Best Combat Boots Reviewed & Rated for Performance
Combat boots have grown in popularity as everyday wear in the past years. It’s not uncommon to see them worn in labor-intensive work environments, and even as fashion, believe it or not. These were initially created for soldiers and military personnel but have become quite the trend in general because of their versatility. In addition to combining the functional aspects of many types of footwear, they are also a style option for those who like their rugged look. Their ability to provide stability, traction, protection, ankle support, comfort, and durability simultaneously has made them a go-to choice for many.
The popularity of this style has created a market demand that is served by numerous companies. If you decide to get a pair, you won’t lack options. The problem is sorting through these options to find the very best. That’s where we come in. We’ve done the hours of testing and researching so you don’t have to. You need something that provides adequate features, are comfortable, functional and have the quality to last. The functionality of these options should not be overlooked, even if style is also a consideration. A quality pair will help reduce fatigue when worn over long periods of time, encourage increased blood flow in the feet, prevent accumulation of moisture that could lead to bacterial infections, provide ample cushioning and provide ample foot protection from external debris.
- Ryno Gear CoolMax
- Insole zipper
- Garmont T8 NFS
- Vibram & canvas sole
- DailyShoes Military
- Durable upper
It will take hours to look up and compare the countless available options; time that you may not have. We understand, so we’ve done the research and included all the info on the best pairs in one place! After thorough and extensive research, comparing thousands of reviews and apply our criteria, we’ve come up with a list of the top ten products on the market. This list is constructed based on stringent criteria that include the best characteristics this style can offer and wear tester reviews, containing a variety of options for both men and women.
10 Best Combat Boots
1. Ryno Gear CoolMax
The outer part of the shoe has a beautiful Contrast stitching detail that is quite appealing but functional. This stitching contrast in high wear and tear areas to low ones.
The inner lining is designed with Water-resistant fabric that ensures that the feet are kept warm and dry. The insoles are removable and provide unique shock-absorbent properties that keep the feet well protected from rebound force. This generally contributes to the general comfort of the shoe.
Cost and Value
This shoe retails for close to $40. this is extremely inexpensive in comparison to other shoes. It is a worthy purchase that will provide excellent value for your money.
2. Garmont T8 Bifida
Vibram is a strong and durable material that stands up well to abrasion. The soles on this boot will last a very long time and may well outlast the very durable upper.
The materials of this boot are made to be quick drying. It has excellent ventilation with mesh inserts and the suede and leather upper will also dry out quickly. This is a perfect boot for traveling the backwoods and marshy areas.
Cost and Value
This boot is priced in the mid-range relative to the list. For the small investment, you are getting a boot that will work as hard as you do, last a very long time, and will dry our well. It is available in 2E width for those with wider feet.
- Wide widths available
- Vibram and canvas sole
- Suede & leather upper
- Nylon mesh inserts
- Texon & canvas upper
- Laces are weak
3. Daily Shoes Military
The outer sole is designed with slip-resistant high-quality rubber that offers excellent grip that enables the wearer to use it on any terrain. In addition to the unique slip-resistant technology, the outer sole is constructed with unique traction grip technology that substantially subsidizes to the excellent traction that the shoe provides to the wearer.
The most attractive feature of this shoe is the 3-inch by the 3.5-inch zippered side pocket that allows the wearer to store several cards, money and a variety of valued items. With this shoe, you do not need a carry-on purse or wallet!! You have a safe and convenient way of carrying your personal items.
The shoe provides eighteen different colors that are combined with distinct leather patterns. If you are still in doubt of this shoe, read on and view the pros and cons of the shoe. If you are looking for a stylish option that is very functional and unique, then this is the shoe for you!
Cost and Value
These boots are fairly affordable. The many features that this shoe has cannot be compared to the price and as such, it is a valued purchase that will outlive other combat boots. An excellent value overall you are sure to be pleased when you give them a chance.
- Extremely Versatile
- Excellent grip and traction
- Range of options to choose from
- Excellent foot protection
- Has Bigger Calf dimensions
- Not exact fit
4. Magnum Elite Spider 8.0
It's important to take in to account the opinions of military personnel to really get a feel for how effective these truly are. While going over countless reviews, these were consistently noted as being lightweight, comfortable, and great for all training activities. While there was mention that they do scuff over time, overall reviews were extremely positive and many found these held up well in wet, muddy, or other rough terrains and conditions.
The way these stay so lightweight and breathable has a lot to do with the mesh inlays that can be found on the sides. While still being waterproof and debris-proof, these inlays allow for ample airflow to reduce the sweat and heat that your feet produce over the day.
Cost and Value
Magnum is a very well known and beloved brand, especially by military staff, so it's understandable their boots tend to be more expensive. With that said, these are actually not expensive at all, and they are amazing value for the cost.
- Mesh Overlays for Breathability
- Full Leather Upper
- Military Approved
- Moisture Control
- Oil and Slip Resistant
- Scuffs Easily
- Not Great for Overly Cold Conditions
5. Danner Recon
In order to make this shoes more lightweight, Danner has included 200g of Thinsulate insulation. This amount will keep your feet warm in both rain and snow, while also reducing the overall weight of the boot. Fully waterproof and warm, these boots will work well in the winter; especially given that they have great traction.
One of the best things about these boots is that they are recraftable, meaning if you have any breakdown or wear through, you can send them in to have them repaired and fixed up. This is due to the fact that their handmade stitching process allows for easy removal and repair of damaged parts of the boot, giving you a long lasting combat boot overall.
Cost and Value
This boot is a genuine combat boot, and the construction and features are all properly made in order to produce a product that is durable and long-lasting. With that in mind, the price of this boot is reflective of these features, and this is the kind of boot that will last you a lifetime.
- 8 Inch Height
- 200g Thinsulate Insulation
- Kletterlift Outsole
- Polished Full Grain Leather
- 100% Waterproof Gore Tex Lining
- Fiberglass Shank
- Very Narrow
6. Bates Ultra Lites
The top part of the shoe at the end is incorporated with a unique Strap that has a Padded Collar that offers support to the end part of the ankle. The top of the shoe is designed with Non-Metallic Eyelets that are used with Speed Laces Mesh. This directly contributes to the durability and sustainability of the shoe.
The outer sole is designed with Oil and Slip-resistant Ultra-Lites™ Rubber that makes it 30% Lighter Than the Original Enforcer Series 2261. The Ultra-Lite technology offers unique traction and grip and can be used on any terrain.
The shoe is only available in one color - black. This shoe is for those who are looking for a tactical boot that offers durability and breathability simultaneously.
Cost and Value
This shoe is priced in the higher range. It is quite expensive in comparison to the shoe at the top of our list. However, the price difference is mitigated by numerous additional and advanced features that make the ride more comfortable and worth it.
- Extremely Durable
- Breathable Lining
- Slip-resistant and excellent traction
- Moderately priced
- Excellent cushioning
- Single color choice
- Rigid plastic knobs
7. Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0
The upper part of the shoe is designed using a combination of leather and fabric. This unique feature provides exceptional durability and breathability. The upper part is integrated with a Foam-padded PU Collar and tongue that offers easy wipe-off cleaning and sturdy foot support.
The shoe is designed with a YKK® side zipper you will find great durability, an excellent fit, and a closure you don't' need to worry about. This zipper provides foot protection by ensuring that no external debris can enter the shoe while in use. The tongue is gusseted to keep the dirt and water particles away.
The shoe is available in black only and offers two option in regard to the shank height. If you are always on your feet for long periods or have to walk long distances then this is the shoe for you.
Cost and Value
This shoe is more affordable than several others. It is fairly priced considering that it offers numerous features that can only be found in highly priced shoe. Considering the affordability and durability, the value for this shoe cannot be overemphasized.
- Quite Affordable
- High-quality study construction
- Extremely Durable
- Provides cushioning and foot support simultaneously
- Offers excellent traction
- Once Color Only
- Reduced toe box
8. 5.11 12007 A.T.A.C.
The midsole is designed with an injection-molded Phylon that provides excellent cushioning. The cushioned insole which is removable also provides excellent foot support and cushioning. The inner part of the shoe is designed with a moisture-wicking lining that is meant to cool the foot which eventually trickles down to the provision of excellent foot protection
The outsole is designed with a unique Shock Mitigation System and an oil- and slip-resistant that offers excellent grip, traction and stability. The shoes are designed on a foundation of durability and value. The upper part of the shoe is designed with YKK Zipper hardware that is connected to the outer sole and ensures that the wearer has an exact fit. The shoe is only available in one color.
Cost and Value
This shoe carries a heftier price tag. This is quite expensive as compared to other combat boots that are in the same category as this shoe. However, this is the only shoe of its kind to use injected-molded Pylon that provides both enhanced cushioning and foot support, so the purchase would be worth it.
- Shock Mitigation = Increased Protection
- Moisture-wicking lining
- Enhanced durability and breathability
- Offers an exact fit
Only available in one color
8" shaft height.
9. Under Armour Valsetz Rts Mid
The shoe is integrated with UA ClutchFit technology that is lightweight and wraps around the feet to provide an illusion of a second skin. This unique technology contributes to the robust support system of the shoe. The shoe is uniquely designed to incorporate a Lightweight TPU shank that provides exceptional rigidity that contributes to the mid-foot support.
The midsole is designed with a Full-length Micro G foam that offers explosive takeoffs and cushioned landings. The inner lining is made with Molded Ortholite sock liner that combines the unique cushioning abilities of memory foam and rigidity of a TPU base to offer the appropriate amount of foot support and protection.
Cost and Value
Choosing this option will put a dent in your budget. It is quite expensive in comparison to the above shoes. However, the extra cost associated with purchasing the shoe is attributed to the introduction of the UA clutch-fit technology that is meant to make the user more comfortable. As such, the value of the shoe compares to its price.
- Moderately Sized Shank
- Extremely Versatile
- Exceptional foot support and cushioning
- Good grip and traction
- Quite Expensive
- Reduced Durability
10. Adidas Performance GSG-9.2
These boots don't just look like military boots, they are SWAT team and special force footwear that can really stand up to the job. Added features like the Rope Assault Protection help showcase how realistic and high performing these boots are. The arch of the boot features an insert that is highly abrasion resistant, allowing you to be safer and more effective during fast roping.
Like all Adidas footwear, these boots come equipped with some unique boot technologies like Climaproof, adiTuff, and adiPrene. Climaproof allows the boot to be water resistant while remaining breathable, and the adiTuff material ensures the boot is abrasion resistant while also helping it to be more supportive and protective. The adiPrene heel insert is where the boots comfort comes in to play, absorbing shock and cushioning your heel.
Cost and Value
Given that these boots are professional and up to many codes and standards, the price tag on them is extremely reasonable. While not nearly the cheapest boot on our list, this is well worth the money if you need a combat boot for work or military training.
- Good for work and play
- Excellent comfort
- Stands up to hard use
- Great for long hours
- Run narrow
The importance of quality footwear cannot be overemphasized, in casual or specialty choices alike, particularly for those individuals who have to be on their feet for extended periods. These shoes offer the effectiveness and advanced features that surpass any other option available in the market intended for the same purpose. The range above reduces the probability of health complications by providing shoes that offer reduced fatigue, adequate blood circulation in the feet, excellent cushioning, support, and moisture regulation.
These are the highest rated in performance and are extremely durable options that will deliver even in the most strenuous of conditions. They are versatile and can be used on a range of terrains including rocky mountains, slippery river banks, iced lots, hard pavements, snowfields and much more.
Furthermore, they offer enhanced foot protection through sizable shanks that ensure that no external objects will penetrate the sole. Comfortability has not been overlooked. There are features such as clutch fit technology, EVA midsoles, innovative lacing structures and unique foam beds that ensure the user experience is optimized. If you are in the market for an all-purpose shoe of the best quality, then any of the above are suitable for you.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Combat Boots
This style of footwear have always been made for those in the military, but then over the years, they have gained more popularity among civilians, first they were preferred as safety shoes but then they have come to be embraced as more bold fashion statements by the civilians. Since the 1950s, many manufacturers have made military footwear for the troops. However, there have been many recent inventions not to mention the ever updated technology. All the manufacturers have embraced using these recent innovations in technology so that they can be able to offer many combat wearers the absolute best. Improving their traditional designs and having more enhanced features, hence having shoes s that are more attractive, durable and with added comfortability.
These offer a rugged look to the normal civilian, but to the wearers in the military its part of their uniform. Civilians enjoy them because they do not only offer protection and comfort but then they are among the most efficient footwear for those who like hunting, hiking or engaging in outdoor activities that can get a little rough. They are ideal for anyone who wants a masculine look yet still stylish and also looking for maximum durability. Despite the activity you are planning to get involved in and want to make sure that your feet get maximum protection, you will find the ones that will suit you.
When coming up with the best list for you, we did a detailed research and analysis so that we make sure that only the best of the best get to our top ten list. When picking these boots there are some very important factors that we looked at. These factors helped us in judging the different options that are available in the market. The factors we focused on were:
Though they might look stylish, make sure you get the correct pair that will be able to give maximum functionality and comfort. Remember, you cannot wear these to every event you are going to or to any activity you are engaging in. Below are the different types of that you will find when shopping:
- Designed for the Military:
During the World War II, there was a very high demand for military footwear that were of high quality, as they were needed by the million soldiers who were fighting across the world. The ones that were demanded, needed to have the following features that will make sure they function well. They had to be very durable, great comfortability, have a rugged look, greater flexibility and be weather resistant for a long time. During that time there were limited advancements in technology and hence it was impossible to come up with universal design. The soldiers had no option but to pick their preferred shoes from the many designs that were made available by the manufacturers. They were supposed to meet specific needs that each soldier had: those involved in tactical applications picked something different from those involved in assault situations, those in parachuting wanted something different from those in the basic combat or desert climates. Combat boots came in plenty of styles and designs from tankers to the jumpers. Despite being in the military everyone was to wear a pair, but then it had to suit the type of military activity one is involved in.
- Standard Issue types:
They are not that different from the normal combat options, they provide ample ankle and foot stability, especially when the wearer is walking on very rough terrain (a common scenario during combat or training or both). They are normally black in color, hardened leather is used to make them and are not to be waterproof. Their design is very simple and has a rounded toe that is plain. The patent leather that is black in color makes them have a sheen that is glossy hence no need for polishing. With patent leather, they are most of the times kept aside for use during ceremonial vents like funerals, parades or graduations.
- Jump Boots:
They were made in the 1940s and were to be used by the service members in the U.S. Army who were considered to be airborne troopers. These were made to suit the specific needs of those who were airborne troopers. This resulted in what many called the paratrooper boots. They are designed with very tall shanks that reach up to the calf, the ankles are reinforced so that to prevent any form of injury. There are eyelets in the shoes ranging from 11 to 13, they vary from one shoe size to another. The rubber soles have a unique heel design. These types are legendarily known as the “Corcorans” named after the very first manufacturing company that was a given contract to manufacture them. When shopping you will get the recent designs that are black in color with amazing toe caps for added protection of the feet.
- Tanker Boots:
Just like the jump combat boots these have been manufactured and specifically designed for specific activities. These are a little different from the normal, instead of having laces, they are fastened using a leather strap that is wide. The strap is wrapped around the upper section then at the top part of the shaft, one is supposed to buckle up the leather strap. This design was used because the straps have very minimal chances of getting caught by any moving parts when inside a tank, unlike the normal straps which can be easily get caught by a moving part. Also, the strap can be easily be removed in case a scenario occurs in which the foot of the soldier is caught by a moving part. The tankers have been given a design that is all leather, hence extra protection from the dangerous chemicals normally present in the tank (including the assorted fuels and the hydraulic fluid). However the major challenge with the design used in making the tankers is that they do not provide the needed ankle support, well this is because it’s very hard for the tank crewmen to walk on any rough terrain.
- Jungle Combat:
Just as the name suggests these are best for the jungle. They have their upper section made of canvas, this is used to minimize any issues that normally arise when a person wears tall pools and they are in the tropical climates or in terrain that is wet. They have vent holes that have been placed close to the instep hence offering the feet extra ventilation. This not only enhances the breathability of the shoe but also makes sure that any excess moisture present is totally drained from the insides. These are lightweight since they are normally worn for long distances and they have rubber soles. The modern designs of the jungle boots are made with a unique material blending which has enhanced ventilation, also it offers a unique sense of insulation which plays an important role in temperature regulation.
When looking at the modern combat boots you will notice that they are getting more specialized depending on the manufacturer. When talking about the tactical boost then it means one is referring to a broad category. The tactful combats are designed to specifically suit the following common purposes like military combat, firefighting, seafaring jobs and police work. Some of these have been designed in a way that they offer extra grip, hence offering maximum slip resistance to the wearer. Tactical boots that are made of steel are installed with reinforced plates located around the toe section, hence offering maximum m protection to the toes from any heavy or sharp objects.
- Designed for the Extreme Weather Conditions:
Since they are normally designed for troops and the military troops or units are often fighting in very extreme climates. Then it will be crucial that what they have on are able to offer the maximum protection from the harsh weather conditions. Some of the examples that are designed for the harsh climatic conditions are the desert boots, the jungle boots and the ones for the cold weather. These are just a few of the types that have been designed to suit harsh climatic conditions.
- For Hot Weather:
These are designed to be worn in very hot climatic conditions, they are a little similar to the jungle options. They have amazing features that make them suitable footwear in hot weather, they are designed to utilize special ventilation technology and systems, thereby allowing the sweat from the feet to evaporate easily. The materials that are used are unique and are able to keep the feet dry and cool while offering maximum comfortability. Other manufacturers have gone an extra mile to make sure that the materials used are able to prevent odor, reduce fungi growth and deal with any form of bacterial infection that might arise.
- For Wet and Cold Weather:
Any decrease in temperature in the environment means that a person will need footwear that will make sure the feet are kept warm, in cases of wet environment they should keep the feet dry at all times. Gore-Tex is the material that is used to make footwear wearable during cold weather. This is a unique material that has waterproof abilities and has very many tiny pores. Those people who tend to be exposed to very wet environments like those in the snow, or sea water, even rainy terrains, can find these to be very useful. Those in the military will have an extra layer of wool for insulation purposes and happens to be the best choice. When the temperature is below 20 degrees, then one should look for choices that have been specifically designed for extremely cold weather. They are a little different from the normal cold weather ones, they have a rubber layer that is doubled, and have the thick felt or wool that enhances insulation.
Apart from the above important metrics that we used, we also had additional factors that were taken into consideration when making out the top list. These additional factors are:
There are several places and scenarios in which one can wear these, and each scenario calls for a different type of boot.
- Worn for Leisure:
Over the years these have been adored by many fashionable civilians, not to mention embracing the military prints in their wardrobes. No longer being covered in mud and dust in battlefields, they are instead being worn in the city streets by many people who want to enjoy the streetwear and a much more masculine appearance. When worn for leisure they offer comfort and fashion at the same time.
To the men who will opt to match theirs with their day to day clothing are not limited when it comes to style, they can choose from a variety of styles that are still fashionable.
- Worn with Uniforms:
These are for the men in the forces which include the military, the police, the firefighters, and encompasses other public service members who tend to wear uniforms not forgetting the security men. These personnel are always under strict guidelines and have to wear uniforms and footwear that is alike. The footwear they pick must be able to meet the requirements that are set by each specific agency that has employed them and coordinate well with the appropriate uniform worn by the personnel.
Getting the best fit
Just like any other shoes, you must make sure that what you buy offer you a good snug fit. The fit is very crucial whether they are to be worn for a long period of time or a short time, for extreme weather conditions or just normal weather. Having a perfect size will not only guarantee you comfortability but it will also give the needed protection and support that your feet need. In order to make sure you get the best fit for your combat shoes, it’s crucial to follow the below steps.
- Get the correct Socks: if you want to give you a good fit, it’s important that you have the correct type of socks. When going for a fitting, make sure you have the socks that you will be wearing. Make sure the socks are snug fitting and ought to rise up just over the feet’s calf.
- Check your shoe size: many of the manufacturers start from size 9 up to size 14. Though for men whom their shoe size do not fall between this range will have a very hard time finding options that will fit them. Though for ones used in the military you will find some rare cases of sizes going beyond this standard range.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the questions that many buyers have when shopping, we have compiled a list of the most important questions that will guide when you are making your next purchase. The questions have detailed answers.
Q: Are they vegan?
A: It’s important to those buyers who want vegan options to look at the description given, as most of them are made from leather. Though it’s important to note that all are made from manmade materials. When you find one with a description that states that man-made materials have been used to make it, then it simply means that no animal products were used. In case you are hesitant about the vegan type, you can contact the company to clarify that is if you are making an online purchase but those making a physical purchase can opt to ask the salesperson.
Q: What is the general procedure for cleaning?
A. One trick of making sure you have long lasting shoes is taking good care of your shoes by cleaning them properly. Just like any other shoes, to have the maximum durability you need to clean them properly, the below tips will guide you on cleaning:
- Cleaning your footwear: Use a soft brush to remove any dirt on the surface, this is done when the use is minimal. However, when the use is more extended and rugged then you will need to clean the shoes with warm water and mild soap. Because soap is hydrophilic make sure you rinse it all off from the surface.
- Drying: to make sure they dry completely, open them fully. Remove the laces or the straps, then the insoles so that even the inner parts can dry up. DO NOT EXPOSE the boots to HEAT. Let them dry at the room temperature.
- Conditioning: when thinking about the treatment make sure you look at the materials used in making the shoes and also the construction of the footwear. Be cautious as most of the time when treatment is done on a footwear it can change the appearance and the color of the footwear.
If you need more tips, check our complete guide.
Q: How do I make sure that I have the perfect fit?
A: Having a good fit of your footwear is very important as this guarantees you comfortability at all times. When shopping, it’s good to make sure that they will give you a good fit. To determine this, make sure your toes have enough room to wiggle about when you put on the shoes, especially on the front part. You should check that there is a snug fit, but not a tight fit when you put on the shoes. The next thing would be to check the heel’s position as you walk around, the heel should not slide up or down, or back and forth as this will cause very painful blisters to your leg. The other important part of the footwear that determines the fit is the laces or the straps, they must be tightened so that you have a firm fit, but also to allow the natural movement of the foot when walking.
Q: Are there tips I can use to make sure I have the best fit?
A: When you have any footwear that does not fit you properly, then you can have many foot ailments and problems. With a proper fit, you are guaranteed long-term comfortability and enhanced durability. The below tips will guide you in making sure that yours are of the perfect fit:
- Always have your socks on, this is because they help in making sure you have a comfortable fit. These socks are normally thicker compared to the athletic socks. They also offer extra padding in the heel and also the toe sections of the foot. The padding helps in reducing any chances of having blisters and they also make sure the foot’s health is maintained always (the foot is kept dry and cool). This is achieved by the moisture dissipation feature which is important. It’s important you make sure that your socks have wicking moisture ability as this proves to be very helpful when doing very strenuous activities or when the environment is very hot.
- Ample toe room. Make sure they offer your toes enough room so that you can easily wiggle them without feeling any pain. The extra room is to accommodate the size of your toes during the day, this is because as the day progresses the size of our feet tends to grow because of the constant activities we subject them to. To make sure there is enough room for your toes, try sliding your foot, then check for a space that is finger width between the shoe and your heel. If space is more than a finger width, then the shoes are too big for you. Less than the desired width means it will be too tight and as the day progresses, it will be very uncomfortable.
- Look for a secure heel which is imperative. When walking, make sure the heel does not slide. It ought to have a snug fit and not a tight fit while leaving ample room for your toes to wiggle around. Heels that are not secure will cause blisters. To have a firm heel make sure the laces are adjusted correctly to give a good fit. The laces are supposed to give you the fit you need at any given time when the shoes are too tight you can loosen the laces. Laces play an important role in making sure comfort is achieved.
Make sure you take a walk while wearing them. If you are purchasing them in a store make sure you do a walk test, this should be done in a surface that will not make the shoes dirty since you are trying to find a good fit, and a situation might occur that you need to return the shoes. The golden rule is that whatever you experience when wearing the shoes for a walk test will increase when you, at last, get to use them. If the shoes feel tight on a walk test trust me it will be tighter when you start wearing, but a good fit means you will have a very comfortable fit in the future. Check for hot spots during the walk. Note that different people fit differently and so do not use another person’s or shoe size to purchase your own.