A good pair of footwear can set you up for success when you go on an adventure or a mission. Specifically, the best tactical boots are the ideal choice for police or military duty. They’re functional, comfortable, and even trendy. Plus, they aren’t that expensive.
If your work can be unpredictable or dangerous, protecting your walkers from injuries, pain, and other untoward incidents is a top priority. We have the lowdown on some of our favorite tactical boots to help you find the right fit.
Best Tactical Boots
We have several good things to say about clothing and gear company 5.11 Tactical Inc. This brand struck a partnership with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) almost three decades ago, supplying training pants for agents. It has since then grown to develop a wider law enforcement line. Among these products is the ATAC 2.0 8” Storm Boots.
These 8-inch boots are a mix of contrasts. Foremost, they’re lighter and more flexible at the upper end, yet also tough and durable. They’re put together using the Strobel method, where the upper is stitched to a fabric bottom before being cemented onto the outer sole. ‘
If you spend most of your day on the field, this pair sports OrthoLite insoles that are cushy, breathable, and moisture-wicking. These allow your feet to breathe. Your Achilles heel is supported with a flex zone that allows a range of motion. Slipping into each shoe is made easy by a side-zip. Wrap things up with laces that will stay in place throughout your use.
With 5.11 Tactical’s signature Shock Mitigation System (SMS), you can be ready for surfaces or terrains of any kind – rough, smooth, or anything in between. No matter where your next combat is happening, you can rely on the SMS feature to maximize compression and rebound for improved traction, stability, and control. Your pace is not compromised, as well.
In the thick of operations, you can also ensure safety from bloodborne pathogens with its protective panel. The knife pocket is concealed yet remains within reach during an emergency. This storm boot design is packed with details to accompany your daily patrol. It holds up even when you’re taking the day off as a public safety professional.
We’re saying that you can rely on it when you’re trekking, hunting, or doing what any avid outdoorsman loves to do. This waterproof option can also get you through the cold snaps of winter. Though it doesn’t feature a steel toe, its roughed out suede toe is ideal for icy terrains.
Aside from high-quality offerings, 5.11 Tactical is known for its affordable prices. The price tag that comes with these combat boots is no different. You can snag them for under $200. Check your jurisdiction laws for maximum warranty coverage as the company warrants its products to be free from material or manufacturing defects throughout their lifetime.
Tactical Men’s ATAC 2.0 8-Inch Storm Boots is Suitable For:
From tactical operations to trekking adventures, this pair can provide you with superior performance and support. It makes you combat-ready with its protective features, such as the hidden knife pocket and bloodborne pathogen-resistant membrane.
- HEAVY-DUTY CONSTRUCTION - Strategically built to offer durability for the most demanding situations. Its high-grade construction provides...
- BREATHABLE FOOTWEAR - Improved with SlipStream waterproof and bloodborne pathogen resistant membrane and a dual durometer Ortholite footbed...
- ENHANCED STRUCTURE - Integrated with shock mitigation system, Strobel construction, a hidden knife pocket, and slip- and oil-resistant...
- It is engineered using high-quality materials and methods.
- It’s got good traction and stability on any kind of surface.
- It comes with the maximum warranty offered in your jurisdiction.
- It is not a traditional boot, which some may prefer for familiar comfort.
- Sizing may now be different from the company’s old standard.
- It is not for those who prefer a steel-toe type.
Worn by countless members of law enforcement, the Blackhawk Men’s Warrior Wear tactical boots are rated as one of the best on the market. Their leather body impresses instantly. But this boot proves to be more than just looks. Its CORDURA panels are light yet durable. This outer fabric is resistant to wearing, tearing, and scratches.
When you find yourself on an uneven surface, the oil-resistant Vibram TC4+ compound outsole can get you through with its unbeatable grip and traction. This is an ISO Standard-compliant safety sole to be sure. Meanwhile, the pair’s fully-gusseted tongue can keep dirt and debris out. And the Dri-Lex inner sock liner can keep everything dry and cozy inside.
This model also contains an OrthoLite footbed, which gives cushion and comfort to your feet. It is molded to embrace your feet snugly. Also, you can wash it regularly if your work involves staying outdoors, rain, or shine. This makes it a top pick for rigorous outdoor activities, such as hiking or spelunking.
With its lightweight body, this boot can make you feel like walking on clouds even after wearing it for several days. It does not require breaking in. It comes in coyote and desert tan, which are compliant with United States regulations. With its wide availability online, you can snag it for around $150.
After purchase, make sure to fill out the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number and send it Blackhawk for the product to be considered for warranty.
BLACKHAWK Men’s Warrior Wear Desert Ops Boots is Suitable For:
Whether you are serving the public or an outdoor enthusiast, you can find these combat boots comfortable and ideal in many situations. It is not only tough in the desert but also dependable in hot to muddy environments.
- Lightweight, breathable, water resistant CORDURA panels and abrasion-resistant suede upper for rugged durability
- Vibram “Multisport” oil-resistant TC4+ compound outsole has large, open lugs for traversing debris and provides excellent traction on...
- It performs well in any terrain and weather.
- It is lightweight, durable, and stable so that you can depend on it for work or leisure.
- It keeps debris out your feet dry and supported within.
- It comes in U.S. regulation-compliant colors.
- It is not as durable as the ATAC 2.0 Storm Boots.
- It is not able to protect your feet during the winter.
- The laces may be the first to give in when daily wear shows its symptoms.
Maelstrom Footwear is regarded as a reliable manufacturer of uniform boots for men and women professionals serving in the military and police. It also caters to security, safety, tactical, and industrial personnel. One of its most-trusted offerings is the LANDSHIP Tactical Boot for Men. Let’s get to know more about this model.
The first you’ll notice is the athletic upper that goes with a rugged sole. Full-grain leather and breathable nylon mesh work together to allow air to flow throughout the boots. The outsole is made of rubber that features aggressive treads to ensure traction on many surfaces. It gives you more control when passing through slippery spots, improving your speed along the way.
Wearing these kicks is hassle-free with the durable YKK side zipper. You’ll feel how light they are once you slip into them. The Dynamic 3-Sole System is mainly responsible for your experience. Right above the rubber outsole is the flexible EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) midsole. Coming in contact with your feet is the padded insole, which can be removed and cleaned.
Overall, the system absorbs the impact and shocks when you land on hard surfaces, like concrete, while also preventing your walkers from tiring out. It reduces the stress and fatigue that your feet experience. While you’re protected from external factors, the moisture-wicking, antimicrobial lining also blocks bacteria buildup from within.
This 8-inch footwear is tall enough to cover your ankles and shins, so these parts are not exposed to cold, water, mud, and other elements while you’re on duty. This feature is also useful when you’re doing outdoor recreation. It’s constructed through the cementing method, which enhances its durability.
The sizes can be small, but some users report about the pair stretching over time. You can buy a bigger one if you’re wary about this detail. After all, nothing beats the comfort the right shoe fit brings. Don’t worry because you have a wide range of sizes and two width options to choose from: medium or wide. It’s either black or tan when it comes to colors.
If you’re after mindful consumption, you can make a difference with this Maelstrom buy. For every purchase, $1 goes to the Boot Campaign, a non-profit organization that helps veterans and military families improve their lives through various programs. One order can cost you $100.
Maelstrom Men’s LANDSHIP 8-Inch Tactical Boot with Zipper is Suitable For:
LANDSHIP is available for men who serve in the military, law enforcement, and public safety professions. It has a variety of sizes to cater to different individuals. Choose a half-size larger than your original size as this footwear is reportedly smaller than the standard measurements.
- Polish-able leather and highly breathable air mesh upper. Breathable moisture wicking lining. Slip, oil-resistant rubber outsole.
- Removable high performance shock-absorbent cushion insert for all day comfort. Padded collar and tongue for extra comfort
- Lightweight, shock-absorbing moulded midsole. Athletic cemented construction
- It is light and flexible due to the breathable mesh nylon and polished full-grain upper and rubber outsole.
- It employs a Dynamic 3-Sole System for superior comfort.
- It provides traction and stability on most surfaces.
- It is a highly affordable model.
- Sizes may be smaller than standard boot measurements.
- It should not be used on wet surfaces as it is not waterproof.
- Its quality matches its price, not going above and beyond.
For more than 20 years now, Under Armour has been supporting athletes and their pursuits through excellent performance apparel. The brand is also known for its shoe line, headlined by NBA star Steph Curry. Adding to its creations is the Under Armour Men’s UA Valsetz RTS 1.5 Tactical Boots, designed for the avid outdoorsman in you.
In an effort to reach out to a wider market, UA presents a non-leather tactical boot model for the sporty types who love the wild and open spaces. These are not your traditional military boots, but their performance can make you forget that. The strong points of the company’s more mainstream offerings are found here: durability, lightweight, and water-repellent.
This mid-height model is best worn in warm or hot environments. Think summer days or the middle of the desert. The synthetic leather and textile upper includes a welded, scratch-resistant film for better durability. Feel the proprietary UA ClutchFit contour to your feet up to your ankles for support. This technology acts like a “second skin,” yielding a barely-there sensation.
Inside, you have the Ortholite sock liner, which has antimicrobial properties. Providing extra cushion is the Ultralight Micro G™ EVA midsole right atop the strength-enhancing TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) shank. Coming in contact with external forces and elements is the rubber lug sole that delivers high traction across most surfaces.
To reinforce the comfort, support, and protection of the product, it sports a TPU toe cap. Given its price and performance, it proves to be a decent military footwear option as well. However, we recommend this only for moderate use. Long-distance walking and running may cancel out the comfort this pair brings.
While the sizes are limited, this one has more colors to offer than the other models. This boot is a practical solution for those who find leather editions hot and uncomfortable. However, if you work in a quiet environment, be warned about the noise it may create.
Under Armour Men’s UA Valsetz RTS 1.5 Tactical Boots is Suitable For:
This athletic/military tactical boot is a practical pick for men working in the military and law enforcement. It is also compatible with the adventurous souls who want to hike, hunt, or spend time in the open during hot months. Some users say it may also fit women despite its masculine design.
- UA ClutchFit technology wraps your ankle with a lightweight "œsecond skin" for powerful support & incredible feel
- Synthetic leather & textile upper with welded, abrasion resistant film around the perimeter of the foot
- Full length Micro G foam turns cushioned landings into explosive takeoffs
- It is lightweight and breathable, providing exceptional comfort to your feet.
- Its UA ClutchFit technology contours to the ankles and other parts of your feet.
- Its TPU shank adds the right amount of rigidity to the shoe.
- It can cater to the uniform needs of both men and women.
- It may get noisy when you’re using it in a quiet environment.
- It is not made for long-distance running or walking.
- Its fabric may allow sand to enter, causing particles to be trapped in the lining.
Bates is backed by over 130 years of footwear manufacturing expertise. It has protected the feet of countless uniform officers, whether they’re from the police or the military. In 2018, it had a brand refresh, introducing an evolved version of its various products. Among those proudly carrying the new logo is the Bates Men’s 8-Inch Tactical Sport Side Zip Boot.
This combat boot is a classic. It sports the power combo of leather and nylon mesh to craft a functional upper. Stay dry and comfortable with the moisture-wicking mesh lining. The plushness is reinforced by the insole padding, which can be removed. This part is supported by the lightweight and flexible EVA midsole.
Meanwhile, the rugged outsole is made of rubber. Thanks to this material, this shoe passed the SATRA TM144 test for slip resistance. It is also resistant to oil, so you can keep your ground while being on the go. This allows for reliable grip and traction on rough terrains. The outsole and the upper, innersole, and midsole are attached to the base using cement construction.
Completing the boot is the YKK side zipper, which simplifies the wearing part. Further, you can choose between the 5-inch and the 8-inch version of this zipping mechanism. You can even settle with a non-zip variant. Speaking of variants, this pair employs waterproof technology. Rain or shine, you can rest assured that water or any liquid won’t penetrate the lining and ruin your shoes.
This option is popular online and offline. One reason is its reasonable price. You can get all the features mentioned above for less than $100, sometimes highly discounted at that. But there’s more. The lightweight design is ideal not just for duties and operations but also for outdoor recreation.
There are two color choices, coyote and black. Returns and exchanges are allowed for U.S. orders. The company requests that only unworn items within 30 days of purchase shall be sent for these purposes.
Bates Men’s 8-Inch’ Tactical Sport Side Zip Boot is Suitable For:
If you are a uniform or field officer, this one can comply with the requirements of your job. But it is not limited to these professions. Outdoor enthusiasts can derive some benefits from it, too, such as the waterproof property. If you want a unisex pair of tactical boots, the Ultra-Lites 8 Inches are the ones for you.
- Lightweight Cushioned EVA midsole
- Durable leather & performance nylon upper
- Moisture wicking mesh lining
- It is a product that offers military-grade tech and materials for your everyday use.
- It yields support for your walkers, which can help you relax more and worry less.
- It can keep your feet dry and comfortable.
- It is a popular and inexpensive model.
- It may emit squeaking sounds, especially on smooth surfaces.
- You may need to lubricate it once in a while.
- It may not be ideal for winter use.
Danner has been around since 1932. Its founder, Charles Danner, was committed to crafting men’s combat boots with excellence. The shoes are designed to deliver on that promise, especially to the men and women who serve the public every day. But it does not stop there. The products are also meant to be used in adventures, explorations, and other outdoor pursuits. This is the tradition the Danner Men’s Tachyon Boots lives up to.
This model is a hybrid. It combines the strengths of a work boot and a sneaker. Some may call the result sneakerboots, but the maker clarifies that it is a boot that acts like a sneaker – not the other way around. For this, you may purchase it for either purpose. The upper is made of leather, with a synthetic leather toe to meet uniform requirements.
Being high-cut, this pair provides you with comfort and protection as you go through extreme situations. The polyurethane footbed absorbs shock and promotes ventilation, which is made possible by an additional layer of open-cell construction. The EVA midsole is lightweight as it should be. Resisting abrasion and enhancing traction is the 100% rubber outsole with pentagonal lugs. Lastly, the lacing system requires one for a snug fit.
Some may have doubts about this sneakerboot in terms of both form and function. But this is reliable hardware for officers. It may not offer enough protection against the snow and cold, though. It is not waterproof and electrical hazard-proof. Among the options here, this is the only one that does not include a side zipper. The upper is ultra-drying and machine-washable if that helps. Break-in of this boot is quick.
For its price, it is a decent tactical boot for those who require something lightweight, comfortable, and stylish. It may not be as long-lasting as the others. Yet, this product manages expectations and does not promise more than it can deliver. It is available in black, coyote, mojave, sage, sage green, and tan.
Danner Tachyon Boots is Suitable For:
Men and women can benefit from the lightweight, comfortable, and stylish design of this sneakerboot. The manufacturer advises women to get two sizes smaller to suit their needs.
- Complete synthetic ultralight upper for superior weight savings and dry time
- Abrasion resistant toe cap
- Open cell polyurethane footbed allows for optimal airflow and comfort
- It is super lightweight and comfortable, perfect for light operations.
- It can be used in adventures and explorations in dry settings.
- It is one of the most affordable models on our list.
- It is not great in wet environments and during stormy weather as it is not waterproof.
- Its outsole may be too thin and provides no protection from electrical hazards.
- It does not sport a side zipper, unlike the others.
What are the things to consider when selecting best tactical boots?
The primary reason people choose tactical boots over conventional boots is its weather-proofing capabilities. Some models are waterproof, which doesn’t automatically mean they will hold up to snowy conditions. Others are particular about their lightweight and breathability, which is ideal for the summer months and desert settings. Try to find one that can beat any weather or, at the least, the extreme environments you’re working in.
Training and tactical operations can take a toll on your walkers. A good pair of tactical boots can help prevent blisters, soreness, and pain. It’s designed to be comfortable even while you’re going through a range of movements. It’s difficult to be quick and agile if you’re dealing with discomfort down there. The smallest toe’s ache is felt by the whole body.
Diligence is part of the skill set developed in your line of work. Gaining intelligence is an important part of planning and preparation. This meticulous approach should be applied to purchasing a boot as well. You should cover all your bases, chief of which is safety from electric hazards such as live electrical wires.
Further, find tactical footwear that is oil and slip-resistant.
Some situations can make you vulnerable to heavy falling objects. This can hurt or injure your feet. In this case, a steel toe is always a better idea than a soft toe since it can effectively absorb impact and shocks.
Another feature of a functional combat boot is its rugged exterior. The material and built will give this away. You need to check this detail to see if the pair you’re eyeing can last through different terrains and treatments. Some days you’ll be negotiating a tough landscape or harsh weather. A strong and dependable shoe should not fail you when you put it through hell.
Your work may require you to wear boots that are lightweight and flexible. In this regard, a mid-top shoe satisfies the requirements. These boots are high enough to cover your ankles and part of your calves. This height can protect you when your activities include climbing or crawling. If you have to pass through slush or puddles, a high-top one can protect your entire calves and feet.
When it comes to pricing, you’ll find high-quality options between $100 and $200. While fashion may be the last thing on your mind while on a mission, some styles within this price range can look trendy. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly version, you can score $50 to $100 pieces that are lightweight and comfortable. However, they may not be as durable as the pricier ones.
Knowing the materials and construction of the tactical boot can also make your shoe shopping more detailed. Here are the parts to check out:
- Upper – The majority of what you see is what manufacturers refer to as the upper. Its looks and quality can make you go for the shoe or not. Often, you can determine the durability, breathability, and weather-proofing ability of the boots by checking out this part alone.
Most models use a mix of leather and synthetic materials, such as PU, ballistic nylon, or teflon. Leather fits most of the requirements. An upper can be lined or not lined.
- Insole – Also called footbeds, the insoles are cushiony material that is placed inside the shoe to adjust comfort and fit. They are usually included in the product but can be removed for cleaning. You can also buy an extra pair to add to your boots if they’re too large or a bit firm.
- Midsole – These are the soles that come in contact with your feet. They can be soft or firm, depending on the model. A soft midsole can cushion knee joints and ankles better than a hard one. But the latter can work well on slippery or vertical terrains. EVA is one of the most common midsole types you’ll find in athletic and tactical footwear.
- Outsole – The other visible part of the boot is the outsole, which makes up the base. It is usually composed of hard rubber to deliver a slew of functions. This section should be durable, electricity and water-resistant, oil and slip-resistant, and any other requirement you need from your work shoes.
The outsoles of tactical boots often sport a good tread to ensure compatibility in many settings.
What are the best tactical boots?
We don’t have to venture far to answer this question. The #1 tactical boot based on our research and reviews is the 5.11 Tactical Men’s ATAC 2.0 8-Inch Storm Boots. It checks most of the requirements for people working in the military, police, and public safety protection sectors.
If you’re looking for specific quality, then the best model for value for money is the Maelstrom Men’s LANDSHIP 8-Inch Tactical Boot. It packs a lot of desirable features in an affordable product.
For a budget-friendly choice, you can check out Bates Men’s 8-Inch Tactical Sport Side Zip Boot. This should cost you more or less $100, including shipping. For its price, you can get a pair that employs military-grade tech and materials.
No matter the price, the best tactical boots we mentioned above are heavy-duty and appropriate for operations for the workers. They can also be used in adventures, explorations, and other outdoor pursuits.
What are the best boots for law enforcement?
The best boots for police or law enforcement professionals are those that perform in demanding environments. On a daily basis, these public safety workers face different kinds of situations and, sometimes, dangers. They need footwear that not only makes them quick on their feet but also protects them from the hazards and risks of the job.
In this case, the tactical boots from Bates are a good place to start. The manufacturer itself has been supplying uniform and footwear to the police and military. It matters that the brand you choose understands the perks and perils of your vocation. And that it has gone through many years of partnership, so it knows what the market needs the most.
At the same time, you should put your trust in a product that is made by a company that does not shy away from progress and innovation.
While nobody will ask what name your boot is carrying in the middle of an operation, having confidence in the quality of manufacturing and the materials lets you do your job well. Your boots won’t get in the way. Instead, they will take you where you need to be.
What is the lightest tactical boot?
If you need to move quickly in any terrain, you should wear lightweight tactical boots. These are designed to keep you nimble while navigating a range of settings, from smooth surfaces to tough landscapes. Leather is the preferred material in this department because it is both lightweight and flexible.
At a little under a pound, the Under Armour Men’s UA Valsetz RTS 1.5 Tactical Boots is the lightest tactical boot on our list. Its weight and flexibility allow you to take on an array of motion while you are on the field.
The other models are also lightweight in their own right. But the 5.11 Tactical boots may have a heavier outsole than that of the others.
What are the best waterproof tactical boots?
The ATAC 2.0 8” Storm Boots isn’t named the best overall boot for nothing. Among its favored features is its waterproofing capabilities. It is not just great in wet and stormy weather. It also works excellently during winter.
The mid-top tactical boots from Bates and Danner also employ waterproof technology to keep your feet warm, dry, and cozy when you have to deal with the rain or storm while on duty.
Our top pick for the best tactical footwear is the ATAC 2.0 8” Storm Boots from 5.11 Tactical. It combines durability, waterproof tech, high-quality materials, and stability. The warranty terms even provide a means for you to extend the lifetime of your shoes.
Ranking #2 is the Blackhawk Men’s Warrior Wear tactical boots, which is a gem as well. This product’s support and stability make it an ideal choice for outdoor adventures. So if you find the 5.11 storm boots a bit heavy, you can try the lighter Blackhawk version.
With all the pertinent information laid out before you, we hope that you’ll be able to choose the one that fits your requirements and preferences. Not all tactical boots are created equal. But the little details that make them different from each other can help you find the best for you.