Best Tactical Shoes

Best Tactical Shoes 2017 – The Ultimate Guide & Review

When in distress, you will only go as far as your feet take you. This adage categorically resonates well with hiking diehards, outdoor enthusiasts, adventure aficionados and of course, military personnel. If you lie under any one of these categories, tactical shoes (also known as military boots) are likely your thing and for good reason.

For those in the dark, tactical shoes are those commonly worn by soldiers during training and combat thanks to their helpful blend features. In a nutshell, these kicks entail waterproof features, lightweight body, sturdy build and flexible sole in their design – just to name a few. If you are just making a debut on the tactical shoe scene, it would certainly be in your best interest to read on as we’ve compiled a list of four best tactical shoes in the niche.

Best Tactical Shoes Review

As earlier stated, tactical shoes boast unique technologies intended at keeping you comfortable and going for extended periods while in the rough. After closely scrutinizing an infinite array of tactical footwear, we rounded up the top four products to make things easier for you. Enjoy.

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Under Armour has grown to become a leading brand over the past few years - partly thanks to the company’s fortunate partnerships with breakout superstars such as Steph Curry of the NBA, and partly, thanks to its knack for manufacturing quality, yet affordable products such as the UA Chetco 2.0 tactical shoes. To put this into better perspective, let’s delve on the nitty-gritty.

Overview:

According to experts, the UA Chetco 2.0 is one of the best lightweight shoes around and hence, explaining its massive popularity. While most products in the niche focus on the exterior to shed off weight, the Chetco’s interior consists of a unique superlight EVA midsole that doesn’t compromise on comfort or protection regardless of its convenient weight. To complement this, Under Armour went with equally light and breathable mesh uppers, with synthetic overlays all round to enhance protection, support and comfort in optimal fashion. For moisture protection, the 2.0 packs an anti-microbial Ortholite® sock liner, so fret not if you are the sweaty type. Other great extras include a sturdy TPU toe cap and TPU heel cradle to prevent you from feet injuries.

Available Colors:
The Good:
  • Lightweight features ideal for long jogs and runs.
  • Premium foot protection and stability.
  • Affordable price tag.
  • Sufficient comfort levels.
The Bad:
  • Slight tightness especially when new.

In a nutshell, these kicks aren’t on this by fluke. In fact, the Chetco 2.0 solidifies its top spot ranking with a perfect blend of helpful features and technologies that make up for a premium package overall. The effective part, though, is you need not worry about denting your wallet with these – as is usually the norm with most tactical masterpieces from leading brands. If you are looking for a solid, lightweight tactical shoe, I would recommend the Chetco 2.0 by Under Armour for valid reasons listed above.

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Unless you are a tactical shoe aficionado, you’ve probably never heard about this brand – a huge mistake if you ask me. The distinguishing factor here has to be their sturdy build as the 5.11 Recon tactical shoes are technically designed to withstand anything you throw their way, despite having a soft outlook at first. Here’s more about these beasts.

Overview:

While the 5.11 is a lightweight shoe by all standards, it boasts an outstandingly durable exterior crafted from textile and leather materials. This alongside the 8mm heel-to-toe drop sole, with traction enhancing lugs makes it ideal for heavy-duty use such as weight lifting or cross training. With the exclusive OrthoLite insole and full-length CMEVA midsole, you can almost always be assured of comfortable training sessions with the Recons. Moreover, aeration shouldn’t be a problem as the 5.11 sports stretch mesh uppers just in case you were wondering.

The Good:
  • Durable build consisting of HELICOR leather overlays and textile material.
  • Flexible tactical shoes ideal for cross training.
  • Broadened forefoot for optimal comfort levels.
The Bad:
  • The wide front can lead to unwanted feet movements while running.

The bottom line here is, your safest bet lies in a pair of these tactical monsters if you are planning on heavy duty training such as Olympic lifts, or cross fitting. It boasts the rare blend of durability, performance and affordability. I recommend you go half-a-size up for a perfect fit.

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As a brand, Reebok needs no introduction. The versatile company prides itself in having an infinite number of top-sellers on its portfolio - when it comes to shoes and the CrossFit Nano only goes to prove this. This tactical training shoe is purely eye-candy and chances are, you’ll likely fall in love with it from the get go; more so for high-top fans. Let’s dwell on the features, shall we?

Overview:

Again, this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing tactical shoes on the market. In fact, it is among the few kicks in the niche you can comfortably rock with casual-wear and still look hip – yes, it’s that good. Looks aside, though, the Nano also sports some pretty impressive features, ideal for a range of training applications. For instance, the high-top shoe packs a conventional lace-up closure design to guarantee a perfect fit. On the surface, Reebok went for logo overlays and synthetic webbing uppers complete with anti-friction lining to ensure your feet are cool and dry throughout. For comfort, the Nano packs a dual-density base that’s really effective at responsive cushioning, alongside an asymmetrical, mid-cut collar for optimal comfort and protection.

Available Colors:
The Good:
  • Aesthetically pleasing tactical shoes.
  • Extremely comfortable and flexible.
  • Great traction enhanced by high-abrasion rubber outsoles with teeth.
The Bad:
  • A little uncomfortable for flat-footed individuals.

To wrap it up, this is exactly the type of shoe you would expect from a quality-oriented brand such as Reebok. It strikes the perfect balance of functionality with aesthetics – a rare blend of features in the niche. I recommend the Nano 3.0 for those looking for alluring tactical shoes defined by comfort.

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SKYDEX may not be as popular as the brand right above it, but it certainly makes its case as one of the coolest tactical kicks around. By just looking at it, you can instantly tell that it’s built for the brave at heart making a living in rough terrains. The shoe mimics military camouflage gear and that’s enough to tell you that it will not cave in to any amount of dirt. Here’s what to expect.

Overview:

Of all features we tested, the twin-hemisphere technology stood out. The advanced design is intended at mitigating continuous heel strike shock and hence, protecting the back, hips and legs from negative impact that may lead to injuries. As if that’s not enough, the manufacturer went the extra mile to also include the SKYDEX squares technology which works at balancing the forefoot loading rate and in the process, cushioning the foot at the propulsion phase. Add in PEEVA sock liners, a customized heel patch and EVA midsole; you have yourself one of the most effective tactical companion.

Available Colors:
The Good:
  • Camouflage design ideal for military personnel.
  • Exclusive technologies for injury prevention.
  • Lightweight design.
The Bad:
  • It’s a limited edition which translates to a hefty price tag.

The long and short of it is you are bound for success with the SKYDEX. It is beautifully crafted with tons of impressive features to complement it. If you are looking for a high-performance tactical shoe to get you started, it would certainly be in your best interest to consider the SKYDEX and for good reason.

The Ultimate Tactical Shoes Buying Guide

As with any other product out there, you need to stay abreast with the features that make up for quality tactical shoes, before dashing out to the nearest store. Here are the paramount features to look out for while out shopping for kicks in the niche.

Weight

As you may have gathered by now, tactical shoes are designed for rough terrains or training where easier mobility is of paramount importance. With this in mind, you obviously require a pair that will not get you fatigued or drained regardless of how long they stay on your feet. Look out for kicks with rubber soles, synthetic materials and pylon or EVA midsoles, which are super light.

Comfort

In most cases, tactical shoes are worn for law enforcement activities and training meaning you will likely be standing all day and in harsh weather conditions. I certainly know how it feels to wear uncomfortable shoes all day and it’s not pretty. When shopping for tactical shoes, I strongly recommend shoes made from lightweight materials, with sufficient all round padding.

Durability

Imagine walking or running around in dismantled shoes while combating enemies – not a good look right? Durability is a paramount factor not only in tactical shoes, but also in all types of kicks you plan on buying. Tactical shoes don’t come cheap; meaning the least you can expect is to have footwear that will serve you for years and provide great bang to the buck. Go for shoes made from high quality materials such as those with leather overlays.

Traction

If you plan on buying most comfortable shoes for hiking, you are obviously aware of the importance of good traction. Good grip on uneven grounds is a matter of life and death – not to scare you, but it is what it is. Wearing shoes with quality traction means you can prevent slips on uneven surfaces and in the process, mitigating your chances of injury. I strongly recommend tactical shoes with teeth such as the Reeboks above, or lugs, on the outsoles.

Breathability

If you plan on wearing your tactical shoes all day, in hot climates; it would certainly be in your best interest to consider a pair with sufficient breathability. You want your feet to remain as cool and dry as possible, more so for the sweaty type. Go for tactical shoes with nylon, synthetic or suede overlays if this is the case.

Flexibility

For runners, it is particularly important to have highly flexible shoes to prevent injuries. Good maneuverability can only be enhanced by wearing flexible shoes, more so for people always on the chase. In case you are wondering how to pinpoint a flexible shoe, simply try folding it inwards. It shouldn’t fold all the way up where the heel touches the fore foot; neither should it be overly firm where it doesn’t fold. Right there in the middle is where you want it to reach.

Water-proof

While out in the jungle or in combat, you will come across paddles, swamps or even rivers. The ability to withstand water is an essential part of any tactical shoe worth its salt. If not, the only other option is to go for fast drying shoes, which isn’t as effective as the former but adequate. Most water-proof tactical shoes comprise of special lining with Sympatex technologies or pathogen-resistant membranes to absorb moisture.

Protection

Why wear shoes that will only get you injured and leave you stranded in combat? That’s as good as shooting yourself in the foot – literally speaking. In a nutshell, you want sturdy shoes with tons of safety features such as TPU heels and toe caps, ankle protection and shock absorption features just to name a few. As earlier stated, you can only go as far as your feet take you.

Final Verdict

Now that you are aware of what to look out for when shopping for tactical shoes, you can now head to the local store and grab yourself a pair. However, the reviewed products above rank as the top in the niche, meaning you could do a lot worse with other brands. After vigorous testing, extensive research and endless scrutiny, the four pairs we’ve reviewed stood out from chuff. If you are planning on investing in a pair of the best tactical shoes for training or combat, I strongly recommend you start with the above.

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