Finding the best waterproof tactical boots can be quite a chore these days. Decades ago, most tactical boots were rough, tough, waterproof and almost a guarantee of quality. These days, that’s not the case.
Plenty of different manufacturers are claiming to sell “tactical boots,” but they are that in name only – no trained soldier or law enforcement professional would ever wear them.
So, to help you distinguish the good from the bad and find good waterproof tactical boots, here are the best ones we could find right now!
Top Waterproof Tactical Boots
5.11 Tactical Evo 8″ Waterproof Boot With Sidezip
5.11 Tactical is a relatively new brand, mostly known for their clothing and bags, though they dabble in other tactical and survival gear. Their boots are not as well-known as others, but they certainly should be.
These boots are not their finest work (we’ll get to that) but they certainly deserve to be in the conversation.
The make is a mix of synthetic and natural materials – mostly full grain leather and textile with synthetics used for the sole. This makes them durable and quite pretty when polished up properly.
The waterproofing also holds up well, and unless you’re wading in knee-deep water, you’re unlikely to get your feet wet.
However, there are some comfort issues – the ankle area seems to lack padding and is much too tight. The zipper also malfunctions and breaks easily. Even when it’s working properly, it’s not able to close fully.
So, what you have here are decent boots for the price point, with a few hiccups.
Magnum Men’s Stealth Force
This pair of boots from Magnum Essential Equipment is true to its name. Stealth Force is a moniker well-deserved by something so lightweight, yet sturdy and strong.
The main part of the boots is made from full grain leather, and nylon and the comfort it provides is superb. You’ll feel like you’re wearing something akin to sneakers, even though you have a full-blown pair of tactical boots.
Waterproofing is also up to snuff, and no water will leak through, though it may remain on the surface for quite a while.
If you want them for heavy-duty work, though, you’ll be a bit disappointed. Putting them through regular wear-and-tear will certainly end up showing on the surface.
They also breathe poorly – your feet will probably be drenched by the time you finish your shift!
So, not a pair of work boots, but they’re great for some hiking or similar activities.
Danner Men’s Recon 200 Gram Uniform Boot
Danner is an old and well-known brand that has a rich history of making boots for blue-collar workers and selling them at affordable prices.
They aren’t known for making boots that are good lookers, though, but they do make ones that function well, and this one is not an exception.
Though it can look quite dazzling when well-polished, this is a work boot. It’s made out of full grain leather, and the sole is constructed out of Vibram, a special kind of rubber suited for almost any surface.
So, what’s the catch?
Well, as with any full-leather construction, there’s not much give in these boots – they are rigid and can’t be broken in. They’re also noticeably heavy.
One thing that changed with Danner over the years is their pricing – this boot, for example, costs quite a lot. It’s well worth it, though, if you find a size that fits you well.
Maelstrom TAC ATHLON
Affordability has always been at the forefront of Maelstrom’s business, and this pair of boots is no exception. The price is ridiculous, and you’ll rarely be able to find boots this good anywhere else.
They’re of quality make, with great stitching and a full grain cowhide leather exterior. The look is superb – sleek and simple but still gorgeous.
The comfort they provide is above-average too – you won’t feel like your feet are stuck in a sauna.
But, something’s got to give with shoes like this, and here it’s the sole.
For starters, it’s not non-slip though it claims to be. It’s also not as durable as the rest of the boot, and you’ll see signs of damage sooner rather than later.
There are other small niggling issues, like the shoelaces being short, but those are easily remedied.
5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 8″ Storm Combat Boots
And here we come to the 5.11 Tactical brand again, as promised. This is most likely one of their best offerings to date, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better pair of boots in their catalog.
What makes them so good is the overall design – they’re made with security professionals in mind and have plenty of features that reinforce that.
They’re comfortable, feel light on your feet, breathe well, have amazing waterproofing, and the zipper works perfectly if you need to take them off in a hurry.
All parts of it are durable, and the sole, in particular, doesn’t wear out as quickly as it does in other similar boots.
An understated but important feature is the hidden side pocket. It can be used for stuff like knives, but also more mundane objects, like keys.
There’s always a downside though, and the main one here is the price – it’s quite high. If you can get over that, there are some other things to watch out for, and the main omission is a non-slip sole, so watch your step when wearing them.
Adidas Men’s GSG-9.2 Training Shoe
When you think “tactical boots” Adidas is certainly doesn’t come to mind, but here it is – a tactical boot of their own, and it’s not half bad.
The overall design certainly feels like it’s made by a company primarily specializing in sneakers. They’re light, breathable and don’t require a lot of breaking in, despite being made mostly from leather.
They have a few nice features that also feel out of place when talking about tactical boots but are welcome nonetheless. The OrthoLite sockliner that prevents nasty odors is probably the best addition.
The sizing is a bit off though – unless you order a half or one size larger, you’re going to have a hard time with them.
Getting into them can also be quite difficult since you need to unlace them every time.
Overall, they’re good, but not as tough as you would want a tactical boot to be.
Danner Men’s Acadia 8″ Boot
Again, a pair of boots that breaks with the Danner tradition of making affordable, blue-collar work boots. These are quite expensive, but they might be worth it for you – let’s see if they are.
They certainly look sleek – and even better when polished, though that’s probably not what you’re here for.
They’re tough as a rock. You can easily wear them for full time, every day, and they’ll last for years.
The waterproofing is spotless, and you won’t feel a drop of water on your feet – that includes sweat too since they are supremely breathable.
The soles are truly non-slip, and the laces close perfectly. There’s no zipper, though, so if you want that you’re out of luck.
The main issue with them, besides the price, is the fit. You’re basically playing a lottery when you buy them without trying them. They’re going to fit perfectly, or you’re going to experience a lot of pain – there doesn’t seem to be anything in-between.
Magnum Men’s Elite Spider 8.0
Magnum hits the bullseye once again with this pair of extremely affordable boots. That doesn’t mean they skimped on quality construction, though. They’re made out of 100% leather, and the stitching is excellent.
The sole is made out of Vibram rubber and is truly non-slip while being exceptionally light. The entire boot is lightweight and easy to wear, quite flexible and comfy.
Though they are marketed as desert boots, they have great waterproofing. However, you’ll likely sweat in them, even when you’re not in the middle of the Sahara.
You’ll also notice that the upper part of the boot is far less durable than the rest of it, and that’s where the damage will show at first. Just be careful when putting them on to minimize that.
Rocky Duty Men’s Modern Paraboot
Now, if you want a good looker, these boots are it! The Rocky brand has been well-known for making high-quality products, and they’ve hit it out of the park with this one.
These incredibly tall boots have great waterproofing so you can be knee-deep in water and stay dry. They’re made out of 100% leather which looks amazing when polished and is resistant to damage.
Despite all of this, they’re on the cheaper side, and you probably won’t notice it.
However, they do scuff rather easily, so if you’re buying them for the look, watch out.
The zipper is also a point of contention since it’s a bit useless – you will probably still need to unlace the boots to take them off.
They’re also obviously not work boots – they can get uncomfortable if you wear them for 8 hours per day.
You’ve probably heard of Belleville boots as one of the favorites of US Navy servicemen and for a good reason. They’re made to last and to be comfortable while doing the job.
They don’t look too good while doing it, but that’s not as important as functionality. They are made to last for a long time with their leather and synthetic construction and Vibram sole.
Waterproofing is great, they have a side zipper that’s easy to open up and close, the insides are comfortable, and they’re easy to wear or even run in.
However, they’re not perfect. If you’re looking to buy them for work in hotter conditions, forget it – they’re not breathable at all.
The insoles that come with them are shoddy – you’ll probably need to replace them.
Bates Men’s Defender 8 Inch Lace To Toe Waterproof Boot
Bates is a bit of an infamous brand, especially in the Navy – they’re not known for their quality, let’s just say. However, this pair of boots aims to challenge that perception.
First off, the look is far from basic, and they look amazing when polished – but they’re also functional.
The construction is sturdy, using leather and ballistic nylon to achieve amazing sturdiness and great waterproofing. They’re also breathable, so you won’t sweat when wearing them.
The main problem with them is that they will fit you, or they won’t – no amount of ‘breaking in’ is going to change that. They’re as stiff as they get.
They also have no zipper, and the shoelaces that come with them are a bit poor.
Original S.W.A.T. Men’s WinX2 8″ Waterproof-M
This is one of those special boots that features a full leather construction – yes, even the sole. Yet, despite that, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as you would expect.
The best part about this is the supreme durability it has, and the stitching holds up well. The waterproofing is spotless as well.
However, there’s a certain lack of breathability and flexibility that comes with leather construction. You’ll see that it’s a bit difficult to wear at times.
They also might feel a bit bulkier than most, also owing to the all-leather construction, but that differs from person to person.
Rocky Alphaforce Waterproof Duty Boot
Rocky makes a lot of different boots and these duty boots live up to their purpose. You can do almost anything in them, including crouching, crawling, jumping and running without feeling uncomfortable or destroying them.
The insole is great, and that’s a big part of why they’re so comfortable. They also feel light, owing to the leather and textile construction and the waterproofing holds up.
They’re not the best lookers, but these are boots where the functionality comes first after all.
Your main gripe with them might be the lack of ventilation – your feet will get wet from the sweating. They also lack lace hooks, and they can be a bit difficult to put on and secure properly.
Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Waterproof Side Zip Boots
While Smith & Wesson is not commonly associated with footwear, they do have a good reputation in the business, and these boots work well to prove why.
They’re obviously made to be affordable and the price is great, but the quality is high despite that. First off, they are incredibly comfortable, and you’ll barely feel them on your feet. They’re also supremely breathable.
You can run or jump in them easily, and they will hold up, due to the flexibility of the construction. They’re also sturdy overall, with the exception of the low-quality zipper that you probably should avoid using since it gets stuck a lot.
Sadly, the waterproofing doesn’t seem to be consistent, and even light splashes might get your feet wet at times.
Tactical boots, despite the name, are used for a wide variety of things. So, it’s a bit difficult to pick just one pair of boots as the best.
Some might say that the Rocky Paraboots are the best because of their incredibly look, while others might tout the Danner Men’s Recon since it’s such a good boot for the working man.
However, we feel that a tactical boot should be one that’s able to fit most situations well and be versatile. Because of that, our pick for the best has to be Danner Men’s Acadia 8″ Boot.
It simply has everything – the look, the feel, the function. You probably won’t go wrong if you get a pair.
We hope this article was helpful and we hope to see you here again soon!