Best Combat Boots Reviewed & Rated
Combat boots have grown in popularity as everyday wear in the past years. It’s not uncommon to see them worn in labor-intensive work environments, and even as fashion, believe it or not. These were initially created for soldiers and military personnel but have become quite the trend in general because of their versatility. In addition to combining the functional aspects of many types of footwear, they are also a style option for those who like their rugged look. Their ability to provide stability, traction, protection, ankle support, comfort, and durability simultaneously has made them a go-to choice for many.
The list below features the ten best styles of combat boots currently available for purchase. Additionally, a Criteria for Evaluation section gives you useful information you will need in order to make an investment you’ll be happy with in the long run.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 100 hrs of research
8 Inch Height
200g Thinsulate Insulation
Polished Full Grain Leather
100% Waterproof Gore Tex Lining
- Danner Recon
- Thorogood GEN-FLEX2 Series
- Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9
- Adidas Performance GSG-9.2
- Danner Acadia
- The 5.11 12007 A.T.A.C.
- Magnum Elite Spider 8.0
- Under Armour Stellar
- Bates Ultra Lites
- Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Combat Boots
1. Danner Recon
8 Inch Height
200g Thinsulate Insulation
Polished Full Grain Leather
100% Waterproof Gore Tex Lining
This is a very sleek and tough looking style that has the construction and thought behind it that makes for a great combat boot. The full grain leather upper is sturdy and durable, while easily polished to give it that professional shine. To ensure this shoe is waterproof, Danner has used a Gore-Tex layer, which is one of the ideal materials. Gore-tex is able to be 100% waterproof while remaining breathable enough to allow for heat and sweat to still escape. The Kletterlift Outsole helps make this pair of footwear comfortable to wear, offering shock absorption, stability, and superb traction on any type of terrain or weather condition.Read more
In order to make this shoes more lightweight, Danner has included 200g of Thinsulate insulation. This amount will keep your feet warm in both rain and snow, while also reducing the overall weight of the footwear. Fully waterproof and warm, these will work well in the winter; especially given that they have great traction.
One of the best things about these boots is that they are recraftable, meaning if you have any breakdown or wear through, you can send them in to have them repaired and fixed up. This is due to the fact that their handmade stitching process allows for easy removal and repair of damaged parts, giving you a long lasting combat boot overall. This is genuine combat footwear, and the construction and features are all properly made in order to produce a product that is durable and long-lasting. With that in mind, the price of this item is reflective of these features, and this is the kind of shoe that will last you a lifetime.
2. Thorogood GEN-FLEX2 Series
Full Grain Leather Upper
Lace, Zipper and Velcro Closure
Double Density Rubber Outsole
Thorogood is a manufacturer that makes work, hiking and protective footwear for those who require the highest level of quality and comfort. The GEN-FLEX2 Series is an 8” tactical boot that’s not only durable, but also flexible and lightweight, allowing you full range of motion so you can wear it knowing you’ll be able to give your best. A full grain leather upper molds to the foot throughout the break in process, while the high shine toe and heel give this footwear a polished look.Read more
The outsole on the GEN-FLEX2 is made with dual density rubber and multi-directional lugs that give you exquisite grip even on wet and oily surfaces. This means you’ll have a steady footing wherever you go, while the Goodyear storm welt construction ensures durability and reliability.
What differentiates the GEN-FLEX 2 from similar models is the fact that it features three different closure systems for absolute security. The traditional lace closure allows a good amount of customization, so you can set up the perfect fit, while the side zipper ensures easy on and off, even when you’re in a rush. The velcro strap will ensure the zipper is held down, and that your boots make as little noise as possible when walking. The price of the Thorogood GEN-FLEX2 Series is average compared to the other items on this list, and this is an affordable price if you compare it to the quality you will be getting with these shoes. Furthermore, it’s important to mention that this is a pair with a removable PU footbed which is cushioning, but also allows you to use your own orthotics for customized support and shock absorption.
3. Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9
Leather and Nylon Upper
Shock Absorbing Midsole
Oil and Slip Resistant
Rust Proof Hardware
Soles May Separate
A go-to shoe for military and law improvement personnel, the Original S.W.A.T. Classic combines the durability of combat footwear with the comfort features of an athletic sneaker for the best possible all-day wear. The 9” shaft provides both protection and ankle stability, while the upper combines full grain leather and 1000 denier nylon for both durability and flexibility. A huge advantage of this model is its light weight, which won’t cause fatigue, even after hours on your feet.Read more
The collar on the Classic is padded with foam to prevent ankle rubbing and blisters which are common with similar footwear. The inside of the boot is treated with antimicrobial protection that prevents odors, and the lining wicks away moisture, so that the health of your feet is put first.
These boots feature a custom made phylon midsole, similar to those you would find in certain running shoes. It absorbs shock and prevents it from traveling to your joints and muscles. Additional comfort features include a removable EVA foam insole, a steel shank for support, a gusseted tongue that’ll keep debris out, as well as a thermoplastic heel counter and toe box that’ll mold perfectly to your feet for a superior fit. With a price that falls slightly under the $100 mark, the Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9" is an excellent choice both for professionals, as well as for those looking for a badass boot that’ll work for years. It’s important to mention that this is a pair of shoes that are slip and oil resistant as well and that it performs exceptionally on ASTM F2913-11 test standards, giving you great bang for your buck.
4. Adidas Performance GSG-9.2
Full Grain Leather Upper
Adiprene Heel Cushioning
While Adidas may not be the first brand that jumps to mind when you are thinking of combat boots, the Performance GSG-9.2 is certainly a shoe worth having on this list. Oil, gasoline, and static resistant, this is a tough pair of shoes that is built to endure harsh conditions and terrains. Featuring Traxion lugs for superior support and grip, this footwear offers amazing support and protection.Read more
They don't just look like military footwear, they are SWAT team and special force footwear that can really stand up to the job. Added features like the Rope Assault Protection help showcase how realistic and high performing these are. The arch features an insert that is highly abrasion resistant, allowing you to be safer and more effective during fast roping.
Like all Adidas footwear, they come equipped with some unique technologies like Climaproof, adiTuff, and adiPrene. Climaproof allows the shoe to be water resistant while remaining breathable, and the adiTuff material ensures it is abrasion resistant while also helping it to be more supportive and protective. The adiPrene heel insert is where the footwear's comfort comes in to play, absorbing shock and cushioning your heel. Given that these boots are professional and up to many codes and standards, the price tag on them is extremely reasonable. While not nearly the cheapest option on our list, this is well worth the money if you need a combat style for work or military training.
5. Danner Acadia
Leather and Nylon Upper
Vibram Kletterlift Outsole
Slip and Oil Resistant
Runs Narrow and Long
This pair of combat boots by Danner is made in the USA, and is a stable, supportive option for those who need a sturdy shoe to rely on. The 8 inch model can be purchased in several versions - a regular uninsulated edition, a composite toe one, as well as two insulated editions, one with 200g and the other with 400g of Thinsulate. It’s not just an excellent investment for professionals, but also those who want a durable pair of footwear they can rely on daily.Read more
The upper of the Acadia combines two materials - full grain leather and 1000 denier nylon that work together to make for an extremely resilient model. Gore-Tex lining ensures a waterproof design that can be worn during wet weather, while still allowing for sweat and moisture to evaporate from the inside of the shoe.
The Vibram Kletterlift outsole was developed for comfort. The heel is superbly shock absorbing, making the Acadia suitable for long hours of wear. The rubber compound is resistant to oil and slips, and the low lugs make it ideal for urban environments and wear on concrete floors. The stitchdown construction means that this pair is recraftable, so you don’t have to purchase a new pair once the sole has worn out. At a price that is between $300 and $400, you should consider this model an investment, but if you’re after something that will last, then definitely go for it.
6. The 5.11 12007 A.T.A.C.
Shock Mitigation Technology
The 5.11 - 12007 A.T.A.C. 8" is considered to be the most versatile combat boot for women. The shoe is designed to deliver comfort and high-performance simultaneously. The upper part of the shoe is constructed with a nylon mesh that aims to provide breathability. The full-grain toe is specifically designed to offer strong toe support and a unique polished appearance.Read more
The midsole is made with injection-molded Phylon (found in running footwear) that provides excellent cushioning. The cushioned insole which is removable also provides excellent foot support and shock absorption. The inner part of the shoe is lined with a moisture-wicking lining that is meant to cool the foot even in hot weather.
The outsole features a unique Shock Mitigation System and an oil- and slip-resistant material that offers excellent grip, traction and stability. The upper part of the shoe is secured with YKK Zipper hardware that is connected to the outer sole and ensures that the wearer has an exact fit. This model carries a heftier price tag. This is quite expensive as compared to other combat footwear that is in the same category. However, this is the only pair of its kind to use injected-molded Pylon that provides both enhanced cushioning and foot support, so the purchase would be worth it.
7. Magnum Elite Spider 8.0
Mesh Overlays for Breathability
Full Leather Upper
Oil and Slip Resistant
Not for Cold Conditions
This desert boot is ideal for individuals in hot climates who want a sturdy and durable option which is also breathable and well ventilated. Desert weather is scorching during the days, and having your feet overheat will make you more fatigued and uncomfortable than necessary. The airy nature doesn't take away from its durability, however, as it also features composite hardware that helps retain its shape and offers you protection. With a full lace-up design, these can be tightened to your perfect fit.Read more
It's important to take in to account the opinions of military personnel to really get a feel for how effective these truly are. While going over countless reviews, these were consistently noted as being lightweight, comfortable, and great for all training activities. While there was mention that they do scuff over time, overall reviews were extremely positive and many found these held up well in wet, muddy, or other rough terrains and conditions.
The way these stay so lightweight and breathable has a lot to do with the mesh inlays that can be found on the sides. While still being waterproof and debris-proof, these inlays allow for ample airflow to reduce the sweat and heat that your feet produce over the day. Magnum is a very well known and beloved brand, especially by military staff, so it's understandable their footwear tends to be more expensive. With that said, these are actually not expensive at all, and they are amazing value for the cost.
8. Under Armour Stellar
Leather and Nylon Upper
Padded Ankle and Collar
A pair that combines the performance features of tactical footwear with the athletic functionality of Under Armour sneakers, the Stellar is a great choice for those in search of something more lightweight, that includes plenty of comfort-oriented tech. This 8 inch model uses a combination of materials, provides a polishable toe for professional use, and is an overall good choice for those on a budget.Read more
The upper of the Stellar combines leather with 900 denier nylon in order to keep weight down to a minimum, but also to provide a more flexible fit in areas such as the ankle. The collar and tongue feature generous padding to ensure you can pull the laces as tight as you need to, while the back of the heel includes a pull tab for easier on and off. The thick laces are easy to use, and allow wearers to find the perfect fit with little adjustment.
The inside of the Stellar uses an Ortholite footbed which has two big advantages over other types. The first one is the fact that it adds an additional level of shock absorption to the sole. The second is that it is treated with antimicrobial treatment to prevent bad odors inside the boot. The rubber outsole has low profile lugs, the midsole is made with lightweight EVA foam, and a TPU shank ensures stability and protection. To top it all off, the price of the Stellar ranks low, giving users on a budget a good value for money.
9. Bates Ultra Lites
Rigid Plastic Knobs
The Bates-Ultra Lite is the ultimate shoe for someone looking for a high-performance, tactical boot. This shoe provides the exceptional inclusion of comfort, quality, and performance. The shoe provides excellent cushioning and foot protection through the incorporation of Removable EVA Footbed with Shock Absorbing Pads. The Enforcer Series 8" is made of Black Leather/Nylon. This provides a choice for the wearer to either choose the leather or Nylon option depending on the usage. The shoe is designed with a side Zipper that is created with Velcro.Read more
The top of this Bates footwear features a padded collar that will both support and protect the ankle, preventing painful hot spots and blisters. The top of the shoe is designed with Non-Metallic Eyelets that are used with Speed Laces Mesh. This directly contributes to the durability and sustainability of the shoe.
The outer sole is designed with Oil and Slip-resistant Ultra-Lites™ Rubber that makes it 30% Lighter Than the Original Enforcer Series 2261. The Ultra-Lite technology offers unique traction and grip and can be used on any terrain. However, do note that this shoe is only available in one color - black. This shoe is priced in the higher range. It is quite expensive in comparison to the shoe at the top of our list. However, the price difference is mitigated by numerous additional and advanced features that make the ride more comfortable and worth it.
10. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0
Leather and Nylon Upper
Side Zip Closure
Cushioning EVA Midsole
Small Toe Box
The Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 tactical boot is designed to last even the toughest terrain. The midsole is designed with EVA material that offers cradled support and lightweight comfort. The shoe is incorporated with a steel shank that provides superior support. The entire shoe is constructed with Board-lasted construction that provides torsional rigidity which effectively lessens fatigue when used over long periods. The outer sole is designed with slip-resistant, non-marking rubber that provides excellent grip and traction on wet and slippery terrains. Has a moderately sized shank and is extremely well priced. The shoe is available in black only and offers two option in regard to the shank height. If you are always on your feet for long periods or have to walk long distances then this is the shoe for you.Read more
The upper part of the shoe is designed using a combination of leather and fabric. This unique feature provides exceptional durability and breathability. The upper part is integrated with a Foam-padded PU Collar and tongue that offers easy wipe-off cleaning and sturdy foot support.
The model is designed with a YKK® side zipper you will find great durability, an excellent fit, and a closure you don't' need to worry about. This zipper provides foot protection by ensuring that no external debris can enter the shoe while in use. The tongue is gusseted to keep the dirt and water particles away. This pair is more affordable than several others. It is fairly priced considering that it offers numerous features that can only be found in highly priced item. Considering the affordability and durability, the value for this shoe cannot be overemphasized.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Initially, combat boots were made for military personnel who required specific features in terms of durability, support and protection. Many manufacturers have made their own version since the 1950s, but it wasn’t until recently that this style became popular among civilians as well. Since the 50s, however, there have been numerous technological advancements, which means that you can now find a pair of these shoes that are not just rugged and protective, but that’ll also feel lightweight and cushioning even after hours of wear.
If you’re a fan of activities such as hunting, hiking, outdoor work, or anything similar, you’ll greatly benefit from a good pair of these shoes. You’ll look masculine and stylish, while being the proud owner of a pair of shoes that’ll easily last for years.
When coming up with the best list for you, we did a detailed research and analysis so that only the best of the best made our top ten list. When picking these models there are some very important factors that we looked at. These factors helped us in judging the different options that are available in the market.
There are several places and scenarios in which one can wear these, and each scenario calls for a different type of footwear.
Though they might look stylish, make sure you get the correct pair that will be able to give maximum functionality and comfort. Remember, you cannot wear these to every event you are going to or to any activity you are engaging in. Below are the different types of that you will find when shopping:
Designed for the Extreme Weather Conditions: Boots designed for military servicemen fighting in all types of conditions need to be able to offer the maximum protection from the harsh weather conditions. Some of the examples that are designed for the harsh climatic conditions are desert, jungle, and cold weather.
Designed to be used during combat and training, combat boots need to serve a specific purpose in addition to satisfying guidelines regarding appearance. The functional features included in a model thus become crucial when choosing a pair to use professionally (or even just as a fashion statement). Considering that military personnel needs to face tough conditions in this type of footwear, there are a lot of considerations to be made to ensure their safety, but also their comfort.
Just like any other shoes, you must make sure that what you buy offers you a good snug fit. The fit is crucial whether your boots are to be worn for a long period of time or a couple of hours, for extreme weather conditions or just normal weather. Having a perfect size will not only guarantee you comfortability but it will also give the needed protection and support that your feet need. In order to make sure you get the best fit for your combat shoes, it’s crucial to follow the below steps.
Get the correct socks: if you want to have a good fit, it’s important that you have the correct type of socks. When going for a fitting, make sure you have the socks that you will be wearing. Make sure the socks are snug fitting and ought to rise up just over the feet’s calf.
Check your shoe size: many of the manufacturers start from size 9 up to size 14. Men with feet larger or smaller than this range might have some difficulty finding the correct size.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
While combat boots have grown in popularity as a fashion, many remain true to functioning as a serious boot for wear and tear in rugged environments. When you look for your next pair, consider what use is intended. Fashion forward combat boots may showcase a bit more flair on the uppers, have some embellishment, and give a no-sass kind of feel to your outfit. More functional boots most likely won't have embellishments, but are packed with comfort and weather technology to keep you protected.
As with other styles of footwear, caring for your boots will help them perform and last along with you! Take the time to wipe them clean of any dirt and debris, let mud on the sole dry first before removing it, and let them air dry should they get wet. Heat can damage the upper or other aspects of the boot. If your boots are leather, using a bit of leather conditioner now and again will help keep the leather in tip top shape.
Other Factors to Consider
The popularity of this style has created a market demand that is served by numerous companies. If you decide to get a pair, you won’t lack options. The problem is sorting through these options to find the very best. That’s where we come in. We’ve done the hours of testing and researching so you don’t have to. You need something that provides adequate features, is comfortable, functional and has the quality to last. The functionality of these options should not be overlooked, even if style is also a consideration. A quality pair will help reduce fatigue when worn over long periods of time, encourage increased blood flow in the feet, prevent accumulation of moisture that could lead to bacterial infections, provide ample cushioning and provide ample foot protection from external debris.
It will take hours to look up and compare the countless available options; time that you may not have. We understand, so we’ve done the research and included all the info on the best pairs in one place! After thorough and extensive research, comparing thousands of reviews and applying our criteria, we’ve come up with a list of the top ten products on the market. This list is constructed based on stringent criteria that include the best characteristics this style can offer and wear tester reviews, containing a variety of options for both men and women.
The importance of quality footwear cannot be overemphasized, in casual or specialty choices alike, particularly for those individuals who have to be on their feet for extended periods. These shoes offer the effectiveness and advanced features that surpass any other option available in the market intended for the same purpose. The range above reduces the probability of health complications by providing shoes that offer reduced fatigue, adequate blood circulation in the feet, excellent cushioning, support, and moisture regulation.
These are the highest rated in performance and are extremely durable options that will deliver even in the most strenuous of conditions. They are versatile and can be used on a range of terrains including rocky mountains, slippery river banks, iced lots, hard pavements, snowfields and much more.
Furthermore, they offer enhanced foot protection through sizable shanks that ensure that no external objects will penetrate the sole. Comfortability has not been overlooked. There are features such as clutch fit technology, EVA midsoles, innovative lacing structures and unique foam beds that ensure the user experience is optimized. If you are in the market for an all-purpose shoe of the best quality, then any of the above are suitable for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Are these types of shoes vegan?
Not necessarily, seeing that most will be made with leather uppers. If you’re looking for vegan options, look for models which state that they’re made with man-made materials. In case you are hesitant about the vegan type, you can contact the company to clarify.
q: What is the general procedure for cleaning?
One trick of making sure you have long lasting shoes is taking good care of your shoes by cleaning them properly.
Use a soft brush to remove any dirt on the surface, this is done when the use is minimal.
However, when the use is more extended and rugged then you will need to clean the shoes with warm water and mild soap. Because soap is hydrophilic make sure you rinse it all off from the surface.
To make sure they dry completely, open your shoes fully. Remove the laces or the straps, then the insoles so that even the inner parts can dry up. DO NOT EXPOSE the shoes to HEAT. Let them dry at room temperature.
q: Can I use conditioning oils or sprays?
When thinking about the treatment make sure you look at the materials used in making the shoes and also the construction of the footwear. Be cautious as most of the time when treatment is done on footwear it can change the appearance and the color of the footwear.
q: How do I make sure that I have the perfect fit?
Having a good fit of your footwear is very important as this guarantees you comfortability at all times. When shopping, make sure your toes have enough room to wiggle about when you put on the shoes, especially on the front part. You should check that there is a snug fit, but not a tight fit when you put on the shoes. The next thing would be to check the heel’s position as you walk around, the heel should not slide up or down, or back and forth as this will cause very painful blisters to your leg. The other important part of the footwear that determines the fit is the laces or the straps, they must be tightened so that you have a firm fit, but also to allow the natural movement of the foot when walking.