Are you searching for the best tactical boots?
So much rides on your feet if you’re in the field, and with that in mind I have reviewed the top models available and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for the best tactical boots picks, or read on for the full review:
- 5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 8″ Storm Combat Boots
- Under Armour Men’s Stellar Military and Tactical Boot
- Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots 8″
- 5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Men’s Boot
- Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot
Our feet are surprisingly complex and fragile, and if you plan to spend time in the woods, are worried about being exposed to extreme stress, or live in an area with rocky terrain, then high quality tactical boots are in order.
Selecting the Best Tactical Boots
I know how overwhelming it is to look for tactical boots, no matter whether you are shopping because you need them for your job or because you want to have them in case of a bug out situation. No matter why you need tactical boots, the process of finding the right ones for you is going to be the same.
Of course, before you start shopping, you need to set your budget. Some tactical boots are surprisingly affordable, while others tend to be much more expensive, so knowing what you are comfortable spending will help you quickly narrow down your options and will make the shopping process a lot faster and easier.
Once you have your budget, consider the construction of the boots you’re looking at. Every type of material used will have pros and cons, so you need to do your research. I appreciate boots that have leather in them, as it will stretch and move with your foot and will also help protect against cold and wet.
You also need to consider how much water will get in to your foot. There are some tactical boots that are waterproof, which is great, but this means that they will take a lot longer to dry out when they do get wet. Make sure that you think about how waterproof the boots are, as well as their drying time.
It can be really hard to balance high-quality components with a lower weight for your boot, but some companies have managed to do this. Remember that your boots are going to be on your feet all day, and if they are heavy, then you may have problems lifting your feet when you get tired. It’s a fine balance to find boots that are lighter but still high-quality.
Benefits of Having Quality Tactical Boots
Tactical boots have the obvious advantage of being able to protect your feet when you are putting them under a lot of stress. All of the bones, muscles, and ligaments in your feet can easily be damaged if you do not take steps to protect them, and the best way to do this is to invest in high-quality tactical boots.
These boots are great for people who have injured their ankles in the past, as they offer plenty of stability and support to this part of the body, keeping them straight and secure. Additionally, tactical boots can help prevent damage to the knees, which is great for anyone who has weak joints. By keeping your feet aligned correctly, they will ensure that your knees and hips are, as well.
If you are going to be out in the woods, especially in the dark, then tactical boots are an obvious choice, as they will help to protect you not only from stepping on something sharp and dangerous, but also from snakes that may try to bite you.
I also think that tactical boots are a great option for anyone who will be carrying a heavy load, as they will help to give you extra support.
What to Look For
Side zippers make putting your new tactical boots on and taking them back off incredibly fast and easy. Not all tactical boots have a side zipper and instead rely on laces, which is fine, but takes longer. I like having a zipper so that I can be on the go in a hurry.
Another thing to consider when shopping is the type of insole support. Since you are going to be on your feet, possibly with a heavy pack on your back, you need to make sure that your feet have the best possible support. I love it when tactical boots have removable insoles so that you can replace them as they lose their support or even add ones with more support if you are prone to foot problems or foot pain.
How to Best Use Your New Tactical Boots
One thing that a lot of people forget when they invest in tactical boots is that they need to be broken in so that they will be comfortable. It’s easy to assume that your new boots will fit perfectly, but it’s a huge mistake to not wear them on a regular basis to break them in. By taking time to break in your boots before you wear them all day or in an emergency, you can reduce the risk of foot pain and blisters.
Additionally, your new boots do need regular care to last as long as possible. Make sure that you clean them regularly and keep them dry. If you are going to be regularly wearing them when they are still wet, then I recommend investing in another pair so that you can swap between them. This allows them time to dry out completely and will keep them looking and feeling great and lasting for longer.
5 Best Tactical Boots
Whether you’re looking for tactical boots for hiking, corrections, or your bug out bag the key is selecting a high quality pair that can stand up to continued wear and abuse. I have reviewed the top models based on durability, comfort, and materials. If you’re like me and have wide feet make sure to select a wide size when picking your pair out.
5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 8″ Storm Combat Boots
Unlike some tactical boots on the market today, these are surprisingly comfortable, which means that they are great for wearing for long periods of time. The tough zipper is designed to last for as long as the rest of the boot and won’t easily break, no matter how many times you zip and unzip them. Additionally, the tread is tough and deep for extra grip.
- 1200-denier Cordura nylon side panels
- Hidden side pocket
- Antibacterial lining
- Triple stitching to protect against water and regular damage
- Waterproof, so they can be used in outdoor situations without you getting uncomfortable
- Incredibly lightweight
- Side panel tends to tear at the seam
- “wide” size runs small
- Difficult to put on and to take back off
Under Armour Men’s Stellar Military and Tactical Boot
Not only are these boots very comfortable, but they are really lightweight, which is perfect for people who are going to be hiking or travelling when wearing them. While they aren’t 100% waterproof, they are water resistant and designed to dry quickly when water does get inside of them, which is great for being outside.
- Thick and durable rubber sole
- Quick-dry design
- Polishable toe for a little shine, which is great for work
- EVA midsole is molded and has a reinforced TPU shank for extra support
- Anti-odor technology
- Lightweight boots are great for when you’re on the move
- Toe material can easily become scratched and damaged
- Tend to take a long time to break in
- Sole tends to wear thin in spots quickly
Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots 8″
These durable tactical boots are designed to be incredibly rugged and also very comfortable, which is great for anyone who is on their feet for long periods of time. They have an EVA midsole to provide comfort and support to the foot and are designed to keep the foot rigid and supported so that it doesn’t slip due to fatigue.
- Made from a mix of leather and nylon
- Gusseted tongue prevents debris and dirt from entering the boot
- Rubber outsole minimizes traction loss
- Steel shank adds extra foot support
- Great for use in water
- Large enough to add additional insole for comfort
- Front toe cap tends to peel off
- Leather will split where the toe creases
- Soles aren’t securely attached to the boot
5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Men’s Boot
Thanks to the 5.11 shock mitigation system in these boots, you won’t have to worry about what kind of terrain you are on or how hard you are on your feet, as you won’t be in pain when wearing them. They are designed to provide complete protection against the elements and to ensure that your feet won’t be cold or wet when you’re wearing them outside.
- Includes covert tactical pocket
- Semi rigid reinforcement on the toe and heel
- Cushioned insole for comfort
- Side zipper with YKK hardware
- Sausage laces are designed to stay tied
- Moisture wicking lining that is antibacterial
- The heel and toe tend to fall apart
- Inner fabric in the heel wears out easily
- Vented rivets tend to fall out
Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot
Durability is key when purchasing tactical boots, and Bates worked hard to make these boots last as long as possible. They have a thick rubber sole that is designed to offer plenty of grip, even in wet situations, and the side zipper makes it easy to pull them on in a hurry when faced with an emergency. Additionally, they are incredibly lightweight, which is great for people who need to think on their feet.
- Outsole is durable and slip-resistant
- Cushioned removable insert
- Breathable lining
- Lace-up vamp
- Don’t require a long break-in period
- Perfect for everyday use
- Side zipper makes them easy to put on and take off
- Don’t have a pull tab or loop
- Laces are short and are best replaced
- Tend to rub on the inner ankles
For more tactical and survival guides and tips check out these articles:
- Best Range Bags
- Best Tactical Vest and Plate Carriers
- Best Military Watch
- Best Tactical Backpack
- Best Combat Boots
- Best Tactical Tomahawk
- Best Bushcraft Knife
- Best Survival Machete
- Best Survival Shovel
- Top Tactical Belt
I think that the Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 are the best tactical boots on this list. I love the side zipper on them, the thick and rugged sole, and the fact that you can easily remove the insert to swap it out for one that offers you the most comfort. Additionally, they are surprisingly lightweight, which is great if you are going to be on your feet for long hours and want to make sure that you don’t get tired. They’re perfect for use on the job and for weekend trips out into the woods, and they work equally well in both situations.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at [email protected]