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Can I Use Tactical Boots For Hiking? Tactical vs Hiking Boots

Tactical boots are one of the most versatile boots in the world. They can be used to conquer rough roads, dangerous cliffs, or simply to win outdoor games.

There is one common question we get very often from hikers: Can I use tactical boots for hiking?

This is a very interesting question. There are many good reasons for footwear makers to produce hiking boots with a lot of outstanding features for hikers only.

But what if a day you don’t want (or can’t) use hiking boots for hiking (for whatever reason)?

Or what if a friend invites you on a hiking trip but you don’t have any hiking boots except tactical boots at home?

Can tactical boots be used for hiking?

We’ll cover all for you and compare these two boots with their pros and cons to help you find out if tactical boots can be used for hiking.

Shall we?

Can I use tactical boots for hiking?

For hiking, a pair of boots are required to have these elements: safety, flexibility, comfort, durability and convenience. Hiking boots get all these features, but how about tactical boots?

To evaluate whether tactical boots can be used for hiking, let’s determine their similarities and differences from hiking boots.

How do tactical boots outweigh hiking boots, and vice versa? As a matter of fact, what a hiker needs in a boot are safety, flexibility, comfort, durability and convenience.

Knowing these criteria, we can evaluate the tactical boot’s ability to engage in hiking.

Keep on reading to find out!

Tactical boots

Here are some of the key features of tactical boots:


Tactical boots are used in military service, law enforcement, security personnel,… These jobs require boots with high safety for the wearer.

So tactical boots have many features such as good ankle support, safety composite toe, anti-slip outsole, anti-chemical surface, pressure resistance, good balance and stability, flame resistance, anti-high temperature, waterproof, etc.

When it comes to protection, you don’t have to worry too much because tactical boots are used for heavy-duty jobs and appear in battles very often.

Most of them are very well-reinforced at the heel and toe, with solid, durable and impact-resistant construction.


As one of the boots serving on battlefields, tactical boots provide great flexibility for soldiers.

They have some excellent features such as lightweight construction, flexible outsole, speed-lace lacing system and heavy load carrying.

However, due to the safety-focused design, tactical boots are still a bit stiff.


As the boots designed for long-distance warriors with 50lbs luggage on their backs, the tactical boots have great comfort with lightweight and breathable design, excellent cushioning, good arch support, fast drying system, air circulation, good moisture retention, soft and flexible material…


Since troop operations are often long and carry a lot of luggage, tactical boots need to be strong and durable enough to serve these purposes.

Tactical boots have durable materials (high denier nylon fabric, suede, leather) with anti-wear soles to withstand the rigorous weather.

Besides, they can resist pressure or the penetration of chemical solutions, etc.


Many tactical boots have two basic characteristics: the zippers on the side and the speed-lace lacing system.

These features allow the wearer to easily put on or take off boots in a short time.

Read more: How To Clean Tan Army Boots?

Hiking boots

Here’s some of the essential features of hiking boots:


The long roads always face many different difficulties, such as extreme weather conditions (cold, hot, wet, etc), slippery or rugged terrain, etc.

For safety, hiking boots always feature superior designs with non-slip outsoles, multi-directional lugs, waterproof exterior, ankle support, shock absorption, redirect shock, padded collars, crampon connections.

Their diverse designs can serve many types of terrain.


As boots serving long distances (or very far), hiking boots are super versatile, very lightweight, impact absorbent, high energy return, etc. In addition, many pairs of hiking boots are used for both trails and mountain roads.


If tactical boots are loved by many for their safety, then hiking boots are hiker’s favorite due to their extreme comfort.

Hiking boots have many excellent features: cushion insoles, water repellent/proof, breathability, wicking moisture, absorb and redirect shocks, gusseted tongue, linings and paddings, arch support, good balance and stability, etc.

These traits provide a very high comfort level for hikers as comfort is a very prominent feature of hiking boots.


Hiking boots need to be durable to complete the mission of conquering long distances with different conditions of weather and terrain.

To acquire that, they often have the following characteristics: leather or high denier nylon material, rubber sole, extreme weather resistance, good shock resistance, etc.

The above design characteristics make highly durable hiking boots.


One feature that hiking boots resemble tactical boots is the speed-lace lacing system.

In addition, these boots also have many designs for different types of terrain, including trails and mountain roads.

Tactical boots vs hiking boots for hiking

For an overall review of tactical boots and hiking boots, these two boots are both very good boots. But to judge whether the tactical boots can be used for hiking, we need to consider these features:

Outstanding Characteristics / BootsTactical bootsHiking boots


We rate the safety of tactical boots better than hiking boots as tactical boots are used on battlefields, so their security is undoubted.

With more external defense, foot and ankle support, tactical boots are the pinnacle of safety.


When it comes to versatility, tactical boots are hard to compare with hiking boots since hiking boots are made for hiking (obviously).

It is obvious that though tactical boots are lightweight, they are still heavier than hiking boots. The tactical boots can be said to be twice as heavy as hiking boots.

The weight of the boots for hiking is important and greatly affects the wearer’s physical condition. It’s hard to say that you should have the same stamina as soldiers to carry tactical boots over the long haul.


The weight of tactical boots is heavier than hiking boots – this will affect your comfort in the long run.

Tactical boots are sometimes stiffer than hiking boots a little (because safety is the priority of tactical boots). Moreover, they might be less flexible than hiking boots. These things quite affect your comfort level.

Also, some have complained that the insoles of tactical boots are not well designed for long distances like that of hiking boots.

For hiking, we appreciate hiking boots over tactical boots on the comfort side.


It is difficult to find a boot that can withstand external attacks while retaining the same endurance as tactical boots. This is because tactical boots were born for war, arduous marches and survival in harsh environments.

However, we can’t ignore the durability of hiking boots as they are durable to challenge difficult mountain trails.

To conclude, the durability of tactical boots is better than hiking boots.


Tactical boots are marginally better than hiking boots in convenience, as most hiking boots don’t have zippers.

Besides, you must consider choosing hiking boots that are designed for trails or mountain roads. For example, the tactical boots are more versatile with their good base design (anti-wear, anti-slip, etc.) that can handle a variety of terrain.

Ultimately, if you’re carrying heavy luggage for hiking (more than 50lbs) then tactical boots can help you out better than hiking.

Tactical boots can withstand a large load but still provide outstanding balance, stability and comfort for the wearer.

Compared to hiking boots, tactical boots are usually higher, so tactical boots can keep your pants (if you put them in) and your socks stay in place, making your outfit neat. This is essential for hiking.

2 pair of dusty boots

Answer to question: Can I use tactical boots for hiking?

Tactical boots are good enough for hiking.

Tactical boots will give you excellent safety, adequate comfort, convenience and durability. However, you’ll hardly be as flexible as wearing hiking boots because of the heavier weight of tactical boots.

The other great thing about tactical boots is that they provide greater balance, stability and comfort when hikers wear heavy luggage.

In fact, military-specific tactical boots weigh significantly more than hiking boots. However, many types of boots nowadays are a hybrid of tactical boots and hiking boots, which make them very light, flexible and comfortable. These boots can be the ideal options for your needs. Like the one below:

Tips for using tactical boots for hiking

The overall weaknesses of tactical boots compared to hiking boots are their versatility and comfort.

Good news is, you can help tactical boots overcome that weakness by following these tips:

  • Break-in tactical boots: Make sure your tactical boots are broken in. This will greatly increase comfort and flexibility for the tactical boots and your feet.
  • The tactical boots that snugly fit will make you much more comfortable and versatile than the tight or loose tactical boots.
  • Use the conditioner to take care of your tactical boots to make them stronger and more durable.
  • If tactical boots are not comfortable enough for you, use extra insoles that can provide good foot support (arch and heel support)
  • There are two types of tactical boots: one for the hot weather and the other for the temperate weather. Therefore, determine which weather condition you plan to hike to choose the suitable boots for your trip.

For better demonstration, we’ll cover 3 of the best tactical boots for hiking.

Review 3 Most Comfortable Tactical Boots for Hiking

Here is a little gift for you, the best tactical boots that you can use for hiking in all different terrains, weathers and environments!

1. ANTARCTICA Men’s Lightweight Military Tactical Boots for Hiking Work Boots

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% full grain leather, nylon textile upperThe sole is thin
Lightweight, breathability, durabilityNeed break-in period
Non-slip & wear resistant outsoles, abrasion-resistant, shock & scratch-resistant, waterproof
Good price, nice fit, multipurpose

These are great tactical boots to use for hiking, why?

Because they are quite light. With the weight of approximately a pair of authentic hiking boots, these boots almost erase all of the downsides of the tactical boots.

With an approximate weight of hiking boots, these boots are perfect for trekking on any trails and mountain,… with great flexibility and infinite comfort.

In addition, the tactical boots from ANTARCTICA are made of 100% full grain leather and nylon textile. They offer you great flexibility and durability in the long run.

These boots are suitable for wet weather, because the boot material dries very quickly and is ventilated.

Besides, the EVA midsole gives your arch good support over long distances. Non-slip and wear-resistant outsoles give you good balance and stability, ensuring that every step of you is safe.

What’s more, these ANTARCTICA boots are waterproof, scratch-resistant, shock absorbent with rubber toe cap toe to provide you with excellent safety. All of these features are the specialties of tactical boots.

What more could you expect?

2. Merrell Mens Moab 2 8″ Tactical Waterproof

What we likeWhat we don’t like
Fabric, leather and ripstop materialsHigh price
Mesh lining, lace-Up closure, waterproofNeed break in period
Tough and strong, safe and durable, 5mm lug deep
Good fit, cool look, comfortable

It’s important to tell whether the tactical boots are designed for hot or temperate weather. If the tactical boots above are for wet weather, here are the one for the hot weather.

Merrell Mens Moab 2 8″ The Tactical Waterproof is a tactical boot that can help you get through long and hot roads with great ease.

Made of fabric, leather and ripstop, these boots provide very good ventilation. Besides, breathable mesh lining keeps your feet cool during the journey.

These boots have the shock-absorbing ability of the air cushion in heel, along with good arch support. Therefore, they not only make your feet cool, but they also give you extreme flexibility and comfort.

Aside from that, these boots are lightweight so they can overcome the general weakness of many of the tactical boots for hiking.

Also, these boots are waterproof to cope with sudden rains, which can reduce a big worry for you.

A lug depth of 5mm will create a perfect grip for the outsole, making it easy to balance and conquer rough roads. Moreover, these boots have ankle support to increase your safety on the ramps.

3. Under Armour Men’s Stellar Military and Tactical Boot

What we likeWhat we don’t like
100% Leather & textileLittle stiff
Rubber sole, quick-dry, EVA midsole, TPU shank
Good ankle support, anti-odor technology, keep your feet warm in winter
Rubber lug sole, lightweight, comfortable right out of the box, good arch support

Finally, Under Armor Men’s Stellar Military and Tactical Boot is the name you are looking for to conquer the slippery and cold snowy mountains.

These are tactical boots that give you great warmth in the winter. Also, it would be a mistake if these boots didn’t have a very good quick-dry ability, but they did.

When you go to low-temperature places, there is a paradox that your feet will develop cold sweat and stink. But these boots can help you overcome such discomfort with anti-odor technology. This technology helps prevent unpleasant odors extremely well. Amazing, right?

What else? It’s EVA midsole for maximum foot support, along with TPU shank to protect your feet from unexpected pitfalls.

Don’t worry if your feet are covered in heavy snow, these tactical boots will keep them dry and warm.

Try them out, and don’t be surprised!


The answer is that you can absolutely use tactical boots for hiking, this is a great choice!

Tactical boots possess almost all of the features that hiking boots have. Besides, they come in different types to suit different types of terrain and environment.

There are many hybrids of tactical boots with hiking boots these days. Many people can’t even tell the difference between them if not an expert.

Don’t worry, tactical boots are totally a great choice for long trips.

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