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9 Best Military Hiking Boots (Combat Boots) – 2020 Full Buyer’s Guide

best military hiking boot image

We know some of you might be wondering if military shoes are suitable for hiking since they have been known as very rigid and heavy. The answer is yes. Military shoes can not only be used for hiking. They work wonders, given the latest military shoes that feature everything you probably didn't know.

The latest military shoes are not only durable, waterproof, and warm like their older versions. They are lightweight, comfortable, and breathable, making them ideal for hiking.

Military shoes have always had the advantage of being durable, abrasion- and slip-resistant, making them ideal for rucking. Backpacking through the wilderness for long miles is not much different than rucking.

To make it easier for you to understand how and which hiking footwears will work wonders, we've come up with a list of our favorite best military hiking boots.

9 Top Rated Military Hiking Boots Reviewed

Stellar Military - Minimalist Design

If you're looking for solid American made jungle shoes, then the Stellar military and tactical shoe by Under Armour is the best option for you. They are way more durable, supportive and good looking than other jungle shoes out there. Sure, they might take some time to break in with your feet but once they do, you will fall in love with them.

Stellar Military image

They are equipped with a rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on all kinds of surfaces. The midsole is EVA molded and reinforced with a TPU shank guaranteeing superior support and resistant. Their minimalist style gives them a modern jungle shoe look and they'll look new with regular polishing.

What makes the Stellar shoe outstanding is its quick-dry feature and its anti-odor feature, allowing your feet to dry quickly and free from microbial smell.

Getting so much out of a jungle shoe for this price seems quite a good trade-off.


  • Durable

  • Supportive

  • Stylish

  • Excellent Grip


  • Break-in Period

Krazy Shoe Artists – Lightweight

The Krazy Shoe Artist is a great vintage Jungle shoes being used post-second world war and very widely used by military officers, backpackers, and hunters.

The rubber outsole on these shoes provides extremely good traction in jungles whereas some, not all, users complain about the comfort. This can be fixed by switching the removable insole with Dr. Scholl's insert that supports your arch perfectly. This adjustment is fine for a shoe so inexpensive.

Krazy Shoe Artists image

Besides, these boots come with a combined upper of Cordura quality nylon and leather, making them quite breathable, lightweight and very good looking. The non-metallic toe box is also wide enough to allow your toe to breath whereas the gusseted tongue is quite effective at keeping all debris from entering. The waterproofing ability is also quite sound, but the insoles are equipped with vented holes for better ventilation and drain ability.

Remember to get a pair exactly your size rather than getting a small or extra size. Only buy a size bigger if you've got wide feet. Consult the dealer about the shoe size before making a purchase or try buying from a dealer that gives a free exchange warranty.


  • Great Traction

  • Inexpensive

  • Breathable

  • Lightweight


  • Small Sizing

Army Universe - Slip-resistant

If you're looking for a canvas jungle shoe, these shoes from the Army Universe are one of our best recommendations. The 8" high shaft and the collars are made from canvas while the vamp is made from leather, making the shoes quite breathable, lightweight and resistant to abrasion. Polishing the leather regularly will keep them looking like new.

Army Universe image

The Panama sole is Army Universe's proprietary outsole, very efficient at providing traction, support and very durable. The insoles might feel tough for some but can be replaced with a pair of orthotics that fit best on you. The shank is made of steel to ensure better support.

The waterproofing ability of these shoes is superb, you don't have to worry about them when walking through streams or puddles. In case water gets in from above they have two vent holes to drain that water out, keeping your feet dry. However, these are heavy-duty shoes, therefore we recommend you pick other shoes if you're looking for lightweight shoes.

Lastly, some complaints have been made by buyers that these shoes are cut big and therefore the company has decided to replace them in case the size doesn't fit you. Conclusively, if you're looking for a pair of cheap jungle shoes, you may not find a better one than this.


  • Breathable

  • Lightweight

  • Abrasion Resistant

  • Waterproof

  • Heavyduty


  • Inaccurate Sizing

Garmont T8 - Lightweight

When it comes to hiking in the desert or rugged terrain, the Garmont T8 is one of the best military style hiking boots. The brand boasts of its lightweight nature, but these boots offer a lot more than that.

Its breathability is guaranteed by its suede leather upper and the nylon mesh, whereas its durability is due to its Texon and canvas reinforcements.

It provides excellent ventilation and has a quick-dry nature making it ideal for wet climates. Its Vibram soles provide the necessary traction and stability on all surfaces. Their speed lacing system allows them to be worn and taken off very quickly. All these features make the Garmont T8 shoes an ideal army trekking shoes.

Keep in mind: These footwear came in a bit smaller sizes, so try buying one size larger to adjust your feet better.

Garmont Military Work Boot image



  • Breathable

  • Ventilated

  • Quick-dry

  • Good Traction

  • Speed Lacing System

  • Small Sizing

Rothco - Breathable

Hiking or walking with heavy shoes through any sort of forest becomes extremely difficult and therefore requires lightweight shoes. The ROTHCO military jungle shoe is our favorite lightweight jungle shoe because while being lightweight and providing good traction, it is also extremely comfortable.

The 8" shaft is made of the breathable and lightweight canvas while the vamp is made of cow-hide leather from heel to toe, providing excellent protection, abrasion resistance, and a classy look.

ROTHCO image

These shoes are equipped with the Panama sole, which is a thick vulcanized rubber sole excellent attraction and highly durable even with rough use. The steel shank further reduces all sorts of strain and supports the heel quite well. Two vent holes are provided to allow breathability and ventilation.

The insoles are removable, and the shoes are a size bigger than a normal military shoe to allow space for thick socks. Furthermore, the 9-lace system might take time to tie and untie but allow better adjustability. You might even get these jungle shoes for salefrom some stores.


  • Great Traction

  • Comfortable

  • Lightweight

  • Abrasion Resistant


  • Big Sizing

Danner Tachyon - Easy Dry

These tall shaft shoes are another military boot we would recommend for hiking as they have almost all the features you need without being too expensive for your wallet.

Their upper is majorly composed of nylon and synthetic leather that keeps them lightweight and super quick dry. The lightweight, however, doesn't come at the cost of comfort, durability, or traction as unlike other lightweight boots, these are equipped with a three-layer footbed and a pure rubber sole.

An efficient speed lacing system is put into place for easy and quick wearing and taking off. They are designed to break in with your feet right away, and you'll be fatigue-free even after long days at the office due to these boots.

Danner Men's Tachyon Tactical Boot

Note: Although these boots are durable and abrasion-resistant, we would recommend you not to put them through extreme tests very often. However, like all other Danner boots, these are also paramount to great quality and will provide good protection during hard impacts.


  • Quick-dry

  • Comfortable

  • Lightweight

  • Safety Protection


  • Front Toe Problems

Under Armour Men's Valsetz - Ideal for Wide Feet

The Under Armour's Valsetz military shoes is also our recommended combat shoes for hiking due to several reasons.

First of all, these footwear are equipped with Under Armour's proprietary ClutchFit ankle support system, which provides excellent support to the ankle.

The second thing we love about these shoes is the Micro G foam, which is a very soft cushioned insole and extremely comforting for the feet. These are both very important features to look for in any combat trekking shoes.

Under Armour Tactical Boot Ridge Reaper

Besides these, the shoes feature a very lightweight and durable upper made of 50% synthetic leather and 50% nylon. The outsole is made of highly rigid and abrasion-resistant rubber and protected by welded PU film, and thus provides good traction. It is further connected to the Ultralight Micro EVA midsole, which is another lightweight and comforting aspect of the footwear.

These shoes will keep your toes protected with their TPU toe cap, and for your mid-foot support, they are equipped with a lightweight TPU shank. They will also keep your feet protected against microbial infection due to their molded Ortholite sock liner.


  • Antimicrobial

  • Support

  • Comfort

  • Lightweight

  • Durable


  • A Bit Pricey

Bates - Durable

If you've gone through other lists of footwear, you've probably found Bates commonly occurring in most, if not all, of those lists.

Similarly, this article from Bates is a universal work shoes providing quality at a fairly low price. These shoes are based on an athletic cement construction that makes them flexible and high performance to provide the necessary traction, comfort, support, and value for money.

They are known as Tactical sport SZ because they are lightweight, flexible, and come with a YKK side zipper, making them ideal for sports and athletic use.

Bates Men's Industrial Shoe

The leather and nylon combination makes for a durable, lightweight, and breathable upper, whereas the mesh lining is responsible for the ventilation to avoid sweat or moisture from staying in. They are equipped with a cushioned midsole and removable insole to give a comforting and anti-fatiguing experience.

The rubber outsole is slip-, abrasion- and oil resistant, and the whole boot is equipped with Bates' proprietary waterproof technology known as the Bates DRYGuard membrane. We recommend these as the best tactical trekking shoes, and they will outlast other combat trekking shoes.


  • Affordable

  • Flexible

  • Comfortable

  • Good Traction

  • Slip and Abrasion Resistant


  • Missing a Pull Tab 

Fox Outdoor Vietnam - Budget-friendly

Fox Outdoor Products are often underrated but are quite good when it comes to jungle boots surplus. These boots have everything you need from durability to comfort and from style to speed lacing. They come with a Genuine leather upper vulcanized to Panama sole and a Cotton Canvas shaft and tongue.

The sole is reinforced with a steel shank, providing better support and durability. The insoles are removable, allowing you to use the perfect one for your feet and replace it with a new one as the existing one wears out.

Fox Outdoor image

The boots are provided with Nylon webbing trim on sides and collar for better adjustability. In short, we would recommend you try these but be wary of the size issue and contact their customer service to know what size would suit you better.


  • Durable

  • Speed Lacing

  • Comfortable

  • Good Support


  • Size Issues

Shopper's Guide: Military/Combat Boots for Hiking

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Now that we've given you our list of best military combat boots, you might still be unsure of which one of these would work best for you, or you might be looking for some other military mountain boots that are not on our list.

Don't worry! We've got you covered on this as well. We are going to give you a guide on the different aspects of a military surplus boot for hiking.


If you do an analysis of tactical shoes vs. hiking shoes , you will notice that the major difference is that the trekking shoes are lightweight. The more lightweight a shoes, the better it is for hiking because it will not drain your energy on lifting them. 

The purpose of a shoes is to assist you in your activities not to assist the boot itself. You can see all the boots that we've compiled in our list were lightweight.

Keep in mind: Most of the lightweight shoes are not abrasion resistant and therefore wear away easily. The lightweight should not compromise other important features of a tactical boot.


High cut shoes are better suited for hiking in jungles and grassy terrain as they protect your ankle and lower-shins, but they might reduce breathability and movement if they are not up to that quality. A good quality high cut shoes will provide you excellent support.

However, if you are hiking during summer on a hot day, you should consider low ankle shoes because they'll give you better breathability, and they'll be extremely flexible.

Waterproof Ability

Having waterproof combat boots for hiking is an added feature but, in some cases, can become essential because the risk of moisture getting inside the boot is very high. Moisture either from outside or from sweating of the feet can cause microbial infections like blisters. 

Moreover, when water penetrates through boots, it increases the weight of the boots, and so the boots become very difficult to carry. Furthermore, water inside the boot can get cold and cause you much uncomfortableness.


Along with waterproof ability, breathability is also very important for keeping your feet free from microbial infections and cold. Furthermore, quick-dry boots will dry out very quickly after getting in contact with water and, therefore, lose the extra weight very quickly. 

The Gore-Tex lining is a very effective material to provide waterproofing membrane and breathability. Similarly, nylon fabric is also very commonly used, especially inexpensive boots due to lightweight, durable, and breathable nature. In contrast, full-grain leather is less breathable, but it can endure the most wear and tear than any other material.


Tactical boots are mostly made up of leather uppers, rubber or synthetic soles, and some parts of textile fabric.

The leather can either be pure, impure, or fully synthetic. Pure leather is full-grained and therefore looks very shiny and stylish and also lasts longer but reduces breathability. An impure leather is split grained and, therefore, more breathable but might not last as long as pure leather. Synthetic leather is in between the spectrum as it is moderate in its durability and breathability.

The lining inside the boot is very important when it comes to knowing the comfort, breathability, moisture-wicking, odor-resistance, and waterproof ability of those boots.

Pay attention to the stitching as well because triple stitching is very durable, while double stitching is not. Bad stitching can also cause pain on parts of your feet, which over a long time can turn into blisters.

An EVA midsole, removable insole, and TPU toe box are features to always look for as they make your experience comfortable, provide support and protection to your feet.

Feet Size

It's very important to find a shoe that matches your feet perfectly. Otherwise, you are going to feel a lot of pain, which can, in the long run, create severe problems. A lot of brands provide exchange warranty for the first 15 days in case the shoes do not match your feet size. Keep in mind to use new shoes indoors during this trying phase because if the insoles or the upper gets bruised, the company will not replace them.

However, the smarter option is to try them on before you make the purchase, or in case of online purchase, remember to read some buyer reviews regarding the size to save yourself time and effort.

It is also better to let your new shoes to break in with your feet before you take them for a long hike.

Sole Durability

The sole of a boot is divided into three layers. It is composed of the insole, midsole, and outsole.

The insole is usually removable, and it should be, because insoles can wear out way before other parts of the boot, thus used removable insoles can be replaced with a new one. Another advantage of the removable insole is that some feet might not adjust to a particular insole and, therefore, could be replaced with another or with an orthotics to provide you with the right support and comfort.

The midsole joins the outsole to the insole and is most crucial for the right support and comfort. The insole and outsole come in either EVA or PU construction. A PU sole is more durable but more expensive.

The outsole is responsible for traction and therefore has lugs on it to provide slip-resistant traction. The latest outsoles are waterproof and electricity resistant. Mostly the material used for outsole is tire rubber, but synthetic plastic is also being used, which is way less durable and less slip-resistant.


Good traction is a must for tactical jungle shoes given the slippery and muddy surfaces one gets to step on. Our recommended shoes are mostly equipped with Panama sole which is a sturdy rubber sole, providing excellent traction in off-road terrain. 

However, the Under Armour Stellar Military and tactical boot is the only one without the Panama sole. However, it is still a good choice since its equipped with Under Armour's propriety sole which is even better at providing a good grip than the Panama sole.


Comfort was not even on the table in the vintage jungle shoes, but the latest ones are becoming more and more comfortable with every successive model.

One of the main guarantors of the comfort of a shoe is the insole. Removable insoles should be prioritized because all insoles wear out much before the rest of the shoes. Besides this, sometimes new shoes insoles might not support your feet quite well. In the case of removable insoles, you can easily replace them with ones that match your requirements. Ortholetics provide great customizable insoles.

Other than removable insoles, a breathable toe box is also a decisive quality for a comfortable shoe. Padded collars also provide further support and comfort to your feet.

Ankle Stability

The factor that separates army jungle shoes from ordinary boots is their ankle stability which is very important when hiking through rough and unstable terrain. Ordinary shoes will not protect your ankles from twisting and injuries caused due to missteps. The high or mid-shaft supports your ankles by providing excellent torsional stability in all types of terrain.

Therefore, prioritize jungle shoes for hiking in tropical areas over other hiking or running shoes.


Although American made jungle boots are relatively expensive but their quality is much better than the cheap ones. Keep in mind that higher price isn't a guarantee of high quality and that is why we've provided you with a guide to help you chose your new army jungle boots. We've included only the ones that are affordable and yet adherent to higher quality.

The good news, however, is that on special occasions throughout the year these brands offer jungle boots for sale, which is an opportunity you must avail.

Traditional Hiking Boots vs. Combat Hiking Boots

After our careful assessment and our personal experience with traditional hiking shoes and hiking in combat shoes, we have concluded, there isn't much of a difference.

Traditional hiking shoes are low cut, lightweight, and flexible, but they are less durable, provide less protection and warmth to your feet. In contrast, army shoes are generally heavyweight, high cut, rigid, warm, highly protective, and durable.

So, if you can find army mountain shoes that are lightweight, flexible, and comfortable, along with being durable and warm, they will be the ideal shoes for your hiking experiences. A good quality army-style hiking shoesis not affected by the low cut or high cut. A high cut can be more supportive as well as protective for your ankles.

Tips in Getting the Right Army Jungle Boot Size

Getting the right fit for our feet is the most decisive factor when looking for any type of shoe. However, unlike a sports shoe or a casual shoe, a military boot is heavy duty and is usually worn for several hours on end every day.

A wrong fit will disturb your focus and affect your productivity. It might even cause blisters or hotspots. A loosely fit boot will let rainwater or other sorts of moisture seep in. Therefore, follow these tips to ensure that the boot you're purchasing is the right fit for you.

Sufficient Toe Room

Not having sufficient toe room could become hell for your toes and cause you a great deal of pain. Always ensure that there is a finger width of room left after you've slid your feet completely in the shoe. This will allow your toes to wiggle even when they're swollen after several hours of wear.

Snug Fit Lacing or Zippers

After you've ensured that there is sufficient toe room, look next for the lacing or zippers. They should be adjustable to fit right in with your feet. The vamp should sit right in on your feet and not leave any room behind. A quick and easy lacing or zipper system is an added advantage.

Wear Boot Socks

Don't forget to try your boots with the right boot socks. Although it's okay to try them on with the socks you wear normally but the rule of thumb is to try a thick boot sock. Their thick padding will allow you to wear your new military jungle boots without any discomforts and prevent your feet from hotspots or blisters.

Socks that provide moisture dissipation will keep your feet dry as well.

Try Them on for Testing

If you're buying from a brick and moisture store, then you most probably will try them on and walk in them but even if you're buying from an online store look for a brand that offers some guarantee in case the size isn't right. In case they do offer such an exchange service, remember to not use them in the field and walk indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any brands for women's military surplus boots for hiking?

Yes, there are a number of those. We would recommend Columbia's Minx shorty 3, Oboz Bridger 9" and Merrel's Thermo chill mid waterproof boot.

Are there combat hiking boots under $100?

Yes, out of our list, the Bates Men's 8'' Tactical Sport Side Zip Industrial Shoe is under $100 and the Under Armour Men's Valsetz Rts 1.5 Military and Tactical shoes Ridge Reaper ranges from $90 to $120 depending on where you live. Besides these, you can find ten military-style hiking boots for men and women under $100.

Do army hiking boots offer more ankle support than traditional hiking shoes?

Yes, since they come with more a firm shank, thicker soles, and a secure lacing system, their ankle support is better than traditional hiking shoes. Besides this, when it comes to comparing combat boots vs. hiking boots, combat boots are also more durable, provide more protection and warmth than traditional hiking shoes.


Now we are quite sure that most of your queries about military mountain boots have been answered, but if something remains, do let us know in the comment section.

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