Special Forces Boot Reviews

top 10 bates tactical bootsWhether your planning an upcoming Spartan Race or Tough Mudder or preparing for Special Forces – you will need a good boot to protect your feet.

The key to this tactical wear is that they need to be relatively lightweight, comfortable, durable and can breath.  You don’t want to be wearing a really heavy boot that is hard on your feet. If your anywhere near the water you will need a boot that drains well and does not hold water.  

Bates boots review
Bates makes a good product. There is about a one to two week break in period for these boots, especially if you use footpads on top of the insoles. The upper and lower sections are of good quality. The Bates 922 boot soles seem to be of good quality as well. The tread and sole material help on ice and snow, which is awesome.

The tread pattern is aggressive and I commend Bates for doing that. Too many boot companies put more of a dry pavement walking pattern on the bottom of their boots. Alaskan winters aren’t compatible with boots built for urban summer environments. So, we recommend Bates on being able to build a quality, waterproof boot at a fair price. Considering what other companies charge for gore-tex lined boots, Bates is a bargain.

A question we get a lot is..what kind of boots do Navy SEALs wear? Bates is the training boot used at BUD/S up until recently. Before that it was the Altama jungle boot (1980’s and earlier).

Video Bates boots

Check out the Bates Boots worn at Navy SEALs BUD/S

Bates Boots review by Kevin
I have spent alot of time in tactical boots over the years, and these are by far the best I have had the pleasure of wearing. Lightweight and durable, they are comfortable and provide the right amount of ankle support. They breathe well, and the composite toe is lighter and just as rugged as a steel toe. They may run just a little bit big, so if you are right on the cusp between two sizes, go with the smaller.

Question: What kind of socks do they wear at BUDS Navy SEAL training?

They have recently upgraded the socks at BUDS and the guys there are now wearing Darn Tough Merino Wool socks.

These socks are great and basically don’t wear out. They are a few dollars more but definitely worth the money spent.

Video – Special Forces Boot Reviews – Nike Military Boot

Check out more info on the Nike Black Special Field Boot-Nike SFB

Special Forces Boot Reviews – Nike SFB Men’s Boot info from Nike.com
Special Forces including elite military, law enforcement and first
responder professionals. As the lightest, fastest-drying, highest
mobility performance boot we’ve ever made, the SFB offers superior
comfort for extended wear, straight out of the box.

Everyone that owns a pair of these swears by them.

Question: what is special forces favorite shoe to wear in afghanistan? That is a hard question to answer as so many Spec Ops guys wear different shoes. The Vasque Juxt Multisport Shoe is a low cut shoe that is famous for being the shoe worn to take out Bin-Laden.

A lot of guys wear these as they are low cost but rugged and take abuse.

Video  Lowa military boots

Check out the Lowa Zephyr Mid TF Desert Hiking Boot

Lowa boot review by Doc
These boots are AWESOME. They are indeed the lightest pair of boots (summer Bates included) I have ever owned.(15 years and counting) I ordered the Lowa Renegade GTX Boot for the added water protection and my dogs didn’t really “sweat” in them. The laces provided were flimsy and didn’t last very long. Simple fix..take white “issue” laces-ask your supply and soak them in tea (you have limited resources downrange-those that have been will attest) and these laces still are in the boot to this day(almost a year out of country).”Break-In” time is virtually non-existent with these as well. I actually took a PT test in them(once) and they felt like sneakers(and yes, I passed). I have plantar fasciitis(read:flat feet) and between those and some good orthotics, I’ll probably order another pair for my next deployment. Unfortunately, LOWA is a German manufactuer so there is no NSN. (Cannot order via your supply chain) Bottom line:WELL worth the money. Only this time I’ll secure them BEFORE movement into theatre. And yes, order them a size larger as they are made in Europe so they tend to run a size smaller than what you’re used to in the US. (I only gave them 4 stars because of the laces issue.)

Video Under Armor Mens Boot

Check out the Under Armour UA Valsetz Boot @ Amazon.com

Review of Under Armor boot by T. Weigel
I’ve only recently received these boots so this review is based on the limited time I’ve had them only and not how they hold up over time. However with that said all I can say is so far this is a fantastic boot! I have near 20 years in the infantry and think I have a little practical experience with wearing boots and I think I’ve just found the Under Armour UA Valsetz Boot as a new favorite (exempting one meant for extreme cold weather conditions). This is a very light and comfortable boot that so far seems to be that perfect mix between sneaker and hiking/combat boot. I think this will be perfect for say running rough terrain and obstacle courses where you need the ability to run but also the support a boot would give your feet and ankles in rough terrain. The mesh making up the sides of the boot feel great for letting your feet breath and also not water logging like a wet leather boot would. Very comfortable boot and lighter then it appears even to one experienced with how heavy boots are. I’ll revise my rating in the future if my opinion changes or they fall apart in a month but so far its been an excellent find. Price is not a factor to me when looking for the best boot available but to throw it out there these are probably one of the least expensive pairs of boots that I can ever remember buying. Im definitely gonna have to keep an eye out for the Under Armour product line in the future. I think Magnum may have just lost a long time customer.

A note:
If Navy SEALs are going out on a recon with light gear they may use more of a hiking boot.  If they are going to hump longer distance a more rugged boot with support is needed.

We like to put Superfeet Green Premium insoles in our boots to help reduce impact and keep our arches from sagging.

The inserts are not too expensive and your feet will feel a ton better even from just wearing them around on a normal ruck march.

I put them in my boots and can definitely feel the difference right away. These insoles will last for quite awhile and keep your feet fresh when the going gets tough.

LALO Shadow Tactical boot review by Brad:
These boots are high tech. Very light and drain well.

The tread is designed to give you stable footing and non-slip when on a wet deck.

We like the new LALO boot – you can pick up a pair here at Amazon.com

Questions from our readers.

Question: What boots do the Special Forces use for winter operations? Army Rangers are issued Salomon Quest 4D GTX Boots.

Question: Have you ever heard of Orginal SWAT boots? Yes; they are great boots especially for the money.

You can pick up a pair for under $100 and they will last forever.

I know guys that do GoRuck events that swear by the Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9″ boots.

Question: What do Special Forces operators pick as their best boot? That varies from individual but I have talked to a few contractors that pick Bates and Salomon. I have a pair of lowa zephyr and a buddy has salomon forces. We each keep saying which one is better.

Question: What are a few tricks on Special Forces boot lacing? Some guys use paracord as a boot lace. The new trick is to add Rhino laces which are fire and cut proof. If your moving through high grass and briers some guys put a gaiter on over the tops of boots to keep out debris and from getting your boots untied continually.

Question: What are the best cold weather boots for special forces? Salomon Quest 4D GTX Boots are issued to the Army Rangers in the mountain division in Washington state for cold weather operations.

Question: Why dont combat troops wear hiking boots? Some of them do wear lighter hiking boots – it depends on the unit.

Question: What boots do Green Berets get issued? Many of the Special Forces groups use the Salomon boots.

Question: Do you know anybody that has used the lowa zephr review for Goruck and have a good review? Yes; I know guys that swear by the Lowa Zephyr as a great boot.

Question: Do you have any reviews on UA ops trainer boots ?

Answer: Yes; check out more reviews for the Under Armour Men’s UA OPS Tactical Training boots here:

Question: Do you have any reviews for the nike mid special field boot trainer? Yes; check out more reviews here for the

Question: What boots are trainees using at the Turning Steel course? They are using Salomon GTX, Bates and Lowa. Also Magnum boots. One of my buddies prefers Magnum vs Salomon boots.

Question: What about lalo vs under armour boots? Both are great boots. The LALO cost more but is an elite level combat boot.

Question: Hey Coach, what are some good workouts to get me ready for the infantry?

Answer: I would follow the daily SEALgrinderPT workouts.

Question: What is the deal with Russian Spetnaz wearing Adidas Mockba shoes in combat?

Answer: Yes; we have read where the Mockba has been used in the past.

Question: How can I find out more information about the US Special Forces? Check out the main website here:

Related Articles:
Check out this article Top 10 Special Forces Gear and Equipment
Under Armour Speed Freek Boot Reviews
Bates 922 boot review
Nike Special Field Boot Review
PowerLung Trainer Review

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