What to Look for in Military Combat Boots

What to Look for in Military Combat Boots

High-quality military combat boots are crucial to completing the mission without unnecessary injuries or damaged feet. Purchasing new boots, however, can be a difficult mission as modern boots offer a wide variety of styles and features for different types of use.

Whether you’re trekking through the jungle, climbing desert dunes, or scaling a snow-capped mountain, your military branch will be the first thing to consider when looking for new boots.

Military Boot Regulations

Each branch of the United States military sets its own unique uniform standards. Since each branch experiences different climates and terrains, their uniforms and boots must withstand the elements while providing the proper support. If you plan on purchasing military combat boots to wear with your official uniform, the most important factor to look for is compliance with that branch’s required standards.

The different military uniform regulations are:

Whether you’re in the military, law enforcement, or another field that requires sturdy footwear, there are a few things everyone should look for in military combat boots.

Comfort and Durability

Comfort is the most important thing to look for when purchasing combat boots (or any footwear). Blisters and painful feet are the last things you need during the high-stress situations military or law enforcement personnel find themselves in. The best boots for you are boots that you are actually going to wear – if the boot is uncomfortable, you’re less likely to wear it.

Boots are most comfortable when they’re the proper size. Ask a sales associate for help if you don’t know your exact size or use a Brannock Device to measure your feet yourself.

Height and Support

Nearly every military branch requires boots to be at least 8” high for a good reason – this height offers the most support while still being versatile and comfortable.

Military combat boots must remain sturdy on rough and uneven terrain. An 8” boot offers plenty of support and will help prevent rolled ankles. While the height of the boot is important, you should also consider how the boot is constructed.

  • Rough-out leather is leather turned inside out with the rough underside part on the outside. Rough-out leather is strong, durable, and can take a beating day in and day out, making this a great material to look for. The Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps require boots to be made of rough-out leather.
  • Suede, like rough-out, is also an inside-out leather but is far less durable. Softer and more flexible than top grain leather, suede is a great choice for lightweight combat boots.
  • Synthetic leather is made from a polyester blend rather than animal hide. While it is more cost-effective than genuine leather, synthetic leather is less durable and lacks the quality you can find in other boots. Synthetic leather is a solid choice if your boot budget is tight.

Shock Absorbing Soles

Your boot’s soles, both inside and out, are designed to add comfort without sacrificing traction or versatility.

The inside sole should improve cushioning and act as a shock absorber for those long and challenging journeys. Many inside soles will also provide ventilation and help prevent perspiration.

The outside sole comes in direct contact with the terrain and must be strong enough to protect your feet from any hazards you may experience. Outside soles are often made of rubber or polyurethane, which each offer unique advantages.

  • Rubber is a common material for outside soles because it’s grippy and flexible. Rubber is durable and offers exceptional traction.
  • Polyurethane outside soles offer more underfoot protection because of their strength, durability, and waterproof properties.

Boots for Any Climate

Climate plays a pivotal role in determining what type of military combat boot you should purchase.

  • Hot weather climates require lightweight and breathable boots. Hot weather boots, like Rocky's Enhanced Jungle Boot, often use holes to drain sand and dirt out while letting air cycle in to keep your feet dry.
  • Cold weather climates require a heavier, more insulated boot to keep the cold at bay. Cold weather boots, like Rocky's S2V Cold Weather 600G Boot often use Thinsulate, a synthetic insulator, to block cold air from entering.
  • Waterproof boots, like Belleville’s Waterproof Flight and Combat Boot, help keep your feet dry by wicking away perspiration and blocking outside water from entering.

Other useful tips

  • Let your boots break in. New boots are usually pretty stiff right out of the box and will need time to loosen up. Regularly wearing your boots will help them fit better to your feet as they become more flexible over time.
  • Your boots should be snug but not uncomfortable. Boots that are too tight will cause bad foot pain, while loose boots cause blisters and unstable footing because of how much they move around. Your boots are probably a good fit if you can comfortably curl your toes without much effort.
  • Wear the type of socks you’ll regularly wear with these boots when you first try them on to know how they’ll feel when you wear them in the field.

Reliable combat boots are your feet’s first line of defense against the rough and uneven terrains you’re likely to experience in your military career. Look out for these important things the next time you need to purchase a new set of boots.

ADS, Inc. and our supply partners want to provide you with the highest level of military combat boots available. Contact us here or visit our catalog for more products.