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Tactical Boots vs Hunting Boots | Differences in Design, Function and Features

Hunting is not an easy game. It is a real battle with damages.

You will be required to carry heavy backpacks, equipment, and gears to camp for weeks in a row waiting to hunt for prey.

Let the time and the weather challenge your patience, not the footwear you wear while hunting.

When it comes to hunting boots, you can immediately imagine rugged and heavy high-height rubber boots/field boots with thick, hard outsoles that include large deep lugs.

They work perfectly since that’s what they are meant to serve. But you got more choices for picking up a good pair of boots for hunting than you might think.

Anyone who has served in the military or has a history of active military service/law enforcement is well aware of all-purpose tactical boots.

This footwear is truly literally versatile that you can wear comfortably for work, exercise, uniformity to any outdoor activities, of course including hunting too.

Being a sort of a thrifty person and highly demanding the versatility of footwear, I appreciate tactical boots rather than hunting boots for this function.

But if hunting is a part of your main job that provides daily income, a dedicated pair of hunting boots will be a necessity.

Now, let’s go to the most objective comparison below of the shapes/designs and features between tactical boots and hunting boots.

After all, you will know what suits you and your extent the most and no longer blame me for what kind of footwear I favor.

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Tactical Boots vs Hunting Boots

Now let’s take a deeper look at how to distinguish them, in a more detailed comparison.

What makes a boot tactical boot?

Tactical boots are advanced versions of trad combat boots in an effort to reduce the weight but remain all tactical functions, even more improvement.

They possess an endurable shaft, great ankle and arch support, heel and toe protection and a non-slip rubber outsole.

An amount of proper cushioning and EVA midsole provides extra comfort all day long standing on the boots, even up to 16 hours every day.

Besides, they are one of the most lightweight work boots today that greatly reduce foot fatigues, blisters and foot pains at the end of the day.

Tactical boots are well-known for the design of full-grain leather/quality synthetic leather with mesh/nylon/Cordura/textile upper for lightweight and durability.

For that reason, they often come with a professional sleek look with a polishable toe and shaft, which perfectly satisfy uniformity requirements in offices.

The rubber outsole is one of the outstanding features as well. It is improved constantly to fight against slipping on all kinds of surfaces.

Some can provide oil-and-chemical resistance that can be a great choice for working around industrial areas.

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Nowadays, more and more people have engaged themselves with tactical boots rather than others.

It is obvious that you can save some hard-earned money for this all-purpose footwear since they can do well as your work boots and outdoor boots at the same time.

So what are tactical boots used for?

Many law enforcement professionals, military soldiers, veteran outdoorsmen, and adventurers are big fans of this fantastic all-purpose footwear.

You can wear them as daily work boots as well as fashion footwear as they often possess a very athletic and youthful appearance.

What makes a boot hunting boot?

Hunting boots are literally made for hunting, no more wonder why. Its functionality is enhanced exclusively, rather than as synchronous as tactical boots.

You barely find someone wearing hunting boots for normal running/walking/working since hunting boots are fairly heavier, sturdier, and stiffer than others.

In return, they are a great choice for durability and protection for long periods of staying in wet conditions and extreme weather.

This footwear is broken down into 3 main types: field boots, rubber boots, and snake boots.

LaCrosse Men's Alphaburly Pro 18" Hunting Shoes, Mossy Oak Break up Country, 8 M US
Rocky Men's Lynx Snake Boot-M, Mobu, 9 M US
Irish Setter Men's 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12" Big Game Hunting Boot
LaCrosse Men's Alphaburly Pro 18" Hunting Shoes, Mossy Oak Break up Country, 8 M US
Rocky Men's Lynx Snake Boot-M, Mobu, 9 M US
Irish Setter Men's 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12" Big Game Hunting Boot
LaCrosse Men's Alphaburly Pro 18" Hunting Shoes, Mossy Oak Break up Country, 8 M US
LaCrosse Men's Alphaburly Pro 18" Hunting Shoes, Mossy Oak Break up Country, 8 M US
Rocky Men's Lynx Snake Boot-M, Mobu, 9 M US
Rocky Men's Lynx Snake Boot-M, Mobu, 9 M US
Irish Setter Men's 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12" Big Game Hunting Boot
Irish Setter Men's 860 Elk Tracker Waterproof 1000 Gram 12" Big Game Hunting Boot

Obviously, rubber boots are made from 100% rubber and usually below the knee.

The boot is absolutely waterproof for not being wet inside when soaking in water and snake-proof too.

For that reason, people often use this boot for hunting in the water, snow, or wherever there are snakes and poisonous insects.

Field boots are made from leather and textile to use on land terrains.

They are super sturdy with a large amount of insulation and cushioning to keep the feet warm, fit, and comfy.

Some will mark it “scent-free” to prevent bad odors and foot problems for long periods of wear in unhygienic conditions.

Snake boots often extend their shaft height up to your calf or even below the knee.

This length is really helpful since you will have to come through dense bush or muddy puddles where snakes tend to hide while hunting.

Some boots will come with strong toe and heel reinforcement that prevents sudden bites while moving on the ground.

They are made from hardened leather and fabrics to withstand the strongest and deepest fangs of these poisonous reptiles.

Another thing to notice about snake boots is that almost all of them are exceptionally waterproof to protect the legs against venomous liquids.

The first thing you can notice about these boots is the super-rugged thick black outsole with deep lugs.

This feature provides excellent traction in extreme nature terrains such as jungle, mountain, ice and snow, wet and dense vegetation, or moss streams.

The real height of hunting boots ranges from 8 inches to under-the-knee height.

This is really helpful to give better safety and protection for the legs in dense & thorny bushes and venomous snakes.

Animal hunters and trappers are the biggest users of hunting boots. Besides, fish and game wardens also wear this footwear sometimes for tracking down wild animals in nature.

Differences in design/function

The first thing to tell the differences between the two is their distinctive designs.

We consider 4 aspects related to this matter including appearance, structure, material, and style.

Appearance

Tactical boots usually range from low-cut, 6-inches, 8-inches to a maximum of 10 inches.

While hunting boots often range from 8-inches to under-the-knee height to provide better protection over the ankles and shins.

Tactical boots usually uniform all the colors of the outer parts of the footwear.

For example, black tactical boots will have a black outsole, black leather & upper, and black shoelaces (even with black eyelets).

Coyote-colored boots will have outsoles in the same color as coyote anti-abrasion leather along with sandy or coyote laces.

This creates a very minimalistic and versatile look for the wearer which is appreciated during combats and constant marches on the road.

The boots can easily suit a variety of outfits and can be used for a variety of purposes and circumstances (that’s why we call them all-purpose).

Hunting boots are the exact opposite. You will notice a lot of different colors on the surface of the shoes, even if it is rubber boots or leather boots.

Most of the outsole will be black while the shaft will possess leathery coyote, brown, hazelnuts, or camouflage.

This helps to optimize hiding or camouflage in the bush, on burning grass, or in a grove of trees.

Structure

Tactical boots often have a more streamlined and flexible structure (that’s why it’s called “tactical”).

From the boot collar to the sole, you will see curves that embrace the foot absolutely and rarely open wide.

The ability to hold up well and fit comfortably with a minimalistic design and durable leather is a specialty of tactical boots.

The minimal construction of tactical boots makes them extremely lightweight even when they get wet.

This helps the wearer feel comfortable and flexible when running, jumping, climbing, or standing for long periods of time.

Hunting boots are more complex and rugged in structure than tactical boots. The toe section is wide, round, and required to have protective material is easy to see in this line of shoes.

Water resistance and waterproofness are extremely important for hunting boots since hunters encounter water and wetness anywhere they go in nature.

Therefore, their tongues will be intertwined and more rigid than tactical boots with padded cushions underneath to prevent water from entering from the outside.

Hunting boots emphasize protection and durability above all. Therefore, lightweight doesn’t seem to be taken seriously.

But some advanced versions are trying to weigh the boots down to bring more comfort for long periods of use.

Another important thing to set these two apart is that all tactical boots come with lacing systems while some hunting boots such as rubber boots/snakes boots are not provided with laces.

Material

Tactical boots use mostly full-grain leather, quality leather or suede along with nylon/mesh / Cordura / textile upper.

While hunting boots optimize many different materials such as rubber, leather/suede, plastic, textiles.

Style

Hunting boots have a variety of colors and rugged designs with a distinctive black outsole.

They feature a curved round toe design and a thick and heavy sole with perfect anti-slip deep lugs.

The rubber boots line is designed as a winter boot with softer inner cushions and a good anti-slippery sole. Your hunting life will not be tedious with this colorful footwear.

Tactical boots are usually limited to basic colors like decent Black, Coyote, and Sand. Occasionally you will see Green Sage or Camouflage colors but not so popular in the market.

The tactical boot style is largely military-oriented. Today, some modern tactical boots have an improved and more trendy design with sporty and dynamic details.

Function

Hunting boots are for hunting, literally. And it seems that beyond this purpose you can rarely use them for anything else.

They are often quite heavy and less flexible due to their rugged and bulkier design than tactical boots.

But you can also wear them to keep your feet warm for the winter season as most hunting boots provide fairly good heat retention layers.

Hunting boots deliver perfect protection with a reinforced toe section for good impact resistance when unfortunately hit the rock or tree.

Thick rubber and leather are waterproof and anti-snakebite, even fireproof.

However, most hunting boots do not meet the ASTM standards for superior impact resistance and compression resistance while a large number of tactical boots are ASTM-compliant.

Rubber boots are water-resistant but are difficult to dry out sweat and moisture as well as breath well inside. Hence, bad odors and foot disease are quite possible.

As mentioned above, tactical boots are the all-purpose footwear line.

You can absolutely find any tactical boots that will surely suit your intended use.

Tactical boots have a slimmer and more refined design, so if you need a pair of tactical boots for hunting in the jungle, you should pick something specifically designed for that environment.

Comparison table about design and function between tactical boots and hunting boots

We have made the table below to show you the most dissimilar things between the two, in terms of the design.

Design/FunctionsTactical bootsHunting boots
AppearanceLean and minimalRugged and bulky
StructureFlexible and streamlinedRigid and waterproof-construction
MaterialLeather, suede, mesh, nylon, Cordura, textileLeather, suede, rubber, plastic
StyleProfessional, athletic, dynamic, monotonicColorful and Jungle style, Camouflage
FunctionMultipurposeHunting
WeightLighterHeavier

Differences in features

Now let’s check out which one is delivering better features to please your feet all day long.

Comfort

After all, what do you look for most in a boot for an outdoor activity? It is the comfort.

You will wear them for long periods of time running on the mountain, climbing on the cliff, or jumping out from the peak. The feeling of happy feet at the end of the day means everything.

Both tactical boots and hunting boots hold up very well while fit comfortably around the ankles and legs.

Yet, if you are wearing them in winter or snow, hunting boots seem to be a better option with great insulation and padded cushioning all around. Your feet stay warm and comfy all the way.

However, if you need a good pair of breathable boots in all seasons, tactical boots have to be a perfect choice. They are a well-ventilated, flexible and fast response to your moves.

Besides, high-collar rubber boots seem not to provide enough comfort while wearing as they may not hold up well and fit tight around the legs. As a result, your feet tend to get more fatigue and soreness.

Snake boots are great for protecting the feet from venomous bites.

Yet, their high height extending up the knee will tighten your moves around the ankles while needed for jumping or climbing. You will feel it way so much uncomfortable.

Safety/Protection

In general, hunting boots provide better protection for the feet in jungle conditions.

They have a high collar, super solid and thick construction, and highly waterproof.

Your feet can be kept safe when running through dense and thorny bushes without scratches or injuries.

A proper toe cap can withstand a certain force when kicking the rocks.

Besides, you can believe that almost all hunting boots are snake-proof. Because this feature is a reason why you should buy a pair of hunting boots for your hunting job.

While tactical boots tend to be more neutral when it comes to protection/safety features, especially the snake-proof function as they possess low-profile structure compared to snake boots.

Yet, some 10” tactical boots with thick, heavy-duty leather and nylon construction can fairly be snake-proof as they can somewhat prevent strong snake bites.

In regards to other safety features, tactical boots are not inferior to hunting boots.

Some specialized types of tactical boots also provide excellent ASTM-approved toe and heel safety with steel/composite toe, steel/composite shank (for arch support too), and heel reinforcement to serve well in heavy-abuse conditions.

Convenience

Tactical boots are easy to pair with clothes, and to get ready for fast packing.

A large number of tactical boots are provided with high-performance side zippers that are so convenient and easy to take off and get on the boots everyday day and night immediately.

Besides, many tactical boots also have a speed lacing system, so you won’t have to spend too much time preparing yourself for the adventure.

Hunting boots with tons of eyelets will take you longer time to come to the end of lacing.

You may see some hunting boot types are also without the lace-system. But their high-shaft (extending up to knee-high) can cause some real troubles with the on-and-off process.

In regards to the cleaning issue, hunting boots such as rubber boots seem to have an advantage over tactical boots.

Rubber material is difficult to get dirty or muddy while allowing for easy cleaning without compromising on quality and performance.

With rubber boots, you only need one tap and spray directly onto the boot surface, and they are cleaned immediately.

Durability

Well, it is hard to conclude which one is more durable than the other.

But it seems that hunting boots will have more advantages as they are highly waterproof to resist damage when submerged or wet by water.

Besides, hunting boots are made for heavy-abuse use, for sure.

No outdoor activity challenges the quality of boots better than hunting.

Hunters stay for weeks in nature with rain, wind, frost, sunlight, and harsh air. And hunting boots are often in water day after day.

So we give hunting boots a plus point for this feature.

Flexibility

The crown goes to tactical boots, no wonder why.

As we mentioned above, tactical boots are more lightweight and minimal in design without giving bulky and stiff feels while wearing.

Low-cut and mid-calf height is way more responsive when climbing, jumping, or riding the motorbike.

Not to mention, tactical boots come in diverse designs to suit a variety of terrain, weather and environmental conditions.

Rubber hunting boots/ snake hunting boots are super limited in providing flexible maneuvers for running, jumping, and climbing due to their high collar.

Waterproofness

Yes, rubber hunting boots are master at waterproofing from the outside as rubber is 100% water-resistant.

However, if you do not know how to properly wear the shoes, the top of the boot will open large instead of tightly hugging the legs.

When it rains, your feet may not get wet from the outside but will get wet from the inside.

Hunting field boots also provide a very proper level of waterproofness along with waterproof construction to greatly prevent water from getting inside.

Not all tactical boots are waterproof, sadly but true. Some cannot even survive mild rain and wet conditions.

Therefore, we recommend that you carefully review this feature before buying if it means a lot to you.

Comparison table about features between tactical boots and hunting boots

To make your consideration more accurately and concisely, we make the comparison table below for you to review:

FeaturesTactical bootsHunting boots
Comfort⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Safety/Protection⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Convenience⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Durability⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Flexibility⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Waterproofness⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Overall, tactical boots are far better at bringing up the best comfort and flexibility to the wearers while hunting boots are way more durable and more effective at waterproofness.

Wrapping it up

Good boots bring you to good places. No wonder why equipping yourself with a pair of good boots is essential for any kind of outdoorsman.

As professional hunters, you know deep down the boots play a big part in creating productive hunting results without overly tired and exhausted feet.

What you need to consider between tactical boots and hunting boots, it depends largely on what you need the most in your footwear.

If you need a pair of boots that provide the best protection from getting wet feet and snakes and insect bites then hunting boots is the number one choice.

If you need something that makes you feel comfortable and enjoyable all the way, tactical boots are always the best choice.

We hope to bring you the needed information in this article.


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