One thing law enforcement officers, military personnel, hunters, and security guards have in common is the need for high-quality tactical boots. In fact, many individuals bank on their boots ability to trudge through the most demanding, precarious, and hazardous situations without an issue. Accordingly, we've worked hard to bring you a comprehensive guide to tactical boots. Read along to learn more about what it takes to literally stand on the first line.
What are tactical boots
If you're still wondering what makes tactical boots so special, you've come to the right place. This heavy-duty footwear is part of the standard uniform for police officers, army personnel, S.W.A.T. teams, as well as many civilians because of its extreme durability and ability to protect the feet. Tactical boots help determined men and women wade through a variety of otherwise inconceivable terrains. From jungle combat to desert missions, tactical boots are prized by operatives because of there ability to make their jobs possible.
What are they good for?
An exceptional, well-fitted pair of tactical boots provides your feet and ankles with a protective sheath, a solid foundation, reliable traction, enhanced mobility, prolonged comfort, and so much more. However, there need to be several factors at play to account for such a superb design. Read along to learn more about the different elements of tactical boots and discover what features can help you brave your prospective terrain.
What's special about them?
At this point, you are probably wondering what sets one foot-shaped bundle of rubber, leather, and nylon apart from another. First off, a well-designed boot should be designed to be exceptionally rugged, weatherproof, and longlasting. Moreover, it should provide you with a solid, slip-free, quiet grip, exceptional toe protection, extended-wear, and breathable uppers. We aren't talking about your standard hiking boots, we're talking about hiking boots on roids.
What to look for and why?
Weather, terrain, and environmental factors play a huge role in determining what style of boot you should use. In this next section, we'll talk about what to look for when purchasing boots for a specific environment.
AR 670-1 Boots
In 2014 the US Army regulation AR670-1 was introduced - therefore if applicable you should follow these regulations when you select the best military boots.
The regulation applies to Active Army, the Army National Guard/Army National Guard of the United States, and the U.S. Army Reserve.
In general, the regulations for AR 670-1 compliant combat boots are:
- 8 to 10 inches in height
- Tan or coyote flesh out cattle-hide leather
- Plain Toe and sole matching color of the upper
- Rubber or polyether polyurethane outsole
- Sole will not exceed 2 inches in height when measured from bottom of sole
- Sole will not extend up the back of the heel or over the top of the toe
- All leather upper or leather and non-mesh fabric
We like these AR 670-1 compliant combat boots
Blackhawk Men's Warrior Wear Desert Ops Boots
Rocky S2V Special Ops
If you're looking for boots that are going to help you tackle that unforgiving urban jungle, you'll want something that is super light, stealth, and ultra durable. Features such as metal shanks can relieve you of the worry of stepping on harsh manmade rubble made up of glass, metal, and cement shards. Meanwhile, extra thick midsole cushions can eliminate the painful shock of repeatedly landing on hard concrete. Black is your standard color for its limited reflective qualities and ability to blend in. Finally, oil and slip resistant outsoles with wide, climbing-style lugs keep you standing and ready for anything the city might throw at you.
If your city missions equate to frequent flying miles. You may want to inquire about metal detector complacent models. With fiberglass shanks instead of steel and metal-free hardware, slipping through security quickly and without calling attention to yourself is a synch. Of course, giving up your metal toe guard might not be easy, but you win some, you lose some.
We like these "Urban" tactical boots
5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 8 Storm Boot
Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches
Danner Acadia Metalic Toe
Hot, Dry, and Sandy
If you foresee yourself being stationed by dunes or otherwise barren, sandy landscapes, desert tan tactical boots are going to be your best bet. Modifications to look for include additional side zipper closure systems, which allows you to quickly remove your choose and eliminate sand, drainage eyelets, tight highrise uppers, and breathable mesh side panels. Desert tan cotton or synthetic laces are standard issues with most desert boots, just make sure that you have a tight, secure fit around the ankle, as trapped sand can quickly weigh you down and disrupt your mission.
We like these hot weather tactical boots
Danner men's Tanicus 8 inch hot duty boot
5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Mens Boot
Belleville Men's 550 ST USMC Hot Weather
If you anticipate sloshing through puddles, securing a pair of reliable waterproof boots is imperative. Patented materials such as Gore-Tex and other synthetic fabrics and liners promise to keep water out. Leather boots, on the other hand, or more permeable to liquid. Keep in mind that if you are subjecting your feet to flood-like conditions on a daily basis, water is probably going to enter through the leg opening at one time or another. To eliminate any need for concern, choose a boot with quick-drying, antimicrobial midsoles, such as one made of Ethylene-vinyl acetate or another nonpermeable rubber padding.
Other popular options for tropical precipitation are jungle boots. This type of boot usually features nylon and leather uppers with drainage eyelets. On the bottom, deep, widespread lugs keep mud from accumulating and allow you to find a secure footing in the harshest of environments. Alternatively, ripple bottom sols are a popular design element for many jungle boots. Removable insoles help facilitate faster drying and maintain foot cleanliness. Meanwhile, wide side vents help to circulate water back to where it came from.
We like these wet weather tactical boots
5.11 tactical skyweight rapid dry boots
Smith & Wesson BREACH 2.0
Bates Men's GX-8
Cold, Snowy, and Icy
The three most important features when it comes to cold weather tactical boots are insulation, water-resistance, and grip. When ice, snow, and subzero temperatures set the stage, a good pair of boots can be the difference between frostbite or lost limbs. Thinsulate and other manufactured shoe liners help to fight against frigid temperatures. However, it's important to have a ventilation system for sweat and moisture in place too. Many boots also utilize specialized engineered rubber products that will not harden in extremely cold temperatures. Make sure your boot is designed to keep you warm without infringing upon your natural mobility. Afterall, a mid-mission shoe change isn't usually feasible.
We like these cold weather tactical boots
BATES TORA BORA ALPINE WATERPROOF INSULATED BOOT
Rocky Men's 8 Inch S2v Cold Weather
What qualities should you look for?
Each separate boot element helps reinforce the others to generate an effective piece of footwear that supports the complex movements of an operative's feet while protecting them from a number of adverse conditions. While it may seem like a lot of thought goes into the design of tactical boots, it is not much when you consider the sheer number of bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that they encase. Apart from reinforcing the body's natural movement and balance, boots extend a person's capacity for strenuous activity.
Whether you're manning the trenches or propelling through the urban jungle, durability is essential but shouldn't be traded off for comfort. A rugged, weatherproof exterior should protect against basic hazards such as punctures, tears, harsh heat, and abrasions. There is no telling how much wear and tear will come from a day in the life of a law officer, soldier, nor hunter, but common sense says to er on the side of caution.
Bonus durability features include reinforced toe caps, which protect the feet from falling objects and compression. Meanwhile, midsole plates prevent ground-up punctures, and plastic heel guards prevent rear injuries. Finally, a gusseted tongue is an effective military boot feature. Gusseted tongues are sewn onto uppers to prevent debris, water, and other materials from entering the inside of boots.
Army Combat Uniform (ACU) regulations include strict environment-specific attire standards intended to enhance, protect, and conceal an active soldier (U.S. Army). The standard issue coyote brown and tan boots worn by most officers are a universal tactical footwear option. Whether you are a civilian or government personnel, if you're looking for a boot that can hold up in multiple environments, make sure they possess the characteristics necessary and are the product of a reliable brand.
Waterproof and Water Resistant
There are two different ways to defend yourself against moisture exposure. Standard waterproofing is ideal for cold climates and can help you seal out moisture that can afflict your feet and damage your shoes. Water resistant materials include polyester, nylon, rubber, and synthetic leather. Many shoes also contain an internal water-resistant membrane. Typically, these membranes contain microscopic ventilation holes to eliminate sweat while also keeping outside liquid where it is. Alternatively, jungle boots and other warm weather tactical boots feature drainage holes that help to quickly eliminate water through both the soles and the sides.
Unless you are only going to operate in a very dry environment like desert we highly recommend to go for a pair of waterproof tactical boots.