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The Best Tactical Boots of 2020

Sportsman's Guide's top picks for tactical boots.

Bryan Oliver April 27, 2023
The Best Tactical Boots of 2020

The Best Tactical Boots of 2020

By Bryan Oliver

When it comes to tactical boots, your options are nearly limitless. Tactical boots tend to be lightweight, supportive, and designed for high activity, but they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials. So which tactical boots are right for you?

Today, we'll take a look at four of our best and most popular tactical boots for 2020 to help you make the right choice. So here they are, in no particular order.

The Reebok ERT Waterproof Tactical Boot: For Athletes who Serve

The Verdict: Most Comfortable Out of the Box (and Our Best Seller!)

What our customers are saying:

I really punish boots!! Scrap yards, truck stops, kicking tires, steel mills, feed lots, my boots really take a beating. These boots stand up well. I've got zero complaints.


I've had 5 pairs of these over the years, and I wear the heck out of them. I have one pair I use only for early elk archery season, and never had a blister. These boots wear like an old pair of sneakers, comfortable for the whole day.


I bought this boot straight out of college when money was tight. Wasn't expecting much but was hoping for a boot that would last a few years through a few hunting seasons and work on the ranch. Through these last four to five years i have done everything from walking 30+ miles in tough terrain in a day comfortably, done extensive amount of yard and ranch work, hunted, and sloshed through feet of water on the way to the duck blind to name a few activities. They have been beat up but man do they still work. Was not expecting such a stellar cheap product when I bought these boots but they have sure made me happy.

Jordan B

These Reebok boots were immediately comfortable and need no break-in period to get used to wearing them. I would recommend them to anyone.


Purchased in anticipation of my son attending Air Force ALO Assessment training. He was looking for something lighter and more comfortable than his standard issue boots. These Reeboks delivered. They were comfortable right out of the box and needed no break-in time.

Sleepless Knight

What we say:

When a company renowned for its athletic footwear produces a duty boot, we all win. Boasting Reebok athletic pedigree along with a fully waterproof membrane, the ERT Boot is our overall best-seller for darn good reason. Customers love how lightweight and comfortable they are right out of the box. At just 22 ounces apiece, they retain the Reebok tennis-shoe comfort you expect, but with the support and durability only an 8-inch boot can provide. 

The uppers are suede and ballistic nylon over a waterproof membrane that keeps water out while allowing vapor to escape. The outsole is a highly aggressive slip- and oil-resistant rubber compound that offers decently long wear while softening the constant blows of your feet hitting the blacktop.

The Merrell Moab 2 8 Waterproof Tactical Boot: Fully Loaded

The Verdict: Best Equipped

What our customers are saying:

I have wore Merrell shoes for years, hiking and camping, so I know the quality which is unmatched in shoes today. I seen they started making a tactical boot / shoe and it was a no brainer! They fit true to size and I have wore them a couple times hunting and stalking through the woods and they exceeded my expectations hands down!


After a week of break-in, hiked from one end of Porcupine Mountain State Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the other with my Daughter, 20 miles in 3 days. Boots performed awesome, never leaking, and very comfortable. Very satisfied.


(Worn for fire rescue.) I love these boots, they are the most comfortable duty boots I have ever had, great grip, super comfy, easy to get in and out, can't say enough good things about them. Had mine for about 9 months of constant wear before they started leaking, but nothing a can of spray seal won't fix. When and if these wear out I will replace them with the same.

Brent in Anchorage, Alaska

What we say:

Yet another example of a tactical boot from a company with active/outdoor pedigree, the Merrell Moab 8 Tactical Boot is the most feature-rich boot on this list. 

The Boot itself is made from beefed-up waterproof polyurethane-coated leather augmented with spray rubber lateral stability arms that act as an exoskeleton to provide added support. In addition to Merrell's tried-and-true recipe of air cushion heel and soft tech insole, the Moab 8 also sports a Vibram TC5+ outsole. The TC5+ compound is one of Vibram's best, offering excellent traction on both wet and dry surfaces. Admittedly, the Moab is the most expensive entry on the list, but the extra amenities make it more than worth it. 

The HQ ISSUE Canyon Waterproof Tactical Hiking Boot: Extra-Nice, For the Price

The Verdict: Best Value

What our customers are saying:

Not only are they a perfect fit, but they took all of an hour of wearing them to break them in. They are well constructed, they have great support, and very comfortable. They are not for arctic weather, but I live in North Dakota and have been wearing them everyday with not issues. My feet have been warm and dry even in the snowy weather. I have trekked through knee deep snow in them and they are just as warm and dry as my snow boot. I will definitely buy another pair.

RL Kill

My new favorite boots. I had just bought a new pair that was two and a half times more and they're not as comfortable as these.

Bo 1067

Out of the box they split 6 cords of wood, hiked a couple miles and have been great. I really like them.


What we say:

Coming in at least $30 less than any other boot on this list, our HQ ISSUE Canyon 8 Tactical Boot is the undisputed value kingand an all-around great boot in its own right. It's made from water-repellent treated suede and mesh, but distinguishes itself from the other boots on this list with a wide toe box that gives you a little more wiggle room and provides a wide base for greater stability. 

Above all, we built the Canyon to be lightweight and comfortable right out of the box. And because they were designed without dedication to a singular purpose, they excel for work, ranch, range and beyond. Our customers use them for just about everything.

The Rocky Alpha Force Waterproof Side-zip Tactical Boot: True-Blue Duty Performance

The Verdict: Most Durable, Most Supportive

What our customers are saying:

Not sure how I've made it through 16 years of Law Enforcement without having purchased Rocky brand boots before, but these are the best boots I've ever owned! Tough, yet super comfortable. And they only took about a week and a half to break in!!! I HIGHLY recommend these boots to LEO employees world wide!


I am a first responder and bought these boot 8 months ago. Normally with the other boots I wore the soles would have collapsed and my feet would hurt every day in the evenings. With these boots its a game changer. Easy to take off in a hurry, light and doesn't weigh down your feet, comfortable to wear and hasn't made my feet hurt once, and they look sharp! I highly recommend these boots!


I purchased the Alpha force boots with Thinsulate over 2 years ago since I worked as a Yard Sergeant in a prison. I was outside most of the day. They held up to a ton of traffic that I put on them for that long. I am now a Lieutenant and work inside of a Supermax so I purchased the same boot without Thinsulate. I am sure I will get years of comfort and ease of on off with the side zipper. Highly recommended.


What we say:

Trusted by generations of police officers, prison guards, EMTs, and mail carriers, the Rocky AlphaForce is a true duty boot with a long history of service in the most demanding professions. Crafted from full-grain leather and ballistic nylon, the AlphaForce sacrifices some of the out-of-the-box comfort and flexibility of the other boots on this list in favor of enhanced durability. They'll require a bit of break-in, but once you DO break them in, you'll have a comfortable boot that's capable of holding up in some of most grueling conditions imaginable.

The AlphaForce also features the RigiTrac molded EVA/rubber outsole. It's more rigid than the other outsoles on this list, so it provides you with a greater deal of underfoot support. Further augmenting support is the Air-Port footbed. It's made from polyurethane and absorbs shock, but always reverts back to its earliest shape. The cushion specifically targets your heel and metatarsal ridge, which makes the AlphaForce ideal for those who are on their feet for more than 8 hours a day.

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