Best Army Boots: Stylish and Comfortable Foot Protection
These army boots will protect your feet in just about any condition
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON December 5, 2019
Regardless of whether you’re currently in the armed forces or just want to look like you are, army boots are an attractive way to keep your feet safe and secure. The options below are designed to stay comfortable even after a long day on your feet, and they’re capable of handling just about any terrain or conditions you find yourself in. They’re also rugged enough to last for years. And the best part is, you don’t even have to enlist to wear them.
- Best OverallGarmont T8 Bifida Army BootsSummarySummary
This model boasts a breathable footbed and cushioned insole to keep your feet from aching or overheating. The metal eyelets should provide years of faithful service, and the durable nylon webbing isn’t likely to rip or tear.ProsPros
Extremely lightweight construction won’t slow you down on long marches or patrols. The rubber treads have excellent grip, especially in slick conditions.ConsCons
They tend to be narrow, even in the wider sizes, so users with larger feet may feel cramped. The tongue is very thick, which can put pressure on the top of your foot.
- Best ValueSmith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Army BootsSummarySummary
A steel shank provides ample protection against obstacles or attacks, while the EVA midsole gives your foot a flexible and comfortable base on which to stand. The waxed exterior keeps everything looking clean and sleek, with less chance of smudging.ProsPros
The gusseted tongue helps prevent dirt, stones, and other debris from getting inside. Side zippers allow you to put them on and take them off in a flash.ConsCons
It takes a while to break them in, so expect a few uncomfortable days in the beginning. The zippers aren’t particularly strong, so don’t use them to pull the shoe on.
- Honorable MentionDanner Tachyon Coyote Army BootsSummarySummary
A removable insole allows you to insert additional cushioning or even a custom orthotic. The synthetic upper dries very quickly, making them suitable for use in any weather.ProsPros
These boots are among the lightest you’ll find, making them an excellent choice for extended use. They feel more like tennis shoes than boots, so running in them isn’t an issue.ConsCons
They’re not the most supportive option on the market, and the ankles are especially weak. They won’t keep your feet terribly warm either, so plan on wearing thick socks when the mercury drops.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Army Boots
- Superior materials. They are made from high-quality materials that ensure durability. In many cases, they use a combination of two materials like leather and nylon through special manufacturing techniques. These boots are also designed to provide the best levels of comfort on the inside to support long periods of use.
- Safety. Army boots are manufactured in line with specific safety standards that make them some of the safest footwear you can choose. They are designed to provide safety when moving through rocks, jungles, and any other harsh terrain without ripping or puncturing.
- Waterproof. These boots are waterproof, which makes them suitable for use in wet weather and also through marshy or swampy terrain. They often come with a special lining that does not allow the entry of water. At the same time, they also remain breathable to ensure comfort.
- Traction. The army boots provide top-quality traction on a variety of surfaces with their special sole design. The materials used for the sole make them last longer and they also provide effective grip on oily surfaces. In addition, these soles can also withstand high temperatures effectively.
Types of Army Boots
Combat boots are the most popular types of army boots available. They are designed to meet military requirements in a variety of conditions. These boots are available in multiple styles and formats. Magnum boots are designed to suit both combat needs and parade ground needs. While being rugged, they also offer enhanced levels of comfort along with protection. For those seeking footwear for versatile use, magnum boots are a better choice.
Special Terrain Boots
Jungle boots are designed for use in hot and humid environments of a tropical jungle and are different from normal leather boots. They have special layers that allow ventilation and have moisture-wicking properties to keep feet comfortable. The desert boots are created for desert warfare where the climate is hot and dry. They are designed to enhance ventilation and prevent sand from getting in them.
Mountain Combat Boots
Mountain combat boots are specially designed for mountain warfare and use in high altitude terrains. They offer insulation to protect the feet from low temperatures and additional ankle stability for moving through rough and rocky terrains. These boots also have special outsoles that offer effective traction on snow and ice. A more advanced form termed as the modular boot system is also available for professionals. Those boots offer support over a wide range of temperatures ranging between minus 20 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and over a variety of terrains.
Founded in 1964, Garmont has an Italian origin and offers a range of products for the outdoor lovers. They specialize in footwear that supports an active lifestyle and uses a range of innovative technologies to develop their products. They offer tactical boots for all forms of outdoor activities including mountaineering, hiking, travel, and winter use. The Garmont T8 Bifida Army Boot is one of their best-selling products.
Smith & Wesson
With its headquarters in the city of Springfield, Mass., Smith & Wesson was established in 1856. Though they are more known for their firearms, they are also one of the top brands that manufacture army boots. Their products ensure all day comfort for the users with its high-quality craftsmanship. The Breach 2.0 Army Boots are one of the most popular boots from the brand and is used by professionals from law enforcement.
Altama has been manufacturing tactical footwear since 1969 and it became a supplier for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2017. The brand invests a significant amount of resources into necessary research and development for making best-in-class products. It offers a variety of models to the buyers that serve specific purposes and the Foxhound Boot is one of its best products.
Army Boots Pricing
- $50-$100. In this price range, some basic tactical boots including light assault boots are available. They offer a combination of grain leather and nylon for good durability. Some models also come with steel toes and shanks for extra stability and protection.
- $100-$150. The army boots within this range are manufactured using processes that are compliant to ASTM standards. More attention is paid to finer details and there are features like ankle stability, breathability, and high-grade hardware.
- $150 and up. This price range offers tactical combat boots designed for professional use. They can withstand extreme temperatures and come with special linings like Gore-Tex. Outsoles are designed for higher performance and are developed from high-grade rubber compounds like Vibram.
While buying army boots, the overall construction of the same is an important factor. The material of the footwear should ensure that the unit is sturdy as well as durable. The best military boots use high-quality nylon along with cowhide leather or suede leather to ensure durability and abrasion resistance. As regulations prevent the use of synthetic leather and mesh fabrics in army boots, make sure that such materials are not used in the upper surface.
Whether you are buying a military boot for using it during work or for outdoor purposes, comfort plays a vital role. An adequate level of cushioning, padding, and shock absorption should be there to make the shoes comfortable. If you are planning to wear these boots in extreme conditions, the right level of ventilation along with waterproof features should also be present.
A lightweight boot will make use more comfortable for you in all aspects. Higher weight will result in more fatigue in the leg muscles and discomfort during prolonged use. It will also prevent quick movement over tricky terrains. At the same time, lighter weight does not mean reduced durability. Maintaining the right balance between the two is an important part of choosing the right tactical boot.
- Outsole. The traction offered by a boot in a wide range of terrains makes it dependable for versatile use. The outsole should be made from high-quality rubber along with well-placed lugs, which make it slip-resistant. Some of the top brands do considerable research on the tread design of hiking boots and it is best to choose a dependable option.
- Midsole. The midsole of a boot is an important part and it determines the comfort level offered by the boot. There are various materials used for midsoles. Among them, EVA and polyurethane are the most common ones. Polyurethane can retain its shape for longer periods and are more durable. Some boots also come with steel shanks that protect the feet from sharp edges.
- Fit. Getting the fit right is important when choosing all footwear, including army boots. Many manufacturers develop the boots with a wide pattern that has a bigger toe box. The ideal pair of boots should neither fit too tightly nor too loose. A snug fit that offers enough toe room is the right choice. Also keep in mind to choose an effective lacing pattern, which will help you in making much-needed adjustments.
Best Army Boots Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Best Overall: Garmont T8 Bifida Army Boots
This heavy-duty boot has been designed to tackle tough conditions and offer the right level of support for the feet. Made from a combination of suede leather and rubber, the shoe can handle dry and wet environments with equal ease. The Gore-Tex layer provides sufficient insulation in cold weather and the Vibram outsole helps in enhancing the traction. The EVA insole also ensures reliable performance under heavy loads.
This is also an AR 670-1 compliant boot that ensures quality. The high-quality metal eyelets have no optical refraction, which makes them well-suited for military personnel. The lightweight and flexible ankle design makes the boot easy to wear and comfortable. The ball bearing system in the insole keeps the foot secure and stable over a variety of surfaces. The waterproofing is also dependable and keeps the foot dry.
Even though it is breathable, this boot is not the best choice for hot and humid weather. Some users have also reported the presence of friction points in the tongue and heel area. Individuals with large feet may find the fit on the narrower side. The unit also needs a significant amount of time for breaking in.
Best Value: Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Army Boots
This boot from Smith & Wesson has been designed to provide superior performance at an affordable price. The upper layer is made from leather and nylon and it keeps the unit durable as well as light in weight. The gusseted tongue keeps out debris and adds to the overall comfort. With the combination of an EVA midsole and a steel shank, this tactical boot provides durability as well as protection. The boot also has a side zipper that helps you to put it on with ease.
The non-marking rubber sole has a lug pattern that ensures good traction over slippery terrain. The outer layer makes the boot water-resistant for use in wet conditions. In addition, the design provides sufficient ankle support without making the fit restrictive. The boot is available in two different attractive color shades of black and coyote.
These boots, however, are not waterproof and therefore not ideal for moving through wet grounds. The lack of insulation also means it is not suited for cold temperatures, either. The steel shank makes the unit heavier, making it not the best choice for running. The fit can also be an issue with those having large feet.
Honorable Mention: Danner Tachyon Coyote Army Boots
Danner used full-grain leather along with high-quality nylon in the upper part of this shoe for durability. The special polyurethane material used in the footbed has an open cell structure that helps it to absorb shocks. It also helps to ensure better air circulation within the shoe. To make the fit snug, there is a special three-layer comfort system along with speed-lacing technology.
The Tachyon sole is made from superior grade rubber that is enhanced with pentagonal lugs. These ensure maximum surface contact and better grip. The toe box is roomy in nature to keep the feet comfortable. It is also designed to provide an optimized fit in the heel region for better foot stability. The outer fabric is sufficiently breathable to make this unit a good choice as a hot weather boot.
These boots do not have any special mesh lining, so they are not suited for moving through water or snow. The lack of padding in the ankle area can make them unsuitable for some users. They also tend to run small and those with large feet can struggle with the fit.
Best Army Boots Overall:
Best Army Boots Honorable Mention:
- One of the primary compromises you’ll make with army boots is how much cushioning they have. Obviously, more cushioning will make them more comfortable, but it will also likely make them hotter and heavier.
- This type of boot was created to protect your feet and ankles in extreme conditions, so don’t be surprised if they’re a bit stiff before you break them in. That being said, they shouldn’t be extremely uncomfortable at first, and if they are, find another pair.
- These shoes aren’t of uniform height, so consider how tall you want them to be. The higher they are, the more ankle protection and stability they’ll provide, but this is often at the expense of flexibility elsewhere in the boot. Decide which is more important before you make your purchase.
Q: Why are there so many choices? I thought there was only one kind of army boot?
A: Army boots are, strictly speaking, any boots that meet the military’s specifications for combat use. However, the term is broadly used to describe any boots that resemble those used by military personnel. The military uses a wide range of boots and other footgear, as the best option is usually determined by the environment in which it is used.
Q: Can army boots be worn in any climate?
A: Typically, army boots are designed to be tough enough to handle any conditions. However, most will be specifically made for a certain purpose or environment. Tan boots, for example, are likely designed for desert use. That being said, if you’re not an active member of the armed forces, you’ll likely find that your army boots can handle anything you throw at them in everyday civilian life.
Q: What is the best material for army boots?
A: This depends on their intended use. Most will have rubber soles to provide traction in any environment. The rest of the shoe will be flexible yet durable, so look for leather, thick nylon, or polyurethane. If it’s a desert boot, portions of it may be mesh to improve breathability.
The Garmont T8 Bifida Army Boots are both extremely lightweight and impressively durable, so they should provide you with years of comfortable service.
While not as lightweight as the Garmonts, the budget-friendly Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Army Boots boast a built-in steel shank to protect your feet from all kinds of danger, plus they’re easy to keep clean.