Best Tactical Boots in 2018: The Ultimate Guide to Police Footwear
“We commend the men and women of police forces across the country. Your dedication and courage are appreciated although not often respected. Thank you for protecting our families and loved ones. We support all who sacrifice their lives for us. Through your dedication, we live free, safe, and protected. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you daily. May God protect you to keep you safe from harm and forever in His infinite mercy.”
When law enforcement officers are sworn in, they promise “To Protect and Serve.” And they do, every single day of their lives, even when they themselves become a target. To help them fulfill their duties, they need the best gear, including protective vests and a good pair of tactical boots.
Given their duties, which may include walking on patrol for hours, or chasing suspects, a good pair of boots is necessary to help prevent foot injury. After all, there are a number of hazards that will affect their mobility, and in turn, affect their performance.
From excessive heat to brutal sub-zero conditions, a pair of comfortable footwear for tactical law enforcement units is mandatory. A good pair of boots not only helps alleviate potential discomforts but also prevents serious foot injury.
These boots protect and serve the men and women of law enforcement. The following features make these special work boots great.
- The thickness of the soles offers non-slip gripping and overall comfort.
- The multi-directional lugs provide stability when twisting or pushing off the ground.
- Being lightweight offers comfort and enables law enforcement officers to move faster.
- Proper foot ventilation eases discomfort, especially during hot summer months.
- Cushioning keeps feet warm and maintains body temperature to comfortable levels.
There are a number of boots for law enforcers out in the market today. Picking a pair of boots is not easy given all the models available today; further, it depends on an individual's need and the intended use. This review of the best tactical boots will help you in your final selection process.
Best Tactical Boots 2018 Reviews
Popular shoe companies like Danner, Original SWAT, Smith & Wesson, Under Armour, Bates, Maelstrom, Magnum, and 5.11 are the name of few brands that produce boots for law enforcement personnel. Through hours of research and careful examinations, we have concluded that the following 10 boots exceed any comparable styles.
Danner Men’s Tachyon 8” GTX Duty Boot
Bates Men's Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot
Smith & Wesson Men's Breach 2.0 Tactical Waterproof Side Zip Boots
Maelstrom Men's TAC FORCE 8 Inch Tactical Work Boot
Leather and Fabric
Kinda Soft Toe
Rocky Men's FQ0001073 Tactical Boot
BELLEVILLE Tactical Research 8" Fat Maxx Maximalist Boot, Black
Leather & Rubber
Not Safety Toe
Original S.W.A.T. Men's Tactical 9" Waterproof CST Work Boot
Leather & Canvas
Under Armour Men's Stellar Tac
Composite protective Toe
5.11 Men's Taclite 8" Boot
Adidas Performance Men's GSG-9.7 Tactical Boot
Leather and Textile
Abrasion Resistance Toe
All the boots we reviewed here is top-rated of 2018. We will dig down to the details pros, cons, features, plus all you need to know about each boot in the following section. Further, we have dedicated a whole new page on combat boots where we featured 10 high quality boots for Army and Marine personals.
10. Adidas Performance Men’s GSG-9.7 Tactical Boot
In the 1970s, Adidas ranked as the number one athletic shoe in the world, and they are still one of the most popular shoe brands today. The Adidas Performance Men’s GSG-9.7 boot, which was meant for outdoor enthusiasts, began a new phase for Adidas.
Designed with athletic features, these boots were built to deal with the harshest extremes. From excessive, sand-blown desert heat to rugged mountain terrains, these remarkable boot stands the test of time. This is the preferred footwear by the United States Border Patrol. With quite a few specialized features, these boots offer:
A solid beginning into the tactical and police boots sector, the Adidas GSG 9.7 remains a strong competitor in the market. It is highly ranked on Amazon out of over 100 reviews. These Adidas GSG-9.7 boots have experienced a few issues, dealing primarily with incorrect sizing.
Venturing into something new always brings about additional challenges. With the experience and dedication to consumers, these Adidas rugged boots will eventually kick the competition right where it hurts the most, in accelerated sales.
9. 5.11 Men’s Taclite 8” Boot
These 5.11 Men’s Taclite 8” Boots have been a favorite of law enforcement officers for years. With the main focus on safety and accuracy, these boots are a foundation of toughness. Oil-resistant, non-slip rubber outsoles are squeak-free, which is good for nighttime raids. Fast control rope treads offer ideal stability regardless of terrain.
The Zonal Lacing System keeps laces tight and in place throughout long and tedious shifts. Innovative SMS (Shock Mitigation System) maximizes compression rebound with greater performance. The 5.11 Taclite 8" boot delivers top performance from tropical conditions to four-alarm blazes. These 5.11 combination boots also offer:
Comfort and performance is the goal of all 5.11 Taclite 8” boots since its original inception. Rated on Amazon at 4 stars out of a possible 5-star rating, consumers report a few problems:
With thousands of pairs sold and shipped since its initial offering in 2011, these rugged boots remain a top seller throughout multiple online marketplaces. Weighing only four pounds combined, they are a pleasure to wear.
8. Under Armour Stellar Tac
Under Armour has been producing a wide variety of active sportswear since 1996. Used by athletes from high school to the professional league, Under Armour is the symbol of quality and precision.
The Under Armour Stellar Tac Boot complements their category of All-Season Gear. These high-quality boots offer great foot protection in all weather conditions. Water-resistant leather keeps feet dry and comfortable throughout long and tiring shifts.
This model has a high rating of 4.2 stars out of a possible 5stars on Amazon. From almost 800 reviews, most are positive. These law enforcement boots, however, have experienced some issues concerning wear.
Under Armour stands behind their complete line of these best lightweight tactical boots for law enforcement officers. All reported incidents were satisfied immediately. Consumers with complaints receive a refund or replacement.
Under Armour has a long tradition of complete consumer satisfaction and continues to remain a premier sporting apparel provider. With a greater insight into a very competitive market, Under Armour continues to walk straight to the top.
7. Original S.W.A.T Men’s Tactical 9” Waterproof CST Work Boot
The original S.W.A.T. Men’s Tactical 9” Waterproof CST Work Boot has a long association with one of the world’s most elite tactical units. Capable of withstanding the harshest of conditions, these lightweight tactical boots have endured it all. From rugged mountain terrain to searching through dark and desolate buildings, these boots live up to expectations.
With its 100 percent composite safety toe, feet remain protected from unseen hazards. Thick, rubberized, non-slip outsoles provide stability on wet surfaces. It is side-zippered for immediate deployment, day or night. Tested by professionals and worn by specialists, these durable boots offer a never-ending array of additional features.
Eighteen lace eyelets, nine per side, keep laces tight and tangle-free. With a one-inch higher back, these rugged and dependable boots are all that they claim to be. This is considered by many to be the most elite police boot available.
This model has a current rating of 4.2 stars out of a possible 5-star total rating on Amazon. As a symbol of pride, freedom, and respect, there remain some issues with these S.W.A.T 9-inch boots based on consumer reviews. However, overall negative comments remain relatively low.
Aggressive styling remains a hallmark of integrity with instant visual recognition. It is also priced on a competitive level with similar available styles. These police boots command respect for those who continue to risk their lives. "To protect and serve" is a motto that this pair of boots will help uphold.
6. Belleville Tactical Research 8” Fat Maxx Maximalist Boot, Black
The greater density inner foam sets these boots apart from all other similar styles in the market today. The Fat Maxx boot, one of the best law enforcement boots, has cattle hide leather that repels moisture quite well. Vibram ballistic rubber outsoles provide superior gripping ability.
Side-zipping adds increased functionality to these boots without compromising overall comfort. Hydrophilic mesh lining keeps feet dry and comfortable in all weather conditions. Offering more for less, other features of these lightweight boots include:
It has a high rating of 4.3 stars out of a possible 5 stars on Amazon. These tactical boots remain durable, lightweight, and affordable. Reported issues with these duty boots include:
Rugged and durable, these boots are suitable for wear even on rocky terrain. Majority of consumers that have purchased the Fat Maxx 8” recommend these boots. There is no breaking-in period. While these boots are polish-able for special occasions, over-the-counter shoe/boot polish should not be used.
The Belleville Tactical Research 8” Fat Maxx Maximalist Boot is stylish in appearance and constructed with the latest in design technology. It is highly affordable based on an overall higher than average wear factor. Comfortable and durable, these high-quality boots remain a popular choice for law enforcement officers.
5. Rocky Men’s FQ0001073 Tactical Boot
Designed as a training boot for the police, these boots offer superior comfort with durability. Training exercises require a boot that is capable of withstanding even the harshest weather conditions. Breathable nylon sides allow for continual ventilation in sweltering heat. It is classified as a non-insulated boot.
These tactical boots work in colder climates as well with appropriate insulated socks. From excessive heat to abuse above the norm, your Rocky men’s police boots remain intact. Together with the latest in design, these combat boots are lightweight, weighing only two pounds combined. The 550 Paracord laced shaft makes a good fit. Other features of these well-made combat boots include:
Rated as 3.9 stars out of a possible 5-star total rating on Amazon, these Rocky boots have a few negative feedback from consumers.
There is additional venting of the heel unit and nylon side. These boots remain a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts including people who love extreme trail bike riding and exploration. The boots have excellent shock-absorbing properties and resist abrasions during rides through the unforgiving country. From heel to toe, these Rocky boots continue to serve multiple uses.
4. Malestrom Men’s TAC Force 8 Inch Tactical Work Boot with Zipper
Designed for law enforcement officers, the Maelstrom boot thrives in extreme work conditions. Wick interior lining keeps feet dry, comfortable, and free from bacteria. With enhanced speed capabilities, the lightweight compound adds shock-absorbing synthetic to the midsole.
Durable, thick rubber lines the outsole, providing you optimum traction on slippery surfaces. This is the preferred choice of law enforcement boots over competing styles. This 8-inch boot includes other features for your comfort.
The Maelstrom boot has a moderate to a mid-range rating of 3.9 out of a possible 5-star rating on Amazon. Over 1,900 consumer reviews support the general longevity of this tactical work boot. It is very affordable, too, compared to other competing styles.
These boots offer all law enforcement officers comfort and security day or night. The Maelstrom 8-inch Tactical Work Boot has had a few minor flaws.
The Maelstrom TAC Force 8-inch Tactical Work Boot as a one-year warranty. Affordable and durable, these well-made boots remain a good choice for law enforcers. Hunting, construction, or law enforcement, the Maelstrom will continue to remain highly rated.
3. Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Waterproof Side Zip Boots
Smith & Wesson has a solid reputation for the production of some of the best firearms in the world. It is now known as well to produce a long line of high-quality hunting and tactical boots for the outdoor enthusiast.
The Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Waterproof Side Zip Boot is one of the rock-solid legacies of Smith & Wesson. These boots are tough, dependable, and affordable.
The side-zip feature of this Smith & Wesson boots aid in rapid response to emergencies, day or night. These boots by Smith & Wesson continue to achieve the recognition they deserve.
Proper care of your combat boots is required. Cleaning and application of protective specialized sealant for the exterior of the boot should be applied.
2. Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sports Side-Zip Boot
Made with 1680 denier nylon for soothing comfort, the Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sports Side-Zip Boot has a cushioned EVA footbed and a removable insole that provides support on long, difficult patrols. Mesh lining keeps feet cool in extreme heat conditions.
As a great sports boot, the Bates 8” Tactical Sports Boot is perfect for additional outdoor off-duty adventures. It provides a means for stress relief from a difficult and demanding job. It remains one of the best tactical boots for police officers today.
The side-zip feature allows for easy on, easy off. Non-metallic composites provide additional safety and protection. The boot has a current rating of 4.4 out of a possible 5 stars on Amazon. Quality is guaranteed based on over 900 positive consumer reviews.
The boot is available in sizes from 7 to 15, and each size selected offers an additional feature. Minor defects with one of the best lightweight boots for all law enforcement officers include:
Thousands of Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inch Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boots have been sold. Law enforcement officers around the world rely on these boots for superior quality daily.
1. Danner Men’s Tachyon 8” GTX Duty Boot
This superiorly-designed pair of Danner boots continues to be one of the best tactical boots in the market today. Designed for harsh and rugged conditions, this lightweight boot remains very comfortable.
The full genuine soft leather exterior gives ankles the additional support needed. GORE-TEX lining keeps feet warm and dry in extreme outdoor weather. Many features of the Danner 8” boots only emphasizes their overall quality.
Rated at 4.4 out of a possible 5stars on Amazon, the Danner boots are priced below competitors’ similar-styled duty boots with a greater wear factor. It has overwhelming support from consumers with almost 400 reviews. Some concerns regarding wear or possible defects of the Danner 8” police boots include:
Law enforcement agencies, as well as individual patrol or tactical team members, are encouraged to look further into the quality of the Danner 8” duty boot. As a professional law enforcement officer, only you know the circumstances that you face while on patrol.
With greater mobility due to the boots’ excellent features, the Danner Tachyon 8” GTX Duty Boot is, without doubt, the best duty boot for law enforcers.
What are Tactical Boots Used for?
Military: Tactical boots are commonly used by the military. Capable of providing increased ankle support for hiking and extreme maneuvers, they are also worn by troops serving in adverse war environments.
With rugged durability, this lightweight footwear offers greater maneuverability with increased comfort, grip, and stability. High backing allows pant legs to be neatly tucked into boots. From war zone to parade zones, these duty boots serve many purposes.
Law Enforcement or Police Force: A great pair of comfortable boots offers protection to all tactical units engaged in the arrest of wanted fugitives. Thick rubber sole protects officers with fewer injuries to ankles and punctures to the bottom of the feet.
Chasing running fugitives is made easier with this kind of boots. Lightweight and comfortable, these police boots remain a choice of all law enforcement personnel.
Fire Fighters: The best tactical boot gives increased stability to firefighters climbing to excessive heights on ladders. Whether rescuing animals from trees or climbing to the upper stories of burning houses, these superior fire boots offer increased ankle support even in adverse weather conditions.
Built-in side webbing and side zippers are great for emergency calls. The additional gripping power of rubber soles prevents slipping on wet surfaces.
Consuming Public: For the consuming public, these outstanding police boots are great even for adventurous outdoor enthusiasts. Commonly used for mountain climbing, hiking, and trail riding, and great for different weather conditions from the desert heat to arctic cold, these rugged and durable boots offer protection from the elements.
Serious poisonous snake bites can be avoided due to the boots’ construction. Waterproof and shockproof, these boots are preferred by hunters as well.
What to Look for in a Tactical Boot?
Waterproof: Law enforcement deployment requires crossing rugged terrain. With streams and water hazards prevalent, 100 percent waterproof boots are a necessity. Waterproof boots allow more comfort than water-resistant boots.
Traction: Traction and the ability to climb over slippery hazards are of equal importance. Police officers are injured on duty from serious falls so boots with the proper gripping ability are essential when they are at work. Tactical boots have durable rubber outsoles that provide additional traction when climbing ladders and traversing difficult terrain.
Slip-Resistant: Slipping on wet surfaces or ice in extremely cold conditions results in serious injuries. Slip-resistant boots offer greater stability and traction preventing falls. The boot with a slip-resistant outsole should be thick with an intertwining deep thread design.
Zippers or Laces: Zippers or laces are a personal preference. Law enforcement boots have a combination of laces on the front with zippers on the side. For rapid deployment, zippers are used by tactical police units.
Breathable: Hot and sweaty feet hurt. The comfortable tactical boots with nylon side webbing dissipate heat. Tactical and patrol officers search for tactical boots with a high comfort level. These boots need to breathe, maintaining a high level of comfort especially during summer time.
Durability: Law enforcement boots undergo extreme conditions and thus require a strong rugged wear factor. With a slight increase in price, the more durable pair of tactical boots is money well spent.
Comfort: The most common mistake made in boot selection is choosing the appropriate fit. Choosing the best one with a tight fit is a big mistake. Select a size that is slightly larger than your standard shoe size for greater comfort.
Perfect Fit: The perfectly-fitting combat boots depends on many factors. Climbing and running play a large role in searching for that elusive perfect fit. With many variations, the perfect fit for law enforcement boots lies with the intended user.
What are the Differences Between a Tactical Boot and a Police Boot?
Beyond appearance, some distinct differences between a tactical boot and the police boot exist.
Extreme weather conditions and chasing criminals require specialized footwear. Tactical boots offer police officers an advantage in capturing fleeing suspects. A perfect pair of boots has better gripping and stability with puncture-resistant outer soles.
Tactical police officers work in extreme weather conditions from excessive heat to brutally cold conditions. These boots allow officers to maintain focus on their objective. These boots are often black leather depending on style and intended use. They have side zippers for rapid deployment.
These boots for law enforcement officers need to be waterproof as police officers may have to cross rivers and streams (or walk in the rain) in the performance of their duty. Waterproof boots keep feet dry and prevent foot fungus bacteria.
Tactical boots offer additional ankle support with shock-supporting midsoles. An excellent pair is an integral part of all successful police procedures.
Police officers on patrol are subjected to extreme hazards. The best police boots are lightweight, durable, and waterproof. Foot chases involving suspects require a boot that is very comfortable.
Police boots worn daily may have a higher replacement factor. Police officers often remain on their feet for many hours. Comfort is a big plus. Police boots with thick comforting inner soles soothe aching feet.
From police boots to tactical boots, selecting a pair is based on use. Buying a work boot when a tactical boot is needed is money wasted. Choosing footwear for police duty remains a matter of personal preference. We recommend extensive research before buying.
How to Polish Tactical Boots?
Taking care of any boot will make them last longer. These combat boots are complex in design and construction versus the average work boot, and they need greater care when polishing. Applying excessive polish to the nylon webbing may reduce ventilation. Always use an approved polish for your boot.
Never apply more polish than needed. Use correct application and removal brushes for the best results. Remove all laces before applying polish. Polish on laces cause them to wear out quickly. For professional results, take your boots to the local repair shop. The results will be amazing and worth the few dollars spent.
Not all the tactical boots can be polished. Check with the manufacturer before applying any polish to any specialized boot. Read and follow all recommended cleaning suggestions. With tactical boots, only the toe can be polished. Police officers may be required to have their boots shined to mirrored perfection when there are parades and other special occasions.
Polishing a pair of police boots may not be required. Even the best boots are scuffed during active pursuits. For best results, keep one pair of boots for inspections. A highly polished boot is a reflection of you.
These special boots are for extreme outdoor conditions. Police officers spend hours on their feet protecting their communities from criminals. During active police duties, the feet are one of the first body parts to get hurt or injured. And if your feet hurt, the entire body hurts, which could impact in the fulfillment of your duties.
Boots are purchased based on quality, not price. Many styles are very affordable to fit all intended purposes. Never purchase boots with a tight fit. Feet need room for expansion and movement. Purchase a half-size or one full size bigger than your foot size.
We are not trying to convince you to buy a specific brand or a model; we have taken a little responsibility to provide you sufficient information with pros and cons of each renowned brand's boots available on the market today.
Purchasing a pair of great tactical boots goes a long way towards the fulfillment of your duties as a law enforcement officer. Before buying, assess all possible styles to determine which boot will fit your intended purpose. Let us know if you find this article useful in the comment section below.
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