Are Tactical Boots Good For Hiking?

If you’re an avid hiker and you have seen tactical boots for sale online, I know what you’re thinking… Are tactical boots good for hiking? 

The short answer: YES, tactical boots ARE good for hiking, but it also depends on a few factors.

There’s a big difference between regular hiking boots and tactical boots, and depending on the type of hike you’re going on, tactical boots might be a better choice. 

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into using tactical boots for hiking, so you can decide if they’re right for you. 

me hiking in New Zealand , wondering -are tactical boots good for hiking


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What Are Tactical Boots?

Tactical boots are boots that are popularly worn amongst authority organizations (i.e., police force, military, etc.) thanks to their comfortable midsoles & weather-proof features.

If  you are wondering, “what are tactical boots used for”, they are often used as outdoor footwear for long-duration activities (like long-distance walks, hiking, and marching), which is partly why tactical boots are pretty popular amongst military soldiers.

Fun fact:  Did you know that soldiers usually march on average 8-13 miles (12 – 20 km)  in a day with a carry-on weight of 55 lbs (25 kg), including their tactical vest and other essential survival items.

Now that explains why military boots good for backpacking. They’re able to withstand heavy loads even after a long duration.

Features Of A Good Pair Of Tactical Boots

Here are some key features to look out for in a good pair of tactical boots:

  • Oil & slip-resistant outsoles
  • Comfortable cushioned footbeds 
  • Has shock-absorbing midsoles
  • Breathable materials (leather, mesh lining & others)

So here’s the main question;  “can you wear tactical boots for hiking?” Absolutely, yes you can! 

What’s important is that you should have good comfortable footwear that can protect your feet during harsh environments during your hiking adventures.

Tactical Boots v.s Other Boots

Perhaps your hiking friend might give you that judgmental look for considering tactical boots for hiking (hey, it’s a free world here!) Perhaps you may wonder; if there’s a difference between tactical and hiking boots? 

Before we go in-depth on the comparison between tactical boots vs. hiking boots, let’s uncover the comparison between tactical boots’ doppelgänger: combat boots (wait, aren’t they the same?)

Tactical Boots vs. Combat Boots

If you’re confused about these two types of boots, don’t worry. You’re not alone on this. 

Here’s a simple comparison between the two:

Tactical BootsCombat Boots
Thinner material
More flexible
Perfect for lightweight activity
Thick & hard material
Sturdy and 
Heavy-duty usage
User ProfilePeople who want the military aesthetic.People who like the military protective feature.
UsageUse for outdoor activity; hiking & jungle trekking, etc.Long walking trails & military usage
SummaryLight version of a military bootHeavy-duty version of a military boot
Use for Hiking?Are tactical boots good for hiking?
Yes! Absolutely!
Are combat boots good for hiking
Not quite; it is too bulky.

Now that you know the difference between tactical boots and combat boots, let’s learn the difference between tactical and hiking boots.

Tactical Boots vs Hiking Boots

While Tactical Boots and Hiking Boots may look similar, there are some key differences between them. 

Hiking BootsTactical Boots
Better traction grip
Slightly heavier
Thicker sole
Sturdy material
User ProfileA hikerA hiker who wants to look cool (and nothing wrong about that!)
UsageGood for 1-8 hours of hikesGood for 1-3 days of outdoor activity
How It LooksAnkle-length boots with lacing system High-top (above ankle boots) with lacing system
Can use for Hiking?Yes, absolutely! (It’s the name of the boots)Yes, you can use it for hiking!

Ultimately, both hiking and tactical boots are excellent options for hiking.

Again, your footwear plays an important role in your hiking experience as good durable shoes will provide you comfort even after numerous hours of hiking.

Ideally, identify how long you plan to hike and use the information to wear the appropriate boots. (For prolonged use, go for tactical boots!)

Before we move on to the next segment, are you a fan of sports boots? Ever heard of NIKE

Well, did you know that NIKE also released their very own pair of NIKE combat boots (I can’t lie, it really does look quite sleek and stylish)?

Though the main question is, “are Nike combat boots good for hiking?”

Well, if you don’t mind stomping dirt with those beautiful combat boots, then yes! You can certainly hike using Nike combat boots! Though some did complain that it isn’t the perfect gear for hiking as it is not entirely waterproof and is best used for fashionable looks. 

Pros & Cons Of Tactical Boots For Hiking 

If you are still unsure whether you should wear your tactical boots for hiking. Let me help you make your decision!

Here’s a simple table of pros and cons of wearing tactical boots for hiking:

Has good ankle support
Has a deep lug pattern on soles (great for traction)
Sturdy & weatherproof material (combination of leather & rubber)
Serves looks!
Takes time to break in for the shoe
It may not be suitable for those with sweaty feet (not breathable).

Tactical boots are designed for durability and comfort, and they can provide support and protection for your feet.

On the other hand, there are also a few cons to wearing tactical boots for hiking. Tactical boots are often heavier than regular hiking boots, and they can be a bit more difficult to break in as they use a combination of leather and rubber material.

Choose The Right Tactical Boots For Your Next Hike 

Sure, and there are a lot of boots out there, which makes it much easier now to find the right and perfect tactical boots for your precious feet. (I know choices somewhat spoil us somehow, but hey, I’m not complaining!)

So, if you have particular preferences or requirements, then be sure to check out my top recommendations on the best tactical boots for hiking.

Best Quality Tactical Boots For Hiking

You should consider NORTIV 8V Leather Hiking Tactical Boots. It is one of the most popular tactical boots for your hiking trip based on its excellent craftsmanship and sturdy features! 

These are one of the best tactical boots made in the USA because it has durable, shock-absorption midsoles and slip-resistant rubber soles (all 3 key criteria for a good tactical boot are in it!)

Also, what’s amazing about these tactical boots is that they have:

  • Rubber sole with deep lug which provides extra-grip traction.
  • It comes with a hook-loop strap, making it easy for users to wear.
  • Padded heel collar which provides comfort for the wearer.
  • Shock-absorption midsoles which are also another great safety feature!

Best Budget Tactical Boots For Hiking

If you want to keep your hobby expenses on the low, perhaps you can consider FREE SOLDIER Men’s Waterproof Hiking Boots Tactical Boots. Cheap doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s terrible or lacking in quality. 

Honestly, these might be the perfect hiking tactical boots for those on a budget. 

What’s fantastic about these tactical boots:

  • It is made from a highly versatile material which has waterproof features  ( can withstand up to 5 cm water depth)
  • Lightweight material (2.2 lbs / 0.9 kg!) 
  • It has an anti-skid rubber sole which is a great safety feature to prevent the wearer from slipping.
  • High ankle support which is also another great safety & comfortable feature.

Best Mid-range Tactical Boots For Hiking:

If you want the best of both worlds, then consider getting these tactical boots with steel toe: NORTIV 8 Men’s Steel Toe Anti-Slip Tactical Boots

It offers great protection for your toes and is made with breathable materials; however, do note that these boots are not completely waterproof.

What’s amazing about these tactical boots:

  • It is also equipped with a puncture-resistant sole which is a great safety feature.
  • It has zipper closure making it easy for user to wear and remove the boots.
  • Breathable mesh lining making it comfortable for the wearer.
  • Here’s another great feature; it comes with a cushioned EVA footbed

Tips To Wear & Maintain Tactical Boots

Now, if you want to keep your tactical boots for the long run, then you ought to know a thing or two on how to maintain your boots. 

Tips To Wear Tactical Boots For Plantar Fasciitis (Flat Feet)

Hiking with flat feet can be a painful experience, especially if you are not equipped with the correct footwear.

Rather than wincing through the pain 30 minutes after your hike, it’s best that you be well prepared.

Here are my top tips if you do plan to wear tactical boots:

  • Invest in an orthopedic insole
  • Put ice on your heels after wearing boots
  • Choose boots with a rubber sole with solid mid-structure.

How Should Tactical Boots Fit?

Tight boots are the perfect way to put yourself through pain and agony when you’re planning for a long hike. 

Ultimately, the perfect fit for tactical boots should be tight enough for comfort (so that you won’t fling your shoes while walking) while still having enough room to wiggle your toes. 

Pro tip: Get an actual size or half-size bigger!

If you have never had tactical boots before, I strongly advise that you try wearing those shoes in the afternoon before you buy them as your feet would usually swell after a long day as they would during your hike.

How To Maintain Your Tactical Boots (For Long-Term Usage)

Here are a few tips that ensure that your tactical boots will last for many years. 

  • Store your boots in a cool, dry place. 
  • Clean your boots regularly. 
  • Break in your boots before using them for long periods. 
  • Consider purchasing a second pair of tactical boots to rotate between (this can help extend the lifespan of your boots).


Do Combat Boots Work As Hiking Boots?

Yes, combat boots can be used for hiking but aren’t designed for it. Most people like to add an insole to their combat boots when they go hiking so that their feet can be more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to wear hiking socks to add cushioning, water resistance, and breathability, as well as to make your feet feel more comfortable.

What Makes A Boot Good For Hiking?

There are a few criteria to identify a good boot for hiking; you must ensure that the boots provide a balance between lightweight, support, and stability; cushioning and functionality; stiffness and breathability. Additionally, such boots should provide full protection as well as make you feel comfortable when wearing them as you will spend a few hours wearing them.

What Are Tactical Boots Used For?

Originally, tactical boots were used for operations performed by law enforcement professionals, military service members, special ops‚security pros, and public safety workers. These tactical boots are designed to withstand harsh working conditions and are comfortable for long usage as wearers will be wearing these shoes for more than 2 hours or more.

Are Military Boots Good For Hiking?

Yes, Military boots are comfortable and suitable for hiking and backpacking, thanks to their protective features as well as durability. It is especially recommended for people who want more durability and ankle support. Military boots are designed to withstand the most severe circumstances and the most rigorous application. As a result, they are a great option to wear for any backpacking trip.

What Is The Difference Between Tactical Boots And Hiking Boots?

The difference in function between these two shoes is that hiking boots focus on comfort and safety during hiking trails, while tactical boots are multi-purpose and designed for safety, stability, durability, and protection. If you want to get shoes that can be used for other outdoor activities, then tactical boots are certainly a choice as they offer more protection and support to their wearer. 


So, back to the golden question: are tactical boots good for hiking? 

The answer is a mighty YES! Tactical boots are perfect for hikers because they provide the right amount of support and protection for your feet on challenging terrain. 

They’re also durable and versatile, so you can wear them for all sorts of activities, not just hiking. If you’re looking for other types of shoes to take on your next hike, be sure to check out my other articles on hiking boots – you won’t be disappointed!

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