Military boots are made to support you during the toughest conditions. Also sometimes known as tactical boots, these boots are perfect for hunters, soldiers, or anyone that needs to cover rough terrain on foot and needs a boot that won’t let them down.
They’re designed to support your feet and ankles while carrying heavy loads and throughout all kinds of bad weather.
Military boots can differ considerably in their style, weight, and ankle support. Getting the right boot for you and your needs can be tricky but no matter what activities you are planning, there is the perfect military boot for you.
In this article, we will look at some of the best military boots available and also consider what you should consider before you make your choice. Let’s begin by looking at some boots.
Military Boots Review
Rocky Men’s S2V Predator Military And Tactical Boot
The Rocky S2V military boot is a popular choice for a reason. The upper is made from a mix of leather and tough 1000D Cordura nylon, making the boots very durable and resistant to tears and abrasions.
The boots are also coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), which is a type of plastic that makes the boots flame resistant. Everything is triple-stitched so you can be sure the boots will be durable.
The S2V in the name of the boot refers to S2V sieve technology, which is a network of drainage holes along the sides of the boot that increase the dispersal of water and aid breathability.
If these boots get wet, they will soon dry out. The soles are Vibram soles and these are some of the most comfortable soles available.
The boots are available in a couple of colors and a wide variety of sizes. You can also choose wider versions of the boots if you need them. The boots are nine inches high but aren’t waterproof.
- Tough material – the 1000D Cordura nylon makes these boots tough
- Drainage holes – the boots dry quickly and are very breathable
- Triple-stitched – good quality stitching makes the boots durable
- Wide sizes available – you’re bound to find the right size for you
- Run small – the boots can run small when broken in so finding the right size can be tricky
Bates Men’s Ultralite Sport Side Military Boot
If you’re looking for a lightweight but tough pair of military boots, these are a good option.
They’re eight inches high and offer good ankle support due to having ankle stabilizers made from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that reinforce the structure around your ankles.
They’re also comfortable to wear due to the layer of EVA foam padding.
The uppers are made from a mixture of suede and 1200D Cordura nylon so you can be sure the boots are tough.
The boots will remain comfortable and solid throughout the day due to the zonal lacing that prevents them from moving around, while not compromising on the flexibility of the boot.
The boots have side vents to aid breathability and are easy to put on and off due to the side zips. The insole of the boots have ortholite sock liners which help with moisture-wicking and odor prevention.
The bottoms of the boots have multidirectional traction lugs that will keep you on your feet over rough and slippy terrain.
- Ankle stabilizers – the boots will support your ankle
- Side vents – keep the boots breathable and quick drying
- Multi directional lugs – ensure you have good traction on all terrains
- Lightweight but tough – a good option for a lightweight but durable boot
- Weak zippers – the zippers can break after a few months of wear
Thorogood GEN-Flex2 Tactical Boots
The Thorogood Gen-Flex2 is another pair of tactical boots that are well-known in military circles.
The uppers are made from full-grain leather so if you’re looking for a boot that can give you that military parade shine, these are a great choice. As they’re made from leather, they can be treated to be waterproof.
The boots are eight inches high, making them suitable for long missions and heavy loads. They have a Goodyear Storm Welt construction, which means that the sole is stitched to the rest of the boot instead of being glued.
Stitching generally makes the boot more water-resistant than gluing does so even if you don’t treat your boots, they’re less likely to leak.
The soles have good traction for rough terrain and are both oil and slip-resistant. When you first begin breaking the boots in, be aware that they might squeak at first but this will go away.
- Full-grain leather – the boots have a classic look that can be highly polished
- Can be waterproof – as they’re full leather, you can treat them to be waterproof
- Goodyear Storm Welt construction – the soles being stitched instead of glued help water-resistance
- Traction – the soles give good traction and help prevent slips
- Breaking in – boots can be squeaky at first and take some time to break-in
Under Armour Valsetz RTS 1.5 Military Boots
Under Armour is a well-known and respected brand across many different types of sports and activities and the company has used its experience to make these Valsetz tactical boots.
They’re just under seven inches high so they do reach your ankle and are pretty lightweight. The boots have a TPU shank to give you support during missions without compromising on the boot’s comfort.
These boots are very comfortable to wear due to the micro G foam sole which is soft but supportive.
The UA Clutch-Fit Technology employed in these boots keeps them lightweight and flexible. The uppers of the boots are made from a mix of synthetic leather and textiles to prevent tears and abrasions.
The insoles of the boots have an ortholite sock liner which makes the boots breathable and moisture resistant.
The boots have deep lugs to give you high traction over rough terrain. They’re also easy to slip on and off due to the side zipper.
- Lightweight – the boots are lightweight but still durable
- TPU support shank – keep your feet supported as you walk
- Fully synthetic – made from completely synthetic materials
- Ortholite sock liner – the boots are both breathable and moisture resistant
- No toe protection – these boots offer no toe protection so avoid these if this is important
Salomon XA Forces Mid GTX Military Boots
If you have experience with military boots, then you’ve probably looked at boots made by Salomon before. These boots are low as they’re only four inches high.
This means they’re perfect for running or short hikes but are not the best choice for longer missions or heavy loads.
The uppers are mainly made from nylon but do have some leather patches to add some extra durability. The lining has Gore-Tex fabric so the boots are waterproof out of the box.
The waterproof properties of this material can wear out eventually, so make sure you follow the care instructions to prevent this.
The sole of the boots have good traction and are oil and slip-resistant. The lower height and weight make these a combination of military boots and tennis shoes and they’re a great choice for hotter climates due to their breathability.
- Perfect for running – the low height makes these great running shoes
- Gore-Tex fabric – the boots are waterproof
- Good traction – the lugs prevent slipping as you run
- Good support – despite the low height, they offer good ankle support
- Not for long missions or hikes – choose another boot for this
Before you choose a pair of military boots, there are several factors that you should take into account. In this buying guide, we will look at all of the important features and considerations regarding military boots.
Weight Of The Boot
Many factors affect the weight of the boot. These include things such as the material, height, and materials, but can also include additional features the boot has, such as steel-toe caps.
If you want to keep the weight of your boot as light as possible and you don’t need these additional features, then avoid them.
By choosing a boot that has extras you don’t need, you’re just unnecessarily adding to the weight, and potentially the cost, of your boot.
Heavier boots will tire you quicker, so don’t go heavier than you need. Look for boots that have cushioned footbeds and quality midsoles to keep your feet comfortable and light.
Height Of The Boot
The height of military boots can vary and the best height depends on what you plan to use the boot primarily for. Low boots are around four to five inches high and sit low on your ankle.
These are best for treks or shorter missions with lighter loads. As they’re shorter, they give your ankle less support making them less suitable for heavy loads and long distances.
They’re great for urban areas and lower weights, though!
Full-size boots are around six to eight inches high. These offer full ankle support and are the best choice if you will be carrying heavy loads or crossing rough terrain.
If you do slip, the higher boot will protect your ankle better and give you a better chance of escaping injury.
The material of your boots is one of the most important factors in how they will feel and how durable they will be.
Each part of the boot has different requirements so we will look at the different materials for each part in turn.
Typically, uppers on military boots are made from either leather or synthetic materials that behave in similar ways to leather. This is because these materials are tough and offer good breathability.
Full-grain leather is particularly durable but isn’t as breathable as some other options. Split-grain leather is less durable than full-grain but is more breathable.
Synthetic leather is very durable but can leave your feet feeling sweaty. Many boots use a mix of materials and will weave in nylons to add extra durability and resistance to tears and abrasions.
The inside of military boots are typically lined with a material that is odor-resistant, moisture-wicking, and breathable. You will also find many boots that have a water-resistant or waterproof lining inside, also. If you do opt for a waterproof lining, be aware that they’re less breathable and the boot itself will take longer to dry out if it gets wet.
The sole of a military boot can be further divided into three sections: insole, midsole, and outsole. The outsole is part of the boot that touches the ground as you walk so it must have good traction.
The parts of the sole responsible for traction are called lugs and as a general rule, the deeper and thicker they are, the better traction you will have.
Midsoles can be made from either ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam or polyurethane (PU) foam. PU midsoles are more expensive than EVA ones but they don’t flatten as quickly and are more durable.
The durability of a boot is about more than just high-quality materials. The design of the boot and how it is manufactured will also play a huge role in how durable the boot is.
Other factors such as the shape of the boot’s sole and the quality of the stitching are just as important as the materials the boot is made from but are often more difficult to judge as these flaws only reveal themselves after several hours of wear and tear.
We spoke about this briefly during the materials section, but whether you want your boots to be waterproof is a big consideration.
A waterproof boot will allow you to trek through rainy weather or shallow streams without your feet getting wet and this can be invaluable on long hikes or missions.
Nobody wants to spend hours with wet feet! However, the lining that makes military boots waterproof reduces the breathability of the boot, which can leave your feet feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.
This is a trade-off that you will need to consider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now have an idea of what to look for in a military boot. However, if you still have some lingering questions, we’ve taken the time to answer the most common questions about military boots.
How Do You Break In New Military Boots?
Before you consider wearing your new military boots for several hours on a long hike, you need to break the boots in.
If you don’t, you’re likely to develop painful blisters on your feet and even your ankles. There are two common ways you can break in your boots.
This will break your boots in quickly, but it isn’t suitable for all types of boots. Do not use the wet method with boots that require a high-gloss shine or don’t have an upper material made out of leather.
Although easy and quick to do, this method can feel a little uncomfortable! Simply put your boots in a washtub and fill them with water until they are completely soaked.
There should be no dry spots anywhere on the boot. Once they’ve been fully soaked, empty out the water.
Next, wear two pairs of dry socks and put on your boots, making sure that they are still wet and haven’t begun to dry yet.
By wearing two pairs of socks, the boots will dry and constrict to this size, giving you a little bit of extra room when you wear them properly with only one pair.
You should wear your boots like this for a full day and then leave the boots to fully dry. You can remove the insoles while they dry.
This method takes longer but can be used for any boot. With this method, you gradually build up how long you wear the boots and reshape them slowly.
Start by only wearing them for an hour on the first day and then extend this time each day. After a few periods of wear, you can start to be more active in them as this will speed up the process.
We would recommend wearing nylon socks to prevent blisters and applying moleskin to any areas that are rubbing your skin and causing blisters.
What Are The Best Military Boots For Women?
Women can wear exactly the same military boots as men can! There are no major differences in the shape of feet between the sexes.
So as long as the shoe is the right size there is no reason why women have to look for specific shoes. Some women might prefer lighter boots, but this is a personal preference.
The right military boot can support you on long and tiring missions. They’ll support your ankles, protect your feet, and keep you comfortable even if you’re carrying a heavy load.
In this article, we looked at the best military boots available and the features you should look for. We hope it helps you choose the perfect boot for you!