If you are planning an outdoor adventure such as back-country hiking, mountain climbing, or trekking, you're going to need the right gear. Specifically, you'll need a good pair of survival boots.
The right pair of survival footwear can help you navigate tough terrains with ease, protect your feet, and withstand outdoor conditions, from desert winds to mountain ice.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pair of Survival Boots
There are many different kinds of survival footwear, ranging from mountaineering pick boots to trail sandals. You should think about the type of outdoor adventure you are going on and select your footwear accordingly.
What Kind of Terrain Will You Encounter?
Different types of terrain require different styles of footwear made of varying materials. For example, if you are backpacking on a well-maintained sandy trail, you can go with a low to mid-ankle hiking boot with a stiffer sole.
On the other hand, if you plan to go mountaineering, you'll want more rigid boots that have good traction and no seams. If you plan to go off-trail or ford rivers, you'll want boots that are water-resistant but also wick away sweat to avoid blisters.
Comfort & Materials
It is also important to consider your personal comfort when buying a pair of survival boots. A comfortable pair of boots will usually be made of thick leather, with a gusseted tongue to keep water out, strong laces that stay tied, and good quality stitching.
I would recommend going to several outdoor outfitter stores and trying on survival boots. You want to make sure the boots are breathable and let air flow through them and that you can move easily in them.
You should also check to ensure that the boots have a scree collar, a padded ring around your ankle that secures the boots around your legs and prevents sand, dirt, and other debris from entering.
- 1. Tactical Research TR
- 2. 5.11 Fast-Tac
- 3. Timberland Chocorua Trail
- 4. Nike SFB Gen 2
- 5. Timberland White Ledge Mid
- 6. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
- 7. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
- 8. Sorel Conquest
- 9. Under Armour Valsetz 1.5 RTS
- 10. KEEN Revel III
- Buying Guide For Survival Boots
- Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Boots
- Bottom Line
Top Tactical Shoes For Hiking in 2021
Tactical Research TR Mountain Boots
5.11 Fast-Tac 6" Boots
Timberland Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Nike SFB Gen 2 8" LTR Tactical Boots
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking
Sorel Conquest Boots
Under Armour Valsetz 1.5 RTS Tactical Boots
KEEN Revel III Boots
1. Tactical Research TR
The Men's Khyber TR550 Hot Weather Lightweight Mountain Hybrid Boot is perfect for tactical situations, long hikes, or demanding treks.
It has a comfortable, highly cushioned, shock-absorbing insole and 100% rubber Vibram Ibex outsole that protects against the elements. Weighing only 4 lbs, this survival boot has the comfort of a running shoe with the durability of tactical boots used by the military.
The only issues users have noted with this shoe is that it tends to be hot due to the lining, which makes it not as ideal for summer hikes. They are also stiffer than other similar boots and have a high heel, which can occasionally cause your foot to slide forward in the boot.
2. 5.11 Fast-Tac
With an ortholite insole, the 5.11 Men's Fast-tac Waterproof 6" Tactical Hiking Boot Military provides a comfortable fit with enhanced cushioning. The nylon upper is lightweight but still protects against most abrasions.
They also have a great grip on slippery surfaces due to the oil and slip-resistant sole. I've been able to walk around 18 miles a day in these boots without causing wear and tear.
The only drawback of these tactical boots is that there's no side zipper, which would make them easier to get on and off.
3. Timberland Chocorua Trail
These durable hiking boots are designed to handle a variety of terrain, from off-trail hiking to stony trails. It's also coated with an eco-conscious waterproof membrane that repels water and keeps your feet dry.
One nice thing about this survival boot is the strong rubber sole and removable contoured sock line, which ensure that you can adjust this boot to get the perfect fit. They also have a nice look and are not as bulky as some other similar boots.
However, they don't handle water as well despite the Gore-Tex coating. Great for dry hikes, but not as good for areas with significant moisture when camping overnight.
4. Nike SFB Gen 2
These Nike FSB Gen 2 is another pair of boots for survival that has some features specifically designed for tactical purposes. These military boots are very popular upon service members.
They come in multiple colors and is mad with quality nylon canvas and synthetic leather which allows you to comfortable run around uneven terrain. The sole is fairly thin, which has its advantages and disadvantages. It's flexible and had great grip, but you can "feel" the terrain as you're running.
It has a narrower sole with a lace up closure for a more adjustable fit. The Nike Free advanced traction technology provides secure footing on treacherous terrain. These boots are made of nice material, but they do run a bit small and the toe box is narrow, so plan to order half a size up from your usual size.
5. Timberland White Ledge Mid
With a gusseted tongue, lace-up vamp and rear pull loop, these boots for survival are easy to put on while also keeping mud and water out. The compression midsole molds easily to your foot for comfort on long hikes.
The toe box on these is wider, which is nice if you have wider feet. They do well in water, and even stayed dry while crossing multiple rivers. However, if you're looking for camping boots with good ankle support, look elsewhere, as these tended to rub.
6. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof
The Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot has several features that make it an attractive option for tough hikes. The M Select DRY coating seals out water but also lets moisture escape, and the air cushion in the heel increases stability and absorbs shock.
These do tend to be fairly waterproof, and the rubber toe cap is great for rocks or rougher terrain.
They are also comfortable and the foot bed has good arch support. I don't know if Merrell has had a decline in quality in recent years, but many users have found that the stitching on these camping boots tears easily and the sole can separate from the upper.
7. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
These pair of boots provides excellent traction on downhill trails, thanks to its descent control technology on the sole. The Advanced Chassis stabilizes your heel and grabs the ground effectively.
The traction on these is very grippy, compared to some other boots like Keens. The laces also stay tied and aren't too long. The insoles don't cup your feet but still provide all-around stability.
These are a little low, coming only to the top of the ankle, but overall, this is a solid survival boot well-made for all kinds of hiking adventures.
8. Sorel Conquest
Designed for extreme conditions, the SOREL - Men's Conquest Waterproof Insulated Winter Boot can handle snow, ice, mud, gravel, and other terrain.
The barrel lock closure ensures that your feet are snug and protected from the elements, while the rubber outsole securely grips the ground. These survival boots are great for ice and snow because the lining keeps your feet warm and the sole has decent traction.
They're also relatively lightweight for snow boots, which is an added plus. The only drawback is that the sole sometimes tends to come away from the upper if you're hard on the boots.
9. Under Armour Valsetz 1.5 RTS
These lightweight survival boots are ideal for military training or other survival adventures. The UA ClutchFit ankle support system provides just the right amount of ankle support, and the OrthoLite sock liner wicks away moisture for better ventilation.
These tactical boots are also lightweight and have a comfortable inner liner and midsole. They fit true to size, but are not waterproof, so be careful if you plan to expose them to ponds or puddles for a long period of time. Overall, fairly solid and durable.
10. KEEN Revel III
The KEEN Men's Revel III Hiking Boot features a waterproof, breathable membrane to keep your feet dry, along with a two-rubber sole that provides both flexibility and stability on all types of terrain.
These survival boots have a wide toe box, but also tend to run small, so order a half size to a full size up. They are easy to break in and fit well right out of the box.
They have two types of insulation that keep your feet warm and dry. The laces do sometimes break while I'm trying to tie them.
Buying Guide For Survival Boots
Arguably the most important tactical gear you can have with you. It's important to keep your feet healthy and keep you on the move. Speed is an important factor when it come to fighting for your survival and it should not be compromised, which is why you need to identify these key qualities when searching for the best tactical boots.
Ideally, you want survival boots made of real leather and a moisture-wicking material, which will ensure your feet stay dry while sweating and help prevent blisters from forming. Bonus if there's also a rubber toe cap for added protection.
You can find survival boots with several kinds of insoles, but an insole that conforms to your feet ensures that the boots will fit well and that your feet won't slide on rocky terrain. Some insoles also help with airflow to prevent your feet from getting hot and accumulating moisture.
Tactical boots with strong rubber soles help provide traction on uneven ground such as rocks, ice, or gravel. Look at the pattern on the boot bottom to make sure it has deep grooves with a solid grip.
Look for tactical boots with gusseted tongues, which hug the ankles and provide a better fit and added stability. This will help when navigating steep slopes or clambering up rocks, and helps prevent twisted ankles.
Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Boots
Consider the type of terrain, your level of activity, and how you like your boots to fit. Going to a survivalist store allows you to try boots on and see what you like and don't like.
There are sprays available online that will give your boots a waterproof coating. Spray the boots' outside surface carefully, let them dry, and repeat until no moisture gets in.
Almost anywhere! Tactical boots are good for hiking in sand, snow, ice, rocks, water, and many different environments.
These survival boots offer a range of features suited to hiking or adventuring in all types of conditions and varied terrain. Overall, the Tactical Research TR is the ideal boot for exploring the wilderness.
Its lightweight sole provides grip and stability, and the well-constructed upper offers protection from dirt and water. It's also lightweight for a hiking boot, weighing only 4 lbs.
Check out the Khyber TR550 Hot Weather Lightweight Mountain Hybrid Boot and see if it is right for you.