Tactical boots (or combat boots) have traditionally been worn by military personnel on active duty. You do not have to be in the armed forces though to take advantage of the features that make them such a force to be reckoned with, outdoors or indoors.
Tactical boots have all the best aspects of hiking boots, such as great grip in different types of terrain, waterproof material and a high level of durability that make some pretenders look little more than basketball boots. Basically, today’s tactical boots are in a league of their own.
Tactical boots have also made the cross over into civilian life as a popular form of footwear. Taking care of your feet in a wide variety of situations can save you a lot of discomfort and money in the long term. Airsoft and paintball gamers have taken heed of this and combat footwear is now wildly popular in these circles. So why the sudden interest in tactical boots? There is one simple reason – they get the job done.
Luckily for those with wider feet, most tactical boots have been designed with soldiers in mind. While you do not have to be a big guy to be in the military, there is no doubt there are a few big boys in the ranks, meaning ready-wear footwear for people with wide feet.
Best tactical boots
The best type of boots for you will depend on what type of environment you are going to be wearing them in. If you are going to be in the urban jungle, you may want a little more padding and flexibility to stay comfortable. If you plan on hiking or running over uneven terrain, it is very important to have good ankle support. A twisted or sprained ankle can be a pain on a day hike, but if you are deep in the wilderness or on active duty it can be life threatening.
Likewise, for law enforcement personnel who may have to face a hostile crowd throwing rocks or other projectiles. Protection is the name of the game, even when it comes to footwear. A hunter will want to keep dry and sweat is your enemy if you are going to be spending extended periods of time in sub-zero conditions. This is where modern waterproof and breathable materials such as Gore-Tex come into their own.
Rocky Men’s C4T
For a lightweight boot that will allow maximum freedom of movement while keeping noise to a minimum, the Rocky Men’s C4T are hard to beat.
These tactical boots were designed with the help of soldiers who did their time in the trenches and know a thing or two about the importance of looking after your feet. They were consulted on what they liked best about the standard issue boot and asked what improvements could make a real difference to the wearer.
With an eight-inch shaft to support the ankle against rolling, and a fabric that dries very quickly, these boots are as practical as they are enjoyable to wear. And as a side note, with a desert boot styling they look pretty great too.
5.11 ATAC 6 Inch Boot
Next up, with a little more muscle and perfect for those with wider feet are the 5.11 ATAC 6 Inch Boot. These boots have been designed with firemen, law enforcement and EMT’s in mind. These are the real deal when it comes to performance and their full-grain black leather exterior also shines up nicely with a bit of ‘spit and polish.’
The fabric interior ensures a comfortable fit. The shock mitigation system means that when running over concrete you won’t feel like you are wearing your dad’s old army boots. The soles are quiet enough so you won’t be heard approaching a suspect, and their slip resistance allows you to safely work in a very wet or oily environment. These boots are also moisture wicking and designed for comfort while being worn for an extended period of time. They are a favorite with many who have tested them.
If you have very wide feet, then the incredibly sturdy though slightly expensive Danner Acadia may be the tactical boot for you. If you need to kick down doors or defend yourself with your feet, accept no other substitute.
These are not subtle boots by any stretch of the imagination. They are big, bad (in a good way) and will not let you down when you need them. Highly breathable yet waterproof and with a full eight inches of lacing, not only will you feel slightly imposing and well protected but comfortable too.
They are approved by the U.S. Marine Corps and if they are good enough for those guys then they should be good enough for the rest of us.
Unless you want something purely for fashion purposes forget your army surplus store. Today’s tactical boots have taken things to a whole new level with modern technology and stylish designs. So, lace up and move out people.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Jayel A