The Best Tactical Boots for Men

From hiking to on the job, these tactical boots provide a balance of comfort and performance

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The Best Tactical Boots for Men

Tactical boots are no longer seen as just for the military and law enforcement personnel. Designed with high traction and waterproof materials, these boots have been gaining popularity among the hiking community including new hiking enthusiasts and experienced hikers alike.

If you’re planning your next hiking adventure, you want to make sure that you can hike safely regardless of the weather conditions. The same thing goes for working on your feet for long hours like the incredible first responders that we rely upon in the event of an emergency. This includes preventing unnecessary slip and fall accidents, protecting your toes from crush injuries, and safeguarding yourself against the elements whenever possible. A quality pair of tactical boots or hiking boots can make all the difference!

Before you head out shopping for your next pair of tactical boots, we have put together a guide walking you through the factors that you should consider.

Best Tactical Boots for Men

 5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 8” Tactical Side Zip Military BootUnder Armour Men’s Valsetz Military & Tactical BootAdidas Men’s GSG-9.7 Tactical Boot
editors choice
Brand:5.11Under ArmourAdidas
Sizes:4 to 15, Regular and Wide8 to 14, Regular and Wide4.5 to 14.5
Material:Full-Grain Leather & 840D NylonSynthetic Leather & Textile100% Leather and Textile
Available Colors:Black, Dark CoyoteBlackBlack
Side Zipper:YesNoNo

The Best Tactical Boots for Men at a Glance

Editor’s Pick: 5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 8” Tactical Side Zip Military Boot

5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 8” Tactical Side Zip Military Boot

These high-quality tactical boots are made from both full-grain leather and 840D nylon, providing a balance of both functionality and comfort. They are designed with an airflow breathable tongue and dual durometer Ortholite insoles to keep the wearer’s feet cool and dry while reducing fatigue during long-term use. They are lightweight and water-resistant.


  • Airflow breathable tongue
  • Full-length Ortholite imperial footbed
  • Shock mitigation system
  • Rapid-dry speed


  • Insulation may be too much for warmer climates

Key Specs:

  • Brand: 5.11
  • Sizes: 4 to 15, Regular and Wide
  • Material: Full-Grain Leather & 840D Nylon
  • Available Colors: Black, Dark Coyote
  • Side Zipper: Yes

Best Overall Runner Up: Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Military & Tactical Boot

Made from synthetic leather, these boots offer the appearance and function of a tactical boot at a fraction of the weight. This makes them a great choice for anyone that is going to be wearing them all day for work or recreation. The UA ClutchFit ankle support system offers a comfortable fit with full support.


  • Perimeter reinforced with welded polyurethane film
  • UA ClutchFit ankle support system
  • Made from lightweight synthetic leather


  • Less toe protection than other options

Key Specs:

  • Brand: Under Armour
  • Sizes: 8 to 14, Regular and Wide
  • Material: Synthetic Leather & Textile
  • Available Colors: Black
  • Side Zipper: No

Best Tactical Boots for Hiking: Adidas Men’s GSG-9.7 Tactical Boot

adidas Men's GSG-9.7 Tactical Boot

Unlike the traditional tactical boots, these boots feature a lower ankle to allow for more flexibility and movement. These boots are highly breathable and very lightweight for long days moving on your feet. The tactical rubber sole features high-grip TAXION lugs that provide traction in a variety of different environments. With a highly cushioned sole and internal arch supports for optimal comfort.


  • OrthoLite sockliner to limit odor
  • Sole features TRAXION lugs for ultimate grip
  • Cordura panels for added flexibility
  • Cushioned heel and internal arch support


  • No insulation for colder weather use

Key Specs:

  • Brand: Adidas
  • Sizes: 4.5 to 14.5
  • Material: 100% Leather and Textile
  • Available Colors: Black
  • Side Zipper: No

Best All Leather Tactical Boots: Thorogood GEN-Flex2 8” Tactical Boots for Men and Women

Thorogood has designed these leather boots with a ‘job-fitted’ design. This means that they are ideal for use as uniform boots as well as offering the functionality and traction necessary to keep up with the demands of work. They provide a non-slip rubber sole with dual-density rubber and multi-directional lugs to keep the wearer on their feet regardless of the environment.


  • High shine polishable toe cap
  • Multi-directional lugs for better traction
  • Single-density polyurethane footbed for better comfort


  • Many buyers report the sizing is off by as much as a full size
  • Take longer to break in

Key Specs:

  • Brand: Thorogood
  • Sizes: 4 to 15, Regular and Wide
  • Material: 100% Leather
  • Available Colors: Black
  • Side Zipper: Yes

Best Affordable Tactical Boots: CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots

CQR Men's Military Tactical Boots, Lightweight 6 Inches Combat Boots, Durable EDC Outdoor Work Boots

Men that are searching for a reliable and functional pair of tactical boots without breaking the bank will appreciate the solid construction of these tactical boots from CQR. They feature structured ankle support while still allowing for flexibility for easy movement and a solid grade heel protection to keep the wearer safe. They include premium padded insoles and rubber soles that will absorb the shock while running, training, or hiking, allowing for optimal comfort.


  • 3D structured ankle support
  • Metal eyelet system for easy lacing
  • Shock absorbing rubber sole


  • Only available in regular sizes, not wide

Key Specs:

  • Brand: CQR
  • Sizes: 7 to 14
  • Material: Leather & Duratex Ripstop fabric
  • Available Colors: Black, Anthracite, Coyote Brown, Pixel Camo, Sienna, Dark Brown, Utility Camo, Hunting Camo, Sand
  • Side Zipper: Available With and Without

Best Tactical Shoes for Men: Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical Shoes

Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical ShoesThese performance shoes are designed to combine the strength and durability of a tactical boot with the flexibility of a shoe or hiking boot. The boots are waterproof thanks to the added GORE-TEX membrane, keeping your feet dry regardless of the weather. The Contragrip sole improves traction on all surfaces and the puncture resistant sole protects the wearer from injury due to sharp rocks and other unwelcome surprises.


  • Puncture-resistant sole
  • Locking feature allows for different lacing tightness for the foot and ankle
  • Features GORE-TEX Performance Comfort
  • Shorter tactical shoe allows flexibility to take a knee or sprint


  • Only available in regular sizes, not wide

Key Specs:

  • Brand: Salomon
  • Sizes: 7.5 to 15
  • Material: Suede Leather & Nylon Textile
  • Available Colors: Black, Coyote, Ranger Green, Slate Black
  • Side Zipper: No

Also Popular: Merrell Men’s Moab 2 8” Tactical

Merrell Mens Moab 2 8" Tactical Waterproof

Designed with a rubberized mesh ankle, these tactical boots were designed for both support and durability. The boot is made from waterproof PU coated leather with a heavy-duty YKK medial zipper, keeping your feet dry regardless of the conditions. The unique Merrel M Select DRY impermeable membrane is a great addition to the boot, helping to seal out water while still allowing moisture to escape. It offers the KINETIC FIT footbed with both added zonal arch support and heel cushioning to maximize comfort for long-term wear.


  • Arch support and heel cushioning
  • Bellows tongue to keep out debris
  • Vibram TC5+ outsole for improved traction
  • Waterproof membrane and zipper


  • Buyers report sole is soft and easier to damage than other options

Key Specs:

  • Brand: Merrell
  • Sizes: 5 to 15, Regular and Wide
  • Material: PO Coated Leather and Ripstop Textile
  • Available Colors: Black, Coyote
  • Side Zipper: Yes

Honorable Mention: Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB RB8874 8” Tactical Boot

Reebok Work Duty Men's Rapid Response Tactical Boot

Made with 100% leather, these high-quality tactical boots are designed to stand up in a variety of different settings and environments. The boot features an XTR brand extra wide composite toe cap and electrical hazard protection, offering a high level of protection. Meanwhile, the removable Foot Force F2A polyurethane cushion insert with shock eliminator heel cushion offers all-day comfort for hiking, a tough PT workout, or a full day of working on your feet.


  • Extra wide composite safety toe cap
  • Electrical hazard protection
  • Removable polyurethane inserts


  • Not waterproof
  • Buyers report they slip easily in ice and snow

Key Specs:

  • Brand: Reebok
  • Sizes: 3 to 15, Regular and Wide
  • Material: 100% Leather
  • Available Colors: Tan, Coyote, Black, Desert Tan, Desert Khaki
  • Side Zipper: Yes

Best Tactical Boots for Men Comparison Table

Tactical Boots for Men BrandSizesMaterialAvailable ColorsSide Zipper
5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 8” Tactical Side Zip Military Boot5.11 Men’s ATAC 2.0 8” Tactical Side Zip Military Boot5.114 to 15, Regular and WideFull-Grain Leather & 840D NylonBlack, Dark CoyoteYes
Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Military & Tactical BootUnder Armour Men’s Valsetz Military & Tactical BootUnder Armour8 to 14, Regular and WideSynthetic Leather & TextileBlackNo
Adidas Men’s GSG-9.7 Tactical BootAdidas Men’s GSG-9.7 Tactical BootAdidas4.5 to 14.5100% Leather and TextileBlackNo
Thorogood GEN-Flex2 8” Tactical Boots for Men and WomenThorogood GEN-Flex2 8” Tactical Boots for Men and WomenThorogood4 to 15, Regular and Wide100% LeatherBlackYes
CQR Men’s Military Tactical BootsCQR Men’s Military Tactical BootsCQR7 to 14Leather & Duratex Ripstop fabricBlack, Anthracite, Coyote Brown, Pixel Camo, Sienna, Dark Brown, Utility Camo, Hunting Camo, SandAvailable With and Without
Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical ShoesSalomon Forces Quest 4D GTX 2 EN Tactical ShoesSalomon7.5 to 15Suede Leather & Nylon TextileBlack, Coyote, Ranger Green, Slate BlackNo
Merrell Men's Moab 2 8” TacticalMerrell Men’s Moab 2 8” TacticalMerrell5 to 15, Regular and WidePO Coated Leather and Ripstop TextileBlack, CoyoteYes
Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB RB8874 8” Tactical BootReebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB RB8874 8” Tactical BootReebok3 to 15, Regular and Wide100% LeatherTan, Coyote, Black, Desert Tan, Desert KhakiYes

What to Look for When Purchasing Tactical Boots


When purchasing boots for long-term wear, whether you’re hitting the trails or working on your feet, the weight of your footwear is an important consideration. The weight of your boots will vary based on the materials used. Boots that are designed for wear in the cold of winter, for example, will weigh mor than a pair that is restricted to hot weather wear.

But there are options that can help to keep the weight down. Heavy boots can lead to fatigue and discomfort over time. To select the right boots, you will need to consider the different features available and the weight that they will add.


Another important consideration is the height of the boots that you are wearing. Boots that are cut high on the ankle will provide the wearer with a greater level of protection and better ankle support. But they can hinder flexibility and movement of your ankle. For those living in hotter climates, they can also restrict breathability.


The main purpose of tactical boots is to protect the wearer against the hazards around them. This includes rough terrains and environmental hazards. To do this, durable material is a necessity. Many tactical boots are made from leather or ripstop material. This will also require high-quality and reliable soles that will stand up over time.

An often-overlooked concern is the durability of the laces and zipper systems. While they may appear to be a minor consideration, their failure to perform can render an otherwise great pair of boots unusable.

Anti-Slip Rating

Slip-resistance is an important factor in allowing law enforcement personnel to complete their job without unnecessary accidents. Those that are searching for boots for recreational purposes like hiking or hunting will also prefer to prevent slippage. Whether you’re facing wet conditions or scaling a rocky trail, choosing boots with a high anti-slip rating will help to keep you on your feet.


Another balancing act to consider when selecting the right pair of tactical boots is the relationship between flexibility and sturdy support. Often, tactical boots are carefully structured to provide stability and support for the various parts of the foot and ankle to reduce the risk of injury. But adding these support structures into the boot can restrict flexibility and movement.

You will need to consider the planned use of your boots and which of these functions is most important. If you are concerned about the risk of rolling your ankle, a boot with a higher ankle portion and stable construction will prevent injury. But it will restrict your ankle from bending too far in any one direction.

There are a wide variety of different tactical boots to choose from. This means that there are options available for all settings including those needed more solid construction and those that offer a greater movement.


An important consideration when shopping for boots that will be worn for an extended time is the comfort that they provide. Manufacturers have found many ways to improve the wearability of their footwear including the addition of cushioned insoles, arch support, and more customizable fit.

Take the time to pay careful attention to the sizing of your boots when shopping. Boots that are too small can put unnecessary pressure on the feet. On the other hand, wearing boots that are too large can allow for the foot to slide within the boot leading to blisters. If you do have a pair of boots that feel a little too large, try wearing a thicker pair of socks to prevent movement.


When most people consider the steps necessary to prevent wet feet, they focus on the waterproofing capabilities of their boots to keep moisture out. However, boots that fail to allow for any airflow can also cause problems. This can cause your feet to heat up, especially in warmer climates. If they heat up too much it can then lead to sweating.

Water-resistant materials are a popular compromise. They allow for a little more breathability than a fully waterproof option while keeping most of the outside moisture at bay. At the same time, the added airflow will cool off and dry out the feet to prevent conditions like athlete’s foot, trench foot, fungal infections, or gangrene.


If you are planning on wearing your tactical boots while working a job where remaining undetected is important, like law enforcement, then you want to pay attention to the noise that your boots make during wear. This is also true of those that are planning on hunting and want to avoid spooking the local wildlife. You want to consider both the noises that are made form the sole itself, like possible squeaking on some surfaces, as well as the noises that can result from the movement of the outer materials of the boot.

Tactical Boots FAQ

What is special about tactical boots? How are tactical boots different from regular hiking boots?

Tactical boots are designed with rapid movement in mind. They are often, though not always, designed with lighter, synthetic materials that take less time to break in than full-grain leather boots. This synthetic construction helps them to breathe well, dry quickly and many of these boots are also lighter than hiking boots.

Are tactical boots worth it?

Whether or not tactical boots are worth it depends on how you plan to use them. If you’re looking for lightweight footwear that offers ankle support and abrasion resistance, then tactical boots are a great option. Consider a quality trail running shoe if you don’t need this level of protection for hiking and even light backpacking.

Can I use tactical boots for hiking?

Yes, in fact, many hiking boots are being designed with lessons learned in the development of tactical boots. Tactical boots are durable, lightweight, and quick-drying, making them ideal for hiking and backpacking.

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Britt Kascjak

Britt Kascjak is a freelance writer and content marketer based in Ontario, Canada. She specializes in writing about outdoor travel and recreation, especially exploring the great outdoors with pets. She has written for several outdoor-focused websites, such as Backyard Boss as well as contributing articles about pet-friendly outdoor travel on All Pet Voices. Inspired by her own travels with her husband, 3 dogs and 2 cats, she shares her experiences on her website The Kas Pack. When she isn’t working, Britt can be found camping, hiking, canoeing, and kayaking year-round including braving the colder Canadian winters outdoors.

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