I tested eight products and found that the Bates Men's GX-8 Gore-Tex Waterproof boot is the best possible choice for police boots. Shoes are crucial to any job, especially one where you’re on your feet all day as an officer. Bates boots provide that support and much more.
With experience in law enforcement and staying on my feet all day, I’ve taken a close look at the most sought-after police boots to figure out which are the best. After thorough research, I’ve concluded which pair is the best and what stands out amongst the others as well.
Whether they've got mesh lining, are abrasion resistant, made of ballistic nylon, are water-resistant, are shock-absorbing, or have a slip-resistant outsole, I've chosen the best of the best when it comes to police boots and their different assets.
Some boots will have all of those qualities and more, while others may swap them out for other various assets.
Bates Men’s GX-8 Gore-Tex Waterproof boots are the total package. They’re the perfect amount of comfort, durability, and traction—and they’re easy on your wallet, too! These boots make it easy to stay on your feet for hours on end with minimal discomfort.
While the Bates Men’s GX-8 Gore-Tex boots may be the best overall, there are other categories as well. Some boots fit the most comfortable criteria, while others are made of the most breathable material or the best budget choice.
With my list and buyer’s guide, you’ll be sure to find the best police boots based on your personal tastes and requirements.
Keep reading to find out about my top police boot picks and how to pick the perfect pair!
The Best Police Boots Reviews
The best police boots will protect your feet while also being lightweight and even waterproof. These specifications are crucial to picking the best tactical boots for law enforcement officers or military personnel. Below I’ve listed and reviewed my top picks for police boots.
Bates Men’s GX-8 Gore-Tex Waterproof Side Zip Boot - Best Overall
Bates Footwear is one of the biggest manufacturers that specializes in tactical research and tactical boots for law enforcement officers and military personnel. Their GX-8 GORE-TEX Waterproof Side Zip Boot is the best overall police boot because it is the most durable and most comfortable boot available.
Not to mention that it comes at a reasonable price when you are looking to invest in high-quality military boots that you can wear for several years. This waterproof tactical boot is built to last and works great for all seasons, thanks to its GORE-TEX technology.
It is specially designed with breathable GORE-TEX and a moisture-wicking lining to keep your foot dry and warm, no matter the conditions. Not to mention the cushioned insert and non-metallic composite toe cap keeps your feet comfortable and protected. This duty boot also features a tactical outsole made of rugged rubber and deep lugs that are slip-resistant to give you the traction you need.
With these boots, you certainly do not have to worry about slipping on your athletic performance. Plus, the YKK side-zipper makes it easy to take this duty boot off and put it back on in a flash, day after day. Between the long-lasting design, added comfort features, and great value, it is no wonder the GX-8 GORE-TEX Waterproof Side-Zip is the best overall police boot.
Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force Military Tactical Work Boots - Best Budget Option
If you are looking for the best duty boots that can protect your feet and keep you comfortable all day long without breaking the bank, then look no further than the Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force Military Tactical Work Boots. These tactical boots are lightweight and durable and ready to wear without needing to break them in.
Maelstrom’s Tac Force proprietary iH20-Tex membrane liner is waterproof and sure to keep your feet comfortable and dry, even on long shifts through the rain or snow. This pair of boots are great for all law enforcement officers because the rubber outsole is ruggedly designed for all-terrain, with treads that provide maximum traction that makes them slip-resistant.
However, even though these tactical boots are perfect for heavy-duty outdoor use, they still have breathable indoor flexibility, so your body can quickly transition in whatever environment you may find yourself.
These police boots are also specially designed with anti-fatigue technology and a dynamic 3-sole system including the rubber outsole, a removable cushion insole, and a lightweight, flexible EVA midsole to comfort and support your feet all day long. This specially designed system helps these boots absorb impact and shock over hard surfaces to reduce fatigue in your foot and return the energy to your feet.
Another reason these are some of the best duty boots is Maelstrom Tac Force Footwear designs their tactical boots with uniformed professionals in mind and strives to keep their products affordable. Plus, for every pair of boots Maelstrom Tac Force sells, a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Boot Campaign. This non-profit organization provides programs to improve the lives of military members, veterans, and their families.
Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS 1.5 with Zipper Military and Tactical - Most Comfortable
Plus, the TPU shank and ultralight micro G EVA midsole keep the middle of your foot supported with enough rigidity to still be comfortable. These Under Armour Valsetz RTS tactical boots are also stylishly designed with updated textile upper and lightweight, durable synthetic leather.
The perimeter of these tactical boots is surrounded with welded polyurethane film to increase their abrasion resistance. At the same time, the newly designed outsole features high traction rubber lugs to help improve your grip in any terrain. Although these Valsetz RTS shoes do not have a steel toe, a TPU toe cap does give your toes some added protection.
There is also a medial side zip that makes these shoes easy to take off and put back on so you can get ready without any hassle at a moment's notice. Even if you work long shifts in particularly rough weather, these Valsetz RTS shoes are the most comfortable tactical boots around.
They fit true to size, and you will not have to worry about breaking them in. These Under Armour Valsetz RTS boots are good to go and are some of the best tactical boots a police officer could use while on duty.
5.11 Tactical EVO 8-Inch Waterproof Boots, Style 12312 - Most Breathable
These premium, high-performance, waterproof tactical boots are undoubtedly the most sturdy yet breathable police boots around. They are comfortably lightweight while still being supportive and responsive when you are moving about. They feature a covert tactical pocket as well as a 14 mm heel-to-toe drop.
These combat boots also feature insole support, a D30 Decell cushioned heel, and non-metallic construction to provide you with maximum traction, stamina, and speed in even the roughest terrain. These boots come with sausage laces and climbing lugs that help you easily climb ropes and ladders while improving your overall grip. Plus, its BBP-resistant membrane protects your feet from potentially infectious materials.
They are durably made with Clarino full-grain leather, high-grade 1200D nylon, and a removable OrthoLite cushion insert that stabilizes your feet. They also feature a specially designed eVent waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry so you can stay cool and comfortable, no matter the weather conditions.
These military boots come with a side zipper so you can be dressed and ready at a moment's notice. 5.11 designs their gear purposefully with innovative fabrics to meet the needs of any member of the military or law enforcement that always needs to be prepared for demanding missions. If you are looking for the best duty boots and looking for the most breathable option available, look no further than the 5.11 Tactical EVO 8-Inch Waterproof Boots.
Bates Men’s 5-Inch Ultralite Tactical Sport Military Boot - Best Laced Option
Bates specializes in producing some of the best tactical boots and has spent over a decade making Ultralite boots for military personnel. If you are a police officer, you cannot go wrong with these classically styled tactical boots. You can go from walking the streets to patrolling from the car and back again without ever having to worry about your shoes holding you back.
They have a flexible athletic construction and are made with thirty percent 1680 denier ballistic performance nylon upper and seventy percent high-quality, durable leather. Not to mention the cushioned removable insert and lightweight cushioned EVA midsole make these shoes extra comfortable.
Bates Ultralite boots are specially designed with proprietary DRYGuard membrane moisture-wicking technology to keep them waterproof so your feet can stay cool, dry, breathable, and comfortable, for more extended periods, even in rough conditions. These lightweight shoes also feature an oil-resistant, non-slip high-quality rubber outsole that is built to last.
With added deep lugs, this outsole is sure to give you maximum traction and grip in any environment. Most importantly, these non-side zip Bates Ultralite boots are the best duty boots because their high-quality laces give you the adjustability and stability you need to ensure you are comfortable and secure throughout the day.
Some people like having tactical boots with a side-zip, but if that does not interest you, then these are the best-laced option available and the best duty boots for you.
CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots - Most Color Options
Unlike most other brands of combat boots, the CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots come in several different colors and styles. You can choose between various black, brown, and green shades to fit your personal style or various uniform requirements. They are quick and easy to lace up with a hardened durability eyelet system.
They provide support and protection for your ankles with a form-fitting, ankle-high 3D structure. A soft footbed of premium insoles paired with a smooth fit, extra padded lining keeps your feet rigid yet cushioned and comfortable. They protect your feet from abrasion with a rugged, durable PU upper material construction.
They are also built to last and are coated in Duratex Ripstop fabric to repel dust, water, and oil. This special fabric keeps your feet cool and comfortable, even in extremely harsh environments. Even the solid-grade heel support keeps you comfortable while protecting your heel. This tactical boot even includes a specially designed, rugged, combat-ready, all-terrain rubber outsole that absorbs shock and strikes to your feet.
Even when you are in harsh environments, you can rest easy knowing that these boots will provide you with slip-resistant maximum grip and traction. In fact, even the synthetic rubber toe cap includes high-performance lug soles to help you keep your grip in harsh conditions. Plus, with a durable, economic side vamp, these shoes are still lightweight and durably designed to last in even the heaviest of weather conditions.
If you work in law enforcement and are looking for some variety in your combat boot choices, be sure to check out the CQR Men’s Military Tactical Boots.
Danner Men’s Tachyon 8-Inch Military and Tactical Boot - Most Durable
These Danner Tachyon duty boots are the best tactical boots because they are the most durable ones on the market. They work best indoors or in a hot climate because they are not insulated, but you will still be comfortable as long as you wear thick enough socks. They are lightweight and constructed with a combination of high-performance, breathable nylon upper material and full-grain, polishable leather.
Since the fabric sides are so thin, you will not have to worry about spending the day with sweaty, smelly feet. They are breathable and keep you cool and comfortable in hotter environments. Another interesting feature about these tactical boots is that they do not have ankle support, which makes this boot more breathable and lightweight and makes it easier to tuck your pants in.
Instead, the top of the ankle area is lined with soft mesh that helps keep your socks and pants in place and prevent the nylon from digging into your leg. These tactical boots feature an excellent speed lacing system that provides excellent stability and can easily be adjusted to your comfort level.
The most durable part of these tactical boots is the outsole that features a slip-resistant tread pattern that provides you with maximum grip and traction, even on wet or damp areas. Especially as someone who is constantly on their feet at work, these boots are so lightweight and comfortable that you will forget you are wearing them.
They are more supportive than other similar brands and will outlast any other tactical boot on the market. If you are looking for the most durable duty boots out there, go for the Danner Men’s Tachyon 8-Inch Military and Tactical Boot.
Original S.W.A.T. Men’s Metro Air 9-Inch Tactical Boot - Most Well-Developed
This is one of the best tactical boots because it is unlike any other traditional brand you have ever seen. They are the most well-developed and stable tactical boot around while still being comfortable. In general, Original S.W.A.T’s products are the result of years of heavy field testing by professionals. They know how crucial high performance and proper execution are in the line of duty, and they only sell products that are high enough quality to guarantee excellence.
However, The Metro Series tactical boots are specifically designed for street use and are made with air technology that provides you support and comfort in its cushioning system. Plus, the unique heel airbag absorbs shock from any hard impact, such as when you are moving around. For extra comfort, Original S.W.A.T also included a lightweight, custom-molded phylon EVA midsole.
These boots are made without any metal components and are instead made with a supportive, airport-friendly nylon shank and rust-proof hardware, so they are perfect for any law enforcement officer, firefighter, security officer, EMT, airport security officer, or any military member to use.
They are constructed of full-grain leather with a polishable heel and toe, as well as 1000 denier nylon upper material, and are sure to exceed your uniform standard. They have a YKK side-zip that makes them quick and easy to put on or take off, and the non-marking outsole is ASTM F2913-11 slip-resistant certified. This boot was even designed with texon stability to provide torsional rigidity and lateral support.
They are flexible enough to move with you and are so comfortable that you will forget you are wearing them. Bottom line, if your job involves being a first responder or working in the public safety industry, you may want to consider these boots. These boots are the most well-developed, dependable, and the best tactical boots out there.
Buyer’s Guide for Best Police Boots
While all my recommendations are top-tier picks, it’s important to know what criteria I follow to make sure each pair of police boots exceeds my standards for both men and women. I’ve created a buyer’s guide, so you always know what to look for when finding your new pair of tactical boots. How to Break in Boots The Best Way
Why Do Law Enforcement Need Boots?
When you think about a police uniform, odds are “boots” don’t immediately spring to the forefront of your mind. Instead, you probably think about the pants, shirts, and even bulletproof vests. However, making sure you have a high-quality pair of boots that protect your feet as a law enforcement officer is imperative.
The average person might not realize how important police boots are, but if you’ve been out in the field, you know how crucial they are. The perfect pair of boots are not only comfortable, but they keep your feet safe from any dangerous elements you encounter.
Good boots protect you from tough terrain but also keep your feet comfortable and dry all day long. They’ll also protect you from the elements, especially rain and other weather that can affect your time outdoors.
Boots also protect you from the grisly side of police work. Law enforcement officers often deal with very unpleasant situations, including ones that require them to walk in blood and other bodily fluids. You need a pair of boots that can withstand that kind of work and keep your feet dry with non-absorbent material.
Important Buyer’s Criteria
As I mentioned before, it’s important to know what criteria to look out for before buying a pair of police boots. Obviously, everyone’s feet and judgment will be different, but there’s typically a universal way to judge shoes—especially police boots. Keep reading to know my list of criteria and why each is important.
Comfort is important in any shoe-choosing scenario. Whether you’re choosing everyday shoes or work ones, they need to be comfortable because you’ll be wearing them for a while. Your work boots need to be comfortable for the majority, if not all, of the day, especially when considering how long a shift is.
That’s not to say that every pair of boots will remain comfy all day long. There’s only so much your feet can handle each day and that’s typically not the fault of the shoe. When you first put on your police boots, they should feel comfortable and like you could wear them all day long with minimal discomfort.
If you put on a pair of work boots and something immediately doesn’t feel right, odds are they aren’t the boots for you. The good news is there are tons of boots out there and you can still find your perfect pair. The bad news, at that moment, is that you have to continue your search for boots.
You can also always invest in sole inserts, like an OrthoLite sock liner, for your shoes or combat boots. While lots of shoes are designed with comfort in mind, you can always customize and enhance the comfort of your shoe. Insertable cushion soles can add to the comfort of your duty boot and help you wear them with minimal discomfort for even longer.
Support may seem the same as comfort, but in the grand scheme of things, they’re two different concepts entirely. Comfort refers to how comfortable a boot feels on your foot; support is how well they’re actually made and how your feet react to the construction. An unsupportive shoe can not only be uncomfortable—it can get in the way of you doing your job.
Different feet need support in differing areas. Some people need more arch support, while others may need extra support in their heels or the balls of their feet.
Some shoes may not show how supportive they are right away. They may feel fine when you put them on, but after walking around for a bit something feels off. It’s probably because they’re not constructed in a way that supports the areas you need help in. An unsupportive shoe isn’t exactly an uncomfortable one, so it’s important to walk around in them before purchasing.
If you find a pair of boots that seems almost perfect but the support isn’t quite right, you may not have to start your search over again. Much like extra padded comfort soles, there are other insertable soles designed for extra support. Getting the support you need for your feet will allow you to wear your boots for longer and with minimal discomfort at the end of the day.
Law enforcement work can take you to a lot of different locations, some of which aren’t easy to navigate. Beyond possibly not being familiar with an area, you need a pair of boots that give you the proper traction in any climate and condition. If not, your boots will be a hindrance rather than an asset.
Police officers run around all different terrains and need shoes that work in any environment. Having proper traction in any shoe is important, but especially ones that traverse all kinds of areas. Combat boots need to have good traction under any and all conditions.
Rain or shine, police officers will probably end up outside and potentially running around. In good weather conditions, they’ll need a boot that allows them to run if necessary, and traction is crucial in this regard.
In less-than-ideal situations, like ice, snow, or other inclement weather, police officers absolutely need traction in their boots. Whether they’re running around or just trying to walk in precarious conditions, they need a boot that will give them the traction they need all the time, 24/7.
Of course, durability is important in any shoe, but it’s incredibly important in police footwear. More often than not, the work required in the line of police duty is incredibly taxing, meaning that officers aren’t exactly gentle with their shoes when they have a job to do.
The material used to craft combat boots will be a big determining factor in how durable and long-lasting the shoes are. Low-quality material will deteriorate more quickly than other, high-quality materials. Make sure you take a look at the material and that the boot is built to last when you buy it.
Wear and tear will inevitably take its toll on your boots, but there’s a difference between having a pair of shoes for a few weeks versus a few months. Some people get years of wear out of their shoes, but that seems unlikely when it comes to workforce shoes. It’s unrealistic to think police boots will last forever, but they should definitely last for a decent amount of time.
Durability is also measured by some of the same aspects mentioned in “Traction.” Police boots need to withstand all kinds of weather and other fluids, so the material needs to be high-quality and prevent absorption or deterioration.
As funny as it may sound, protecting your feet is just as important as protecting any other part of your body when you are working, especially as a police officer. If you don’t protect your feet, you’ll likely end up hurting yourself and be out of commission. Foot injuries are no joke and will slow anyone down, but they’re especially inconvenient for law enforcement officers.
Having boots with steel toes or waterproof material will help keep police officer’s feet protected at all times. Protection from the elements will help keep feet dry and well-insulated, which reduces the risk of infection. Steel toes help in the event that officers are lifting something heavy and something slips and falls onto their foot.
Construction workers are commonly required to have steel-toed boots, but it’s not a bad idea for police officers either. Water-resistant materials will protect feet during torrential downpours but can also be a great asset in snowy weather, too. Officers often can’t do their job without proper footwear, so it’s important that your new boots keep your feet protected at all times.
Laces vs. Zippers
Knowing how you’re going to get your boot on your foot is imperative to the uniform process each day. Some boots have laces, some have zippers, and some even have both. Knowing which you prefer will ultimately affect which pair of boots you choose and wear as part of your uniform. learn more on Boot Lace Length : The Ultimate Guide
Laces can fit tightly around the ankle and up the leg, so many users find that lace-up boots are secure. However, some people need more wiggle-room in the ankle area, so lace might not be the best option for them. Lacing up your boots can add extra support, but it might not be the most comfortable option for everyone.
Zippers are also a solid choice when it comes to boot construction. Zippers allow you to easily take off or put on your boots without much fuss or hassle. Some boots will even have laces on the front to allow for more customization of the fit of the boot, but still have side zippers so the laces don’t have to be adjusted every time.
When push comes to shove, I always think zippers or boots that slide on and off are much easier than the ones that only lace up. It takes too much effort to lace up boots correctly every day, and it’s also inconvenient when taking them off at the end of the day. Instead of wasting time and energy on boots that only lace up, consider investing in boots with side zippers.
How To Find the Perfect Tactical Boots
Finding the perfect pair of boots that check all the boxes and still remain in compliance with code can be a bit of a pain. However, I’ve got some tips that’ll make sure you know exactly how to find your next pair of boots that won’t make you feel like you’re wasting your time or not finding exactly what you want.
Figure Out What Matters
Think about what you’re looking for in a boot when you’re shopping around. You’ll have to make sure you get a color that’s in compliance with your uniform, but you also need boots that are comfortable and protective. It’s unlikely you’ll find shoes that protect your feet from any discomfort, but you can always find some that minimize the pain.
Boots made of cowhide leather might be important to you, or maybe boots made of ballistic nylon are more your style. Shock absorption could be what you’re looking for, especially if you run around a lot on the job. You need to know what you’re looking for and then try to find a boot that meets all your criteria—you’ll be happier for it.
Not All Shoes Are the Same Size
It’s a sadly acknowledged universal truth that not all shoes are constructed the same way, meaning they might not really be the size you need. Guide To Pick The Right Size For You While you probably have an approximate estimation of what your normal shoe size is, it might not be accurate when picking out your boots.
Even in everyday shoe shopping, you’ll find that your size may vary based on the type of shoe and manufacturer. It’s important to keep these nuances in mind when choosing your new work boots because it’ll affect the size you order.
Also, make sure the company has a good customer service team that can help you return the boots if they’re not your correct size. You’ll want to be able to swap them out or get your money back if they don’t fit, especially if they tick all your boxes. Just be sure to send them back in the allotted time frame provided by the company.
As you can see, the men and women of public safety need police boots for a variety of reasons. They need to be able to move around with ease and keep their feet protected at all times. Sometimes that means finding boots with extra arch support, other times it means finding boots that have room for sock liner inserts or are constructed with shock absorption technology.
No matter what you’re personally looking for in a boot, I’ve provided the best options possible. While I found the Bates Men’s GX-8 Gore-Tex to be the best police boots overall, each boot has a unique element that makes it stand out from the others and makes it a perfect candidate for your use. From tactical boots to combat boots, I know what you need when choosing the best police boot.
I even provided additional information to consider when choosing your work boots. As long as you know what you’re looking for in a boot, I gave you tons of options, variety, and imperative advice to follow in regards to boot selection. Now all you have to do is take a look around, remember my advice, and decide which boots are the best for you!