Whether you work in the emergency services, such as law enforcement or paramedics, or in the military or security, you know the importance of reliable boots. Inappropriate footwear isn’t only uncomfortable put can risk injury especially in high-risk environments.
- ASTM Standard: Timberland PRO 8″ Valor™ Duty
- Made In The USA: Danner Acadia
- 6-Inch Boot: Magnum Stealth Force
- Under $100: Magnum Response III Side Zip Tactical Boot
- Versatile Boots: Danner Kinetic 8″ GTX
- Most Waterproof: Bates Footwear GX-8
- Desert Boots: Lowa Z-6S
- Hunting Boots: Wolverine King Caribou III
If you’ve already found a pair that you like, use the links above to jump right to its details. We’ll also cover the boot features to look out for an how they can benefit your day-to-day work life.
Quick Buyer’s Guide
In a rush and just want to grab the best boots for you? Use our quick buy guide below to jump straight to the retailers. Otherwise, you can scroll down and discover them each in detail.
Made In The USA
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Although we’re more used to Magnum, Bates and Danner as household names for tactical boots, we were blown away by Timberland’s approach. Made with premium materials as well as a full range of safety features, these are easily the best on the market.
Here you have all the ASTM safety standards including compression, impact and electrical resistance. The soles are non-slip and the full-grain leather and nylon uppers are waterproof and pathogen resistance. Finally, the composite safety toe is metal detector friendly and lightweight.
Even if you aren’t already aware, you’ll soon notice most tactical boots only come in black. However, there are exceptions and we’ll be sure to highlight them throughout this guide.
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Most tactical boots are made abroad and then imported. Therefore, we were thrilled to find that the Acadia range from Danner is made at their Portland factory in Oregon. Handcrafted from premium materials, they’re truly prestigious boots for patrol.
One of the most astonishing features is that these boots can be recrafted in their Portland factory. Therefore, when the Vibram Kletterlift soles wear down, you can simply have them replaced, which is very rare. Furthermore, there’s a Gore-Tex liner for waterproofing and the Vibram outsole offers excellent shock absorption.
Needless to say, these boots are only available in black. Then again, what else would you need for when in uniform or on duty?
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For those look for a lighter and more silent boot with extra flexibility, we believe that the best option is the Magnum Stealth Force. A renowned brand for tactical boots, these offer the same quality that you’d expect from their craftsmanship.
These boots feature the ASTM safety standards such as impact, compression and electrical resistance. Furthermore, the safety toe is made from a composite just like the shank for a metal detector friendly construction.
Again, these tactical boots are only available in black. However, some magnum models can be found in brown or tan for a more rustic or desert style.
Most tactical boots can be quite costly so it’s always a hassle when they need replacing. However, the Response IIIs are very affordable at less than $100. Furthermore, you have all the features of many other boots including a handy side-zip for quick and easy removal.
You can get these with a safety toe but even the cheaper, non-safety toe version offers minimum ASTM standards. The insole is made by OrthoLite for extra comfort whilst a fibreglass shank provides both stability and comfort. Finally, the slip and oil-resistant carbon rubber outsole gives extra traction.
Of course, being tactical boots, these are only available in black. Then again, would you need them in another colour?
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A well-rounded boot for regular patrol is essential. This is especially the case when walking or standing can becoming a sprint within split-seconds. We find that the Danner Kinetic performs especially well under these conditions.
Thanks to a multi-directional lugged outsole, these boots offer superior traction for quick acceleration. Furthermore, they’re great for sudden movements in different directions and the PU footbed provides the necessary comfort and support under running conditions. There’s also a side-zip for quick removal.
Also available in hot pink… Nope, they’re only made in black!
Whether you work in humid areas or your profession often has you up to your ankles in water, waterproofing is an essential feature. Whilst it exists in most tactical footwear, some perform better than others. Bates Footwear have mastered this into an art-form.
Firstly, the soles are SATRA WTM-144, which means that they meet high standards for slip resistance. This is a bonus to the Gore-Tex waterproofing for when facing wet environments. You also have a cement welt construction and inside zipper for easy boot removal.
There’s actually a desert option available for the GX-8 boots. Therefore, if your needs require the sandy colour of desert boots, this one ticks the box. Otherwise, there’s black too!
As you may have noticed, most tactical boots only come in black save for the Bates GX-8 above. Therefore, if you work in hot desert environments, you may want something adapted to these conditions.
Thanks to the Dri-Lex 3D nylon lining and ventilation perforations, you’ll experience drier and cooler walking as it acts as a climate control feature. Furthermore, the shoes remain lightweight due to the PU Monowrap, which doesn’t sacrifice stability.
As something a little different, these don’t actually come in black but only in a sandy desert shade. We particularly like the style of these are there are four tones of light beige for some visual interest.
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Although technically tactical boots, these satisfy altogether different needs rather than emergency work. If hunting is a passion of yours, these are the ideal companions from Wolverine.
Wolverine’s proprietary PC dry waterproof lining keeps your feet in good shape whilst 800 gram of 3M Thinsulate offers superior insulation. Furthermore, a nylon shank adds extra stability. Finally, a full-cushion footbed and compression-moulded EVA midsole ensures all-day comfort.
Made from RealTree Xtra printed camouflage, these boots aren’t black but blend you into your environment for the ultimate hunting experience.
Why Wear Tactical Boots?
If you’re in a profession, which requires tactical boots, then you’ll need the best ones that you can afford. Whether you’re in the emergency services, private security or the military, your boots will likely be worn at least 10 hours a day.
Furthermore, the professions that require tactical boots are often hazardous. You may frequently find yourself in harm’s way and could benefit from the extra protection that they usually offer.
Best Tactical Boot Features
Depending on their cost or quality, tactical boots can offer a number of different feature. Let’s quickly cover the things to look out for when buying a pair:
- Slip Resistance: Ground surfaces may be slippery when on patrol. Slip resistance prevents falls especially when running or in pursuit.
- Waterproofing: You may have the brave the elements or walk in deep puddles. Wet feet can bring out blisters so waterproofing is essential.
- Pathogen Resistance: A feature often found in more premium boots, these are ideal for extra protection when exposed to bacterial environments.
- Side-Zips: An unsung hero, side-zips aren’t just convenient and quick to put on, but make it easier to remove the boot in case of broken ankles.
- Shanks: Found between the insole and outsole, these offer crucial support when tackling uneven terrain.
- Non-Metallic Hardware: To avoid setting off metal detectors, composite materials are better especially in the shank and toe.
- Cushioning Footbeds: Since you’ll be wearing the shoes all day, cushioning offers comfort and prevents tired feet.
ASTM Standards & Patrol Boots
More common among work boots, ASTM safety standards are rigorous tests set out by the American Society For Testing & Materials (ASTM). These test the boots’ performance according to their impact, compression, electrical, puncture and metatarsal resistance as well as its conductive and static properties.
In order to be eligible for some tests, the boots need to feature some sort of safety toe. However, a recent series of standards have been introduced for non-safety toe boots too.
Although the hazards of the emergency services are different when working on a construction site, the protection they offer can be equally as beneficial. Since you may often face dangerous environments, these can save you from injury.
Unfortunately, not many tactical boots undergo these tests. Nevertheless, the few that do can assure you sufficient protection.
If you want to learn more about the ASTM safety tests, you can learn all about them on our guide to work boots. Additionally, the above shoes that do adhere to ASTM standards feature links in their details so you can learn more about these particular characteristics.
Having now read about the best men’s tactical boots, check out some of our related guides
- Best Work Boots For Men
- Best Men’s Hiking Boots
- Most Comfortable Men’s Shoes
- Best Work Shoes For Men
"Solid performance and comfort.Unparalleled comfort. Perfect for neighbourhood foot patrol and rapid response policing."Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★