What Tactical Boots Does The Military Use? | 7 Basic Types

Whether you are serving military service or working on hardcore guard duties, you will face several dangers almost as same as army soldiers, including extreme conditions and unintentional injuries.

For that reason, you will be required to equip with a lot of vital tactical gear, and what protects one of your most vital assets – your feet the best is a pair of quality tactical boots.

So you may want to look for the best tactical boots that guarantee the highest level of protection and comfortability in your feet.

As a professional item exclusively made for military soldiers, the accepted tactical boots for military use are known for their top-notch quality.

Wondering what tactical boots does the military use? Scrolling down to find the answer.

What Tactical Boots Does The Military Use?

Tactical boots for military use have gone through a long history of innovating styles and forms depending on the intended use of the boots by different types of soldiers.

In this article, we will take a deeper look at the 7 most popular tactical boots that have been in military use throughout history until now, including:

  • Standard-issue boot
  • Tanker boot
  • Cold-weather boot
  • Desert tactical boot
  • Mountain tactical boot
  • Jump boot
  • Jungle boot

What tactical boots does the US Military use?

These types of the boot have also been used exclusively for the US military in wars between the US and other regions in the past. Let’s figure out how US soldiers have worn military tactical boots as below:

Standard issue boots

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This type of boots is a kind of all-purpose item that is issued to law enforcement professionals and infantry soldiers.

The boots feature a good level of waterproofness, mid-range level of insulation, and hardened leather with nylon/mesh uppers, making them the best option to handle a variety of mid-extreme weather and environmental conditions.

They keep your feet moderately protective and comfortable during all weather. They also provide anti-slip and high levels of durability that resist wear and tear, whether you are dealing with hot, cold, or desert conditions.

In conclusion, standard-issue tactical boots are an excellent choice to wear in moderate extreme conditions.

If you need better protection under special conditions, we suggest you looking for more specialized options!

Tanker boots

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When looking at their name, you know deep down how the boots are used for military purposes – to serve on tanks during combat or military parades.

To be honest, this type of boots does not provide appropriate ankle support as much as traditional lace-up tactical boots do.

However, for those who are required to fight sitting in a tank, this feature seems to be acceptable. Tanker boots are normally weighty due to their steel toe guards and hardened leather for better protection against the heat rising inside the tank while operating.

The tongue of standard tank boots is approximately 1 to 1.5 inches high above the upper part for better water-resistance.

However, desert tanker boots are often not waterproof but rather are breathable.

Today, tanker boots are also used on a daily basis especially for metal workers or construction site workers who often work around hot surfaces or fire sparks for better protection.

Cold weather tactical boots – Bunny boots/ Mickey Mouse Boots

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Bunny boots or Mickey Mouse boots have an original name as Extreme Cold Vapor Barrier Boots that are worn by the United States Armed Force.

This type of boots is specialized-made for extreme cold weather up to −60 °F. The boots feature highly effective waterproofing and snow-proofing thanks to the quality oil/diesel rubber material that makes the boots.

The combination between one inch of wool and felt enclosed inside the liner-free interior helps retain warmth well while keeping the feet much comfortable.

The boots were designed during the Korean War with high expectations to deliver the best warmth and safety for soldiers to handle the extreme cold weather in Korea.

Today, bunny boots have become very popular to wear in arctic climates such as Alaska.

Type I is known as Mickey Mouse boots that feature their jumbo-sized look just as same as the Mickey mouse cartoon. The boots can handle the sub-zero temperatures down to −20 °F.

Type II is known as Bunny boots that are an advanced version of Type I to provide aid to handle the cold temperatures down to −65 °F.

Due to its extra added insulation, Type II is bigger and weightier than Type I.

Both provide a good level of anti-frostbite for soldiers who may wear them in the coldest conditions.

Both are designed with rubber wedges on the back of the heel and the front of the toe for better waterproof and snowproof.

Desert Tactical Boots

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Desert tactical boots are an improved version of standard-issued black leather tactical boots to handle hot, humid, and arid climates for desert warfare.

Since black standard-issued boots seemed not to be comfortable and well-suited for harsh desert conditions of the Middle East during the Gulf War, desert tactical boots were redesigned without the drainage vents at the instep to avoid sand from invading the boot.

In general, this type of boots has the same designs as jungle boots with speed lacing, anti-slip rubber outsole, and nylon sides for better breathability.

They come in some common colors such as beige, tan, or coyote brown for more scratch-resistance and durability.

Elimination of the steel protection toe helps prevent overheat when the boots touch hot sand. The unique Vietnam War era Panama-sole provides a good level of comfortability even when walking a lot.

The boots are often made of rough tan suede with nylon textile siding for better breathability and ventilation in the hot climate. The design features 5-6 speed-lace eyelets for better tightness and grip.

Mountain tactical boots

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Mountain combat boots were part of the Rapid Initiative process, issued to US Soldiers who fought in Afghanistan.

The boots feature the design of a highly gripped and durable outsole that is made from quality rubber or hard plastic.

They have a hiking-style suede appearance for better breathability. Thanks to ankle support, ankle stability, and effective mobility, the boots are the best option for rough mountainous terrains.

The design comes with 6 fast-lace eyelets for better tightness and grip. The colors may vary ranging from dark to lighter versions such as black, tan, and coyote brown.

Jungle tactical boots

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Jungle boots are a kind of military tactical boots for hot, wet, humid, and tropical climates.

The boots were issued to US soldiers who attended jungle warfare during World War II, the Indochina War The First, or the American Invasion of Vietnam where standard-issue leather boots might be unsuitable to wear.

This type of boots features highly effective vent holes in the instep with nylon canvas upper for better breathability and moisture-wicking.

The main purpose of these boots is to provide effective ventilation while preventing water from entering the boots. These are very essential while marching in the wet rainforest.

The boots are made of quality leather boots that provide a good level of protection against the entry of mud, sand, rock, and insects.

The productive ventilating insole helps circulate throughout inside the boots for faster moisture-wicking.

Besides, to be flexible on slippery jungle terrain, the outsoles of jungle tactical boots also provide a very good grip.

Jump Boots

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Jump boots are the type of US military standard footgear that were issued to Airborne Forces and paratrooper squadrons during World War II. The boots feature special calf-length lacing for better tightness and grip.

The design comes with hardened toe caps and full-grain smooth black leather for better protection and comfortability.

The boots are also designed in a ladder or cobweb style to provide soldiers extreme shock-absorption support to protect knees, ankles and feet when they perform landings or parachute jumps.

The overall boot is made from quality hardened leather to keep the ankle sturdy while ensuring a high level of comfortability. Today, the brown version is also available but mainly worn as parade boots.

You will easily recognize jump boots because they are quite tall and are polished on the toe and heel – for a military paratrooper look.

What tactical boots are accepted by the army?

When you are preparing for military service, there seems to be some confusion over whether you are picking the banned military tactical boots.

Wondering what tactical boots are accepted by the army or what makes the tactical boots authorized?

Here are some important notes for you to consider:

  • The boot height must range from 8 to 10 inches.
  • The boot must be made of tan flesh-side out cow/cattle hide leather, featuring a plain toe and a soling system that have similar colors to a tan upper.
  • In order to achieve good traction, high durability and flexibility to use in a variety of environments, weather and temperatures, the outsole of the boot must be made of rubber and polyether polyurethane (these are the only 2 authorized materials). The sole should have the same color as the boot.
  • To ensure good stability and stability for the soldier, the tactical boot base must be of a standard height (no more than 2 inches tall).
  • The boot will be required to contain all leather or a combination of non-mesh textile and leather.
  • The upper part can not be made from synthetic textiles or synthetic leather or pig leather.
  • The tactical boot does not contain a commercial logo. Or the commercial logo on the tactical boot should be hidden or difficult to see.
  • Some commanders will not allow tactical boot with a zipper, because they assume that the zipper can be damaged due to terrain conditions.

What tactical boots are army accepted and top rated?

If you’re still confused about finding military-approved tactical boots, we have some top-rated and highly recommended options for you to consider as below:

Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force Military Tactical Work Boots

These 8-inch Maelstrom Men tactical boots provide a side-zip design that helps enhance your comfortability and ventilation.

The polishable tan full-grain leather with upper nylon gives wearers a professional look and is perfect for desert terrains.

The boots feature a good level of waterproofness, shock-absorption and moderate insulation to be used in all kinds of weather.

Reebok Work Men’s Rapid Response Rb Rb8894-m

This Reebok Tac Men boot line is mainly made from tan suede leather and Cordura (tough nylon fabric) that help improve durability and flexibility.

Quality rubber sole plays a big role in providing a good level of shock-absorption and waterproofness.

The boots feature a removable Density Polyurethane cushion insert insole for better longevity and maintenance.

The tan color can be a perfect option for serving in the military in desert conditions.

Danner Men’s Tanicus 8″ Hot Duty Boot

This Danner Men’s Tanicus boot line will never disappoint you for its highly durable 100% leather/nylon made. It features 9 speed-lace eyelets for better grip and tightness.

The high-quality rubber sole is specially designed to provide better waterproofness, shock-absorption and a better grip while walking on slippery surfaces.

The removable insole allows wearers to replace the old and worn-out one, helping extend the boot’s longevity. The tan color is suitable for military service.

What brand of tactical boots are used by the military?

In peacetime, the shined black military boot versions have been banned and switched to more rough-out and scratch-free tan tactical boots, making them a better option in all weather conditions.

In early 2016, some most-common brands were authorized to make military tactical boots, including Belleville Boot, McRae, Bates Footwear, Rocky, Altama, Warson Brands, rugged all-terrain Danner boots, Thorogood and Corcoran.

  • Belleville Boot:

This brand has gone through a brilliant 107 years of history of providing and innovating combat and tactical military boots for the US Department of Defense (DoD) from wartime until now.

They have been producing many tactical boots designs that are AR 670-1 Compliant.

  • McRae:

McRae Footwear has a history of almost 6 decades well-known for their highest quality and durable military boots that were provided to the U.S. Department of Defense.

They have boots with Berry Compliance, AR 670-1 compliance – approved military boot designs as well as some meet ASTM F2412-11 and F2413-11 standards.

  • Bates Footwear:

Bates was authorized to produce millions of military boots during wartime until now.

Some models of their military tactical boots are AR 670-1 Compliant.

  • Rocky:

Rocky has been leading the world premium-quality military footgear for decades.

Their designs have satisfied AR 670-1 compliant, Berry Compliance and ASTM F2413-11 & ASTM F2412-11.

  • Altama:

Altama has nearly 50 years of history of producing top-priority American military footwears for both women and men during wartime until now.

Most of their military-approved boots have satisfied OSHA standards for boots.

  • Warson Brands:

This brand has entered this industry since 1988 and held many leading brands of sports shoes and duty boots such as Reebok, Grabbers…

Some of their military tactical boots are AR 670-1 Compliant.

  • Danner:

Never doubt their premium craftsmanship footwear due to its advanced GORE-TEX waterproof feature and Vibram outsoles.

Some of their coyote military tactical boots are AR 670-1 Compliant.

  • Thorogood:

Thorogood is a well-known “made-in-USA” footwear manufacturer due to their reliable quality, the highest level of durability and comfortability to get through all-terrain conditions.

They have some military boots that are DA PAM-670-1 compliant.

  • Corcoran:

Corcoran was famous for their top-notch quality Serious Professional Boot and Berry Compliant-approved Corcoran Jump Boot.

Through the ups and downs of the times, Corcoran® innovating technology has been giving the best comfortability for tactical operations.

Other questions

What kind of tactical boots use seals?

Most tactical boots made by authorized manufacturers of the US military will have seals on the boots to differentiate exactly what is a US military uniform and what is a regular work uniform.

The boots with seals will not be commonly available in the market and will only be made to be issued to US soldiers.

Are 5.11 tactical boots made for military use?

5.11 tactical boots are researched and developed for military use with versatile features that meet the rigorous demands of the wearers when operating and marching in the army. However, 5.11 tactical boots might not be officially authorized by the US military.

You can purchase some good 5.11 tactical boots such as 5.11 Men’s Speed 3.0 Jungle Tactical Boot Military & Tactical (below) freely in the market for protection or working purposes.

By the way, we have a very thorough review of the 5.11 tactical boots brand here!

What tactical boots do special forces wear?

The type of boots that the special forces wear to fight or train depends largely on the terrain of the battle, the environmental conditions there, and the fighting purpose.

If they perform fighting in the tropical jungle conditions of Southeast Asia, jungle tactical boots are the best choice with good water-resistance and good ventilation.

If the battle happens in a desert environment, desert tactical boots will provide better durability and breathability.

What tactical boots do Navy SEALs wear?

Navy seals often perform fighting or training on the land, underwater, and even on the air.

Thus, it is vital to equip themselves with excellent tactical boots that must tailor for undertaking underwater tasks such as swimming and diving along with running on the land while giving extra comfortability, durability, and feet support.

Tactical boots worn by Navy SEALs will depend on the terrain, weather and temperature conditions they will fight against (hot weather, wet, cold weather, deserts, forests, etc).

Their tactical boots should have a high level of safety. But overall, they are just one of the types of boots we mentioned above.

Are Under Armour tactical boots OSHA approved?

Yes, some of them are. OSHA standards for boots must require features of slip-resistance and puncture-resistance as well as impact and shear protection from falling objects, for the highest level of safety for workers.

If you are looking for an example of Under Armour OSHA-approved boot, Men’s UA Stella Protect Tactical boots  can be your best choice due to their inherited popular Stellar tactical boot with an added protective composite toe for better safety while working. The boots have satisfied the ASTM F2413-11 M I/75 C/75 standard.


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