are combat boots good for hiking

Are Combat Boots Good For Hiking?

If you plan to go hiking, but all you have is a pair of combat boots, and you’re wondering if combat boots are good for hiking, you’ve come to the right page.

 Considering that they’re not a popular choice for hiking, it got us wondering, too, so let’s find out, shall we? 

One of the general rules with hiking is to make sure you wear proper and comfortable shoes when you’re hiking. 

This is important to ensure you do not sustain any injuries while on the trails.

Appropriate shoes will provide sufficient support and protection for your feet and keep them warm in cold environments without compromising comfort. 

So can you hike with combat boots? Technically, yes, you can

But many seasoned hikers and military veterans do not recommend them because they are uncomfortable, bulky, and not optimized for hiking, especially long-distance. Most hikers prefer lighter footwear like trail runners and hiking shoes. 

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Should You Use Combat Boots For Hiking?

To quickly summarize, the answer to this question is, it depends. They’re not the best shoes for hiking, but you can still use them, especially if you’ve already broken them in.

These boots are heavy, rugged, and bulky, and while they’re not the most comfortable pair of footwear, they will undoubtedly get the job done on any path or terrain. 

However, this does not mean they’re bad for you. 

You can still wear them on the trails but remember to consider their weight, as many describe it as similar to wearing weights on your ankle when you hike.

Heavier loads on your feet will result in more energy being used during your journey and hence, can tire you out much faster. 

Despite all this, if you find yourself snug and comfortable in a pair of combat boots, then, by all means, you should try them out on your hikes!

Most people can discover combat boots a little too much for their feet, but boot brands are more compliant and will feel a lot comfier than the military-issued boots, so we’re sure there’s a solution for everyone!

Advantages of Wearing Combat Boots For Hiking                                                                         

  • Stiffer soles 
  • Suitable for carrying heavy loads 
  • Tougher exteriors 
  • Rugged
  • Uppers that keep out debris and keep you dry when crossing streams. 
  • Higher ankle provides more support
  • Great durability

Combat boots offer outstanding durability and protection despite the weight for those who are comfortable wearing them, especially if you’re looking for a pair of hiking shoes that are tough and sturdy. 

It also has excellent ankle support to keep ankle injuries at bay while you hike. 

They are made to withstand harsh conditions and can typically be heavier than most hiking shoes because of the materials used to build them. This also means that they would defy extreme conditions and can be used on almost any terrain, easy or hard. 

Disadvantages of Wearing Combat Boots For Hiking 

  • Bulky and uncomfortable 
  • Heavy 
  • Not breathable 
  • Lack ankle support 
  • It takes a while to break into
  • Not appropriate for casual wear

Combat boots tend to have warmer interiors because of the materials used, and they tend to feel a little stuffy over a prolonged time. They are also heavy and bulky – not ideal if you plan to pack them for hiking excursions elsewhere. 

These boots are also not the ideal pair of shoes for walking long distances or for longer treks in the wilderness.

 As combat boots lack flexibility and support in your feet, you may find your feet aching much sooner than you’d expect, which can be a bummer, so it might be better to get proper shoes if you plan to do longer hikes in the future. 

What To Look Out For In A Pair Of Combat Boots For Hiking?

Some of the essential qualities you should look for in a pair of combat boots that you plan to use for hiking are: 

  • Durability 
  • Good fit 
  • Water resistance 
  • Good ankle support 
  • Stability
  • Comfort (Important to break it in first)
  • Breathability

Combat boots come in several options within the hiking boot category as follows: 

  • Backpacking boots for more strenuous hikes – Great for long trips on and off the trails and for carrying heavier loads 
  • Traditional low-cut models with flexible midsoles – Great for long-distance journeys and for those who like to travel light 
  • Day hiking boots with mid-to-high cut should be broken in beforehand to avoid blisters and are designed for shorter trips. 

One of the most critical factors determining if combat boots are suitable for hiking is the overall support that the shoe provides for the hiker – internally and externally. 

The boots must have proper cushioning so that your comfort and stability are not affected when you explore different trails and terrains. 

The midsole plays a big part that impacts the cushioning and stiffness of the boots.

If you’re looking for comfort, best to look out for boots with polyurethane or EVA midsoles for a more comfortable adventure on the trails. 

On the other hand, the internal support is thick inserts called shanks, which are at least 3-5 mm and placed between the midsole and the outsoles.

You’ll find semi-flexible inserts below the leg called plates that help absorb shock when walking. 

Lug and heel patterns are often featured on the outsoles, mostly made of rubber with additives added to them to boost hardness and improve grip. If you intend to explore hiking or go mountaineering, it is also vital that your boots have crampon compatibility

In addition to this, the upper materials of your combat boot will affect how durable, water-resistant and breathable your shoes are. 

They should also be able to fit snugly, and you should have enough room to wiggle your toes around comfortably.

This is crucial because feet tend to swell over time due to increased muscle use and blood flow, which can cause swelling in your foot and toes. 

Best Tips For Hiking In Combat Boots 

Should you decide to go hiking in combat boots, here are some tips to keep your feet happy on your hike: 

  • Ensure your boots are broken in properly before wearing them for long periods.
  • Many people experience blisters when wearing combat boots for the first time, even more so if you’ll be using them for hiking.
  • Break your shoes in with socks over a few days over short distances and with a few extra pounds around the block in the next few weeks. This will help your feet ease into the boots better without hurting them too much.
  • Ensure your boots fit you properly, and your ankles feel supported throughout to ensure you don’t trip or injure yourself on the trails. 
  • Ensure that your feet are clean and dry before putting your boots on.
  • Your feet may start feeling sweaty inside the boots if they’re damp and trust us, and it can feel pretty gross. 
  • Use alcohol to stretch your boots. Soak cotton balls with alcohol and moisten the tight spots on your boots. Then, put your boots on and walk around the house or the neighborhood to get the alcohol working on expanding your boots.
  • You can also use a hairdryer to help break in your boots. While wearing your boots with your socks on, use the dryer to heat the areas that feel tighter in your boots. Remember to flex your feet while you do and watch the leather stretch!

Best Combat Boots For Hiking

1. Reebok’s Women’s 8” Sublite Cushion Tactical Boots 

are combat boots good for hiking

The Reebok’s Sublite Tactical Boots are lightweight and comfortable which is perfect for those looking for durable boots that don’t compromise comfort. These boots take a while to break in, but they’re perfect to use for long hours once you do. 

These military-style combat boots for hiking also have plenty of toe space without being too bulky, and gel soles inside the boots cushion your feet perfectly for a cramp-free hike. 

What we like about these combat boots for hiking: 

  • Made of leather and textile 
  • Full-foot flex grooves 
  • Lightweight cushioning 
  • Rubber soles
  • Available in wide sizes

What we didn’t like: 

  • Lack shock absorbency 
  • Does not last very long 
  • Minimal arch support 

2. Cestfini Snow Tactical Trekking Boots For Women

are combat boots good for hiking

For those looking for style and comfort, the Cestfini Snow Tactical Boots might be for you. These lightweight tactical boots for hiking are a great addition if you’re looking for something light, comfortable, and supportive. 

They work well on slippery surfaces as they come with rubber soles that provide excellent traction for any surface and a fantastic vent design that will keep your feet dry even on wet and rocky trails. 

What we like about these combat boots for hiking

  • Made of leather and textile 
  • Stylish
  • Good quality breathable lining 
  • Rubber soles
  • Comfortable cushioning 

What we didn’t like: 

  • Prone to mildew formation  
  • Sizes tend to run big
  • It doesn’t last long 

3. Under Armour Women Stellar Military and Tactical Boots

are combat boots good for hiking

The Under Armour Stellar Military Boots is one of the best combat boots for hiking as they are lightweight and comfortable and perform very well in cold weather. They have insulated interiors that keep your feet warm and excellent arch support that provides supreme comfort. 

These boots also have a long-life shelf and are very durable, great for rugged terrains and long-term use. However, they will be required to be broken in properly before wearing them out to prevent any blisters and the likes on your adventure on the trails. 

What we like about these combat boots for hiking

  • Durable 
  • Comfortable 
  • Good traction 
  • Water-resistant 
  • Dries quickly

What we didn’t like: 

  • Narrow fit
  • It takes a while to break-in 
  • Bulky

Are Combat Boots The Same As Hiking Boots? 

Although combat boots are slightly different in terms of characteristics from hiking boots, you can use both for hiking. 

Combat boots have more safety and durability features, making them ideal for walking in challenging terrains. However, choosing a pair of hiking boots depends on your personal preferences. 

Combat boots provide the ultimate protection for your feet with their sturdy construction and materials which make them heavier than most shoes. Hiking boots, on the other hand, are easier to break into and are a lot more versatile and lightweight. 

Essentially, despite being somewhat similar in appearance and basic functions, it all depends on what you’re looking for and the various factors you should consider. 

Take into account what the terrain will be like, how flexible your boots should be, the kind of grip that is needed, comfort, breathability, stability, balance, and the type of weather you’ll be hiking in. It’s important to remember that combat boots can be hard to dry when it gets wet so make sure you’re wearing the right type of shoes on your hike!

Are Combat Boots Comfortable For Walking? 

When traveling, either long or short distances, you will want to have a pair of boots that your feet and ankles are comfortable and supported in, which is what combat boots are great for. Combat boots for women have come a long way from utilitarian uses, and you can use them for fall or winter if you get yourself a waterproof pair. 

Are Combat Boots Good For Feet?

Combat boots provide extra stability in their midsoles that can prevent the foot’s arch from collapsing, making them suitable for those who work all year-round, regardless of the season. They also have moisture-wicking properties that help keep your feet dry in wet environments. 

While it is not advisable to use combat boots for hiking, it does not mean you can’t.

Combat boots provide durability, more rigid exteriors, and more support for those looking to explore challenging trails and long distances.

However, it is essential to remember to break them in correctly to avoid blisters. 

We hope this article has helped you understand why and how you can efficiently use your combat boots for hiking without the injuries that many complain of having when they use them.

As long as they fulfill your goals regarding hiking footwear, we’re sure you’ll have no trouble using them on your adventures, anytime. 

Good luck!

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Are Combat Boots Good For Hiking?

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