If you ask anyone in the law enforcement or military field, it’s crucial to get the best tactical boots for running and catching bad people. This type of footwear is also ideal for hunters, hikers, or any outdoor adventurer who wants to keep their feet fully protected from rough terrains. Basically, everyone needs a tactical boot when they want to keep their feet comfortable and safe from injuries, whether it’s work or play.
I have found so many pairs of tactical boots on the market, and they have similar features. They look rugged to withstand any harsh elements outside. If you want advice on what critical factors to consider when choosing tactical boots, here are the basics.
- Material: Good quality tactical boots are made of durable leather and a breathable textile upper. Genuine leather is ideal since it can outlive all synthetic materials and offer adequate water resistance. A nylon upper provides breathability to keep your feet cool and dry.
- Protection: You want the best support on your ankles and arch to make standing or walking more comfortable for long hours. More specifically, midsole cushioning helps minimize aches and pains. The boots should also have a removable insole for extra comfort and an anti-slip outsole to keep steady on the ground.
- Weight: Since you’ll be wearing the boots for long hours, you want them to be as lightweight as possible. Finding a lightweight tactical boot that can endure the stress of tactical tasks is the utmost goal. The lightest tactical boot I found is about 2.2 lbs.
There’s still more to talk about in the buying guide below. In the meantime, let’s take a look at the top brands in our top tactical boot review.
Table of Contents
- Top 12 Tactical Boots Reviews
- 1. Bates Men’s 8” Ultralite Tactical Side Zip Military Boot
- 2. Under Armour Men’s Stellar Military And Tactical Boots
- 3. NORTIV 8 Men’s Military Tactical Work Boots
- 4. 5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 6” Tactical Military Boot, Style 12394
- 5. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
- 6. Under Armour Women’s Stellar Military And Tactical Boots
- 7. CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots
- 8. Danner Men’s Tachyon 8” Military And Tactical Boots
- 9. Skechers Men’s New Wascana-Benen Military And Tactical Boots
- 10. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots
- 11. Reebok Men’s Sublite Cushion Tactical RB8605 Boot
- 12. Fila Men’s Chastizer Military And Tactical Boot
- What to Look for When Buying Tactical Boots
- Are Tactical Boots Good for Everyday Wear
- How to Make Tactical Boots More Comfortable
- How to Lace Tactical Boots
- How to Take Care of Tactical Boots
Top 12 Tactical Boots Reviews
1. Bates Men’s 8” Ultralite Tactical Side Zip Military Boot
Bates is one of the top-rated tactical boot brands for uniform footwear. This Ultralite model is a lightweight boot as it doesn’t have a metal/composite toe guard to add weight to the tactical shoes.
I think the Ultralite is the most comfortable tactical boots I’ve worn because they bend with my foot well and provide amazing treading underneath. These army tactical boots feel so lightweight that I can run on them for long periods of time. Impressively, they don’t make my feet freeze in the winter and sweat in a hot climate like other tactical boots I had.
The material is a blend of 70% leather and 30% nylon, so these tactical duty boots are built to last. I’ve used these a couple of times in the rain, and I never had water seep inside my boots, so I’ll say that they’re waterproof somehow. Also, the rubber sole seems to offer excellent traction on any ground surface.
The side zippers make this tactical footwear easy to wear. I love that there are no composite or metal guards on the toe box as my toes can move around freely. Even without them, my toes still get enough protection for long hours of use.Heads-up: However, these side zip tactical boots are a little bigger than I expected. I recommend users size down to get a tighter fit. Pros:
- Lightweight and with treading
- Won’t freeze or make the feet sweat like most tactical boots
- Still protects the toes even without the composite or metal toe guards
- Moves well with the foot, making them comfortable to use while running
- Prevents water from getting inside the shoes and treads well on any ground
- Durable construction of leather and nylon with side zippers for easy wearing
- Size comes a little bigger
2. Under Armour Men’s Stellar Military And Tactical Boots
The Under Armour Men’s Stellar is another lightweight boot ideal for hiking and chasing bad guys. This pair of tactical boots look tough and seem durable to last for heavy-duty use.
These top rated tactical boots can walk in the rain because the leather material is treated with a water-repellent finish. I could see the water rolling on the leather-toe box one rainy day. I tried wearing them both in winter and summer, and I think they can hold pretty well.
The upper portion is made of 900D nylon textile, so these Under Armour tactical boots feel breathable and comfortable. I like that these hard-wearing tactical boots provide ample support to the arch and ankle while standing for long hours. My feet used to hurt after work, but now I don’t feel any pain at all.
The thing that I like best about these top tactical boots is that they don’t make my feet smell. I believe that Under Armour applies anti-odor technology to the molded Ortholite sock liner. This makes the Under Armour Stellar a good pair of hot weather tactical boots.Heads-up: However, these hiking boots are a little difficult to put on without the side zippers. The laces need to be loosened before I can put them on my feet, which can cause a delay when I’m in a rush. Pros:
- Lightweight to hike and use for long hours
- Water only rolls on the leather part, thanks to the water-repellent finish
- Protects the feet both in winter and summer
- 900D nylon makes the boots breathable and comfortable
- Offers sufficient arch support and ankle support
- Anti-odor technology and Ortholite liner
- Takes time to loosen the laces before wearing
3. NORTIV 8 Men’s Military Tactical Work Boots
These tactical military boots from NORTIV 8 are made for daily work and outdoor activities, like mountaineering and camping. I wasn’t expecting too much from these cheap boots, but holy, I was wrong.
The tactical hiking boots are made of abrasion-resistant leather and a breathable fabric upper. Together, they provide maximum comfort and guarantee long-lasting protection at the same time. I like that the uppers shed dirt and mud off quite well to make the military boots look clean longer.
Other tactical work boots take several days to break in, but this NORTIV 8 option was comfortable straight out from the package. These military boots provide excellent ankle support because I never had any injuries when walking on rough terrains. They also fit well as the laces hold the foot securely, and the YKK side zippers make the boots easy to put on/off.
The sole design of these jungle boots is just amazing. The removable insoles provide shock-absorbent cushion, while the flexible EVA midsole offers great mid-foot support against fatigue. More importantly, the rubber outsole provides superior grip even on oily surfaces for extra safety.Heads-up: However, this NORTIV 8 pair is bad for wet conditions because they aren’t waterproof boots. I recommend customers spray the high-ankle boots with a silicone spray for more water protection. Pros:
- Feels comfortable from the start, no break-in period needed
- Removable insoles and slip-resistant rubber outsole offers cushion and safety
- EVA midsole keeps the foot fatigue-free; abrasion-resistant & breathable
- Comes with a side zipper for easy wearing and laces to hold the feet securely
- Very economical, given the price point
- Upper fabric sheds off dirt well; suits outdoor activities
- Not waterproof enough to keep the feet dry from rain
4. 5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 6” Tactical Military Boot, Style 12394
The Style 12394 is a 6 inch tactical boot from 5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 series. These are the most suitable tactical boots for flat feet because they provide ample arch support.
The Ortholite footbed comes with an Achilles heel flex zone to provide a wider range of motion. I especially like the YKK side zipper because it makes it easy to remove the boots within seconds. Thankfully, this pair is good enough to keep the water out because I haven’t experienced any water intrusion so far.
The first thing I notice when I wear these black tactical boots is that they’re lighter than other boots. It’s almost to the point that I would doubt their durability if I didn’t know better. This lightweight tactical boot seems built to last with its leather toe and 840D nylon upper.
The outsole is the best part because the grip is superb in any weather. I live somewhere where I experience all weather conditions, from snow to flooding rain, and these quality boots never made me slip. Interestingly, the boots come with a shock mitigation system for rugged protection.Heads-up: However, these comfortable boots run small. I suggest customers pick one size larger than what they usually get. Pros:
- Lightweight yet made of durable leather toe and 840D nylon upper
- Ortholite footbed with Achilles flex zone provides freedom of motion
- YKK side zipper allows for easy removal of boots
- Slip-resistant outsole provides excellent grip in all weather conditions
- Can help keep the water out for extra protection; ample arch support
- Designed with a shock mitigation system
- Size may come too small
5. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
These waterproof tactical boots from FREE SOLDIER are designed for any weather conditions. The outer surface and interior lining are coated with a waterproof coating to keep the water out.
These are lightweight tactical boots because they only weigh around 2.2 lbs, which is similar to the weight of a standard 1-liter soda bottle. Whenever I wear these boots, I’m surprised that I don’t feel any fatigue. My feet also stay dry, thanks to the waterproof lycra cloth lining that dissipates the sweat more quickly.
I love the protection that these tactical hiking boots give to my feet. They remind me of my favorite jump boots. Besides keeping the water out, the gusseted tongue also keeps dirt and other debris from entering the desert boots. Both the toe cap and the semi-rigid heel are strengthened to protect the feet from collision and shocks, so they’re perfect for rugged use at work and outdoors.
The construction seems sturdy with the wear-resistant TPU body and anti-puncture plaid fabric upper. This pair of boots fits well and feels comfortable all day long. I walk on the rough concrete floor, and these combat boots provide me with the support I need, thanks to the all-terrain outsole that treads on any surface.Heads-up: However, for customers who wear thick socks, I recommend going up half a size when getting these synthetic boots. Pros:
- Waterproof outer surface and inner cloth keep feet warm and dry
- Super lightweight as it only weighs about 2.2 lbs, so no feet fatigue
- Gusseted tongue keeps debris out of the combat boots
- Strengthened toe cap and semi-rigid heel offer full protection from impact
- TPU body and plaid fabric upper seem sturdy and fit well
- All-terrain outsole treads on any ground
- Thick socks should go with a slightly bigger shoe size
6. Under Armour Women’s Stellar Military And Tactical Boots
The Women’s Stellar Tactical Boots from Under Armour are the perfect pair to wear in cold weather as they help keep feet warmer than old Nike tactical boots. Also, these combat boots are designed with UA Storm technology to prevent water from entering inside.
Thankfully, these shoes came true to size, so I ordered my usual size. I got a size 10 of these cold weather boots, and they fit perfectly. Also, they can hold a shine like the 5.11 boots for a more professional look.
This pair of boots are lightweight and comfortable to wear, thanks to the removable insoles and quick-dry minimalist design. I’m pleased that they don’t feel like a burden on my feet. Instead, I feel the support from the reinforced TPU shank and the molded EVA midsole.
The body is made of durable leather, while the upper is designed with soft 900D nylon. These combat boots are slip-resistant as I haven’t slipped in the industrial kitchen even once. The rubber sole has a low-profile lug pattern to grip on all surfaces, whether they’re oily wet, or rough.Heads-up: However, it’s a little difficult to get my foot in this mountain boot. I hoped there was a side zipper to make it more convenient to wear, but lacing up the shoes became easier after I got used to them. Pros:
- Offers great warmth and water resistance, thanks to the UA Storm technology
- Come true to size and can hold a long shine, like the 5.11
- Removable insoles and quick-dry minimalist design add extra comfort
- Excellent construction of leather body and 900D nylon upper
- Reinforced TPU shank & EVA midsole offer excellent foot support
- Low-profile lug patterns on rubber outsole grip hard on any surface
- A bit difficult to wear without the side zippers
7. CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots
The CQR Military Tactical Boots are made for better performance of military and law enforcement personnel, but sports and outdoor adventurers can also enjoy these shoes. These combat boots are designed with laces and YKK zippers for easy wear and removal.
I admire the laces because they wrap my feet and ankle well to keep them cool and dry. I feel like the ankle protection from the 3D Lightweight structure is pretty amazing, as I can do all my tasks without hesitation. Also, the arch is quite high to relieve the pressure and strain from my foot.
The body is made of genuine cow leather and a sort of Duratex ripstop fabric material. It seems that the ripstop fabric is dirt and dust-proof because nothing sticks on it. Additionally, the YKK zippers come with a velcro hook closure, so these combat boots stay secure no matter what.
I tried to step into a small pool of water, and my socks still remained dry. I also tried walking on a heavily mossy area to check the boots’ traction, and they didn’t let me slip. I believe that the ergonomic lug patterns contribute to the excellent traction of the outsole.Heads-up: My only complaint is that the toe box has no reinforcement. It’s entirely made of fabric, so I’m afraid that my toes will get injured when something heavy falls on my boots. Pros:
- YKK zippers come with a Velcro hook closure; laces wrap the ankle and feet well
- For law enforcement, military, and outdoor enthusiasts
- 3D Lightweight structure for superb ankle protection
- High arch support relieves strain and pressure from the feet
- Cow leather; durable ripstop fabric repels dust & dirt
- Has excellent traction on any ground, water-repellant
- Lacks reinforcement on the fabric toe box area
8. Danner Men’s Tachyon 8” Military And Tactical Boots
Danner offers one of the most beautiful coyote brown tactical boots out there. These boots are some of the lightest and most well-made tactical boots in their class, so law enforcement and other adventure seekers can enjoy this pair.
I love the coyote color as it pairs well with my OCP uniform. The sand and dirt even fade the color nicely, providing an even more beautiful appearance. Also, the laces are of good quality and provide adequate heel support for more work safety.
The best part is that these boots seem to retain their structure and support for very long. The nylon shank is extremely supportive and helps stabilize my steps. Best of all, these jungle boots seem durable because they hold up pretty well after walking for 100 miles.
The tactical boots breathe well to keep my feet cool. The material is a combination of leather and nylon upper that dries quickly. On the occasions I wore these boots, I never noticed my feet getting sweaty.Heads-up: However, these Danner boots are a mediocre option for the cold because the boots are quite thin, especially in the upper area. Pros:
- Has a lovely coyote brown color that matches well with the OCP uniform
- Looks even more beautiful with a little sand and dirt
- Good quality laces offer appropriate heel support
- Nylon shanks help keep the shape and support of the boots
- Seems durable with the leather and nylon construction
- Dissipates heat and dries quickly to keep feet sweat-free and cool
- A bit thin to provide warmth on the cold days
9. Skechers Men’s New Wascana-Benen Military And Tactical Boots
The Wascana-Benen Tactical Boots is a comfortable pair from Skechers. These tactical boots come true to size and provide extra width to give lots of room for movement.
These boots are leather with a textile upper to make them lightweight. For a tactical work boot, this Skechers model doesn’t appear inelegant. This pair looks good with the polishable black leather and the embroidered logo.
The best part of these boots is the memory foam insole. It makes a large difference in making the shoes very comfortable. Even when I’m running or walking with these boots for long hours, I don’t feel any foot aches at all.
I believe that there’s a steel shank on the boots because they were able to hold their shape even under stress. The shank also helps add balance to the boots. More importantly, this pair requires no break-in period because they came feeling soft to me already.Heads-up: However, I don’t think that the leather is authentic because it doesn’t stretch as much as real leather. That said, the quality is still high, and vegans might actually prefer this over real leather. Pros:
- Come true to size and wide to provide extra room for foot movement
- Textile upper feels lightweight
- Looks immaculate with the polishable leather and embroidered logo
- Memory foam insole eases the tension and pressure from the foot
- Steel shank helps retain the shape while providing balance
- No break-in time needed to achieve maximum comfort
- Seems like the leather is synthetic and not genuine
10. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots
FREE SOLDIER offers another good pair of military work boots that are durable, comfortable, and breathable to wear in any weather. These are good desert tactical boots because they’re lightweight with a breathable suede upper.
I think the boots only weigh around 2.4 lbs, so I don’t feel any fatigue when wearing them. Since these boots lace all the way up, I feel great support on my ankles. The laces seem quite sturdy, especially with the metal eye holes that allow laces to slide better for quick on and off.
There’s a gusseted tongue, which I find very helpful in keeping pebbles, sand, and other debris from getting into the tactical boots. Even water won’t penetrate easily into the boots, so there’s magnificent protection. Also, my feet stay dry and cool, thanks to the vented holes and Cordura textile in the ankle area.
I love the molded toe cap as it offers enough protection from outer shock. I once bumped my foot on a rock, and I didn’t get any bruises, surprisingly. I can walk on any ground with the shoes, perhaps due to the strong grip of the outsole.Heads-up: However, the size runs a little small. Sizes labeled as 12 or 13 seem to be similar to size 11, so I think these boots aren’t designed for American feet. Pros:
- Lightweight to wear with the breathable suede upper and 2.4-lb weight
- Laces are easy to slide onto metal eye holes and provide great ankle support
- Gusseted tongue prevents the intrusion of water, sand, and other debris
- Keeps feet cool and dry with the ankle Cordura fabric and vented holes
- Molded toe cap protects feet from bumps and injuries
- All-terrain outsole grips securely on any surface
- Size may run too small for American feet
11. Reebok Men’s Sublite Cushion Tactical RB8605 Boot
Nothing provides more flexibility than Reebok Men’s Sublite Rb8605. I like to wear them as work boots because they’re comfortable.
These mens tactical boots feature full-foot flex grooves to move with every step. They increase mobility and make me walk really easily, perfect for a long day of work. I’m also pleased that my feet remained cool and dry when I wore them last summer.
I love the soft support from these tactical boots. The MemoryTech Massage footbed follows the contours of my foot, providing an immediate cushion on my arch. Also, I don’t feel any hard or sharp objects because the Sublite foam midsole adds more cushion and soft support.
The rubber outsole seems to be well-designed, as it treads well on cement. It feels so lightweight that I can make fast sprints. Best of all, the leather material feels authentic and polishable to improve the boots’ appearance.Heads-up: However, the toe box is a little narrow. My brother has wider feet, so he had to ditch this option for a wider pair. I recommend users size up to enjoy a larger toe box. Pros:
- Full-foot flex grooves increase mobility and move with every step
- Keeps feet cool and dry, perfect for hot days
- MemoryTech Massage footbed offers a nice cushion to the arch
- Sublite foam midsole shields the feet from feeling hard or sharp objects
- Thin rubber outsole walks well on cement and allows fast sprints
- Leather material feels genuine and polishable to get a better look
- Has a small toe box area
12. Fila Men’s Chastizer Military And Tactical Boot
The Fila Men’s Chastizer Tactical Boot features a structured high-top design with a breathable perforated mesh and a lace-up front closure. I was looking for sufficient ankle support, and the Chastizer didn’t disappoint.
I like the high-top design because it provides great support on the ankles aside from looking really cool. There’s a perforated mesh overlaying the leather material, so my feet stay cool even in the summer. I think the leather material is high-quality because it seems durable and easy to maintain.
My favorite is the EVA sole along with the footbed because every vibration is gently absorbed for maximum comfort. The great shock-absorbing qualities make it easy to run and walk with these boots. I wore them the whole day, and my feet didn’t hurt a bit.
I find the zipper the most convenient as I’m someone who’s always in a hurry. Once the laces are set up, it makes putting the boots on ten times easier. Best of all, there are no metal parts to trigger a metal detector when going through security.Heads-up: However, the zipper wears out easily. I recommend users handle it very carefully or use the laces instead. Pros:
- High-top design looks cool and provides adequate support on the ankles
- Perforated mesh helps feet remain cool during the hot days
- Leather material provides easy maintenance and durability
- EVA sole offers incredible shock-absorbing qualities for easy walking
- Zipper makes wearing super convenient, especially once the laces are already set
- No metal parts to trigger a metal detector
- Zippers may wear out easily
What to Look for When Buying Tactical Boots
It’s difficult to choose tactical boots without proper knowledge. You have to make sure that the pair suits best for your needs. Here are some critical factors that you should consider when purchasing new tactical boots.
Leather is commonly used as a body for tactical boots. All leather tactical boots are known for their durability, especially the genuine ones, as they can endure the most demanding environments. Full-grain leather is even water-resistant, perfect for keeping the feet dry.
To make the boots more lightweight, manufacturers integrated leather with a nylon textile upper. This type of fabric is soft, allowing the foot to stay dry and cool. For extra durability, look for ballistic nylon or something with a higher denier count.
Look for side zippers for great ease of use, though laces provide better heel support. To get the best of both worlds, choose a tactical boot with both side zippers and laces.
Tactical boots made in USA are usually reliable since they pass the strict standards of quality.
The fit of the tactical boots can affect your performance. You’ll want the boots neither too small nor too big. The boost should fit snugly without limiting your foot movement, just like any shoe.
Trying the boots yourself is the best way to get the perfect fit. If you plan to wear insoles or socks, wear them so you can find the most comfortable fit.
Generally, there should be a small space between the end of the boot’s insole and the end of your longest toe.
Check the sizing guide of the manufacturer if you’re shopping online. You can refer to your normal running shoe sizes because they’re pretty much the same as those of tactical boots. Keep in mind that the US size is often one size bigger than the UK size.
Composite, Steel, Or Soft Toe
Steel toe tactical boots provide the best protection. They’re perfect for industrial or rugged environments as they’re incredibly effective in shielding the feet from any falling debris. However, they add weight to the boots and can trigger metal detectors.
Composite materials, like dense plastic and carbon fiber, are lighter alternatives to steel. Composite toe tactical boots offer an adequate level of safety and easy access for areas with metal detectors. This type of toe material is also better in the cold.
Soft toe is the most lightweight from this bunch, but it won’t protect your feet from any impact or crushing injuries. It does provide some protection, but only for water and microbes.
To hold your ground better, look for an outsole with good traction. Rubber outsoles are abrasion-resistant and won’t slip on oily surfaces. TPU or thermo-polyurethane soles offer greater resistance to abrasion, oils, and other range of elements.
Deep, multi-directional treads give boots good control and traction when running. An aggressive outsole keeps the boots from sliding when walking across loose gravel and sand. It also provides reliable traction, even when walking through mud.
Tactical boots that have slip-resistant outsoles perform better to offer solid footing in all types of severe weather conditions or when sprinting over wet/oily flooring.
The most comfortable tactical boots provide the best cushion and support. Look for shock-absorbing EVA midsoles as they can endure any potential challenge during running or walking. The midsole is that portion that offers rebound and cushioning, and it helps shield the feet from feeling the sharp or hard objects underneath.
Well-made midsoles usually follow the foot line.
Many brands, like Under Armour and 5.11, use Ortholite insoles to help move the moisture away and keep your feet cool and dry. They’re pretty lightweight, so they improve your performance.
Are Tactical Boots Good for Everyday Wear
Tactical boots are good for daily wear, especially if they’re comfortable. There are already so many cool-looking boots that you can pair with your favorite clothes. For example, high-heel boots look good with a dress.
How to Make Tactical Boots More Comfortable
You can wear cushioned socks and insoles to keep the feet from rubbing into the hard tactical boot’s interior. Since day one, wear your boots for an hour daily until they break in and soften up. Boots, especially the leather ones, feel stiff, so condition them with a waterproofing lotion or cream to make them supple.
How to Lace Tactical Boots
First, insert the lace through the bottom eyelets. The lace should come from inside towards the outside. Next, cross the lace’s ends as you move them diagonally up and through the next eyelet set.
How to Take Care of Tactical Boots
Wipe down your tactical boots with a soft, dry cloth to get rid of dirt and dust. For stubborn dirt, use a toothbrush and work in circular motions. For stains, use a stiff toothbrush and wipe with a wet sponge.
The interior should also be hand washed to remove any grime and dirt. Use paper towels or cloth under the sink. Once done, air dry the boots completely.
Polishable leather boots can be waxed to retain their shine. Consider applying a waterproof spray or gel to improve the performance of your boots under the rain.
The best tactical boots should not only be protective but also be comfortable and durable. My top pick is the Bates Men’s Ultralite because it has a good traction and is flexible to wear for any occasion. This Ultralite pair is also easy to wear with its side zippers and won’t freeze or sweat my feet, which is quite rare.
Under Armour’s Stellar Boots are the best when it comes to great support for the arch and ankle. NORTIV 8 offers the most economical tactical boots out there, while 5.11 ATAC 2.0 is ideal for durability.
I am Everett Bledsoe, taking on the responsibility of content producer for The Soldiers Project. My purpose in this project is to give honest reviews on the gear utilized and tested over time. Of course, you cannot go wrong when checking out our package of information and guide, too, as they come from reliable sources and years of experience.