Most people got their first experience wearing tactical boots during their time in the military or working with a local police force. Once you work in a great pair of tactical boots for a couple of months, you're sold for life, and you would never go back to a traditional work boot.
However, if you’ve never tried a pair before, they can seem a little over-hyped. We guarantee you that tactical boots are worth every penny that you spend on them. They are the one style of boot that you can run in, walk in, and work in every single day without any problems.
They’re designed to be durable, breathable, lightweight, waterproof, and slip-resistant. What else could you ask for in a pair of boots? If you’ve never tried a pair, do yourself a favor and buy some. We guarantee that you won’t regret it.
Best Lightweight Tactical Boots
Best Tactical Boots For Running
Best Tactical Hiking Boots
Best Waterproof Tactical Boots
Best Women’s Tactical Boots
Best Tactical Boots Review - Our Top Picks
Are you looking to get your hands on the best tactical boots? There are plenty of great options on the market, but there are also quite a lot of sub-par products and cheap knock-offs that can turn people off during their shopping process.
To help you cut through the nonsense and get you right into the action, we’ve compiled the ultimate tactical boots review page. Listed here are five of the best pairs in their own separate categories.
Let’s check them out!
Best Lightweight Tactical Boots: Danner Men’s Tachyon 8”
Charles Danner made the first iconic pair of boots in 1932 during the midst of the Great Depression. He sold his first boots to loggers in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. In an age when mass production was the standard, he stuck to making each pair by hand.
Since then, Danner boots have grown across the world, and have developed a reputation for unparalleled quality and durability. This is especially evident in their Danner Men’s Tachyon boots which are some of the best lightweight tactical boots on the market.
Danner Tachyon Rubber Outsole
Danner created their patented Tachyon rubber outersole to be the ultimate full-rubber sole that is built to withstand the rigors of rough terrain in the field. The bottom of the Tachyon sole features pentagon-shaped lugs that are designed to give the boot maximum surface contact and to prevent slipping, whether they're on loose gravel or slick metal.
They were designed to have a lot of spring, which makes them a great choice for those who have more “athletic” duties which require a lot of running around.
One of the best things about Tachyon is that it’s one of the most durable rubber materials on the market, so Danner didn’t have to add a bunch of extra bulk to the boot. This ensures that they remain lightweight and free-moving.
Everybody who’s ever had to wear tactical boots all day will complain about how sweaty their feet get and how smelly their boots get as a result. This is a problem that you won’t have to worry about with the Danner Tachyon boots.
These tactical boots feature a polyurethane footbed which will keep air circulating through the underside of your foot. This, combined with the lightweight fabric design, prevents excessive sweating, blisters, smelly boots, and the other unpleasant side effects of wet boots.
Meets US Air Force Regulations
The United States military has stood by Danner boots for decades, and they have often been listed as a required uniform boot. The Danner Tachyon 8" duty boots meet the Air Force's AFI 36-2903 code which means that you can take these bad boys right into the barracks.
Lightweight Synthetic Fabric
One of the things that makes the Danner Tachyon series the best men’s tactical boots is the fact that they’re made with an ultralight synthetic fabric upper. Don’t let their light weight confuse you, though. These boots can last through years of extended training if you care for them properly.
The fabric is also very breathable, which helps to keep your foot as cool as a cucumber. It's also worth mentioning, that due to the lack of stiff leather there is virtually no "break in" period for these boots. That means you don't have to worry about dealing with aggravating and painful blisters on your ankles.
Best Tactical Boots For Running: Belleville TR102 Training Boot
Belleville Shoe Manufacturing Co. was first founded in 1904 and was one of the first companies to supply tactical boots on a large scale during World War I. They created a tradition of excellence and were one of the five boot companies awarded the "E for Excellence" award after providing footwear for US soldiers in World War II.
Over a hundred years later, they are still producing some of the best military boots in the world. Their reputation is unmatched on the battlefield, and many active duty soldiers and veterans stand by the quality of these boots. The TR102 is a true minimalist boot that was designed to be lightweight, durable, and supportive.
A True Minimalist Boot
If you’ve never heard of a minimalist style of boot before, then it may be a bit confusing at first. Essentially, it’s a boot that puts your foot close to the surface of the ground so that you can have a better feel for the terrain.
This is especially great if you’re climbing or hiking on slippery ground. Since you’re better able to feel the ground, you’ll be a lot less likely to make a mistake and slip or injure yourself. Belleville achieves this minimalist design by giving the heel a 5mm drop. Most tactical boots have a higher heel which separates your foot from the ground.
If you’re already used to a more traditional style of boot, these may take a little while to get used to. After you break them in for a few weeks, however, you’ll probably never want to switch back to traditional boots.
Belleville has made boots that were able to last soldiers through both World Wars, so they know a thing or two when it comes to making an extra durable boot. All of the seams on the TR102 model are either double or triple-stitched.
This helps the boot to be able to keep its form, prevents ripping and tearing, and prevents the fabric from stretching and becoming worn out over time.
Advanced Ankle Support
Here’s the real reason that we had to list these as the best tactical boots for running. They have a great amount of ankle support, which is really important when you’re running in a boot. Without proper padding and a supportive heel, it’s far too easy to roll your ankle while on your morning jog or patrol.
As long as you lace these boots up properly, then you’ll be able to run in them all day. They have an ergonomic minimalist design which only accentuates the ankle support and gives you an experience that’s very close to running in bare feet.
Vibram Tarsus Soles
Vibram is known around the world as one of the best soles that have ever been made. Their patented Tarsus sole is featured in this boot. Besides being slip-proof and waterproof, this sole has superior shock absorption which prevents your feet and joints from getting painful aches and strains.
One of the really nice features about this sole is that it has a great bounce to it. Once you put these shoes on, you instinctively want to run. The Tarsus soles are one of Vibram's more athletic models, and they allow you to really grip the ground and spring into your next step.
Genuine Leather Trim
For all of the high-tech innovation that went into making the Belleville TR102 boot, they still stuck to their roots and gave the entire boot a genuine leather trim. Looking at the boot, they have a very humble and down-to-earth appearance, and that’s part of why they’ve been such an appealing model for so long.
You can’t beat a timeless look that comes from one of America’s oldest tactical boot manufacturers.
Best Tactical Hiking Boots: Bates 8” Tactical Sport
Bates is one of the oldest shoe manufacturers in America, and they’ve been making high-quality work, tactical, and uniform boots since 1885. They credit much of their success to being able to evolve with the times and create boots that are both trendy as well as functional.
They’ve built a reputation on creating high-quality boots for military and police forces, but all of their models are available to the general public as well. It’s a good thing too because their Tactical Sport model is one of the best tactical hiking boots on the market.
In today’s world where terrorist threats are always around the next corner, security has gotten tighter than ever. One of the unfortunate downsides of all of the added security is the fact that every time you go through a metal detector, you’re required to remove your steel-toe boots.
To make your life easier and save you time at security checkpoints, Bates created a composite polymer material for their hard toe. It provides the same strength and protection that a steel-toe does, but it doesn’t set off any alarms.
In addition to this, these polymer toes are also a lot lighter than their metal counterparts, making them a great choice for the on-the-go hiker. There’s nothing worse than trying to climb up a mountainside with a foot full of metal.
Side Zipper For Easy On/Off
As great as a well-laced pair of boots are, sometimes you just want to slide in and out of them in a jiffy. Maybe you got an emergency phone call, or maybe you just don’t want to have to lace up your boots every single time that you go out for your daily trek. Whatever the case is, all you need to do to get these boots on and off is to use the handy side zippers.
These boots come standard with a removable insert for added comfort. Although the Bates insole is quite comfortable, it can easily be removed and traded out for your own personal insoles should you desire.
The Bates insert has a really nice cushioning around the heel as well as the arch support, but if you’re on the heavier side or you’re prone to orthopedic problems, you may want something with a little more cushioning.
Tramping around with a soggy boot is never fun. If you’ve spent any amount of time hiking through the woods, you know how easy it is to step in a muddy puddle without realizing it. It just seems to happen without you even realizing it.
The Bates Tactical Sport provides exceptional waterproofing on the lower half of the boot that makes small puddles a breeze to walk through. You wouldn’t want to fully submerge them, but for general hiking applications, these will certainly fit the bill.
One final feature which makes these some of the best men’s tactical boots you’ll ever find is how hazard-resistant they are. You could walk across a floor after somebody spilled gallons of kitchen grease and motor oil, and you’d barely slip an inch.
The soles also resist electrical current which isn’t a huge factor when it comes to hiking boots, but it certainly helps to have if you’ll be working in them as well.
Best Waterproof Tactical Boots: Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0
Smith & Wesson has a reputation for creating some of the best firearms in the world. Somewhere along the way, they figured that if they’re supplying guns to troops, they may as well give them boots too. So, they decided to create their popular Breach series which are one of the best tactical boots law enforcement officers, hikers, and soldiers can get their hands on.
What makes the Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0's so great is the fact that they're 100% waterproof. Combine that with the fact that they have an 8" high-top, and you could be walking around through a swamp all day with dry feet.
This makes them a really great option if you work in a wet climate on a daily basis or you like to do a lot of fishing, and you're tired of ruining your other boots.
EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) is a polymer sole that is made for enhanced comfort, unparalleled shock absorption, and long-lasting support. It’s specially constructed to resist stress fractures and cracking which means that the sole will likely outlast the rest of the boot.
If you’re on a budget, these boots are a great choice! They retail for just under $80 which makes them 50% cheaper than some of the other popular tactical boots on the market. Their inexpensive price doesn’t have any effect on the overall quality of the boot, however.
The Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 is still one of the most durable boots on the market, they just don’t believe in charging an arm and a leg for their product.
Best Women’s Tactical Boots: Under Armour Women's Valsetz RTS
If you’re looking for the best women’s tactical boots on the market, then look no further than the Women’s Valsetz RTS by Under Armour. These boots have everything that a lady could ask for from a sleek and powerful design to their high-quality construction and cutting-edge technology.
Under Armour’s patented ClutchFit technology is a great addition to any tactical boot. It refers to their intuitive design that “clutches” the base of your ankle while you’re leaping off to your next step. The advantage of this is that it keeps your ankles in line, prevents rolling, and also keeps the boot from slipping up and down causing blisters and irritation.
Micro G Foam
Under Armour designed their midsoles with their patented Micro G foam that really puts a spring in your step. It provides superior impact absorption but then rebounds that energy directly into your next step so that you can run for miles without your feet feeling heavy or overworked.
What good is a tactical boot that you can get rough in? Just because they’re ladies’ boots doesn’t mean that they’re fragile. These boots have a tough abrasion-resistant outer that will keep you kicking butt for years without having to worry about rips and tears.
What Features To Look Out For
Whether you’re looking for the best tactical boots for police or military duty, or you just want something to hike through the woods with, the features you opt for in your boot will determine how well you can perform the task at hand.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it! After painstakingly going through pair after pair, we managed to narrow it down to five of the best tactical boots for men and women that we could find. There were a lot of close seconds, but we wanted to keep it simple and limit it to five of the absolute best.
By now, hopefully, we've sold you on all of the benefits of a good pair of tactical boots. Once you get a pair of these and start wearing them, you'll never want to go back to what you were wearing before.
Tactical boots are designed to give you the ultimate combination of comfort, quality, support, and maneuverability all in one. If soldiers can trust them on the battlefield, then you can be sure to trust them on your next hiking adventure!