Are Military Boots Good For Hiking? All You Need To Know in 2023! 

Military boots are known for their superb quality and durability that allow soldiers to protect their feet in extreme conditions, but, are military boots good for hiking? 

Well, since they’re comfortable, resist impact quite well, and are sturdy and well-built, yes, military boots can be considered a good option for hiking if we´re talking about lightweight ones.

Which is not the majority. Military boots in general, are very heavy, which is a huge detriment for hiking.

But what are the differences between professional hiking boots and the best military boots for hiking? 

What are the pros and cons of hiking in military boots? 

are military boots good for hiking

Keep on reading to find out the answer to this and other questions, as well as check some of the best military hiking boots out there.

Let’s dive right in!

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are military boots good for hiking

Are Military Boots Good For Hiking?

As a consensus, no, they aren’t. 

Military boots are heavy, not very much waterproof, and not well-cushioned. All of these elements make it difficult to wear them for a hike.  

Still, if you´re sure you want to use them for your outdoorsy adventures, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Pros

1. They are very well built, which means they´re very durable and offer excellent protection to your feet.

2. They are designed to keep out debris and any random small particles that can get into your shoes, making hiking extremely uncomfortable.

3. They offer amazing ankle support, so you can hike knowing that you won’t easily twist your ankle.

  • Cons

1. These are quite heavy footwear, so walking long distances with them will tire out your feet and legs.

2. They´re not very well cushioned, hence they are not as comfortable as professional hiking boots.

3. Their breathability is poor, so sweaty feet and potential blisters are to be expected. 

Military Boots And Hiking Boots Differences

Hiking boots are usually the go-to option for many hikers or backpackers out there. They are, after all, designed for these activities. 

However, they´re not the only option to hit the trail. Military boots can be a great choice. Let’s check out how they are different from pro hiking boots so you can choose what’s best for your feet.

Military BootsHiking Boots
Extremely durable, versatile, and well-built.
Not very comfortable.
They provide great balance.
You´ll find them with a tough or flexible exterior, according to the activity you’re planning to do.
The insole provides awesome arch support, which translates to less tired feet.
Usually heavy.
They’re waterproof and element-resistant to a certain extent, but not completely.
They´re not only used by people in the army or military organizations, but also by anyone who finds them comfortable.
Sturdy and rugged.
Highly comfortable.
The outsoles have tons of random patterns that provide awesome grip to wet, uneven, and rocky grounds.
Provide great stability and balance.
They provide outstanding ankle and arch support, which avoids injuries and pain.
Extremely lightweight.
They´re waterproof and element-resistant, to enhance their durability.
Can be worn in a different number of settings, such as uneven grounds, water bodies, snow, mud, etc.

So now you can see that to successfully wear military boots for hiking, it really depends on where you´ll go hiking and the weather conditions.

On a parenthesis here, I want to clarify that combat boots or military boots, tactical boots, and army boots are not the same.

So, where combat and military boots are heavier and not very breathable or cushioned (hence, not as comfortable as we’d want them to be), tactical boots are more lightweight, waterproof, and a good option to go hiking, overall.

Now that we have got that misconception out of the way, let’s check out some tips for hiking in military boots.

are military boots good for hiking

Tips For Hiking In Military Boots

As you just read, there are better options than hiking in military boots. 

But, if they’re still your go-to option, a few tips to hike in them will help you make the most of your hiking without getting your feet hurt.  

1. Break Them In First

Wearing any pair of new shoes for the first time is challenging. Now, imagine you´re doing so by walking long distances.

Blisters assured!

Always break in your military boots before venturing into the outdoors, or wear worn-off military-style hiking boots.

You can do this by walking at home while wearing them until they feel comfortable on your feet.

2. Wear The Right Pair Of Socks

Thick (but breathable) socks can help you keep your feet safe from rubbing, sweating, and any other discomforts that can come as a consequence of using military boots for hiking.

3. Don’t Do Long-Distance Hikes

Since military boots are heavier than hiking boots, it might not be a good idea to wear them if you´re planning to do long hikes.

This will certainly tire your feet out, and a hobby that you´re supposed to be enjoying will become a nightmare.

Top 3 Best Military Boots For Hiking

There are still some boots worn by the military forces that are not that bad if you want to go hiking in them. 

Here I present to you the best military hiking boots I could find. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that I´m including tactical boots and other types of boots that are not strictly military boots.

1. Garmont T8 Bifida Tactical Boot

are military boots good for hiking


  • Quite comfortable
  • Good performance in uneven terrains
  • Durable
  • Performs well in wet climates
  • Impact and slip-resistant
  • High-quality rubber soles
  • Very affordable
  • Great ankle support


  • Can be uncomfortable in the tongue and ankle juncture, so try leaving your laces relaxed in that area.
  • It takes a while for them to dry if they get wet.

As I mentioned before, tactical boots are a great option for hiking, and these boots are no exception.

They’re quite comfortable and perform great in several types of terrains, including uneven terrains, which you can bet you’ll get outdoors.

They’re durable and breathable as well.

Also, they do very well in wet weather conditions, which is great if it starts to rain during your hike, or if you’re planning to cross any water body. But they do take a while to completely dry off.

The EVA insole provides great impact protection and the outsoles are slip-resistant and have incorporated Vibram technology, which ensures high-performance rubber soles not only for military footwear but also for outdoor footwear.

On the downside, the tongue design can provide extra ankle support, which might be uncomfortable. This can be solved by leaving the laces slightly relaxed.

They´re very affordable, too.

2. ANTARCTICA Men´s Military Tactical Boots

are military boots good for hiking


  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Great for wide feet
  • Durable
  • Suitable for walking long distances


  • The size can be a problem, make sure to order a size slightly smaller than yours.
  • The arch support is not great, but this can be solved by buying insoles that offer good arch support.

These boots are actually more military-style hiking boots. They’re very lightweight and comfortable.

In addition to that, it takes very little time to break them in! 

Some users have mentioned that the sizing has issues, saying that they received bigger shoes, so keep that in mind. 

Another issue is the lack of arch support, but this can be solved by buying insoles that offer good support.

The toe area has a lot of room, so this will be very helpful if you have wide feet.

They’re also very durable and suitable for long-distance walking.

3. Bates Men’s Ranger Military and Tactical Boots

are military boots good for hiking


  • Comfortable
  • Budget-friendly
  • Good quality insole and outsole
  • Great ankle support and protection
  • Sizing is perfect
  • Steel-toed, so they’re good as working boots, too


  • They can be narrow in the toe area

These are great hiking boots for military purposes. 

They have EVA-made insoles that provide extra comfort, and the outsole is made of high-quality rubber.

They are budget-friendly and offer great ankle protection, which is great if you plan to wear them in a place with venomous snakes.

They’re quite comfortable and the sizing is perfect. Plus, they’re steel-toed, too, so they can be used for work settings that require feet protection.

On the downside, they can be a bit narrow in the toe area, so I’d recommend skipping them if you have wide feet.

are military boots good for hiking

Types Of Military Boots

There are several types of military boots that military personnel use according to different situations.

1. Composite Toe Military Boots: These boots have composite toe caps instead of steel toe caps. This makes them offer better toe protection and be more lightweight.

Composite boots can be made from non-metal materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, or plastic. They are great for workplaces with metal detectors.

2. Steel Toe Military Boots: For military personnel who need heavy-duty protection, these boots will be perfect and will protect your feet from any harsh blows.

3. Soft Toe Military Boots: Very comfortable and lightweight, these boots are usually worn by Army soldiers. So, if you were wondering “are army boots good for hiking?”, these army hiking boots certainly are.

4. Lightweight Military Boots: Very comfortable and flexible, these are great for hiking or walking long distances without leg fatigue. It is also a great option for our “are military boots good for hiking” question.

5. Hot Weather Military Boots: These are great for deserted or arid terrains or extremely hot weather conditions. They´re very breathable and have drain soles for letting the sand out.

6. Jungle Military Boots: A great option for warm and wet climates, they´re very easy to clean, and have drain holes for letting the water out.

7. Waterproof Military Boots: Lightweight, very breathable, and of course, waterproof, these boots will keep all the moisture out, including your sweat. 

They’re made of GORE-TEX technology, spreadly used in the outdoors industry. Awesome military hiking boots that are waterproof, for a change.

8. Insulated Military Boots: Made of Thinsulate, a top-notch technology that blocks the cold, these boots are certainly made for extreme cold weather.

9. Side-zip Military Boots: Perfect for occasions where speed is a necessity, they can be easily put on and taken off.


What’s The Difference Between Combat Boots And Hiking Boots?

The difference between combat boots and hiking boots is that hiking boots are footwear designed for hiking or other outdoor activities, and combat boots are made for military personnel. That being said, you can still wear them for different purposes than the original ones.

This means you can wear them for working, hiking, trekking, some military activities (as long as they comply with the requirements of the different military branches’ dress codes), etc. 

It depends on the terrain, purposes, and climates, among other factors.

are military boots good for hiking

Are Military Boots Good For Everyday Use?

If you’re wondering if military boots are good for everyday use, military boots are extremely versatile, so yes, they could be good for everyday use, but depending on the model you´re using. They can be comfortable and lightweight, or less comfortable and heavy.

Again, it depends on the type of boot you use and the places you´re planning to go to. 

If you can wear more comfortable and lightweight footwear than military boots for your daily life, I would highly recommend it.

Are Combat Boots Good For Feet?

Yes, combat boots are good for feet. As long as your hiking combat boots have good arch support and waterproof materials, they can be good options for any season or work setting. Make sure you choose a pair of boots with excellent ankle support as well as breathability.

Are Combat Boots Comfortable?

Combat boots can be comfortable, but it depends on the type, purpose, and style of the boot. Keep in mind that most of them are heavy and don´t have great breathability, which will definitely cause discomfort.

are military boots good for hiking

Are Combat Boots Good For Snow?

Yes, combat boots are good for snow since insulated military boots are purposefully made for cold climates. They are usually comfortable, have great insulation, and have great traction on snow-covered grounds.


Now you know the answer to the question: “are military boots good for hiking?”

The answer is, that it depends. If we´re talking about military hiking boots that are lightweight and breathable for hiking in the rain or crossing water bodies, then waterproof military boots will do the trick. 

If you need to hike long distances and are afraid of leg fatigue, go for lightweight military boots or military-style hiking boots with good arch support.

I hope you found this article useful. If so, consider sharing it with that friend who´s crazy about hiking gear (we all have one, right? :D).

Keep on finding adventures!

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