you think of hard soles, hiking boots, one good for heavy rough terrains, cut resistant and puncture proof soles comes to mind, just as softer soles will protect ankles and joints and give more flexibility. The outsole should be slip resistant.
The insole acts as a shock absorber as it is designed to keep feet protected, it is the part separating your feet and outsole, so it must not be too hard or soft to provide good support and comfort to your feet.
The inner part or sides that will envelope your feet should be soft, succulent and smooth to keep your feet warm.
If you need a boot for running, mountain climbing, rucking or activities that requires mobility or walking long distances, you might want to go for a lightweight boot. Expect a steel toe boot to be heavier and less flexible but durable and offer more protection for your toes.
Breathability and reliability
The last thing you want is your feet getting sweaty, sticking and smelly at the end of the day especially in hot weather. Go for breathable boots with mesh or/and holes that allows the entry of air to keep your feet as dry as possible.
Also, check for strong boot laces, sturdy stitches with threads of good quality, the quality of the zipper (one that doesn’t pull or get stuck to other materials), and any other things that might compromise its needs.
Ankle protection and gusseted tongue
If you run a lot or into more hiking, looking for a pair of tactical boots with great flexible ankle support should be a priority. This will help support your ankle and provide cushion to prevent blisters.
The gusseted tongue, the one above the bridge of your foot and under the boot laces, to prevent it from rubbing hard against your skin should be thick, soft and wide enough to prevent particles from entering into the boot.
Top 10 Best Tactical Boots
Bates is a brand that has been around since 1885 and have been known to make high-quality boots. Bate Men’s 8″ is one of the best boots you will find out there. It comes in black and coyote with sizes from US 7D (M) to US 16 2E (M), and features durable leather with nylon upper, gusseted tongue, good ankle support and moisture wicking mesh lining that keeps your feet dry and comfortable with non-metallic composite toe for safety and protection.
The upper part features the moisture wicking mesh lining that allows ventilation to keep the feet as dry as possible. This also prevents the feet and boot from smelling when it is worn for a long period of time.
After a long walk, taking off the boot easily is something everyone desires and this boot has a zipper on the side that makes it easy to slide in and out of it without having to deal with the stress of loosening the laces.
- Removable insert/ foot beds
Though it comes with a well cushioned EVA midsole that provides flexibility and warmth to the feet, if you are the type that prefers it thicker than it is, lighter, or prefers that of another brand, Bates men’s 8 offers the chance to satisfy your needs. Just remove and replace.
- Slip Resistant
It has slip resistant rubber outsole with pentagon shaped lugs that grips well to rough edges and surfaces, and allows smooth movement over oily and wet surfaces. This makes it great for hiking, mountain climbing and walking on ice.
- It is not waterproof: you might want to stick to dry land when you have it on as it can get messy.
- It might take some time to break it in, so have a spare boot if you need to go to work everyday but it will be worth the wait.
If you are looking for a durable lightweight hiking boot that can do no wrong, then go for Columbia.
The waterproof boot made of leather, suede and mesh made it to the list of best tactical boots for good reasons. It is made of leather, suede and mesh upper that allows it to breathe and keep feet from getting too hot during summer. This boot comes in different colors and sizes US 7D (M) – US 17 2E (M) and the heel is approximately 1.5″.
The PU coated leather and it’s waterproof seam- sealed construction keeps water away from your feet and keeps it warm and dry. Suitable for all weather, it can get through mud, rain and wet vegetation without getting your feet wet
- Lightweight and shock absorber
It features the Techlite lightweight midsole with adequate cushioning meant to give your feet enough warmth and support it needs and absorb shock created as a result of the hard impact of your boot on the ground. This also protects the heel and gives it a soft landing.
- Grips well to surfaces
It’s multi zone tread pattern and the Omnigrip non-marking traction outsole makes this badass boot grip like an octopus on surfaces and ensure balance when on rough terrains. It pushes dirt and mud out to ensure your boot is as light as possible.
This hiking boot is inspired by the mountaineer style and comes with reinforced heel and steel toe barrier, and this ensures it’s longevity. It is designed to withstand tough and rigorous activities without wearing off anytime soon
- It is suitable for all weather, it keeps your feet warm in winter and not too hot for summer.
- The presence of metal hardware upper makes it unsuitable for places where exposure to cable wire is common as it can conduct electricity and also set off metallic detectors.
Timberland has always been a well respected brand. It’s first guaranteed waterproof boot was created in 1973 before the introduction of it’s leather outwear in 1991 and since then, It never ceased to wow us with great designs and high-quality boots.
If you are a fan of timberland, you will know their boots are no joke. They are sophisticated and sturdy with the men’s Mt Maddsen Hiker Boot not an exception. It comes in black and shades of brown. Sizes range from US 7 D (M) to US 15 2E (M).
- Waterproof hiking boot
Made with full grain waterproof leather and Timberdry waterproof membrane that keeps the feet dry and fresh by stopping water from entering the boot. Walking around with a drenched boot doesn’t give the best feeling, let’s not forget the part where your feet become swollen and get itchy. This Timberland waterproof hiking boot makes sure to prevent that.
- It is rustproof
Yes, you read that right. If you are the type that hates the metallic accessories on your boot changing color, fading or rusting, you need this Timberland. Walking freely with dry, warm feet and confident that the quality of your boot is unmatched makes your hiking more fun.
It has EVA midsole and has some kind of comfort technology built into the midsole and the use of geometric cone support to absorb shock doesn’t make the feet tired after a long walk or climbing. Wearing heavy boots makes it harder to carry your legs with ease but the Timberland hiker boot offers the opposite.
- Slip resistant
Has solid rubber lug outsoles that grip to rough terrains and make it possible to walk on waxed surfaces without losing your footing.
- It doesn’t have zippers and there’s no good ventilation to keep the feet dry
Being a fan of Smith and Wesson myself, I would recommend their products any day. If you feel the same about their boots or you’ve never owned one, then it’s time to get this Men’s Breach 2.0 tactical boot. It comes in black and coyote. Sizes range from medium to large.
The 100% waterproof boot keeps water from soaking the feet in wet terrains. It’s 8″ high top upper which will keep your legs warm in cold regions. This means that, even if you walk through tall wet grassland all day, your leg will remain dry.
- Provides good comfort.
Its EVA midsole and cushioned inner provide comfort, absorb shock, support and balance your feet when hiking. The boot is very Light in weight which makes it perfect for all activities.
Features zipper on the side that runs from the upper egg of the sole to the top for easy slip in and out. This zipper ensures that when you feel like your feet is in need of some fresh air, you can just take it off with ease and relax.
- Steel shanks for support and traction
This keeps your feet in place and gives support to the sole when hiking or mountain climbing. It grips well on surfaces and keep you balanced on slippery ground
- It is suitable for cold weather
- It a high top boot which some might find uncomfortable.
- This might also make it feel stuffy and hot during summer.
Not just a super-comfy boot, it is fashionable and affordable too. The insole and lining is well cushioned to keep feet dry and soft. It comes in medium and wide sizes and colors (charcoal grey, granite, beluga, black, gold), it is made with 100% durable suede leather and mesh with supportive foot beds and a nylon arch shank . It is also worth mentioning that over 20 million people love and wear Moab boots.
It features breathable mesh lining that allows air inside while keeping moisture out to make sure your feet feels good always.
It has a protective toe cap that protects your toes from coming in contact with hard objects and surfaces. The air cushion in the heel ensures adequate absorption of shock that results from jumping or hitting the ground hard while keeping the feet stable.
- It is also great for running and walking long distances due to its durability, flexibility and good ankle support.
- Although, It is not waterproof and gets pretty soaked up easily, it is not so hard to clean either.
Here is Columbia on the list again, I guess they can do no wrong. This is for women and if there is a tactical boot you need, it is the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge. It is not just affordable, it is worth more than the price, I must say. It features waterproof leather, suede and mesh, it is stylish and you will find it in sizes US 5D (W) to US 12 D (W).
- Waterproof hiking boot
This boot is made with water proof materials from leather to the sole. It gives no room for moisture or water at all. While wearing this hiking boots, cold feet becomes history and you can go out, to work, and hiking in spring
- Beautiful color combination
That is probably the first thing that will attract you to this wonder woman waterproof hiking boot. The colors are so cool and addicting. We have the dove/white combination, cordovan/crown jewel, black/poppy red, elk/mountain red, Oxford tan/flame and more. Check it out and you will see just how cool they are. They are suitable to wear anywhere, anytime, any day.
It has enough cushioning for long lasting comfort, Techlite lightweight midsole for shock absorption while giving the feet the support it needs.
- Grips to surfaces
The Omnigrip non-marking traction rubber outsole does wonders by extra gripping rough edges and slippery surfaces.
- The toe cap has been reported not to be hard or strong as the steel toe boots
When you hear the word “multitasking” or “multipurpose”, look no more. Here we have the running boot versus the hiking boot. If you are the type who doesn’t like to have different types of footwear lying around, you probably just need the Vasque Multi-Sport shoe. It also comes in different color combinations and sizes US 7 D (M) to US 15 D (M).
- Great comfort
It features dual density EVA foot bed, molded EVA and TPU midsole for maximum support, comfort, balance and shock absorption. Its fully cushioned inners makes one’s feet feel at home, dry and warm throughout the day.
- Slip resistance
It’s Vasque off the grid OTG outsole enables it to grip tight unto rocks and allow hikers the freedom to hike freely and mountain climbers, to climb easily. The sole holds up well on waxed floor.
- All purpose boot
As mentioned before, be it hiking, snowboarding, office work, mountain climbing, running, walking, it is suitable for all and it is made with thick suede upper which makes it durable.
You don’t have to empty your wallet to be able to afford this cool sport shoe, it is budget-friendly and you will get to enjoy all the benefits of it’s features. I say it’s a win-win here.
- It is not waterproof
- May not withstand some rigorous activities but it is fashionable and definitely worth it’s price.
If you are looking towards durability, a tactical boot that will stand the test of time, I will advise to go for Men’s X Ultra. Made to travel through thick and thin, high and low. It will get you through long hikes, long walk and tough descents
It offers great comfort and provides optimal fit.
- The comfort it gives
It features gusseted tongue that keeps dirt and particles out, soft textile lining and injection-molded Eva midsole that supports and keeps feet soft and warm, Ortholite sock liner and foam with the EVA heel cup to absorb shock and support the heel.
The waterproof breathable liner prevents water from getting to your feet and keeps your feet warm in cold regions. Because of its waterproof features, you won’t need to worry about it needing days to dry before you wear it.
- Aggressive grip to terrains
This boot’s outsole is made in a unique pattern combined with two types of rubber that gives it a strong hold and grip terrains firmly. Exceptionally good for hiking, it never disappoints in providing support for the feet all through. The lines in the outsole makes it slip resistant and flexible.
- It is not waterproof, so it is best to prepare for rain so you won’t get caught up.
The Hiking Boot is perfect for everything. It is fashionable, and light in weight and that’s one of the many reasons it’s on our list. Its durability and flexibility makes it so comfortable to wear and sizes US 7 D (M) to US 14 2E (M).
- It is waterproof
It is made with waterproof suede upper and Danner dry waterproof protection to prevent the feet from getting soaked
- Slip resistant
The vibram SPE midsole works well with the Fuga outsoles to grip strongly to wet and slippery surfaces.
- It provides good support and cushioning to the feet while keeping it warm and steady.
- It can feel a bit stuffy because it doesn’t provide much ventilation due to it’s waterproof suede upper part
- It has no zipper.
First, I must say the design is so cool that I fell in love with it at first sight. It comes in black and coyote brown and it is just so affordable and definitely worth more than the price. It has leather and fabric upper and it doesn’t matter if you are looking for hunting boots, combat boots, hiking boots or work boots, the tactical Military Boot is for you.
It is made with full grain leather that has been known to withstand heavy use and work through rough terrains without wearing and tearing.
- It is a multipurpose footwear
For whatever reason you want to buy a boot, this can serve the purpose well. It features a great design and sturdy look that can look like a normal boot sometimes too. Just pick a pair and complement it with a pair of leather trousers to see how fashionable it can be.
The zipper makes a whole lot of difference when it comes to wearing it. The zipper allows fresh air into your boot whenever it feels stuffy and when the feet becomes itchy.
- It is not waterproof.
How do I clean my boot when it is dirty?
Dip a soft towel into a cold or lukewarm water (you can add little powdered soap), and use it to wipe the surface gently to avoid damaging the materials especially when dealing with the non waterproof materials or suede. Then leave it to dry in a well ventilated place. If you can avoid using water on your suede materials, spraying it with the suitable spray is a better option.
What should I do when my boots smell bad?
Remove the insole, clean the boot inside out with water and soap, then leave in the open to dry. Do not wear it immediately if you can, allow it to dry probably and always spread your boots out after taking it off by removing the foot bed, shoelaces and opening it wide to allow fresh air in. This will help get rid of the bad smell that results from the heat.
Do I need a shoe tree to make my boots last longer?
A shoe tree will not only keep your boots in shape but will also absorb any moisture left inside the boot that can cause foul smell. Getting a shoe tree is a good way of ensuring your boot’s longevity.
How do I break in a new pair of boots I just bought?
Moisturize your feet well with baby oil then wear the boot and walk around your room for few minutes at regular intervals. If your feet hurts, leave it for another day to try it on again.
Wear thick socks for added cushion when you put your boot on, or get a shoe last that is the same size (or a little bit wider) as the boot, rub some baby oil on it, insert the shoe last into the boot and try to move it around, then in and out of the boot simultaneously. Repeat this several times a day and wipe off the oil with clean dry towel. If your toes hurts, push the shoe last back in, sprinkle some water on the upper part of boot (for boots not waterproof and made with leather), then leave it in open air to dry.
What is the best way to care for my boots?
The best way to care for your boots is to care for it like you care for your skin.
- Clean inside the boot as well as the outside regularly.
- Always dry out your boots after you take them off.
- Polish and spray when necessary.
- Don’t just dump them anywhere, arrange them neatly and get a shoe tree or lasts to keep your boots in shape.
- Do not rub on rough surfaces or use harsh chemicals to remove stains.
Getting the best boots can be hard but following our guide will help make your decision easier.
If you want to follow the easy way, you can just choose one of the 10 best tactical boots on our list, I recommend the Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Boot and the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot any day.
In the end, finding good boots is just a matter of having the right knowledge with careful selection and comparison. It’s more of your needs and choice.
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