10 Best Tactical Boots for Running on Differnet Terrains (2021)

For those who have used sneakers/low-top sports shoes for the purpose of running for many years, the idea of “running in boots” is somewhat confusing to them.

We used to think just like you until we found out the truth that changed our mind forever.

The truth is that people like military soldiers who typically run through rough, and harsh terrains for half a day choose tactical boots over sneakers.

That is because modern tactical boots not only act as running shoes but also thoroughly protect the feet from external dangers such as fire, electricity, or venomous animal bites.

Besides, they are perfectly durable, many times more than regular running shoes.

And this makes your budget work better when you do not need to think too much about buying new running footwear every few months to replace the fast-worn-out old ones.

However, there is another truth you need to know. Wearing tactical boots can be very pleasurable and protective, but running in these boots is a whole new ball game for you.

Sometimes, this is a lot more challenging too.

Many people have ended up wounding their feet for the first time.

Yet, the story will completely change if you can pick yourself the best pair of tactical boots.

That’s why we come up with the 10 best tactical boots for running for you in this article.

But let’s take a first look at why tactical boots are good for running and how to pick the best ones for yourself.

Why are tactical boots the best choice for running?

Modern tactical boots are far more innovative than the traditional military boot lines.

They are more diverse and made of quality materials that can be easy-to-use for both daily running exercise, and tactical operations such as hiking, hunting, or professional law enforcement.

Modern tactical boots often feature waterproof, extra foot (ankle, heel and arch) support, and a high level of comfortability.

That means the wearer can run for miles every day in this pair of boots without encountering any foot health problem.

Use in all-weather conditions

Tactical boots are primarily designed for tactical operations.

This requires the boots to work well in all terrain and weather conditions, making them vital footwear to the users.

You can find lightweight, good ventilation and scratch-free features when looking for a pair of tactical boots for desert terrain, while tactical boots for running in the jungle have added drainage holes on the instep as well as effective moisture-wick.

And many other unique features are integrated with each tactical boot type to suit all weather and terrain conditions.

All of these specialties are things that normal running shoes are unable to deliver the same to you.

Durability

Modern tactical boots are made from the most durable combinations of materials such as 100% full-grain leather, Cordura, mesh, advanced textile, or nylon.

They contribute to weight down the boot without losing its sturdiness, and durability after years of use.

Tactical boots also restrict colorful printing on the boot surface but are largely kept unchanged in monochrome colors such as black, coyote, or brown.

This greatly reduces the chances of flying paint and scratching the print, which causes the boot to quickly look stale and smudged.

Comfort comes with protection

You won’t find any comfort-with-good-protection features in normal running shoes better than a pair of tactical boots.

The boot has been specially improved to provide high-performance foot support, with a sturdy shock-resistant rubber outsole and smooth midsole cushioning that exceedingly relieves foot pain after a long day of activity.

Tactical boots usually have a 6-10 inches high collar, protecting this leg’s part from foreign objects or venomous animals such as snakes and insects.

The boot toe cap is also firmly reinforced for effective anti-kick and anti-collision. The outsoles with anti-puncture features also offer great protection.

Tactical boots for running in the winter/snow are usually added with 200G-1000G Insulation to keep your feet warm and healthy while maintaining breathability.

Better stability and balance

Almost tactical boot outsoles are made of EVA / 100% rubber that is designed with special patterns for exceptional oil-and-slip resistance.

The boot outsole is also thicker and flatter than normal running shoes, creating better stability and balance when wearing, especially when running on rough and slipping surfaces.

Some important things when choosing tactical boots for running

Now it is time for you to consider which are important things when it comes to choosing tactical boots for running.

Types

There are several types of tactical boots available on the market today that are targeted to a specific user. For example:

  • If you are preparing to enter the military, you are required to choose AR670-1 compliant-approved tactical boots if you don’t want to get in trouble with your commander right from day one.
  • If you need a pair of tactical boots for running in jungle terrains, look for waterproof, moisture-wick, and 8-10 inches height features to protect feet from wet, water, mud, and animal bites.

So, pay attention to pick the best ones that suit your upcoming usage for the best comfort and protection.

Materials

Official law enforcement tactical boots often require 100% full-grain leather for the most professional and majestic look.

While casual lightweight tactical boots can be made of quality suede, Cordura, nylon, and textile fabrics to ensure the most comfortable long trail runs for wearers.

Mesh parts that are included in the boot body can help enhance better ventilation and breathability all day long.

Brands

Depending on your budget and use, you can look for a good running pair of tactical boots that are made by FREE SOLDIER, 5.11 tactical, Garmont, Under Armour, and so on.

If you are searching for AR670-1 compliant-approved tactical boots, we recommend some popular brands such as Bates footwear, Rocky boots, Altama, Thorogood, Danner, Corcoran, and Warson Brands.

Features

One of the most important features that a tactical boot has to have is foot support. It makes no sense to pay such a large amount of money for the boot that it makes your foot health worse.

Other essential specialties can be snow-proof, oil-and-slip resistance, water-proof, heavy loads, and ventilation depending on your intended use.

To learn more about the features of tactical boots, you can read more here!

Appearance

This refers to choosing the tactical boots that match your outfit.

If you usually wear tactical boots with a professional military uniform, you will be required to choose a pair of tactical boots that are tan and have a solid form.

If you usually use tactical boots for running and working in normal conditions, ones with an athletic and dynamic look will be easier to match.

Fit

Tactical boots with dense lace-to-toe vamp design are perfectly fitting with 8-10 durable eyelets provided.

Besides, you can look for a side-zip part if you want a more flexible, breathable, and easier take-off-and-get-into process.

The collar height

The height of the boot is also extremely important for the comfort and protection of your legs. If you normally run in normal weather and terrain conditions, the approximately 6-inch high tactical boots will provide better flexibility and comfort to your feet.

If you are about to come through dense jungle or watery surfaces, the 8-inch tactical boots with a thick outsole will keep your feet comfy and dry from getting wet and harm from the external environment.

Colors

Usually, tactical boots come in black, coyote, brown, and camouflage colors.

They also often have boot laces that are the same color as the overall boot, making your outfit and boot choices as homogeneous as possible.

Level of protection

If you are looking for a tactical boot that can be used for a variety of purposes such as work, sports and outdoor running, then be aware of the OSHA standards for the boot that you intend to buy.

OSHA standards require the boot to include the highest safety features such as fire-resistance, electric-resistance, and a specially reinforced toe cap to protect the feet from falling objects.

The 10 best tactical boots for running on differnet terrains

We understand that it can be difficult to choose the best and the most suitable tactical boots for you out of the countless choices on the market today.

That is why we have gathered these 10 best tactical boots for running below to make your comparison, and selection process easier.

1. Best tactical boots for running in the jungle

NORTIV 8 Men’s Military Tactical Boots Lightweight Jungle Boots

NORTIV 8-inch tactical boots are one of the best lightweight and waterproof jungle boots that we highly recommend to you.

The boot is made of quality leather and meshes vamp, ensuring excellent breathability and comfortability without weighing your step down during your long runs.

The ankle thickened mesh design feature reduces greatly your break-in period while providing better fitting for your feet.

Advanced AOSOLITE (PU Foam) & Linen insole is highly sweat-absorbent and soft to keep your feet dry, comfy, and anti-foot fatigue all day long.

The 5mm front thickness and 15 mm back thickness insole also delivers outstanding arch and ankle support to prevent you from suffering blisters and sprains.

The boot features especially the integrated tongue to keep your feet away from water, sand, dry leaves, and gravel debris from entering the boot.

The boot only weighs 540 gr which is one of the most lightweight tactical boots that we’ve ever known, making it the best option for long trail runs for reducing foot fatigue while wearing all day long.

Pros:

  • Excellent ankle support and arch support
  • 100% slip-resistant and stable rubber sole
  • Highly durable and breathable leather and mesh
  • Removable, cushion and shock-absorbent insole
  • Available in 12 dynamic and fashionable colors

Con:

  • Pay attention to picking the right size when shopping online

2. Best tactical boots for running in the desert

FREE SOLDIER Men’s 8-inch Tactical Boots

You will never find anything better than these FREE SOLDIER 8-inch tactical boots for running in the desert.

When you face overheating in the desert, the vented holes in the boot will enhance breathability and airflow to keep your feet dry while draining almost moisture from the inside out.

The boot is made of quality suede leather with 1000D Cordura fabric for a high-performance lightweight, durability, and scratch-free.

Especially the toe cap is firmly reinforced to improve anti-kick and anti-collision, helping to protect your feet from external shock.

The highly wear-resistant and sweat-wick insole is perfect for those who sweat heavily in their feet sole during hot weather.

Besides, the boots feature outstanding ankle support and arch protection due to EVA midsole cushioning, greatly reducing the risk of getting foot fatigue after a long day of activity.

No matter in the desert, trad climbing, hiking, or at duty work, this boot will be the best option for maximum comfort, lightweight, and long-lasting.

The Gusseted tongue part is designed to prevent sand and dirt from getting inside the boot.

Pros:

  • Excellent multi-purpose quality boot construction
  • Great anti-wear feature
  • Available in 6 dynamic-look colors
  • Outstanding lightweight, anti-slip and strong-grip rubber outsole

Cons:

  • You need to be aware that these boots are made in china
  • Thin boot upper

3. Best tactical boots for running in the mountains

Garmont Men’s T8 Bifida Tactical Military Boots

These Garmont Bifida Coyote tactical boots have received so much positive feedback from worldwide customers for being one of the most suitable boots for running in the mountains.

What makes this boot so great are its features of an excellent lightweight, outstanding slip-resistance, and attention to the foot support details.

The boot is made of durable leather, 600D nylon upper and nylon webbing lining, providing perfectly lightweight feels and awesome comfort for the wearer during long hiking.

The high-performance 100% rubber outsole features special patterns to deliver better grip, slip resistance and stability even under heavy load while climbing or overcoming harsh mountainous terrains.

Well-constructed stiff arch, comfortable fitting and the EVA insole provides great foot support for ankles, heel and arch during long periods of excessive hiking, and running.

The breathable upper construction offers outstanding ventilation, and a quick moisture-wick feature that is suitable for running in the tropical forest, and mountains.

Pros:

  • Oil-and-slip resistant rubber outsole
  • Rated as one of the most gripping tactical boots
  • Excellent comfortability, safety, and balance
  • Great sweat-wick and moisture-wick
  • Providing a wide range of size and half-size options
  • Perfectly fit, stiff arch for better foot support

Con:

  • It may take a while for the break-in period due to its rigid material under the laces

4. Best tactical boots for running in the snow

5.11 Tactical Men’s ATAC 2.0 8″ Boots

5.11 ATAC Men 8-inch tactical boots are widely rated as one of the most excellent snow tactical boots.

The boot provides great slip-resistance and anti-subsidence on the snow surface due to its unique design of high grooves running across the outsole.

The boot comes in a very sleek, softly thick, and professional black look due to its superb leather and nylon upper combination.

This durable construction promises great wear-and-tear resistance during heavy use and snow-proof for running in the snow.

The absolute lightweight feature also helps weigh down your step when walking in heavy snowfall.

The boot features great foot support due to its dual-density Ortholite footbed with X25 foam underlay, providing better high-performance cushioning and support all day long.

A great amount of Insulation is added to keep the feet healthy and warm.

However, you do not need to worry that these will make the boots less breathable. Because the special tongue is designed to allow maximum airflow and ventilation from the inside out and vice versa.

The innovative full-grain anti-collision leather round toe cap delivers better protection and safety in case you have accidentally bumped into rocks hidden under thick snow.

Pros:

  • Ideal for both work and tactical operations
  • 8-inch high-cut classic black design
  • Maximum ankle and arch support with the Achilles heel feature
  • High-performance shock mitigation system rubber outsole
  • Excellent grip and slip resistance

Cons:

  • It may take a few weeks for the break-in period
  • Pay attention to picking the right size when shopping online

5. Best tactical boots for foot support while running

Merrell Men Moab 2 8″ Tactical Waterproof

These Merrell Men 8-inch tactical boots are considered as one of the brightest candidates for the crown in the rankings of the best foot support tactical boots.

This is due to their excellent toe, heel, arch, and ankle support and protection features.

The KINETIC FIT footbed and air-cushion midsole provide a great level of zonal arch support, stability, and heel cushioning.

The inventive cushion insole is also shock-absorbent and anti-slip. The lightweight waterproof PU coated leather + M-Select DRY waterproof ripstop gives the wearer better flexibility, and durability.

The breathable mesh lining enhances better ventilation and airflow to prevent overheating in hot weather.

This tactical boot design is built to last after years of heavy use while remaining outstanding foot support.

Therefore, this can be your best companion in both work and outdoor tactical activities.

The size zip design offers an easier entry process while also helping to improve ventilation.

Pros:

  • Excellent waterproof feature
  • Protective and anti-abrasion rubber toe cap
  • Highly durable traction Vibram TC5+ rubber outsole
  • Great ventilation and comfortability
  • Athletic-looking design

Cons: 

  • Not 100% full-grain leather made
  • The middle level of wear-and-tear resistance

6. Best tactical boots for running in the hot weather

Danner Men’s Tachyon 8” Plain Toe Boots

Danner has always been well-known for their finest made-in-USA handcrafted boots, and these Danner Men 8-inch tactical boots are rated as one of the best boots for running in the hot weather.

This is due to their durable waterproof rough-out leather and 1000 Denier nylon upper for better lightweight and comfortability.

The idea behind this design is to create athletic-looking tactical boots that act as lightweight trainers.

And this took Danner 80-plus years to research and develop this product line.

The open-cell construction enhances better air circulation while the special-designed tongue improves better airflow and breathability.

The boot inherited Danner Tachyon 100% rubber outsole that is designed in special patterns for better grip and durable traction.

If you are looking for a pair of USA military-approved tactical boots, this Danner Tachyon is for you.

Because the boot has received a AR 670-1 certificate to be worn during your military service.

Pros:

  • A superb abrasion resistance rubber outsole
  • Available in an extended size to reach a wider range of users
  • Lightweight, breathable EVA removable insole
  • Shock absorbent polyurethane footbed
  • Great comfortability and foot-friendly
  • Perfectly fitting with 8 eyelets

Con:

  • The middle level of cushioning

7. Best tactical boots for running in cold weather

Bates Men’s Gx-8 Gore-Tex Insulated Waterproof Boot

If you are looking for a good pair of insulated, breathable tactical boots for running in the cold weather, these Bates Men’s DX-8 Gore-Tex boots are surely your soulmate.

In addition to providing a great amount of 200G Thinsulate Insulation, the GORE-TEX technology surrounding the boot offers a high-performance barrier to prevent water penetration, making it better waterproof and snow-proof tactical boots in the cold condition.

As a result, your feet completely stay warm, dry, and comfy at the same time even in wet conditions.

The ankle-high boot features waterproof leather and ballistic nylon upper for better lightweight.

Excellent fully-cushioned, removable and anti-slip insole provides better maintenance and foot support.

The lightly padded collar reduces the risk of having a longer break-in period.

There are absolutely no metallic components included in the boot construction for security-friendly.

The side zip designs make your insert easier and less trouble during the cold weather.

Pros:

  • Great level of water-poof and warmness
  • Excellent foot support and durability
  • Athletic-looking and fashionable appearance
  • Unsurpassed lightweight and breathability

Con:

  • Available only in black color

8. Best tactical boots for long trail runs

Maelstrom Men’s TAC FORCE 8 Inch Military Tactical Boot

If you are planning any long trail run soon, we highly recommend you to pick these hard-duty Maelstrom Men 8-Inch tactical boots that will greatly benefit you in long-term use.

They are greatly wear-and-tear resistant and anti-foot fatigue due to their outstanding lightweight, high-performance protection, and comfortability.

The polishable black full-grain leather plus nylon upper improves better durability and is waterproof.

The breathable lining bootie construction inside the boot helps keep your feet dry and fresh in wet and hot conditions.

The fully-cushion, shock-absorbent, and replaceable insoles are designed for optimal grip and extra comfort on different types of terrains.

The toe cap and heel are reinforced firmly for greater protection and shape retention.

This boot has retained the trust of veterans and official military soldiers for many years for being the most comfortable and protective tactical boots.

Pros:

  • Effective side zipper for quick and comfortable on-and-off process
  • Flexible, shock-absorbing EVA midsole for extra comfort
  • Innovative padded tongue for better protection
  • Composite shank to enhance stability and foot support
  • 100% rubber outsole features effective traction, grip, and balance
  • Cutting-edge athletic construction provides both a fashionable and professional look
  • Built for a long last
  • A great level of comfortability
  • 1-year quality warranty

Con: 

  • The middle level of waterproof

9. Best affordable tactical boots for running

Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Boots

At an affordable price for the high-quality tactical boots, these Smith & Wesson Men 2.0 Tactical Boots make great good money for the value choice.

They come in 2 basic and easy-to-match colors, Black and Coyote, for you to choose from.

The boot features a durable leather and textile upper for better protection, durability, and softness.

You will not feel any discomfort when wearing these shoes due to their fully-cushion insole and appropriate padded collar.

As a result, it will greatly reduce your break-in period. The boot also features an excellent lightweight and ankle support, making you feel much more comfortable all day long.

The side zip designs provide good ventilation and an easy on-and-off process.

Pros:

  • Perfectly fitting and holding up well
  • Sleek and professional look
  • Outstanding grip and traction rubber outsole
  • Great durability and wear resistance

Con:

  • It may not be a good idea to wear in hot weather

10. Best lightweight tactical boots for running in all-weather conditions

Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Tactical Boot

Never mind what kinds of weather you are about to run in, these Under Armour Men’s Valsetz tactical boots will work out all of your purposes.

This boot is specially made from 100% Synthetic leather and advanced textile upper which is greatly waterproof in all weather conditions without weighing down your every step.

UA ClutchFit ankle support system helps prevent your feet from getting sprains during long trail runs. TPU toe cap provides better protection and extra durability.

The boot perimeter is surrounded by welded PU film for added protection and abrasion resistance.

100% rubber outsole features special patterns to enhance grip and stable traction for any tactical activities such as hiking, trad climbing, or running.

The boot is built to last for years.

Pros:

  • Excellent lightweight and breathability
  • Sporty and professional appearance
  • Durable and gripped outsole
  • Tough size zip for easy insert
  • Great foot and ankle support
  • Exceptional comfortability and fit
  • Comfortable to wear straight out of the box

Con:

  • The middle level of tear-resistance

Wrapping it up

Overall, tactical boots are a type of footwear that is definitely good-money-for-the-value over overvalued sports shoes/ sneakers that are priced based on styles and brands.

So, you won’t have to worry that you’ve bought footwear that costs far from the quality you get.

Famous handcrafted made-in-USA brands such as Danner or Under Armor offer customers a wide range of affordable products while ensuring the best features and best fit for your physical activities such as long trail runs, Fartlek or hiking.

In this article, we have selected the top 10 best-rated tactical boots for running from 10 different trusted brands for you to get the best comparison before making any buying decision.

They are all well-made for excellent durability, protection, and great foot support.

Wondering what tactical boots are good for running? We hope this article is helpful to you.


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