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Nowadays, it is customary to see the term “tactical” used on civilian items, like flashlights, knives, and backpacks.
Our discussion will focus more on footwear. What are tactical boots, and more importantly, why should you wear them?
Whether you are a soldier, police officer, emergency medical technician, or outdoor enthusiast, you are on your feet a lot.
Your shoes must be able to keep up with you every step of the way.
A good pair of tactical boots might just be what the doctor ordered. And we will help you understand them better so you can make the right purchasing decision.
First things first, what makes a pair of boots tactical?
In the context of our discussion, tactical refers to the ability to gain an advantage in achieving a specific military end.
So, tactical boots are specially designed to help military service members and law enforcement officers carry out successful missions.
Since soldiers and cops are often deployed in places with rough terrains and harsh conditions, they must be equipped accordingly.
This includes their footwear, as they must also be able to stand up to whatever the job requires.
Tactical boots have key characteristics like durability and protection for the feet. That said, they must also be comfortable to wear and should not restrict movement.
For all of these conditions to be met, a tactical boot must have the following qualities:
Since you wear tactical boots for hours, they must offer enough ventilation to keep your feet cool and dry.
They must also protect against repeated impact but still be comfortable to wear.
Thanks to innovative technology and modern materials, all of these things are not only possible but easy to achieve.
That is part of the reason why these designs have been made available for commercial use.
To better answer the question, “What are tactical boots?” we must look at their parts individually. Here are the key components of this reliable footwear:
The outsole is the part of the tactical boot that touches the ground or whatever surface you are on.
Most brands use rubber as a material for this component since it provides traction, flexibility, and toughness.
Lugs are the patterns or designs that protrude from the outsole.
They form indentations that maximize the traction, allowing you to maintain a good footing on any terrain or surface.
The insole is the removable part inside the boot that is in direct contact with your foot.
It provides cushioning by absorbing most of the shock from the repetitive impact of walking or running.
The midsole is an additional layer of material that sits between the outsole and the insole.
It provides shock absorption and rebound and keeps your feet from feeling the hard objects you step on.
Most tactical boots have a toe rand that wraps over the toe and extends underneath the sole. It provides added protection against wear and tear, especially abrasions.
A toecap is a piece of steel or composite material fitted into the front part of the boot. It is designed to protect your toes from impacts and compression.
The upper is the part that covers your foot, from the toes to the ankles.
They are typically made from a combination of heavy-duty leather and nylon, but some brands may use other materials.
The eyelets are the holes through which you thread the shoelaces. They are often made of a type of metal, like aluminum, steel, or brass.
Aside from eyelets, some manufacturers add a zipper, especially for high or mid-cut models.
The tongue is a piece of leather or some other material you will find beneath the shoelaces.
They are designed to protect the top of your foot and the lower part of your shin from the shoelaces.
The collar is the topmost part of the boot, and in some brands, you will see a pull-up loop on it.
This additional feature allows you to pull the boot on or off, making the entry or exit of your foot much easier.
Here are some of the benefits that come with wearing a reliable pair of tactical boots:
When on the field, you never know what will happen. You can go rucking at one point and then stand for hours at another.
There could also be a lot of walking and running involved.
Moreover, you do all these things on unknown terrains and under extreme conditions.
The whole time, your feet are subjected to much stress, which might lead to a long list of injuries.
Wearing a pair of reliable tactical boots can save you from all this grief. It can protect your feet from sudden impact, compression, punctures, and more.
Some go one step further by providing conductive protection and resistance against electrical hazards.
Many brands today are compliant with strict safety standards like the ASTM.
When carrying out a mission or hiking a trail, you will wear your boots for hours at a time.
If what you have on is an uncomfortable and ill-fitting pair, you won’t be able to perform at an optimal level.
You might be jeopardizing the success of your operation or, worse, risking injury to yourself or those around you.
It’s hard to imagine that something as simple as footwear can affect the outcome of an important task.
That said, it is the little things like these that add up. That’s why most manufacturers today make their products as comfortable as possible.
In fact, many of them meet the requirements of AR 670-1, which has to do with comfort.
Tactical boots are designed to protect your feet against unforgiving terrains and extreme conditions. But this is not enough.
It must also be able to stand up to the same punishment, allowing you to make use of it for a long time.
Aside from using durable materials, reliable tactical boots feature strong stitching that keeps everything together.
It is common for them to last a few years before you have to replace them.
Soldiers can be sent to all types of environments and would have to endure different climates.
As you can imagine, it is something that a typical pair of shoes would not be able to survive.
On the other hand, these are the conditions that tactical boots are built for. You can count on them to protect your feet from start to finish.
To illustrate, if you are deployed in a cold region with freezing temperatures, there are insulated boots that can keep your feet warm.
If you find yourself in the jungle, you can find waterproof or quick-drying boots that offer strong traction.
Another benefit of wearing tactical boots is that it is designed for speed and mobility.
They have a lightweight design, and they won’t weigh you down even after hours of walking, running, and standing.
On top of this, most brands offer much flexibility, giving your toes and feet freedom of movement. It bends and twists as you move without causing much discomfort.
Now that you have a better understanding of what tactical boots are, you can appreciate their importance even more.
You will also be able to make a better purchasing decision the next time your shop around for this footwear.
It’s not just for law enforcement and military men anymore; you can get a good pair of tactical boots to wear on your adventures outdoors.