Best Tactical Boots 2020 – Top 8 Boots for every purpose

In this guide, we will help you find the best tactical boots for you.

Tactical boots all come with different functions, designs, material and purpose. Thus, there are no “one size fit all” boot. Some are good for law enforcement, others for military personnel and even long hikes in the mountains.

We have tried the most popular boots to see which ones are the best and for which purpose.

Let’s find out which type of boots fits your needs the best.

Best Tactical Boots

In a hurry? Here are the best tactical boots in 2020.

Great all-around: Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8
“thick rubber insole that provides a great amount of comfort”

Best for long hours: Under Armour Men’s Stellar Tac
“ankle support, high comfortability and lightweight makes it perfect for military and security personnel”

Best for tough conditions: Maelstrom Men’s TAC FORCE 8
“The boots have loads of protections to make you safe and comfortable in rougher settings”

Best lightweight: Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS
“..ultra light, which is great if you’re planning on wearing them for a long time”

Best budget boots: Ryno Gear Tactical Combat Boots
“The outer rubber sole is completely slip-resistant while the inner sole lining is waterproof”

Best high-end boots: 5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 8″
“anti-bacterial lining, stable grip and great protections – it’s definitely one of the best tactical boots”

Perfect for military: Rocky Men’s C4T Tactical Boot
“If you are going through military training – then this is great!”

Best versatile tactical boots: Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response
“A smart buy if you are doing different things and moving in a variety of environments”

Great all-around: Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8

Reasons to buy:

  • Good for tough conditions
  • Comfortable
  • Replaceable insoles
  • Quality materials
  • Metal free
Reasons not to buy:

  • Short laces
  • Takes some time to break-in

Good For:

All people. It’s metal free so it doesn’t beep in metal detectors. The zipper makes it easy to take the boots on and off. The material quality is great. Definitely one of the best tactical boots out there.

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The Bates Men’s Ultra Lite Tactical Sport is the newest iteration in the line of Bate’s tactical boots line. These boots come in two primary colors; black and sage. They also come in a whole range of different sizes from US size 5 to US size 15 with additional options for width.

The Bates Ultra Lite’s construction is something to be marveled at. The boots are designed from the ground up using tough materials like nylon and leather.

It’s important to note that the boots don’t have any metal parts in them so you can go through places like airport security with no issues. The hardened leather makes it so the boots are durable and stand up to most wear and tear.

Wearing and removing the boots is really simple thanks to its nylon zipper which won’t snag on anything. Inside the boots, you’ll find a thick rubber insole that provides a great amount of comfort. You even have the option of replacing the insoles should they ever wear out.

There are a couple of flaws to the Bates Ultra Lite’s. A common complaint is that the boots laces are very short and have barely enough length to make a traditional knot with no extra slack.

Another issue is that these boots take a long time to break-in. You will need to spend more time than usual to get your boots to fit you comfortably.

One of the best tactical boots out there.

Best for long hours: Under Armour Men’s Stellar Tac

Reasons to buy:

  • Water resistant leather
  • Very comfortable
  • Good ankle support
  • Lightweight
Reasons not to buy:

  • Previous versions have had quality issues

Good For:

All people, especially if you are walking or standing for hours on-end. The ankle support, high comfortability and lightweight makes it perfect for military and security personnel who constantly are on the move.

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The Under Armour Men’s Stellar Tac is meant to be a tactical boot that is meant to provide comfort and functionality at a manageable price point. The boots boast a very minimalistic design without any cluttering design elements. The only color the boots come is matte black with a variety of different boot sizes.

The Under Armour Men’s Stellar Tac is known for its great durability. The boots come designed with rigid textile and leather construction. The leather is DWR (Durable Water Resistance) treated to ensure that the boots aren’t affected by any water damage. There is also additional ankle support provided courtesy of the 900D nylon textile material.

The great thing about the Stellar Tac is that it doesn’t sacrifice its comfort for durability. In addition to being ruggedly built, these boots are just as comfortable as any normal pair of shoes.

Despite the reinforced TPU (Thermo Plastic Urethane) Shank, the boots remain as light as a feather. This is a great feature for working military and security personnel that have to be on their feet for hours on end.

Best for tough conditions: Maelstrom Men’s TAC FORCE 8

Reasons to buy:

  • Shock resistance
  • Oil resistant soles
  • Wear protection
  • Water proof materials
  • High durability
Reasons not to buy:

  • Laces must be changed after some time

Good For:

People who are in tough conditions, whether it’ll be water, oil or bad weather. The boots have loads of protections to make you safe and comfortable in rougher settings.

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Coming in with an all-new design, the Maelstrom Tac Force are a pair of boots that truly aren’t to be turned down easily. The boots come with protection will all kinds of different elements. They have standard water protection that you would expect from any other boots. In addition to this, you can expect additional protection such as shock resistance and wear protection.

Additionally, you also get oil resistance on the bottom sole. This prevents the boots from slipping over greasy, slimy, or oily floors and providing the maximum grip.

The shoe’s inside provides an added sense of comfort with proper cushion padding and support that give you the best experience. On the outside of the boots, you can find mesh that keeps everything nice and breathable. There is also a handy YKK zipper on the Tac Force that helps you get them on and off with ease

Best lightweight: Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS

Reasons to buy:

  • Available in a range of colors
  • ClucthFit Ankle Support
  • Cushioning on the inside
  • Very light
Reasons not to buy:

  • No zipper

Good For:

People who wants durable tactical boots that are protective, but also lightweight. These boots are ultra light, which is great if you’re planning on wearing them for a long time. You can work and run in these boots without a problem.

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Another new entry from Under Armour is the Men’s Valsetz RTS. These boots have a very specific visual style to them and are easily on the more stylish tactical boots you can get. They come in a variety of different colors such as Black, Reaper Camo, Coyote Brown, and Desert Sand. All of these color options look great and will fit in nicely with any environment you use them in.

The boots are built up from synthetic leather with great features like ClutchFit Technology that provides added ankle support. You also get non abrasive cloth on the inside to avoid scratching your skin off.

Near the ball end of the foot is specialized cushions that provide shock support for rough landings in hostile environments.

The only negatives about the Valsetz RTS boots is that they don’t come with a zipper meaning you have to lace them up every time. But other than that, they’re great!

Best budget tactical boots: Ryno Gear Tactical Combat Boots

Reasons to buy:

  • Great price
  • Slip resistance
  • Includes a zipper
  • Changeable insoles
  • Waterproof sole lining
Reasons not to buy:

  • Zipper doesn’t have pull tabs

Good For:

People who want a great pair of tactical boots, without having to empty the whole bank account. These boots are of high quality, so the price tag could have been much higher. A great bang for the buck!

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The Ryno Gear Tactical Combat Boots comes in as one of the most affordable tactical boots on our list. These boots will cost you next to nothing, but the price might change depending on shoe size.

Thankfully, for the low price point you don’t get a pair of duds. These boots are just as capable of doing anything that most tactical boots can and they’re made with the same level of detail.

The Ryno Gear boots come in beige with leather and ballistic nylon covering on the outside. This helps you get comfort and protection all in one design.

The outer rubber sole is completely slip-resistant while the inner sole lining is waterproof. There are shock-absorbing soles on the inside that are completely removable allowing you to change them if they wear out. You also get a handy zipper on the side though without any zip tabs.

Best high-end boots: 5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 8″

Reasons to buy:

  • Anti bacterial lining
  • Hidden side pocket
  • Protection against wear and tear
  • Prone position grip
  • Elegant design
Reasons not to buy:

  • Can be a bit pricey

Good For:

People who want a high-end boot, suitable for long and tough usage. With its side pockets, anti-bacterial lining, stable grip and great protections – it’s definitely one of the best tactical boots out there. It’s great for every category of use.

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The 5.11 ATAC’s are some of the classiest tactical boots you’ll come across. They come in a sleek design with elegant fabric panels and premium stitching. The side panels are made from high quality 1200 denier cordura nylon that is fixed to the boots with triple stitching making everything look neat and tidy.

Inside the boots you get an anti-bacterial drillex lining that helps save you from any infections. The lining on the inside provides hours of comfort, especially on lengthy assignments. Additionally, you also get a handy hidden pocket on the side big enough to store a pocket blade. Other extra features such as the prone position grip make the ATACs an excellent combat boot for any situation.

Perhaps the biggest reason to get these boots is their amazing level of durability. The boots can easily last several years with medium wear. Polishing the boots is also very easy and they manage to maintain a decent shine.

Perfect for military: Rocky Men’s C4T Tactical Boot

Reasons to buy:

  • Great training boots
  • Premium NATO hooks
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Speed eyelets
  • Flexible
Reasons not to buy:

  • Boots make crackling noises during the first few uses

Good For:

Training, where you need to be flexible and able to run. But it’s not great for hiking, for that you need better ankle support. If you are going through military training – then this is great!

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The Rocky Men C4T Tactical Boots are designed to be world class training boots for combat and military training. They come in two basic colors Desert Tan and Sage Green. The price tag is somewhere down the middle of the price range.

These boots are made with durable nylon with speed eyelets on the outside. On the front, you’ll find handy NATO hooks holding the 550 cord laces in place.

Despite having such an array of rugged durable materials on the outside, the boots are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. There’s not much else to say about these boots, they do their job well without too many frills.

Best versatile tactical boots: Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response

Reasons to buy:

  • Very versatile
  • Good toe cap
  • Electric and oil slip resistance
  • Premium foot force bed
  • Includes side zipper
Reasons not to buy:

  • Not the best looking boots

Good For:

People who want a good all-rounder tactical boot. It’s comfortable, offers great protections and are very versitale. A smart buy if you are doing different things and moving in a variety of environments.

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If you’re looking for a decent all-rounder tactical boot that will get you through two days of walking, Reebok has you covered. The Reebok Work Duty Rapid Response boots are designed to be versatile tactical boots that will handle most situations. They come in a tan color scheme with very minimal visual design.

On the outside of the boots you’ll find suede leather and ballistic nylon keeping everything nice and protected. The inside of the boots is where the magic happens.

The tip of the boot is covered with an airport-friendly toe cap that will help keep your toes protected. There is also electric hazard protection and a foot force bed that keeps impact forces to a minimum.

The bottom rubber soles comes with proper oil slip resistance making this one of the safest tactical boots out there. There’s also a handy side zipper for ease and comfort.

If you are looking for a versatile shoe, then this could be the best tactical boot for you.

Different Types of Tactical Boots

Tactical Boots are the go-to choice for any kind of physically demanding jobs, hobbies, and sports. But when it comes to tactical boots, one size does not fit all. There are many different versions and iterations of tactical boots that can be used for a variety of purposes. Each variant of the boots provides a specific feature that will add to the functionality of the boots. Here are some of the more common types of tactical boots that you will come across.

Standard Combat Boots

These boots are as run of the mill as they come. Standard combat boots come with a simplistic design with as little visual elements as possible. These boots are designed to be more functional than they are fashionable. Standard combat boots will often only come in black with rugged leather and fabric construction.

Standard combat boots are designed to provide a substantial amount of support and grip as well as providing decent protection against the elements. Standard combat boots tend to be versatile providing the basic requirements of tactical boots for most situations. Unless you have specific requirements from your boots, these will do just fine. You can find standard combat boots in most military standard issues.

Jump Boots

Jumps are also referred sometimes to as paratrooper boots. These boots have a high length that is closer to fisherman boots. Jump boots are meant for air force personnel such as paratroopers, gliders, and other airborne infantry. Jump boots are built specifically to provide support and protect to paratroopers that may land hard on their feet. The boots accomplish this by having rubber soles and reinforced heels. They are also fitted with tough toe caps that will absorb the impact of paratroopers landing on the ground.

The rigid construction makes it so that the feet are always protected. Jump boots work great at cushioning the feet from severe forces. This will help air force troops to minimize injury in the event of a mishap during landing such as a faulty parachute.

Tanker Boots

Tanker boots are a specific variant of tactical boots that are issued to tank operators and vehicle scouts. These boots are very basic and look simple in their design. These boots are one of the few kinds of combat boots that don’t have any laces on them opting instead for leather straps. This is so that the laces don’t get caught on any parts inside the tank.

Tanker boots are almost always made entirely of leather. This ensures that any spillage of potentially harmful and dangerous fluids such as engine oil, chemicals, grease, and fuel don’t affect the wearer. While tanker boots are great for vehicular personnel, they aren’t suited for normal combat due to the lack of significant ankle support.

Jungle Boots

Just as the name implies, jungle boots tend to be used in jungle environments. Unlike most other tactical boots, jungle boots have been along for quite some time and even precede World War II. These boots are designed with thick rubber protecting all sides of the feet and ankle. The bottom insole has a specialized grip that helps the wearer gain better grip through slippery and sticky environments like mud, marshes, and shallow water. Jungle boots were instrumental in the success of jungle warfare as they provided added grip and comfort.

Jungle boots come with small eyelets along the sides of the boots that will help them leak any water if it makes its way in. Jungle boots work best in environments where other boots are not suitable such as excessive mud and water.

Desert Boots

Desert boots are designed to be used in deserts by most infantry personnel. These boots provided an extra sense of stability and control to the wearer. Desert boots often come with laces and are much shorter than normal tactical boots. These boots greatly resemble a hybrid between casual boat shoes and loafers. They often come in colors matching the sandy environments like khaki, tan or light brown.

Desert boots can come constructed from different materials like fabric or leather. The type of material will depend on the needs and use case scenario. The bottom of the boots come fitted with tough soles that stand up to increasingly hot temperatures without producing and wear or providing discomfort to the wearer’s feet. Metal parts like steel reinforced toes are kept out of the shoe’s design to prevent them from heating up the boots.

Desert boots have two basic functions; to keep sand out of the boots and to vent off any heat. They achieve this by having breathable yet durable material that will not only protect the wearer but also make them feel comfortable. Sand is kept out of the desert boots by having and enclosed design that doesn’t have any opening or eyelets.
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Tactical Boots for Low Temperature

Just like desert boots, these boots are built for a specific temperature and environment. They are a certain class of tactical boots that are designed to be used in severely low temperatures. On the surface, these boots look very similar to ordinary snow boots but are much better equipped to handle harsh environments. Inside the boots, there is an ample amount of padding on all sides. This helps keep the boots warm and insulated from freezing temperatures.

These boots also come with waterproof and snow proof materials on the outside that help keep moisture from entering the boots. Thick hard rubber soles are usually found on the bottom sometimes with spikes to help keep better footing in the snow. These type of tactical boots are mainly favored by military personnel working in rough and frigid environments.

Find the best Duty Boots for You

With so many different kinds of tactical boots out there you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed over which ones to choose. What’s more, different manufacturers will offer the same type of boots with slightly different specifications from each other. To someone who’s new to all this, it can be very confusing and could potentially end up in you spending your hard-earned money on something you did not need.

Thankfully, this guide should be able to help you figure exactly how to pick up a pair of tactical boots that will do the job for you. Here are some of the key things you should focus on when buying new boots.

Types of Boots

This is one of the first things you should focus on to try and narrow down your search. Different types of tactical boots are built for different tasks and environments. Before you can go out and buy a pair of boots, you have to ask yourself why you’re buying tactical boots in the first place.

Maybe you need them for your work, maybe you need them for a hobby, or maybe you just like having durable boots that will last a long amount of time. The point is, knowing your needs will greatly affect which boots are ideal for you. Take some time to think about what you’ll need and which type of boots will fit the bill.


The next big contributing factor is the price. Your budget will undoubtedly influence the boots you get. Certain types of boots can only be found in higher price brackets while others are more flexible with prices. Price will also impact the quality of the materials and the quality of the overall construction of the boots. You may find some boots are cheaper than others but their quality may not hold up as well as some of the premium stock.

No shoes could be called “one of the best tactical boots” without having a good price. I mean, how good are they really if they empty your whole wallet? Price is important.

Additional features such as waterproof, shock proof, and oil-resistant materials will also drive up the price. It’s important that you plan out your budget range and work with that to find the right boots for you.

Laces and Zippers

Most tactical boots can be easily split into two categories; those that have zippers and those that don’t. Now this may or may not be a deal-breaker for you depending on what you prefer. Zippers make it easier for you to put on and remove the shoes without having to shift your foot around. This makes it fast, effortless, and efficient. Zipper boots are also helpful if you wear thick socks that make it hard to put the boots on or off.

Laces are usually included as a standard offering on most kinds of boots. However, the quality of the laces makes all the difference. A good set of laces can really be a game changer in terms of how comfortable of a fit you have in your boots. Tougher laces will also be largely resistant to tearing or fraying.

Water Resistance

Having boots with water resistance will ensure that you don’t get any moisture inside your boots. The level of water resistance depends on the boots themselves. Some boots will be waterproof in shallow depths whereas other can handle ankle deep water levels with no issue.

Water resistance will also protect the boots from any wear and damage. This will dramatically increase the lifespan of the boots ensuring that you have long lasting pair of tactical boots.

Shock Absorbance

Any ordinary shoes will provide basic levels of shock absorbance. But after they reach a certain threshold, they’re as good as being barefoot. This is where tactical boots come in. Most boots come with hard rubber soles made from composite materials that will help absorb any major force from dropping down or jumping from height. Not only will these boots protect you from any impact that you may have to face but they will also save you from any potential injury.


When your work involves you being on your feet for 12 hours a day, comfort becomes a big contributing factor. Boots with mesh fabric provide a great amount of breathability to the wearer by allowing air to move more freely. This ensures that even if you’re working outdoors in harsh temperatures, you can still keep cool without feeling like your feet are being cooked in an oven.

Good Reasons for buying Tactical Boots

If you’ve never owned a pair of tactical boots, you may be on the fence about whether to get a pair or not. You may be wondering all the possible reasons why you want or need them. To help you better make that decision, here are some good reasons on why you’d want to consider getting a pair of tactical boots.

  • They’re more durable than any other kind of shoes.
  • They can protect your feet from rough environments.
  • They will provide you with comfort especially during long hours of use.
  • They can provide the best support to your feet and ankles.
  • They will keep you protected from harsh temperatures.
  • They will help keep water and other moisture out.
  • They will aid you in getting better grip on slippery surfaces.
  • You can use them for all kinds of activities such as sports, hiking, and running.
  • They give off a very rugged look.
  • They can be useful for self defense especially in close quarters combat.


By now you should have everything you need to differentiate between the various types of tactical boots. You know why you would need them, and figure out which ones to buy.

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Remember that it isn’t always a perfect choice. Some boots will perform better than others in certain areas. It’s best to prioritize your focus on the features you would actually need rather than the ones you think you might use. And above all, focus on quality overlooks. Armed with this knowledge, you can now go out and buy the tactical boots that will help you nug out your next assignment.