Best Tactical Boots for Men Reviewed & Compared
The world that we live in is one that requires a great deal of work from us. Like it or not, there always seems to be an endless amount of work that needs to get done, and all of that responsibility somehow seems to consistently fall on your shoulders. It might seem like a bit of a pain at times, but it’s the unescapable truth. Whether there are job matters you need to tend to, things around the house that need to be fixed, or you simply have a list of chores that need to get done, it can often times feel like the workload that you have never dies down no matter what you do. Even when you put in as much effort as you possible can and work for as long as the day will allow you to, there will always be more work waiting for you the very next day. While this can be annoying to some folks, there are other people out there who have a craving for this never-ending workload.
You see, some people out there are born to be workers. They are born with something in their blood that makes them have a want and a need for this work, and while that might sound like nonsense to some of you, if you’re one of the many people out there who loves being busy all the time, you know just what we’re talking about. There’s a great, rewarding feeling that accompanies knowing you complete a job to the best of your abilities, and seeing all of the hard work you’ve done finally pay off can be one of the best things in the world. However, as fun and rewarding as this work can often be, you should also be very well aware of the safety regulations that come into play as well.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Belleville Tactical Boot
- Palladium Tactical Boot
- Under Armour Boot
- TPU Shank
Depending on the kind of job or work you frequently take part in, you’ll be required to wear some sort of safety clothing or other materials in order to keep your body as safe and comfortable as possible when tending to the task at hand. While these clothing items and such vary between job to job, we’re going to be focusing on working situations that require the greatest amount of effort from you. These working situations and conditions often take place in areas that often pose potential safety hazards, and are most frequently found in areas like construction zones, forests, mountains, etc. Whatever the case may be, if you find yourself working in an area that is a bit harsh in regards to the outdoor elements, you’ll need to ensure that you’re wearing the proper safety gear to stay as safe as you possibly can.
When talking about safety gear, there are a great number of things that come into consideration. Between hardhats, vests, pants, gloves, and more, there is a seemingly endless list of safety clothes and accessories that you should wear while out and about with your work. However, one of the most important items of safety gear for your consideration should definitely be what kind of shoes you’re wearing. You more than likely have a great deal of walking and traversing that you need to do when you’re hard at work, and as a result of this, you need to be sure that the shoes you’re wearing are up to the workload that is facing you. With so many different styles and types of shoes available though, determining the best option for you can often be quite tricky.
Among all of the shoe types out there, one of the ones that we would recommend the most are easily tactical boots. They are generally some of the most durable and protective shoe types out there, and they often come with a heap of features that are made to keep your feet as safe and comfortable as possible. They were initially created for the armed forces, but have since been made publicly available so that people everyone can take advantage of their safety and comfort features.
As with any shoe type out there, there’s a heap of information that you need to take into consideration before making your final say as to which model you want to get. Between the various types out there, the different brands, factors to consider, and more, there’s a great deal of info that you should be aware of before making your final decision.
We’ve constructed this guide to be the most comprehensive and informative ones out there, as it will be able to serve as your one-stop shop for any questions you might have. There’s a lot of ground that we need to cover, so without further ado, let’s go ahead and get started.
Our Recommended Tactical Boots
|Under Armour Men’s UA Valsetz RTS Tactical Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Rocky’s Men’s C4T Tactical Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Magnum Men’s Response II 8” Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Men’s Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Support Side-Zip Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Original S.W.A.T. Men’s Metro Air 9-Inch Side-Zip Tactical Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Reebok Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB8895 8” Tactical Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Under Armour Men’s UA Stellar Tactical Boots||See Review & Ratings|
|Palladium Men’s Pampa Tactical Combat Boot||See Review & Ratings|
|Belleville TR960ZWP KHYBER Lightweight Waterproof Side-Zip Tactical Boot||See Review & Ratings|
Tactical Boot Types
Swat Boots/Duty Boots/Tactical Boots
While there are different types of tactical boots out there, they often get referred to with these three different names. They are all the same kind of standard-issue boot and are the most common all around tactical footwear that you’ll find. This foot apparel generally features some sort of waterproofing mechanic and also has a tendency to be made out of hardened leather – great material for extreme durability against outdoor elements. These standard ones most famously offer excellent support for both your ankle and foot. If you come into contact with environments that aren’t the most pleasant, it’s more than likely that your ankles and feet will have to go through some rather intense situations. Standard duty boots help to ensure that these parts of your body have as much stability and security as possible, and are often the go-to tactical foot apparel for a lot of folks out there.
If you want as much protection as you can possibly get out of your new pair of duty boots, you’re definitely going to want to take a look at a pair of tanker tactical footwear. Tanker boots were originally created for soldiers who operated tanks, and as a result of this, they are designed to be some of the most durable and long-lasting out there. One of their most iconic features is that of their resistance to heat, meaning that they won’t get deformed or misshapen if you happen to have them out in the intense sun for long stretches of time at once. Additionally, these kind of tactical boots are also very well-known for their steel-reinforced toes and lack of laces on the top. Tanker boots are really the ultimate tactical footwear when it comes to incredible durability, and if that’s a priority of yours, it might just be the foot apparel that you’ve been looking for.
10 Best Tactical Boots
1. Belleville TR960ZWP KHYBER
Belleville has also packed in a Gore-tex lining inside the shoe. This lining allows it to not only be waterproof but also allows it to be completely resistant to oil, lubricant, and even petroleum. If you work in an area where these substances are frequently used, you really do need a duty boot that’s going to be able to properly withstand them. And, while the price might be a little on the high side, it is absolutely worth the added durability and functionality that you get with the Belleville TR960ZWP KHYBER.
- Leather construction
- Extremely durable
- Steel toe
- A heavy feel
2. Palladium Pampa
While Palladium could have certainly stopped there, they decided that they want to add a bit more. The Pampa Tactical Combat Boot also comes equipped with a construction of full grain leather and ballistic nylon for increased overall durability, a zipper on the side that makes the foot apparel incredible easy to put on and take off, and a rubber outsole that’s been rated to provide some of the best traction around. Numerous owners have praised the boot for being surprisingly stylish and comfortable to wear, so if these are two of the biggest priorities on your list, these are definitely worth your consideration.
- EVA-cushioned footbed
- Not as sturdy
3. Under Armour Stellar
On top of all this, Under Armour has also included a toe that’s polishable, quick-drying technology to keep your shoes comfy even when they do get wet, a molded EVA midsole with a TPU shank that’s been reinforced for maximum protection, and rubber lugs on the sole of the show that will provide you with the best possible traction no matter what kind of surfaces you come into contact to. The boots have been rated as some of the most comfortable ones out there, and Under Armour has even allowed them to come in at a pretty affordable price tag. So, if you’ve been looking for a low-profile pair of tactical footwear, these just might be the ones that you’ve been looking for.
- Polishable toe
- Quick-drying technology to keep your shoes comfy
- Molded EVA midsole with a TPU shank
- Great traction
- Lower quality
4. Reebok Duty RB8895
The Reebok Duty Men’s Rapid Response feature the Foot Force F2A removable insert that’s made up out of polyurethane. This insert is designed to keep your foot as comfortable as possible throughout all of your hard work, and it’s definitely a really great addition to have. Reebok has moved any metal parts from the Rapid Response to ensure that they’re 100% airport friendly, and they've even been tested to meet the ASTM F2892 standards. Basically, this is an incredibly tough boot that should be able to withstand even the most intense work situations.
- Leather construction
- Wide tongue
5. Original S.W.A.T. Metro Air
Original S.W.A.T. decided that an affordable tactical footwear deserved more than just this though, so they decided to go ahead and go the extra mile or two. Along with all these features that we’ve already outlined, the Metro Air also houses an upper area that’s double-stitched with a 3-ply bonded nylon thread for extreme durability against all of the elements, a leather toe that can be polished without any sort of undesirable effects, and a nylon shank that helps to make the Metro Air to feature a lightweight design and to keep away as much fatigue from your feet and ankles as possible. A lot of thought and hard-work really did go into the making of this boot, and it’s quite evident even when just reading a product description for it online. The footwear has a lot of features that have been added to enhance the boot’s overall comfort and functionality, and when reading through what past owners have had to say, it looks like the care and effort that went into making these boots paid off.
- Leather construction
- Air cell heel
- Absorbs direct impacts
- Not as sturdy
6. Bates Ultra-Lites
Overall, reviews for the Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Support Side-Zip are quite positive. The majority of owners have been incredibly pleased with the overall comfort and durability of these boots, but there are a handful of folks that have complained about the boots falling apart on them after just weeks of use. These cases appear to occur when purchasing the footwear from a third-party seller, so when buying these, ensure that you’re ordering from a reputable seller. Other than that, these definitely deserve a spot as some of the best tactical footwear out there.
- Features a removable cushioned insert
- Lightweight build
- Durable and slip resistant outsole
- Lower quality build
7. 5.11 ATAC
In addition to all of this, we’re also looking at 5.11’s trusty Shock Mitigation System. That might sound like a mouthful, but what it essentially translates to is the fact that this put is a solid performer for evenly distributing any impact or stress that it endures. Combine all of this with the tactical foot apparel’s hypertext lasting board, an insole with an ample amount of cushioning for maximum comfort, and a healthy amount of open cell foam, and you’re looking at a pair of some of the best tactical boots that money can buy.
- A combination between full grain leather and fabric
- Incredibly rigid and durable
- Antibacterial and moisture build
- A bit pricey
8. Magnum Response II
- Fragile build
9. Rocky’s C4T
The laces used with the C4T Tactical Boot are made up entirely out of 550 Paracord, so you can ensure that the laces will be just as durable as the rest of the shoe. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Rocky has also included a molded EVA and rubber sole on the bottom of the shoe to maximize the overall stability and grip you have when maneuvering various terrains that you come into contact with. Although these aren’t the biggest or most durable tactical foot apparel you’ll find on this list, they should make for perfect companions for any light to medium tasks you find yourself involved with.
- EVA and rubber sole
10. Under Armour UA Valsetz RTS
However, the features don’t stop there. Under Armour has added their iconic ClutchFit technology that allows the Valsetz RTS to wrap tightly around your ankle and provide it with unparalleled support. This technology essentially acts as a sort of “second skin” for your ankle, and both feels incredible and is a great safety measure as well. On top of this, Under Armour also added their Micro G foam into the sole of this duty footwear, meaning that your feet will not only stay extra comfy but also have a great deal of padding underneath them whenever you have to make a landing or take off rather quickly.
While the majority of reviews for the Under Armour Men’s UA Valsetz RTS Tactical Boot are quite positive, there are a handful of owners saying that their particular boots had a tendency to wear away rather quickly when put under a great deal of use. This is an issue that seems to only be a problem for a minority of users, but it’s still definitely something that’s worth keeping in mind.
- Unparalleled support for the ankle
- Very comfortable
- A tendency to wear away rather quickly
Factors to Consider
With a tactical boot, one of the biggest factors that you need to take into consideration is its overall durability. Tactical footwear is made for intense situations, and as a result of this, you want to ensure that the model you’re buying has the guts necessary to withstand the amount of work that you throw at it. Not all boots are created equal, and while the majority of them are durable on some level, there’s no denying that some are more durable and rugged than others. Depending on the kind of work you’ve got lined up, you’ll want to make sure that their durability ratings stack up accordingly to what you have in store for them.
Tactical boots are meant to be worn when you’ve got a lot of work that needs to be done. They are usually worn in less than desirable situations, and can often be found being worn by folks on construction sites, in the mountains, in forests, and other similar areas. The environments on their own aren’t the most pleasant to be in, and as a result of this, you will want to ensure that your feet stay as comfortable as they possibly can. Having a super durable tactical boot is fine, but if it isn’t comfortable for you to wear, there’s really no point in wearing it at all. Make sure that your next pair comes equipped with a footbed with some sort of insole or molded technology that helps to make them extra comfy on your feet while wearing them.
Resistance to water and other substances
When you’re wearing a pair of tactical footwear, the last thing you want to have to worry about is having to baby them from all of the outer elements that they may come into contact with while you’re wearing them. One of the biggest enemies for footwear is that of water, so it’s probably going to be a good idea to ensure that your next pair is waterproof to some extent. While the majority of them are, some go the extra mile by being resistance to things like petroleum, oil, and lubricants. This might seem like an unnecessary addition, but if find yourself in situations where your boots are going to be exposed to these substances, you’re definitely going to want to ensure that they’ll be able to properly withstand their harmful effects.
One of the factors that is sometimes easy to overlook is the overall weight of a tactical boot. This might not seem like that big of a factor to consider at first, but if you find yourself stuck with a pair of incredibly heavy tactical footwear, it won’t take long for them to wear your feet down after wearing them around for hours on end. In order to try to avoid this, opting for a pair of tactical foot apparel that are made to be as lightweight as possible will be one of the best moves that you can make.
Most Popular Brands
As you start your hunt for your next pair of tactical or duty boots, you’ll quickly come to realize that Rocky is one of the most popular brands out there for this market. Rocky has been in the business of creating ultra-durable tactical footwear since 1932, making them one of the oldest and most experienced companies in the industry. Rocky knows everything there is to know about how to make a boot durable, comfy, and reliable, and it’s those qualities that make them one of the most popular brands out there.
Belleville has been manufacturing shoes since the year 1904, but the company didn’t start making military-style footwear until 1917 when they got an order to create them for World War I. Since that time, Belleville has remained committed to crafting the best and most efficient tactical footwear on the market. The company is constantly striving to use new technology to make their footwear as best as they possibly can, and it’s that strive and passion for constant innovation that makes them a real force to be reckoned with in the world of tactical boots.
Although Reebok is known for creating a wide variety of different shoe types, the company has been met with quite a bit of success with their Reebok Work line of shoes since they first got things started back in 1989. The Reebok Work line of shoes are created for people who need to get things done and need their shoes to be as durable and reliable as possible. Reebok uses their Reebok Work line to sell their line of tactical boots that they provide, and although this sort of foot apparel may not be the company’s main focus like it is for Rocky or Belleville, the company has still brought a great deal of innovation and quality to the world of tactical boots that has been more than welcome to have.
Q: Are tactical boots usually steel or soft-toed?
When looking to buy a new pair of tactical boots, one of the things that can sometimes be hard to determine is whether or not the majority of tactical footwear feature steel or soft-toe designs. While there are certainly some models out there that feature steel-toes, soft-toed designs are usually the most common thing that you’ll see when looking at this type of foot apparel. The soft-toe design allows tactical boots to be more flexible and lightweight than a steel-toed boot, but you certainly still do have options for steel-toed tactical footwear if you like the added durability and ruggedness that you get with a steel-toe form factor.
Q: What’s the most common height for a tactical boot?
Although tactical footwear comes in a wide variety of different sizes nowadays, the most common and frequent size you’ll see is that of the 8-inch variant. The 8-inch height provides for a nice balance between a comfortable form factor and allows it to provide an ample amount of protection. However, there’s plenty of other foot apparel out there that go both below and above the 8-inch size. One of these isn’t necessarily better than the other, as deciding between which size you want to get will ultimately come down to a matter of personal preference.
Q: Are all tactical boots waterproof?
Generally, the majority of tactical boots that you’ll look at are waterproof to some extent. However, we still recommend ensuring that the company clearly outlines that they are waterproof before testing it out for yourself. There are still some models out there that lack this feature for whatever reason, and there are also boots that take this waterproofness to the next level by being resistance to things like lubricants, petroleum, and even oil.
Q: Do all tactical boots feature a lace-up design?
While the majority feature that of a lace-up design, not every single one out there does. If laces really aren’t your thing, there’s a specific type of tactical footwear called a tanker boot. Rather than laces, they feature straps that are used to secure the boot on your foot, as they were initially created to be more efficient and easy for soldiers in tanks to wear. Tactical foot apparel with lace-up designs are definitely the most common type out there, but with a bit of searching, it’s very possible to find a tactical boot that doesn’t uses any laces at all.
As you can see, the world of tactical boots might be a bit bigger and expansive than you may have initially anticipated. They are some of the most powerful and durable shoes out there, and as a result of this, there are a lot of different things that need to be taken into consideration before you make your final decision in regards to which specific model you want to go with.
When making your decision, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the overall durability and ruggedness of the boot that you’re getting. Tactical footwear is made first and foremost to offer as much protection against the outdoor elements as possible, so if you have a pair that is frail and fragile, they ultimately fail as being a good tactical boot.
However, perhaps even more important than this, you need to make sure that the boot you’re buying is going to be comfortable for you to wear for long periods of time at once. Having super durable tactical foot apparel is great, but if you hate wearing the boot because it doesn’t feel good at all on your foot, the entire purpose is kind of lost. Keep these two main points in mind at all times, and your purchasing process should be relatively pain-free.
There are tons of different brands and styles to choose from when looking at tactical footwear, and while some people might be committed to only buying from one brand, this is really a silly way to go about things. In order to be certain that you’re getting the best possible tactical boot for your needs, write down everything that your new boots will be going through. Take into consideration the environments they’ll be exposed to, how long you’ll be wearing them at once, and what kind of elements they’ll have to be resistant to. From here, start your research by seeing which footwear is able to meet all of the needs on your list. This method will help to ensure that the model you’re getting will be the best suited for you, and although this might take a bit of time, it’s the most thorough and effective way to go about the whole thing.
Tactical boots are some of the most interesting products out there in the shoe world, and hopefully you now have a better understanding and grasp on the market than you ever had before. When you set out to get your next pair of the best tactical boots, keep a steady heady, make sure you’re aware of your priorities, and have fun!