Most of us now and then want to have a taste of adventure. Some of us enjoy more intense adventures, however. For example, hiking; it’s not a walk in the park, and without proper training and preparation, it’s not something you can do.

Daily and skilled climbers, especially with the right boots, understand the importance of using the right gear.

Hikers and climbers have an ongoing debate on choosing between tactical and conventional hiking boots. Many people prefer the former to the other, and vice versa.

If you’re one of those people who can’t choose between tactical boots and hiking boots, check out this simple guide for comparison.

Tactical Boots vs Hiking Boots

Tactical Boots

These are also known as military boots or battle boots. Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a rough cookie or use it in the army.

They’re called military boots because they’re mostly associated with military personnel because tactical boots are incredibly durable, comfortable, and designed specifically to survive extreme conditions.

It ensures you can use combat boots on a construction site for things such as backpacking, biking, or even working.

Reasons for Choosing Tactical Boots

The human foot carries the entire body practically, so any footwear needs to be less obtrusive. Here’s why tactical boots can be a good hiking choice:

Surviving the Extreme

These are called tactical or combat boots for a reason. A rough and durable design allows you to keep your feet in rugged outdoor environments such as hard terrain trailing, extreme heat or cold, rural flatlands, rain, and even dessert.

Proper Foot Support

If you’re not comfortable on your feet, a tactical boot will provide good stability, especially if you’re prone to injury. They offer a good amount of flexibility and support.


Their hard and tough shell, should you spot one out there, will keep those nasty crawlers away from you. Tactical boots are highly penetration resistant and waterproof as well.

Multipurpose Footwear

Tactical boots are made for specific purposes to be given extra attention. These include a heel brake — part of the outsole that slows you down as you get off a steep spot quickly.

These consist of hard composite or steel toe defense, while if you need traction against debris or swampy surface, a lug pattern can come in handy.

Types of Tactical/Military boots

There are different types to choose from within the hiking boot category:

  • Low-cut typical versions with lightweight midsoles. For long-distance travel, Ultralight backpackers often choose this pair.
  • Day hiking boots are styles of mid-to-high-cut designed for short trips. These need to be broken in and lack a backpacking boot’s robustness.
  • Backpacking boots are designed to carry heavier loads for more strenuous hikes. They are mostly used for multi-day trips on and off-trail.

Important military boots components

Every hiking boot has five components that need to be considered…

  • The boot’s top materials affect how a boot is breathable, water-resistant, and sturdy. Full-grain leather, split-grain leather, nubuck leather, synthetics, water-proof membranes, vegan leather, and synthetic insulation are available.
  • Boot midsoles impact the boot’s rigidity and cushioning. It affects the comfort and stability of the show on different terrains. EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and polyurethane are the two most widely used fabrics.
  • Internal support for hiking shoes includes shanks, which are parts between the midsole and the outsole that are 3-5 mm thick. Plates are under the shank semi-flexible inserts.
  • Most of the outsoles are made of rubber. Manufacturers are adding additives to improve the shoe’s hardness and strength. Outsoles also feature patterns of lug and heel.
  • Crampon’s capability is critical if your mountaineering or winter backpacking trip.
Tactical Boots vs Hiking Boots 1

Hiking Boots

It has its own benefits to ascend challenging terrain to reach the top. Hiking lovers know how important it is to be consistent, persistent, and sturdy when climbing.

These are precisely the same features in their hiking boots that a hiker searches for. Modern hiking boots look rugged and satisfy all requirements for footwear. Here are the reasons why traditional hiking boots can be used:

Reasons for Choosing Hiking Boots

Modern hiking boots can be your go-to choice for the following reasons:

More Flexible

Hiking boots are more flexible compared to combat boots and give the ankle more protection. They are designed to provide extra stability on uneven ground for your foot.

Weather Resistance

Hiking boots are made of material that offers good weather resistance. The hiking boot should cover the feet, whether it’s mud, snow, or wind. In comparison, hiking boots feel warmer, making them a great choice for hiking in cold weather.


Hikers are aware of the legwork it takes to climb, so you can’t choose footwear made of thick material just so it has good resistance to penetration. You will always see in the case of traditional hiking boots that they are comparatively lighter than tactical boots. That means you can save more energy.

Using Nubuck Leather

This is a leather full-grain used to make suede-like hiking boots. It offers great properties that are resistant to abrasion along with extreme longevity. Flexibility is also given by the material without sacrificing hardness.

Final Verdict

Choosing the right footwear is extremely important when you’re out in the forest. You have to have all the additional support, security, and stability. The choice between a combat boot and a hiking boot, however, depends heavily on the nature and place of action in which you are engaged.

For harsh environments, combat boots work great, but they may not be ideal for someone going for a light hike. Likewise, on challenging terrain, a typical hiking boot may not succeed, and that’s where a tactical boot can be useful. Your option should be environmentally friendly.