The Best Military Boots
Military service men and women know more than anyone how important a good pair of boots are. You never want to spend time out in the field with a pair of poorly made or underperforming boots–this can make life painful and annoying really fast. Luckily, meeting military guidelines while also maintaining maximum performance and comfort can be done if you know what you are looking for.
In contrast, you don’t need to be a soldier to know that having a sturdy pair of rugged combat boots is a great idea for an outdoorsy lifestyle. Those who love to hike, get active on rough terrain, or even those who need them for work will understand how crucial a great pair of boots is for overall comfort as well as performance. However, choosing the right pair of military boots can be puzzling if you don’t know where to start/what you are really looking for.
Before we get into the best pair of military boots, let’s briefly go over the different styles of military boots available to consumers.
Military Boot Varieties
There are a few styles of military boot that you will encounter if you are a service man/woman, or if you are simply shopping around for a pair on your own.
Combat are generally more sturdy in their construction, and are made for a variety of terrains and situations that would require the use of heavy duty boots. They are designed to be used in high intensity situations that require plenty of movement without risk of rolling the ankle, losing mobility, or puncturing the foot, etc,. Combat boots are typically made to last longer, and employ the use of thicker materials as well as dual-sole construction (midsole and outsole).
Tactical boots, by comparison, are not made to last as long as combat boots. They are typically made of thinner materials, and are designed to maximize movement and speed for high intensity maneuvers. These are always single sole, and are made for maximum support while also generating maximum movement and flexibility. Tactical boots are more commonly worn by the Air Force, and are easier to find for civilians as a general rule.
In essence, combat boots are designed for intense terrain, are made waterproof, and are designed to last for years. Tactical boots are usually thinner, not always waterproof, and are designed for more freedom of movement. Once you decide which style is best for you and your own situation, you can begin to look at the best options for both.
The Best Military Boots
After reviewing a wide range of the best military boots, we have rounded up a selection of our favorites, along with some of their pros and cons.
Danner Tanicus ‘Hot Duty’ Boot – Our top pick
The Danner Tanicus ‘Hot Duty’ boot is a combat ready, heavy duty boot designed for the most intense and rough terrain. These combat boots are built with extra durable leather, paired with a fiberglass shank for maximum toughness. These are the lightest combat ready boots that Danner sells in terms of actual weight. However, they are not as comfortable for general use as other competing options. In terms of hiking or field marches, these might become uncomfortable over time.
The Tanicus ‘Hot Duty’ boots are ideal for intense combat ready situations, and will hold up for years when cared for properly. They are fully compliant with Army AR670-1 regulations as well as Air Force Multicam; and will serve any active duty service member/hobbyist well for years under plenty of ‘abuse’. If you are looking for an excellent combat boot, look no further. Don’t be alarmed by the possibility of discomfort over long hikes if you don’t plan on using these for those situations. These are ideal for those who are looking for reliable, tough, and lightweight boots for potential combat situations.
- Very lightweight.
- Extremely durable construction.
- Sleek, minimalist design.
- Not as comfortable for long marches/hikes.
- Some users have complained that they run a bit small.
Oakley Light Assault
The Oakley Light Assault combat boots are a great halfway point for those looking for something that isn’t fully ‘combat’ or ‘tactical’. They come with the lightweight formfactor typically associated with tactical boots, but the dual-sole heavyweight construction of combat boots. These Army AR670-1 / Air Force Multicam compliant combat boots are great for in field training, as well as tactical sport training. They are lightweight, breathable, and easy to run in without being too cumbersome.
The Oakley Light Assault combat boots are designed to be sleek, and form fitting for a more ‘slim’ appearance. This makes them especially appealing to those who like their combat boots to be less ‘bulky’ and more aesthetically pleasing. They marry form and function rather well, and come with the trusted brand recognition of Oakley backing them. These are a great option for anyone seeking combat boot durability, with a tactical boot form-factor.
- Very lightweight for a combat boot.
- Great stability for the ankles.
- Great for running.
- Run small in sizing.
- Minimal arch support.
Danner Tachyon 8″ Tactical Boot
The Tachyon by Danner is a great tactical boot for all around use whether you are a civilian, military enthusiast, or active duty. As a tactical boot, these are more targeted towards mobility and thus are built with a single soul lightweight construction. These are another pair of Army AR670-1 / Air Force Multicam compliant boots; and come in multiple color options for you to choose from.
These are tactical boots and as such are not designed to last as long as combat boots. Some users have complained that the durability of these boots leave something to be desired.
However, for general field use, or for hiking/outdoors activities, these boots perform excellently. They are built with a wide toe-box that provides maximum comfort, while also remaining snug enough to keep everything stabilized across rugged terrain. These are a great pair of tactical boots that will last you hundreds of miles of hiking, or field use.
- Removable insole for customizability.
- Wide-width options.
- Extremely comfortable.
- Not quite as durable as competing options.
Reebok Hyper Velocity Military Boot
The Reebok Hyper Velocity military boots are a great budget option tactical boot for those seeking performance, at a relatively low cost. These Army AR670-1 compliant tactical boots offer plenty in the way of comfort and value without breaking the bank. The nylon mesh lining offers maximum breathability, while still remaining chemical and oil resistant for use in various hazmat jobs.
The Reebok Hyper Velocity boots are more geared towards general everyday wear and use, as opposed to high intensity combat situations. While they may not perform as well in rugged terrain, they still remain a great option for those looking for tough work boots for daily ‘on the job’ use as they are extremely slip resistant and breathable. These are great for those who are looking for a shoe that can remain cool even in extreme heat, while also remaining complaint with Army regulations.
- Very cost effective.
- Top-notch slip resistance.
- Only one color option.
- Can run a bit large.
Rocky C4T Tactical Boot
The C4T tactical boots by Rocky are perhaps the most sleek, and low-profile tactical boots that money can buy. These lightweight, water resistant tactical boots are made from moisture wicking material that keeps your feet dry from the inside; while also preventing moisture from penetrating from the outside. These shoes are extremely comfortable, and will provide plenty of support and protection across various terrains for even the longest of hikes/field marches.
One thing to note, is that these are only compliant with US Air Force regulations. With this in mind, they are only really designed for lightweight field use, and are not as durable or ‘strong’ as one might want for combat situations. If you are an avid outdoors activity lover, or active duty USAF member, these are excellent for every day general use. They are sleek, low profile, and aesthetically pleasing while also remaining breathable and durable.
- Very attractive design.
- Breathable and moisture resistant.
- Tight but comfortable fit, great for running.
- Only USAF compliant.
Final Comparison – Best Military Boots
Our overall best pick for the Best military boots, and something echoed by a large number of serving US Army personnel, is the Danner Tanicus HOT DUTY boot. For overall comfort, durability and value these were impossible to go past.
Whether you are active duty, or simply looking for a pair of boots for your active lifestyle, you are going to want something well worth your money. Military boots are designed for rugged, high intensity situations; and as such need to be built to last no matter what. Deciding on the right pair of boots for you will require you to know what situations you would like them to perform the best in. Very rarely will you find a boot that is perfect for every single situation.
Once you know whether you need a boot that is for tactical, or combat use; you can then set about finding the boot that best fits your personal preferences and needs. All of the boots mentioned above are great for longterm, high intensity situations. Some are best for maneuverability, some are best for harsh situations. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the above mentioned products. Once you settle in on the pair that best suits your needs, you can be on your way to years of comfort and reliability in the field, or during rough outdoor activities.