Are you a police officer or a deputy that works long hours on the beat? Maybe you are part of citizen’s patrol or neighborhood watch group? These are all jobs where comfortable and durable footwear is important. That’s why so many people that do these tasks choose to wear a high-quality tactical boot (also known as police boots). After all, there is nothing in any job description that says you have to go home at night with aching feet after wearing overly heavy and uncomfortable boots all day. We are here to help you find the best pair of tactical boots for your needs.
Our objective is to allow you to find the best tactical boots that are durable, comfortable and will give you enhanced foot performance when you are on the go. We will do that by doing several reviews of the best police boots. Along with that, we will also provide you with some information that will be useful when it comes to selecting the right tactical boots for your individual needs.
Best Tactical Boots Comparison Chart
Smith & Wesson Tactical Side Zip Boots
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Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS
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Magnum Men’s Response II Boot
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Adidas Men’s Tactical Boot
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Original S.W.A.T. Side-Zip Tactical Boot
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Danner Men’s Lookout Side-Zip Tactical Boot
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Bates Men’s Tactical Side-Zip Boot
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Best 10 Tactical Boots (Updated List 2021)
Based on some extensive research, here is what we feel are the best tactical boots you will find in the footwear marketplace.
1- Smith & Wesson Tactical Side Zip Boots
Most people know that Smith & Wesson makes excellent firearms but many don’t realize they also make very high-quality tactical boots. Their line of police boots has an excellent reputation among those who protect and serve. The Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots will let you comfortably do your job while also keeping your feet more stable as you walk and run in them.
At 8 inches in height, these boots give comfortable ankle support that’s not too restrictive. Adding to the all day long comfort is the fact that each boot weighs less than 1 ½ lb. and they feature a lightweight and cushioning EVA midsole. The gusseted tongue helps keep moisture and dirt from getting inside these boots too.
These boots also have a slip-resistant, non-marking rubber outsole. That makes them great for doing things such as climbing ladders, traversing over rocky terrain, and not slipping on wet pavement. The convenient side zipper allows you to put these tactical boots on quickly and take them off very easily as well.
- Leather and Nylon tough construction
- Gusseted tongue
- EVA Midsole for lightweight comfort
- 8” high boots offer ankle support too
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Easy side zipper access
- Not 100% emersion waterproof
- No safety toe
2- Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS
In case you did not know it, the Under Armour Company sports an impressive line of footwear in addition to its popular clothing line. These nicely designed police boots are proof of that. They offer a durable and lightweight over the ankle solution to some of the foot problems that police officers experience when on the job.
Tactical boots don’t get much more comfortable than this elite pair of police boots. Each boot weighs less than 2 lbs. each and has Micro G foam cushioning. They also incorporate into them Under Amour’s own ClutchFit technology which helps keep the boot securely in place around your foot as you run and walk in them.
These tactical boots are 7” high so they support the ankles and their synthetic construction helps make them breathable and water repellant. The low-profile rubber sole keeps their weight down and gives them very good traction too.
- Micro G foam cushioning
- Proprietary ClutchFit technology
- Breathable and water repellant
- 7” high boots support the ankle too
- Low-profile rubber sole
- Each boot weighs just over 2 lbs.
- Not a completely waterproof boot
- No heal loop to help pull them on
3- Magnum Men’s Response II Boot
This 8” over the ankle tactical boot design from Magnum is not only durable and lightweight, but it just may be the most stylish boot of all the top models we reviewed. Its combination leather/nylon construction looks great and helps give this boot some wear and water resistance too.
The Magnum Men’s Response II was specifically designed to give all-day wearing comfort. It’s excellent all-around cushioning and support help accomplish that. It has such comfort features as steel shank heal supports, contoured sock liners, and shock-absorbing CMEVA midsoles. Adding even more comfort while wearing them is these boots moisture-wicking and breathable lining.
Each boot weighs just 1.3 lbs. and features a sturdy and traction providing all rubber soles.
- Extremely stylish
- Combination leather/nylon outer construction
- Moisture-wicking and breathable lining
- 8” high over the ankle boots for support
- Steel shank heal support
- Each boot weighs only 1.3 lbs.
- No hardened protective toe
- Leather needs to be treated occasionally or it will crack
4- Adidas Men’s Tactical Boot
Leave it to Adidas the fine sports shoe manufacturer to come up with a mid-high tactical boot that is tough yet wears more like sneakers. They have durable leather/nylon/suede outer construction that helps keep them lightweight (1.6 lbs.), adds abrasion resistance and gives them a touch of style too.
What makes the Adidas Men’s GSG-9.3 Tactical Boot so comfortable? It has everything to do with such innovative features as their breathable OrthoLite sock liners and step-in cushioning that wraps around your feet as you wear these police boots. They are a very nice boot to wear during the warmer months.
One of the other outstanding features on these Adidas tactical boots is their high traction rubber sole. No matter what surface you are running or walking across these boots will give you more traction than traditional boot soles will.
- Comfortable like a sneaker
- Leather/nylon/suede outer construction
- OrthoLite sockliners
- 8” Mid-high ankle support
- High traction rubber sole
- These boots weigh 1.6 lbs. each
- Sizing tends to run ½ size small
- Durability issues in harsh environments
5- Original S.W.A.T. Side-Zip Tactical Boot
This is one of the first boot manufacturers to make boots specifically designed for police tactical use. All that experience has helped them come up with the design for this superior pair of police boots. The Men’s Metro 9” tactical side-zip boot is rugged and offers great support and comfort when wearing them.
You won’t have any problems wearing these boots all day they are so comfortable. They have such nice comfort features as a cushioning heel air cell and a molded phylon EVA midsole. Their non-marking rubber soles even have a cushioning effect as you wear them.
One nice bonus you get with this pair of tactical boots is that they are easy to put on and take off with the convenient side zipper. They are also a very good looking police boot.
- Rugged good looks
- Leather/Denier Nylon outer construction
- Cushioning heel air cell
- 9” side zip/high ankle support boots
- Molded phylon EVA midsole for comfort
- These boots weigh just over 1 pound each
- Not a great warm-weather boot
- No toe protection
6- Danner Men’s Lookout Side-Zip Tactical Boot
It’s not very often that you see a solidly built side-zip boot that is super-comfortable to wear too, but Danner has managed to do just that with this tactical boot. It’s also a good looking 8” high over the ankle boot whose black color will go great with any uniform you pair it with.
Part of this police boots unbelievable comfort is Danner’s proprietary comfort system. That system features such things as a dual-density footbed and strategically placed material that allows superior airflow.
Adding to this tactical boots durability is its full-grain leather and tear-resistant ballistic nylon upper. Its rubber sole is also designed to add a good measure of slip resistance as you go across any type surface too.
- Superior airflow
- Full grain leather/Ballistic Nylon upper
- Proprietary comfort system w/dual-density footbed
- 8” high ankle support boots
- Slip resistant rubber sole
- These side-zip boots weigh just over 1 ½ pounds each
- Lightly insulated
- Zippers needs improvement
7- Bates Men’s Tactical Side-Zip Boot
Here is another stylish and rugged tactical boot that is surprisingly comfortable. These police boots from Bates get high marks from those who have worn them. They are also one of the lightest model tactical boots you will find in the footwear marketplace.
These leather/nylon boots are so flexible and comfortable they feel almost like you are wearing an athletic shoe when you have them on. Adding to the comfort of these boots is their cushioned removable inserts and their nicely-designed breathable linings.
The Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites are a good looking 8” high boot that is easy to get in and out of thanks to the built-in side zipper. The slip-resistant rubber sole provides excellent traction when you are wearing them too.
- Flexible athletic type boot
- 70% Leather/30% Nylon construction
- Cushioned removable insert/Breathable lining
- 8” high ankle/side zip boots
- Rubber sole gives you slip resistance
- Weigh just over 1.2 lbs. each
- Can be noisy on some types of flooring
- Only water resistant
8-Rocky Men’s C4T Tactical Boot
The C4T Tactical Boot has several unique features on them too. These include such things as their specialty designed eyelets that make tying their corded laces faster and their quality synthetic/leather construction which helps make them not only durable but good looking too.
These boots combination leather and synthetic construction help make them durable and also keeps them lightweight. They are also lightweight and fast-drying boot. The true rubber EVA sole on these boots offers great traction and stability when wearing them.
- Combination leather/synthetic
- Speed-enhancing eyelets
- Fast drying and water-resistant
- 7” high boots offer ankle support
- Aggressive traction EVA rubber sole
- Each boot weighs just 1.2 lbs.
- A little noisy when breaking them in
- There is a small seam on the inside that some people notice when wearing them
9- Belleville KHYBER Side-Zip Tactical Boot
You will notice that many police boots on our review list are water resistant but not waterproof. This is one of those rare tactical boots that actually is waterproof. That’s because they feature a Gore-tex outer liner which keeps your foot dry even when these boots are fully immersed in water. This unique outer lining also makes these boots bloodborne pathogen proof.
The Belleville TR960ZWP KHYBER tactical boot is also comfortable to wear for long periods of time. That’s because it’s a police boot that is lightweight, has an orthotic insole, and a built-in shock-absorbing EVA midsole too.
Even the outsole on this shoe features a superior quality Vibram sole that has a somewhat flexible low profile design. The cowhide leather and nylon fabric upper make this boot more durable and help lighten its weight too.
- Cowhide leather and nylon fabric upper
- Breathable yet waterproof Gore-tex bootie
- 8” high ankle support/side zipping boots
- Non-marking Vibram sole
- Each boot weighs 1.1 lbs.
- Not a great sub-freezing traction boot
- Zipper cover flaps need improvement
10- ‘5.11’ Tactical A.T.A.C. Side Zip Boot
Here is a good looking, fully functional, and durable 6” police boot from 5.11 Tactical. These boots are designed to let police officers and others get through the day with comfortable, dry, and sturdy foot protection.
They are a boot that offers those that wear them the comfort of such features as a cushioning foam insole and a stay-dry moisture-wicking lining. The 5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. The boot also has built-in shock absorption to further add to your foot’s comfort when wearing them.
Other nice features that you get when you purchase this police boot is durable leather and fabric construction and they also have a very unique synthetic sole.
- Leather and fabric construction
- Unique synthetic sole
- Cushioning foam insole/Moisture-wicking lining
- 6” high boot offers decent ankle support
- Shock-reducing design
- The individual boot weighs 1.7 lbs.
- Not a good warm weather boot
- No steel toe protection
Tactical Boots Buying Guide: Features To Focus When Buying Tactical Boots?
It would be nice if you could just focus on price or one other boot characteristic when shopping for a new pair of tactical boots. Unfortunately, if you do that you may just end up with a pair of police boots you are totally unhappy with. That’s why it’s best to look at several different tactical boot characteristics before making your final purchasing decision.
Since you are already reading our article, we assume that you are completely familiar with what tactical boots are used for. That’s why we will jump straight into the topic of the features that make tactical boots stand out.
One of the first things you need to look at when buying police boots is how they are constructed. More specifically, this is the materials that go into making up the outer portion of the boots. The higher the quality of material used in making a pair of police boots the longer they will last you. They will also hold up better as you put them through their paces as you go about doing your sometimes difficult job.
You have to look at things other than what type of durability the material a pair of police boots give you too. For instance; some tactical boot materials are more abrasion resistant than others. This is probably not a big deal to you if you are a police officer assigned to a patrol car. However, at the same time, this would be a very important characteristic to consider if you were a forest ranger.
So it’s very important to consider the material a pair of police boots are made out of and then determine if that material suits the needs of your individual job demands.
- Long-Lasting Comfort
Isn’t this the main goal of every boot manufacturer? In all fairness, all top class boots which our team has reviewed are considered comfortable. It simply does not matter how well the rest of any pair of tactical boots are designed if they are not comfortable when wearing them. There is no one main thing to consider when determining if a boot is comfortable or not. It takes combining several boot characteristics together in order to determine whether a police shoe will be comfortable to wear over the course of a long workday.
Here are some of the main comfort factors to consider when shopping for a new pair of tactical boots:
Weight is important because it will determine how quickly your feet will get tired. It stands to reason the lighter the weight of a tactical boot the longer you will be able to wear that boot without your feet getting tired
If you have ever compared punching a speed bag with your bare fist to punching it with a padded glove you will know how important cushioning is to your feet. It’s no different as you walk or run in a pair of tactical boots. The more cushioning you have in your boots the less you wear and tear your feet will get as you move about.
The more flexible a boot design is the easier it will be on your feet as you move about. Think of it as comparing the comfort of nice flexible sneakers with very inflexible dress shoes. Of course, there will be some tradeoff here for safety and durability concerns too.
One of the easiest ways to get injured when running on the job is to have a pair of boots that allow your feet to move around in them too much. That is why proper support in any tactical boot you buy is so important. At the end of the day, your feet will feel better if they have been properly supported in the right foot areas throughout the day. So look for such things as molded midsoles, lacing, and other attributes that add to the support a pair of boots gives you.
-Stay Dry Lining
Another huge comfort factor when wearing a pair of police boots is what type of lining they have. The best lining will not only keep moisture away from your feet but also will allow your feet to breathe so they stay dry. The best materials to do this are what are known as ‘moisture-wicking’ materials. They can also be found in the top hunting boots – a topic which we have also dabbled into.
The height of any police boot you are looking to buy is a factor in that boots comfort and support level too. Lower height boots will give you more freedom of movement but often have less support. The opposite is true for higher tactical boots; they tend to offer less freedom of movement but add more support to your ankle area. Your individual foot and job needs should be the deciding factor in what height police boots you choose.
- Safety Features
We mentioned one safety factor already that any pair of tactical boots you buy should have and that’s proper support to prevent foot injuries as you move. Other boot safety features include such things as reinforced toe areas, puncture-proof soles, and cut resistant material. If you can find a pair of police boots that offer this type of safety protection it’s a big bonus.
- Waterproofing/Water Resistance
It’s very tough to make a tactical boot that is completely waterproof because these tend to take away from a boots performance and comfort. It is easier to construct a waterproof work boot because you can sacrifice some of the flexibility. There are however some model police boots that are indeed waterproof. At the very least you want a pair of police boots that are highly water-resistant.
- Anti-slip Outsole
One of the most important parts on any police boot is the outsoles on those boots. That’s because they are not only a part of that boot support system but they also play a big role in what type of traction you get when wearing a particular pair of tactical boots. Look for boots that have rubber soles or Vibram soles for the best combination of support and slip-resistance.
- Zippers vs Laces
These days you have many choices when it comes to how you secure your police boots on your feet. This is usually done using laces, zippers, Velcro or some combination of more than one of these. This choice comes down largely to personal preference but it does affect how much a particular pair of tactical boots appeal to you.
You have probably heard some horror stories about a pair of expensive tactical boots that fell apart just a few months after purchase. Scenarios like that can and do happen. That’s why you need a good boot warranty to protect you against this very thing.
What should you look for as far as a warranty is concerned with police boots? For one, you need a warranty that covers the tactical boots you purchase for a lengthy period of time if possible. You also want a warranty that’s all-inclusive and covers every single part on your new boots.
A warranty can also be a very helpful deciding factor when choosing between two pairs of boots that are very similar all the way around.
Tactical Boots – Basic Parts
We know we are throwing a lot of information your way about tactical boots in this article. It’s necessary though if you truly want to find the best police boots for your needs. The information will not be as helpful to you though if you don’t know the basic anatomy of a pair of tactical boots.
Here is a quick tutorial on the different parts that come together to make a pair of police boots:
- Boot Upper
The upper on a police boot is the area that extends from your ankles all the way to the very top of the boot. Tactical boots upper must offer a combination of support and flexibility at the same time. This area of the boot also contains lacing and/or zippers to help take your boot on and off.
The midsole on a boot has to do with the arch area of your feet. This is important because this is where your feet get a lot of impacts as you walk or run. That’s why many tactical boot midsoles feature padding for comfort and also some shock-absorbing and support capability.
This is the very bottom of the boot. The outsole has the important job of providing traction and foot support at the same time. Outsoles also add safety to a boot if they are puncture-proof or puncture resistant.
The collar of a tactical boot is located at the very top of the upper. These usually have some sort of padding and sometimes they even have strapping or strings that enable you to close the boot opening tightly. Often times there is a heel loop attaches to the back of the collar to help you pull your buts on easier.
This is the very inside of your boot that comes into direct contact with your feet. Boot lining is important because it is designed to help keep your feet both comfortable and dry.
How to Clean & Condition Police Boots?
Some of the higher quality pairs of police boots can run you several hundred dollars or even more. When you are spending that type of money on a product you will have to make sure you keep them in good condition. In order to know how to do that we will give you some information on how to take care of your new pair of tactical boots. That way they will last you a long time before you will need to replace them.
Here are of the basic steps for cleaning for your new combat boots:
1- Allow a few days to break in your boots around the house before wearing them into the field. This will allow them to be more comfortable when you first wear them out on the job.
2- Wipe your boots off every day. Dirt, mud, and other solids, when left on your boots, will cause the material they are made of to dry out and deteriorate faster.
3- Always keep your boots dry. Again this helps the material they are made of the last longer and also keeps them from starting to smell which is a big bonus.
4- Treat the boot material from time to time. There are plenty of creams oils and other shoe treatments in the footwear marketplace that will help extend your boot’s useful life. This is especially important if your boots have such materials as leather or suede in them. The manufacturer’s directions will usually tell you how to specifically treat your pair of police boots.
5- Keep the soles free from grease, oils, and petroleum-based products. You want to make sure your outsoles are scrubbed and rinsed off at least every week too. That’s because petroleum-based products and grease can break down your police boot’s outsole if it acts on them for a long time.
If you take the time to do these few simple steps we guarantee your new tactical boots will last you much longer than you expected.
A Few Final Thoughts on Purchasing New Tactical Boots
Without a doubt owning the best police boots you can buy will leave your feet feeling much better after a long day on the job. As we mentioned, not all tactical boots are good quality ones so you have to know what you are doing when shopping for them. You also don’t just want to buy the first pair of tactical boots you come across in a store or online either. So take your time when shopping for a new pair of police boots because your feet deserve to be comfortable and well-supported as you work.
You also can never go wrong by purchasing any pair of tactical boots that we reviewed here. If none of those appeals to you then follow our advice in the police boot buying guide. If you do that you are sure to find the best tactical boots for your individual needs.