The first known use of military boots was by Roman legionaries. They were known as caligae, an open sandal boot with thick soles. By the 1st century, they were adapted into calcein, an enclosed boot that offered more warmth and protection. They quickly became ubiquitous within Roman civilian and military life. They were constructed in three major parts, the outsole, insole, and upper.
The contemporary tactical boot originates from 1930s’ Germany, initially intended for workers but quickly adapted into military use. The construction of today’s best combat boots takes advantage of the latest technology, to produce footwear that meets the exacting expectations of the military.
The strict requirements of military and tactical operators demand that boots have the highest levels of comfort, durability, traction, safety and protection so they are ideal for use in extreme situations such as long marches and missions that may last over several days.
All of this is good news for people outside the military or law enforcement – the proverbial man (and woman) in the street – looking for high-performance, fashionable, casual or recreational footwear that combines maximum comfort with the highest standards of durability.
The adaptation of military-style apparel into mainstream culture as fashion accessories began in the mid-1960s in the US and western Europe. Paradoxically, during the Summer of Love of 1967, peace-loving hippies in the counter-culture were parading around the streets of San Francisco and London sporting combat jackets and desert boots to complement their de rigueur blue denim jeans.
The best tactical boots – desert or otherwise – are made from top-quality materials that provide high performance and long-term protection and comfort for your feet. Other key features to look for in tactical boots include a sole with a strong grip, a high level of breathability and dependable water-resistance. Military boots are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, hunting and fishing, or any other circumstances in which reliable and sturdy footwear is needed to provide the best possible safety, comfort and robustness.
People looking for the best rated tactical boots should definitely not regard the use of these footwear as solely for the military. The best combat boots are constructed to endure extreme weather and rough terrain and, because they are lightweight, can be worn by both men and women in any walk of life without any discomfort, while providing a level of sturdiness and toughness not found in everyday footwear. They also come in a wide range of colors, sizes and styles.
What To Look For In The Best Tactical Boots
There are a few key features that are very important when looking into purchasing tactical boots.
- Waterproof – Rain, shine, snow, or mud your boots need to be able to handle whatever you throw at them. Keeping your feet dry and warm is 50% of the battle. You’re going to need the best waterproof tactical boots.
- Insulation – A boot that has good insulation will keep your feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It allows breathability without letting moisture in.
- Comfort & Support – You plan on spending 6+ hours moving over uneven and unknown terrain. You need a boot that won’t cause sore feet, irritation, or blisters.
- Weight – When you’re on your feet all day, especially on hills, hikes, or runs, every ounce of weight matters. You need the best lightweight tactical boots so you’re not
Alright, let’s look at some of the best tactical boots reviews.
Top 4 Best Tactical Boots Review 2020
Original SWAT Men’s Metro 9-Inch Best Side Zip Tactical Boots
These leather-soled, ankle-high boots boast denier nylon and leather upper with a moisture-wicking lining to help keep your feet sweat-free. With a compression-molded EVA midsole, a thermoplastic heel and toe, an outsole that is slip-resistant and a removable orthotic footbed, the Original SWAT men’s classic also meets Electric Hazard Protection standards.
As you would expect from a company founded (in 1999) with the aim of producing better boots for the military and law enforcement, the SWAT Men’s Metro is a high-performance boot you can depend on. It comes in black, tan, Coyote and brown.
Why We Love Them: They have fantastic insulation and comfort. Ready to be worn during all four seasons without leaving you feeling hot or cold.
Where We Think They Could Do Better: These boots can get a little squeaky, you won’t be the most stealthy person.
Buy on Amazon
Oakley Best Men’s Combat Boots
A fabric/synthetic boot with a man-made sole, this lightweight, the lace-up boot features a sneaker-inspired silhouette and has a removable insole.
Oakley provides footwear for world-class athletes, and its products are backed by decades of innovation, earning more than 540 patents, so if you are a sporty type, this is definitely the boot for you. Available in Desert, black and Coyote.
Why We Love Them: I don’t know how Oakley did it but for the amount of protection this boot offers, it remains incredibly light.
Where We Think They Could Do Better: Because the boots are so light, they have a higher failure rate when under intense stress and use. While these will get the job done for most military and civilian jobs and hobbies, it might not be right if you in the harshest environments.