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The 15 Best Desert Tactical Boots in 2023

Choosing a pair of tactical boots isn’t difficult as there are thousands of tactical boots in the world.

But, picking a pair of tactical boots that really suits the job requirements, different terrain, weather… is tough!

What are the criteria of a pair of tactical boots for use in the desert?

Here are some important things you need to pay attention to when finding the best desert tactical boots!

Shall we?

How do you choose tactical boots to use in the desert?

The two most important things to choose desert tactical boots are:

  • They should be breathable
  • They don’t let sand get in (or a system for sand to escape).

These are two critical requirements to ensure the ventilation and protection of your feet, thus they can give you maximum comfort and flexibility in long journeys.

Breathability / Good air circulation

The duration of activity on deserts (hiking, work…) is usually during the day when the temperature of the desert is very high.

So desert tactical boots need to deal with that, and that’s why breathability is very essential.

You can opt for desert tactical boots made from nylon fabric or suede instead of leather for the following reasons:

  • Tactical boots made from nylon fabric and suede are more breathable than leather, and will keep your feet comfortable and cool.
  • Tactical boots made from nylon fabric or suede are generally brighter in color (tan, beige, desert sand, …) than leather tactical boots (usually black). The brightly colored boots will reflect light better, reducing the effect of heat and radiation outside.

Full grain leather tactical boots are also very breathable, but as I said, most of them are black. The black tactical boots tend to absorb more UV and heat, which is bad for your feet.

In addition to the breathability, tactical boots need good air circulation, giving the feet a cool and free feel.

Breathability / Good air circulation The duration of activity on deserts (hiking, work …) is usually during the day, when the temperature of the desert is very high. So desert tactical boots need to deal with that, and that’s why breathability is very essential. You can opt for desert tactical boots made from nylon fabric or suede instead of leather for the following reasons: Tactical boots made from nylon fabric and suede are more breathable than leather, and will keep your feet comfortable and cool. Tactical boots made from nylon fabric or suede are generally brighter in color (tan, beige, desert sand, …) than leather tactical boots (usually black). The brightly colored boots will reflect light better, reducing the effect of heat and radiation outside. Full grain leather tactical boots are also very breathable, but as I said, most of them are black. The black tactical boots tend to absorb more UV and heat, which is bad for your feet. In addition to the breathability, tactical boots need good air circulation, giving the feet a cool and free feel.

Do not allow sand to enter or have a vents system to allow sand to escape

This can be a big challenge for the makers of tactical boots – they must produce tactical boots that are breathable, but still ensure sand won’t get inside. To achieve that, it largely depends on the design and material of the tactical boots.

The weave density of the fabric should be as perfect as possible, the holes should be small enough to prevent sand and UV rays, but large enough to have ventilation.

What do I say this for? You do not have to worry about this stuff because this is a matter of the manufacturer!

Normally, if you pay attention, good desert tactical boots will usually not have drainage vents to ensure sand does not enter.

The desert tactical boots often get a lacing design around the calf or ankle so that sand does not get inside the boots.

In addition, many tactical boots have a vents system that allows the sand trapped inside to escape.

Finally, the tongue of desert tactical boots can keep the sand, small debris, and mud from falling inside. If the tongue of tactical boots doesn’t have that ability, it’s not desert tactical boots.

Little metal or no metal

Metal-reinforced tactical boots (steel toe, steel shank…) are not good choices to use in deserts.

The metal can absorb and conduct heat very well, which will make the heat of the desert even more terrible to your feet.

So opt for tactical boots for deserts that have no metal, or very few.

There are tactical boots that have been reinforced with special metals that do not absorb and conduct much heat, so if your job requires metal boots, consider them.

Little or no insulation

Unless you work in the desert at night (very low temperatures), the tactical boots that are used in the desert during the day should not have any insulation.

Trust me, you need well-ventilated tactical boots in the desert to keep your feet cool.

A tactical boot with an insulating cover only makes your feet hot and uncomfortable.

In general, you should only use tactical boots with good insulation in places with low temperatures, snow, etc. to keep your feet warm.

In the desert, a tactical boot with an insulating layer isn’t a good choice!

Good moisture wicking

In the high temperature desert, your feet will sweat a lot and cause moisture inside the tactical boots.

So a good pair of desert tactical boots must be able to absorb sweat well and keep the feet dry and comfortable.

Aside from that, I also recommend using extra socks with good moisture wicking materials to support your feet in hot weather.

Choose 6-inch to 8-inch high tactical boots

That’s because the 6-inch high tactical boots can keep your pants and socks in place and won’t let sand or debris get inside.

Otherwise, you can blouse your tactical boots: slip your pants inside the tactical boots, use boot bands… as long as there’s no space between the pants and the tactical boots. This way, no sand and debris can get into the tactical boot.

To do the above things, it is much easier with the tactical boots at least 6 inches tall.

Also, you can tighten the shoelaces around the ankle or calf to keep the sand away.


Another reason that desert tactical boots are often made from suede and nylon is that these materials are quite scratch resistant.

The high temperature rough sand is the perfect weapon that makes your leather tactical boots peel, tear, and discolor. But that is unlikely to happen in suede and nylon.

Don’t use desert-polished leather tactical boots, you’re wasting money.

Normally, desert tactical boots are reinforced and are very resistant to tears, scratches, and sometimes even chemicals.

Tactical boots have wear-resistant outsoles, which is understandable as they have to deal with rough sand at high temperatures.

Some other features

Besides the above requirements of desert tactical boots above, here are some other features you should look out for in a good tactical boot:

Non-slip outsoles: A desert is not humid and overly slippery environments, but there are many cliffs with sand on the surface that will cause slippery. So non-slip outsoles are essential.

Shock-absorbing boots: If you need tactical boots for wearing all day or for heavy-duty jobs, a pair of shock-absorbing boots will do just fine.

Good arch, heel support: Many people are looking for tactical boots for desert hiking, so the boots with good arch and heel support will facilitate the job.

Speed-lace lacing: Many of today’s tactical boots are designed to minimize lacing time, look for them.

Zippers: This is my personal opinion, but I like desert tactical boots with zippers on the side, they make me feel much more convenient and comfortable.

Reinforced toe cap: In the desert full of rocks lurking in the sand, a pair of well-protected desert tactical boots should have a well-reinforced toe cap (anti-kick and shockproof).

The 15 best desert tactical boots in 2023

Still wondering? Too lazy to find tactical boots that match these requirements?

Don’t worry, we’ve selected for you 15 best desert tactical boots!

Let’s check it out!

1. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots 8 Inches Lightweight

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Durable, scratch-resistant, anti-kick, anti-collisionThe insoles need inserts
Lightweight, flexible and reduce fatigue
Comfortable, breathable, good cushioning
All terrain outsoles, gusseted tongue prevent sand, dirt, debris

The first shot of the list is FREE SOLDIER, a brand that has quality, good-looking tactical boots at a very affordable price.

The tactical boots above are proof. With a design made of suede leather and cordura fabric, these boots are highly breathable, durable and extremely tear resistant.

In addition, the toe cap of tactical boots is reinforced, anti-kick, anti-collision and resistant to external impacts.

Besides, the outsoles of these tactical boots can be used on a wide variety of terrain, with good grip and wear resistance.

With these features, it can be said that these are the perfect tactical boots for the desert.

To describe the best of these tactical boots, they’re a great aid for hiking as they are very light and comfortable.

EVA midsoles with perfect cushioning and fatigue reduction are the hallmarks of these boots from the rest!

In addition, the vented holes on the sides bring the boots good air circulation. These are the key features to help your feet deal with the desert heat.

2. Bates Men’s GX-8 Composite Toe Side Zip Work Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Durable suede, nylon upperNeed break in period
Awesome side zipper, multipurpose, hold up well
Composite toe, slip resistant outsoles
Moisture wicking, breathable, cushioned insert

Bates is a familiar brand to those who love military & tactical boots. Bates’s tactical boots are both extremely high quality and versatile.

The Bates Men’s GX-8 is a pair of desert tactical boots that meet the criteria we’ve set out for: bright colors, made of durable nylon and suede, side zipper, breathable, moisture wicking, lightweight and EVA midsoles.

These tactical boots give you great balance on desert terrain with rubber outsoles for a great grip.

What Bates is proud of in these boots is that the Composite Toe ASTM F2413-11 adds extra protection to the toe.

Desert treks are sure to take a lot of your time, so these boot cushion insoles are the solution for long-term comfort.

With extreme strength and durability, this is your ideal travel companion in the desert.

3. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Tactical Boots 6 Inches Lightweight Breathable

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Durable, shock absorption, scratch-resistant, anti-collision, wear-resistantSoles does not have a good grip on the rock surface
Comfortable, great cushioning, lightweight and flexible
Moisture-wicking lining, good ankle support
Tongue prevents sand and dirt

Coming back to FREE SOLDIER but with a tactical boot that is only 6 inches tall.

I’m sure that everyone likes 8-inch high tactical boots. But as I said before, at least you need a tactical pair that can’t be less than 6 inches tall in the desert.

A 6-inch high tactical boot keeps your socks and pants neat, just tuck your pants inside the tactical boot and sand won’t get in.

These FREE SOLDIER tactical boots are durable and shock absorbing. They are the #1 choice for the desert of California hiking trip.

These boots also resemble the first tactical boots, with outsoles that offer good grip and can conquer various terrains easily. They’re also lightweight, flexible and have EVA midsoles together with cushioning insoles – these things will conquer you!

Also, the brand doesn’t forget to give you a well-reinforced toe cap, making these boots anti-kick, shock-proof from the outside.

One very important design is that the tongue of these tactical boots prevents the sand, debris… from falling inside, which is one of the key features desert tactical boots must have.

Moisture-wicking, breathable structure will keep your feet dry and cool.

The special to these tactical boots is that you can choose a pair made from thin fabric or thick fabric.

Thin fabric will be light, breathable and suitable for flat terrain, while thick fabric will have better ankle support.

4. Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB RB8694

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Tough, shock-absorbing, durableSlip resistant is not really good
Nylon upper, safety toe cap
Heel cushion, moisture absorbing
Comfortable, good support insoles

I love deserts, and I love Reebok Work’s tactical boots too.

Here’s why, because Reebok Work has great desert tactical boots such as the Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB RB8694.

These boots are designed with a sturdy, powerful look that will attract you at first sight.

Made from rough suede and textile, the boots have excellent durability to withstand any hot grains of sand while retaining high ventilation.

The ballistic nylon upper makes the boots strong enough to withstand challenging terrain and conditions.

Other features include: rubber sole with good grip and flexibility when moving on desert surfaces, EVA midsole for comfortable foot support for long time use, heel cushion to reduce shock.

Besides, the toe cap is carefully reinforced to protect your feet well when kicking any rocks in the desert.

Reebok Work’s tactical boots are well-structured, sealed and have a perfect weaving density, so there are virtually no grains of sand that can invade.

If you are looking for safety boots in the dangerous desert, then this is a good choice.

5. NORTIV 8 Men’s Military Tactical Work Boots

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Good ankle support, side zipper (convenience)Need break in period
Durable, abrasion-resistant, absorbs shock, slip resistant
Cushion insoles, breathable, all-day comfort
Flexible outsoles, great for various terrain

The next desert tactical boots that I want to show you will bring all of the best features a boot needs together: safety, convenience, durability, comfort, and versatility.

Why do I say that?

Because these tactical boots come at the standard height for full ankle wraps & supports, plus side zippers for easy on / off.

Besides, these desert tactical boots are made entirely of heat resistant suede & fabric, giving your legs a comfortable and cool feeling.

In addition, the two materials that make up this boot have very high durability, toughness and abrasion resistance.

To ensure long-shift patrols, the cushioned insoles increase comfort and EVA midsole has the ability to reduce foot fatigue and absorb shock.

You can rest assured for high intensity activity because these boots have nice ankle support.

The best quality is here, right here in these boots!

6. Reebok Work Duty Men’s Rapid Response RB RB8874 8″ Tactical Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Cushion EVA midsole, cushion insert insoleNot too durable
Safety, little break in time
Lightweight, comfortable, nice wide toe box
Shock eliminator heel plug, side zipper

Here’s Reebok Work again, a pair of boots that look even more stubborn than the Rapid Response RB RB8694 boots is the Rapid Response RB RB8874.

Overall, these two tactical boots are not very different except for their height: the Rapid Response RB RB8874 is taller, which offers more ankle support and makes it easier to tuck your pants inside

On the other hand, it still inherits the outstanding features of RB8694 9 – the suede and fabric materials with tough and durable properties. Besides, this Reebok boot can easily adapt to a variety of terrain and extreme weather conditions.

There are cushioned insert insoles with good foot support to add comfort, breathable structure to keep feet cool, heel design to eliminate shock…

In addition to desert terrain, these tactical boots can be used to challenge different terrain due to their versatility and good grip outsoles.

7. Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Rts Military and Tactical Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Lightweight, good ankle support, mid foot supportNot too durable
Comfortable, abrasion resistant, lightweight
Rubber sole, ankle support, anti odor
Breathable, hold up well

This list would be incomplete if I don’t mention tactical boots from the Under Armor brand. And Under Armor Men’s UA Valsetz RTS Tactical Boots is the ideal candidate.

Unlike other tactical boots made from suede or nylon fabric, these Under Armor are made from synthetic and textile materials. These boots will still satisfy you as they are:

  • Lightweight, flexible
  • Anti-abrasion, durable and tough
  • Breathable, feel cool and good-looking

Besides, these well-structured boots provide very high flexibility for the wearer on the surface of hot sand. Along with that, good ankle support will add more safety.

In addition, these desert tactical boots are bright in color, easily reflect light and absorb fewer UV rays that they can protect your feet from heat and radiation effectively.

Overall, these tactical boots will give you a comfortable, safe, and versatile experience in a desert environment.

8. Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force Military Tactical Work Boots

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Side zipper, moisture wicking lining, good gripThe laces and eyelets seem not too good
Breathable, insulated, lightweight
Durable, shock-absorbing, affordable
Padded collar and tongue, reinforced heel and toe

An extremely versatile tactical boot developed by Maelstrom and made a huge splash. That is Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force Military Tactical Work Boots.

Made primarily from Textile and Suede, Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force is extremely flexible, breathable, durable and withstands external forces very well.

Just the traits above are too early to claim that these tactical boots are suitable for desert.

We need to include moisture wicking lining, shock absorbent cushion insert, and padded collar for great comfort when wearing in the desert.

The tongue protects the feet from discomfort caused by sand or debris. The heel and toe are heavily reinforced to withstand sudden bumps.

Is that enough to conquer you?

9. Bates Men’s 8″ Ultralite Tactical Sport Side Zip Military Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Moisture wicking, breathable lining, side zipperNot a composite toe boots
Hold up well, ventilate well, cushioned EVA midsole
Comfortable, lightweight, slip resistant,
Great for patrol, used for both summer or winter

Ultralite Tactical Boots is one of the most enthusiastic and very successful product lines of Bates, as they have conquered many demanding customers.

Crafted by nylon fabric and suede, this tactical boot is invincible because of its toughness, wear resistance, impact resistance and tear resistance.

In addition to the two main materials, nylon and suede, the textile design on both sides give the boots good ventilation and air circulation from the inside out, making the wearer’s feet always cool and dry despite the heat of the desert.

Moisture wicking combined with breathable lining, it’s no exaggeration to say that these boots beat the high heat of the desert very easily.

Removable cushioned insert and cushioned EVA midsoles together with their light weight are key features that make these boots suitable for long-shift patrols, hiking or desert activities.

The other thing I love about the tactical boots is that it has zippers, which makes them much more handy and versatile.

10. RYNO GEAR Tactical Combat Boots with Coolmax Lining

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Very comfortable, durable, functionalThey might not be suitable for rough terrain
Breathable mesh lining, slip-resistant rubber outsoles, shock absorbent insoles
Sturdy, lightweight, hold up well
Great for the price, side zip for easy on/off

Coolmax lining sets RYNO GEAR’s tactical boots different, and makes them the perfect boots for conquering deserts.

We can see how much confidence RYNO GEAR has in this product when they claim that 100% of the customers will be satisfied with free return.

Made from suede and ballistic nylon, these boots are functional, comfortable and have the ultimate look. They are extremely durable and can withstand extreme conditions.

A padded collar holds the foot to support the ankle, helps tuck pants in and keeps sand and debris outside the boots.

The contrast stitching detail is the highlight that creates the unmistakable look of the RYNO GEAR’s tactical boots.

The notable feature is the breathable mesh lining of this RYNO GEAR. The lining of these boots make them stand out among other brands, it brings you max cool and max comfortable.

Slip-resistant rubber outsoles are also a must-mention because they have a very good grip, wear resistance to help you conquer many different types of terrain.

The long journeys in the desert will be no longer arduous because the shock absorbent insoles will cherish your feet absolutely!

11. FREE SOLDIER Men’s Waterproof 6 Inches Lightweight Tactical Boots

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Non-slip and wear-resistant outsole, EVA midsoleNot stiff or strong enough to use in mountainous or rocky terrain
Anti-kick and anti-collision toe cap, gusseted tongue
Lightweight, breathable, affordable
Flexible, wear resistant TPU material

FREE SOLDIER is famous for their tactical hiker boots, especially those for hot weather.

FREE SOLDIER tactical boots are unique in that they are lightweight, flexible, breathable and have outsoles that can be used on a variety of terrain.

Besides, people also love FREE SOLDIER boots because of their sharp looks.

With the upper made of plaid fabric for great resistance and toughness, it can be said that these boots are resistant to puncture.

The body with TPU material offers high flexibility, good durability and wear resistance.

Also, the lightweight construction makes your desert journey more pleasant.

These tactical boots are specially reinforced on the toe and heel for anti-kick and anti-collision, which turn the hidden rocks in the desert to harmless things for your feet.

The collar of the boot is very soft and breathable as the manufacturer really pays attention to detail in the design and materials. The boots can absorb moisture very well to keep the feet dry and cool.

What I like about these boots is that the gusseted tongue ensures your feet are not disturbed by sand or obnoxious debris.

12. CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Ankle support, great tractionNeed break in period
Smooth padded lining, premium insoles
Comfortable, lightweight, well-built
Ventilated, breathable, great for hiking

Various colors, masculine, strong, and good looking are the first impressions of CQR’s tactical boots.

With a 3D structure design at the ankle that helps the boots hug and support the ankle very well, along with the quick & easy lacing system, the boots provide flexibility but still maintain high safety.

These tactical boots have smooth padded lining and premium insoles for support and long-term comfort.

In addition, the outsole is made with dense motifs to increase grip and the wearer’s balance.

Durable PU upper with high abrasion resistance will help wearers overcome sandstorms or hot sand rubbing without any problems.

The Duratex ripstop fabric retains the necessary ventilation, providing good air circulation in the tactical boots and keeping the feet cool.

And the last thing is that with the reinforced toe, your entire feet and ankles will be invincible!

13. RYNO GEAR Trek Coolmax Tactical Side Zip Boots

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Great side zipper,  Velcro strapBe careful with the size
Very cool, water-resistant
Leather and ballistic nylon, good grip
Shock absorbing, lightweight

The RYNO GEAR Trek Coolmax Tactical Side Zip Boots is the next super product that makes your desert journey easier.

RYNO GEAR with the pride that CoolMax lining is able to absorb sweat, creating a feeling of super-comfort for the wearer to fade away the heat of the desert.

The combination of ballistic nylon and leather offers good external resistance, high durability and especially ventilation.

In addition, the side zippers make it easy to take on / off the tactical boots. Rubber outsoles are also the highlight when they create a good balance thanks to the high grip.

Finally, these tactical boots have good shock absorbent for miles of hot deserts.

14. Danner Men’s Tanicus 8″ Hot Duty Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Good price, well-built, moisture wickingSmall toe box
Good traction, cushion insole
Lightweight, breathable, durable
Ankle support, many color choices

Danner is one of the very famous boot brands as they develop a wide variety of boots. Danner’s tactical boots are typical examples.

Danner Men’s Tanicus 8″ Hot Duty Boot is a very popular boot to overcome the challenges of a desert firestorm.

This boot gets a sharp appearance, along with superior designs such as:

  • Lightweight, moisture-wicking, breathable
  • Good ankle support, water-resistant, durable …
  • Affordable, great construction
  • Good traction outsole, cushion insole

These tactical boots meet the requirements of desert boots.

In addition, Danner also has a variety of cool black leather tactical boots. Take a look, you’ll be surprised!

15. 5.11 Men’s Speed 3.0 Desert Tactical Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Durable, wear-resistant, withstand heavy useNo speed-lace lacing system
Multipurpose, slip-resistant, OrthoLite insoles
Size zip, ankle support, good traction
Suede and nylon, beautiful design

Made of 50% suede and 50% nylon, the construction is durable, wear-resistant and withstands heavy use. 5.11 desert tactical boots will be a good choice for hiking trips this summer.

Proud to be at the forefront of technological innovations, 5.11 Tactical boots offer the wearer extreme comfort with the OrthoLite insoles providing excellent foot support.

In addition, the outsoles are also designed with the brand’s technology to create good traction, balance for the wearer on many types of terrain.

Being handled well, the outsoles of these tactical boots are also wear-resistant and highly durable.

In addition, there’s a side zipper to increase the convenience of these boots.

Finally, the structure of the boots is high enough to hug the ankles to provide better support. This is the companion you are dreaming of!


What kind of desert tactical boots do special ops guys wear?

The desert tactical boots that special ops guys wear is highly demanded for quality, including:

  • High strength, heavy loading, withstand high temperatures for a long time, heat resistance, chemical resistance, wear resistance, tear resistance, high pressure, anti-fatigue feet…
  • Very high comfort, including breathability, lightweight, moisture wicking, cushioning and good arch support of insoles, toe and heel, flexible outsoles with good grip. Keep sand away from falling in and have vents to allow sand to flow out.
  • Bright colors, usually desert or desert sand. The colors have many similarities with desert terrain.
  • Highly secure, with good ankle support, solid toe and heel reinforcement, gusseted tongue ensures no sand or debris falls. Boots with anti-kick, anti-collision…
  • Convenience: desert tactical boots have speed lace lacing systems but no zippers, as they assume the zippers can fail due to harsh terrain conditions.
  • Usually made of nylon fabric and suede: these 2 materials are very durable, strong and breathable…, which meets many requirements for safety, comfort and durability.
  • Boots are usually 6 inches to 8 inches in height, which makes them better able to support the ankle. They often slip the leg of the pants into the tactical boots to prevent sand or debris from falling inside boots.
  • In addition, some tactical special ops guys footwear are often reinforced with metal for added safety.

In general, desert tactical boots for special ops guys to wear are highly appreciated for their durability and robustness, external resistance, comfort, safety, convenience, …

Desert tactical boots should provide a high degree of security while keeping the wearer comfortable and flexible for their jobs.

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