As a law enforcement officer, being on your toes most of the time or a firefighter working in hazardous conditions, or simply a fun-loving, adventurous person, you’ll find a pair of quality tactile boots indispensable. A topnotch tactical boot pair will not only enable you to effectively discharge your duties or make the most of your outdoor activities but also keep your feet fully protected. Tactical boots, variously called ‘swat boots’ are perhaps the hardiest of all kinds of footwear you can choose for your feet.
In this review on best tactical boots, we check out 8 performance-oriented products, based on a specific set of yardsticks or parameters.
- 1 Considerations for Selecting A Pair of Quality Tactical Boots
- 2 Best Tactical Boots Reviews 2018
- 2.1 1. Magnum Men’s Elite Spider 8.0 Boot
- 2.2 Pros
- 2.3 Cons
- 2.4 2. Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot
- 2.5 Pros
- 2.6 Cons
- 2.7 3. Corcoran Men’s Waterproof Insulated Field Boot
- 2.8 Pros
- 2.9 Cons
- 2.10 4. Danner Men’s Recon 200 Gram Uniform Boot
- 2.11 Pros
- 2.12 Cons
- 2.13 5. 5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Men’s Boot
- 2.14 Pros
- 2.15 Cons
- 2.16 6. Garmont T8 Bifida Tactical Boot
- 2.17 Pros
- 2.18 Cons
- 2.19 7. Salomon Guardian Coyote
- 2.20 Pros
- 2.21 Cons
- 2.22 8. Salomon Men’s XA Pro mid GTX Hiking Shoe
- 2.23 Pros
- 2.24 Cons
- 3 Conclusion
Considerations for Selecting A Pair of Quality Tactical Boots
In case you’re buying tactical boots for the first-time, then be prepared to get flummoxed. Choosing a pair from amongst the sheer variety of brands where each claims to be the best amongst the lot is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. If you want to make the onerous task of choosing a tactical boot pair somewhat less harrowing, then start with drafting a checklist of essential features that are must-haves for this kind of footwear.
Next, make a list of the five or six products which you think are the best tactical boots. See if the brands tick all the right boxes. In the end, no matter whichever pair you choose, make sure that it is flexible, durable, and offers excellent support to your feet. Your checklist should contain the following aspects:
You’ll be walking with your boots on a wide variety of terrains and terra firma-from jagged surfaces to undulating paths and everything in between. So, it goes without saying that your shoes or boots, to be precise, will be enduring a lot of punishment so that your feet stay safe and comfortable. In order to minimize or reduce the level of stress on the lower extremities, you should choose a product that provides steady cushioning while you trudge on rugged or uneven surfaces.
2. Water Resistant
You’ll have to keep on working on a continual basis, come rain or shine. You may often find yourself wading in knee-deep water or trekking along a muddy path pockmarked with puddles in the line of work. Water seeping inside your shoe pair means you end up with drenched feet and wet socks which might not be conducive for your health. That said, you should look for tactical boots that are highly resistant to water. If you can find boots that are fully waterproof, then so much the better.
Before you choose a tactical boot pair, check out whether the shoes offer good traction. Closely inspect the outsole of the boot-ask the salesman or saleswoman the material from which the part has been carved out as well as look out for grooves and ruts, and the pattern. The outsole of best tactile boots is usually shaped out of natural rubber, PVC or polyurethane and the underside has rut patterns that give you toehold while you’re striding, leaping or running.
4. Zippered or Lace Closure
Tactical boots with lace closure let you position your foot firmly on the insole without compromising on comfortableness. You simply need to tighten or loosen the shoelaces for a customized fit. Conversely, zippers let you insert as well as take out your feet quickly and comfortably.
5. Comfortable Fit
Bear in mind that tactical boots tend to be heavier than the standard shoes we normally wear. That means your feet will be carrying around a lot more heft when you wear boots. Hence, you’ll have to select the appropriate size (usually a size larger than your regular fit) that’ll not only enable your feet to carry the footwear effortlessly but also keep them snug inside.
The shoe upper must have air vents comprising of microscopic pores or be made from meshed fabric that helps keep the shoe breathable as well as checks moisture accumulation and odors.
The add-ons or extra features are more often than not, ignored by buyers as they regard these accompaniments as embellishments that can be dispensed with. Nevertheless, additional features like padding, shoe liner, and heel counter add to the comfort factor and also boost the product’s longevity.
8. The Price
Does it need to be emphasized that the good tactical boots do not come cheap? But just because premium quality boots are expensive does not imply that you should spend a fortune. On the other hand, you should not end up buying a pair that does not deliver simply for the sake of saving a couple of hundred dollars.
Best Tactical Boots Reviews 2018
If you’re in a profession that necessitates you to work in a hot and arid clime, then go for the Magnum Men’s Elite Spider 8.0 Boot for offering sweeping protection to your feet. The upper, carved from denier nylon and suede material, resists wear and tear, enhancing the durability of the boots. The aero mesh liner promotes air circulation, keeping your feet ventilated and odor-free as well as preventing moisture buildup.
The sockliner is designed keeping ergonomics in mind, and hence its contour corresponds with your foot’s natural profile, thus keeping it comfortable at all times. You can also remove the sockliner and readjust it on the insole as per your convenience. The outsole, chipped from proprietary Vibram® material provides steadiness and traction when you are walking or traipsing on rugged or uneven surfaces.
The leather upper is waterproof and lightweight and has meshed inlays for improving breathability. The collars and tongue are thickly padded for furnishing cushioning comfort. Lace-styled closure comes in handy for a relaxed fit while the spacious toe box offers wiggle room to your toes.
- Composite shank
- Lace-up shaft
- Slip-resistant Vibram outsole offers good traction
- Meshed upper promotes breathability
- Heel counter offers support to arch of feet
- Spacious toe box
- Durable and lightweight
- The size configurations are misleading-you’ll need to choose a size smaller for a perfect fit
- The eyelets and the toe section wear out faster
Bates has cemented its goodwill in the market for tactical boots by supplying footwear to US military, civil service, and postal service personnel for more than 120 years. No wonder then that the Bates’ Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 inches tactical sports side-zip boot easily qualifies as one of the best tactical boots. No metallic component has been used for making the footwear.
The uppers shaped from top quality leather and hardy nylon used in military ballistics industries, impart the boots with incredible resilience and durability. The toughened rubberized outsole is highly resistant to oil and slips, and therefore transfers good grip to your feet. The EVA footbed keeps your feet cushioned and comfortable all throughout.
The meshed sockliner checks moisture deposit and keeps out foul odors. The tongue and collars are thickly padded for offering added comfort.
- Ballistic grade nylon and full-grain leather upper
- Detachable and cushioned insole
- Zippered sides
- Meshed sockliner for preventing moisture accumulation
- Rubberized outsole with grooves offers stability and traction
- All components/composites are non-metallic
- Fiberglass shank
- Lightweight: weighs 23oz
- EVA foot bed acts as an effective shock absorber
- Lace-style closure for quick and comfortable fit
- The boot pair is not waterproof
- The cushioning of the insole is not as good as claimed by the manufacturer
The 10” men’s waterproof insulated field boot from Corcoran also fulfills all the criterions for best tactical boots. For a start, its outsole is made out of the best grade of authentic leather. The leather material promotes breathability and is waterproof as well.
The boot is layered with 400g Thinsulate® insulation. The heel section furnishes steady support to the ankle region. The thick and tough outsole has been shaped out of VibramA® Sierra Fire material enabling it to offer you unflinching support on slippery or icy surfaces. DRYZ insole keeps your feet comfortable and can be taken out for cleansing.
The boots come with a lace tying system, letting you position your feet easily and comfortably on the footbed. The midsole is made from polyurethane material imparting to it solid shock-absorbing quality.
- Full-grain leather upper
- Completely waterproof
- Highly resistant to normal wear and tear
- Extended shelf-life
- Thick layer of Thinsulate insulation
- Fast and easy tie up lace system
- DRYZ insole keeps feet comfy and can be removed for cleaning
- Cambrelle sockliner is resistant to abrasion and also keeps moisture at bay
- Not suitable for warm and humid climes
- The laces could have been a tad longer
If you’re looking for a pair of sturdy tactile boots, then the Danner Men’s Recon 200 Gram Uniform Boot is your best bet. These Men’s Recon boots also score on the aesthetic front. Its upper carved from premium leather material, together with reinforced sewing makes the shoes incredibly resilient and hard-wearing. The footbed made from EVA material is thickly padded providing stability and comfort to your feet.
Proprietary Thinsulate insulation keeps your feet warm and free of moisture. The GORE-TEX sock lining allows feet to breathe and prevents water from seeping inside. The shoelaces extend all the way nearly up to the toe region, helping in a relaxed and firm fit.
Its outsole has been created from Vibram Kletterfit material that gives you solid grip on icy and wet surfaces as well as suppresses shocks and impacts.
- Stitch down leather assembly for enhanced stability
- Full-grain leather construction
- Vibram Kletterfit outsole promotes toehold and steadiness
- Lace-to-toe system is ideal for a customized fit
- Grooved outsole provides traction on a variety of surfaces
- Breathable and waterproof sockliner
- EVA footbed furnishes cushion and stability
- Takes some time for the shoes to break in
- The boots are a little too heavy for your comfort
The 5.11 ATAC 8” Men’s Boot has been designed innovatively, taking into close consideration the job profiles of military personnel, law enforcement officers, and other individuals in highly demanding professionals. The leather upper withstands wear and tear, and the spacious toe area offers you good wiggle room. The midsole has been produced from Phylon, using injection molding technology that contributes towards steady support.
The padded insole and non-metallic shaft also offer a great deal of support. The outsole is slip and oil resistant, and hence provides solid traction and thrust. The moisture wicking sock lining keeps feet dry and cool. Getting in and out of the boot is a breeze, thanks to the side zip feature. A concealed side pocket comes in hand for sneaking in a Swiss knife or other small accessories that could serve you well in critical situations.
- Upper constructed for durable materials for an extended lifespan
- Moisture wicking sockliner
- Slip and oil resistant outsole
- Groove patterns for boosting traction
- Side zipper for quick accessing and slipping out
- Breathable nylon upper
- Cushioned footbed
- It is not waterproof
- The eyelets are not hard-wearing enough
You can use the T8 Bifida Tactical Boot in a myriad range of terrains including but not limited to rocky ledges, muddy paths, steep inclines, arid zones, and snow-capped mountains. The Garmont T8 Bifida Tactical Boot is synonymous with high-level safety and comfort. Equipped with an outsole made from Vibram material, the boot pair offers solid stability and traction in all types of terrains and also minimizes impacts from accidental trips or falls.
Innovatively designed and constructed, the upper promotes excellent breathability. The insole and the sockliner stimulate healthy air circulation, making the boot conducive for using in amphibious settings as well as in humid climes. The ball bearings and zero optical hardware around the instep function impeccably in all environments.
- Suede leather upper makes the boots heavy-duty and hardy
- Vibram and canvas outsole: enhanced traction and steadiness
- Nylon mesh on upper supports breathability
- Moisture wicking lining keeps feet dry, comfortable, and cool
- Suitable for using in amphibious environments
- Will take some time before they break in
- May not fit properly even if you go for the appropriate size
The Salomon Guardian Coyote surely qualifies to be amongst the best tactical boots brands and for a good number of reasons. The boots come with a topnotch upper stitched out of leather, synthetic, and mesh materials that make the shoe pair long lasting, breathable, and comfortable to wear. The thick outsole has been fashioned out of polymer material that imparts the section with the ability to resist attrition.
The underneath or base of the outsole has grooves all over that gives you stable toehold on any type of terra firma. The collars and meshed tongue enable you to get inside easily and also keep your feet well cushioned. The lace system extends all the way from the tongue to the middle of the foot, enabling you to wear and step out with convenience.
The heel section is meshed as well that enhances ventilation.
- Upper made from a composite of suede, meshed fabric and synthetic material
- Contragrip outsole for better traction
- Extensive collars and tongue for convenient and customized fit
- Meshed fabric increases circulation of air, keeping feet dry
- Lace closure helps in personalized fit
- Buying a size larger to allow for comfort fit will sacrifice stability
One look at the Salomon Men’s XA Pro mid GTX Hiking Shoe and you’ll fall for it instantly. This is one of the best tactical boots that scores high both in terms of performance and aesthetics. Its upper has been produced from premium grade of materials which offers this shoe section the capability to tolerate wear and tear, provide comfort, and keep feet dry and odorless inside.
There are microscopic perforations all throughout the upper that allows air to circulate without let or hindrance. The collars, tongue, and the area around the heel and ankle is densely padded that lets the shoe absorb shock arising out of sudden and unforced impacts. The Ortholite Sockliner together with the EVA foot bed keeps your feet cool and free from moisture.
The boot is fully waterproof and remarkably lightweight. The GORE-TEX outsole helps in keeping the feet from slipping and transfers excellent grip.
- Gore-Tex Outsole
- Ortholite Sockliner
- Durably constructed upper promotes breathability and keeps feet comfortable
- Waterproof construction
- Cushioned components
- Will need to buy at least ½ size larger for customized fit
- The toe area is a tad compact
A total of eight of the best tactical boots were taken up for review- one each from Magnum, Bates, Corcoran, ATAC, Danner, Garmont, and two from Salomon. All the models are loaded with the essential or basic features of a quality tactical boot, and hence all of them are worth considering when you take a final decision. However, in my opinion, it is the 5.11 8 inches Men’s Boot that is the best and the most performance oriented amongst the lot.