Our Best Tactical Hiking Boots

Are you looking for the best tactical hiking boots? If so, you’re in the right place.

Tactical hiking boots - essential for the outdoorsMany products have the word “tactical” in front of them. Flashlights, pocket-knives, fire starters and many more. Tactical refers to military use, high intensity situations and survival situations. Tactical equipment is used for when you’re surviving in nature, deep in the wild. In these situations you need special equipment that’s made from quality, durable materials. You need compact tools with multi-purpose features. You need reliable tools that won’t let you down.

When it comes to boots, you want them to be sturdy at the very least. Tactical hiking boots are durable, multipurpose footwear suited to all kinds of terrain. They will keep your feet warm and dry in snowy conditions, offer protection on uneven terrain and comfort over long distances. These are exactly the kind of footwear to take with you on long excursions into the wilderness, or for long trips away to places you know you will be hiking and trekking in.

It can be a tricky to find the right pair for you. Many manufacturers claim to be waterproof and durable when they are not. You will find models for a decent price only to find that they’re nowhere near the quality they should be. Thankfully, we’ve done a lot of research so you don’t have to strain yourself. 

Tactical Hiking Boot Buyer’s Guide

Tactical hiking boots are made for exploring

When buying tactical hiking boots, you need to think through precisely what you want and expect from your purchase. It’s very common that people buy any old pair of durable enough looking hiking boots, only to find that they’re really not the right attire for their specific task. This lands you in a very frustrating position. You’ve wasted money and you’re ill equipped.

Firstly, you should think about the terrain you will be tackling. Is it steep and rocky? Or is it hilly, slippery and wet? Rocky terrain is going to require heavier, sturdier boots, whereas somewhere wet will require waterproof features.

How heavy should they be? If you’re travelling long distances with them in a backpack, you’ll want something light and easy to carry. Bulky, heavy boots can be a nuisance if you’re not wearing them all the time. If you need to get them on quickly, they should be easy to do so. There are many options that are a cross between a running shoe and a hiking boot. These are light and easy to get on. Sturdier models often need to be laced carefully and firmly, which will take a deal longer.

Something often overlooked is how breathable the boot is. If you plan to walk long distances, you want your feet to be able to breathe. This comes down to the material your boot is made of. You’ll also want them to be durable, which makes this combination rather difficult. Many would also suggest that this makes it really hard to find a durable, breathable and waterproof options, but this isn’t entirely the case. You can get durable, breathable, splash proof boots, which will often suffice in place of waterproof.

Our Top Picks

Under Armour Valsetz RTS Tactical Bootsunder-armour-valsetz

Normally we associate Under Armour with running shoes, but they make a great pair of tactical boots as well. The synthetic material wraps around your ankle for a very comfortable fit, almost like a second skin. The material is a synthetic leather and textile for breathability, comfort and durability. They have a memory foam base as well, which adds even more comfort.

They’re sturdy too and the abrasion-resistant film around the parameter of the foot means they’ll last years and years of abuse. The ergonomic sole offers your feet ample support and rigidity. Customers loved the comfort, as you would expect from the description. This is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing tactical boots, and Under Armour certainly tick the box. The main problem a few customers had with these boots was that they weren’t as durable as other options. This may be true, but their low cost for such comfort makes up for this issue.

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Belleville Tactical Research Bootsbelleville-tactical-research-boots

A more expensive option are the Belleville Tactical Research Boots. These are made from quality cowhide leather with a nylon fabric upper. The over-lasted, EVA midsole and multi-directional outsole are designed for ultimate mobility and shock absorption, making for a very comfortable walk. Additionally, they have a premium load-bearing orthotic sole. The stabilizer strap offers you some extra heel and ankle support to avoid damaged ankles or blisters at the heel.

These are hot weather boots, which means they are breathable and also suited to wet conditions. Customers really liked how comfortable they are, but also how durable and reliable they are. They’re the kinds of boots worn by soldiers in the Middle East. So you know they’re going to be durable and reliable. The only complaint people had for these boots was that they’re much heavier than one might assume. This can be frustrating if you’re carrying these boots, but they’re made to be worn, not carried.

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Conclusion

Tactical hiking boots are essential for any outdoor excursions that will take a long time and go over varying terrains. You risk seriously injuring yourself without the right equipment and attire on these trips, and that should begin with your footwear.

You’ll need a strong, durable pair that is suited to your specific route and weather types. You need to consider what you’re going to need them for. If you might be carrying them in your bag, you will want lighter ones. But if you plan to wear them all the time, you’ll need something heavier and more durable. Whatever other features you consider, the most important thing is that they’re comfortable. This will be evident at the first wear, but you should mold them to your foot shape with repetitive use before the trip.

Of the above two options, we would recommend the Bellevilles. They are comfortable boots, but also durable and breathable. This is a hard combination to get right, but they’ve certainly achieved it. They’re suited to more use and different terrains, which the Under Armours simply can’t compete with.

Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Veggiefrog and Douglas S

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