It’s pretty hard not to love a good pair of lightweight tactical boots. After all, it encompasses all the attributes of that perfect footwear. It’s durable, waterproof, breathable, and of course, lightweight. Even more, you can work, walk, and run in it without any issue.
It almost attains a legendary status in the footwear segments. But some tend to come short in terms of comfort and durability. Hence, to get your money’s worth, you need the best lightweight tactical boots.
Whether for military or outdoor use, getting your first pair isn’t easy. It’s for this reason that I roundup the best lightweight waterproof tactical boots. Welcome, and let’s find that perfect pair for you.
10 Best lightweight Tactical Boots
1. Bates Men’s Ultralite Tactical Military Boot
The Bates Company boasts more than a century of experience. And for the long that I’ve known it, it’s one brand that never disappoints. Among its best inventions is the Bates Men’s Ultralite Tactical Military Boot.
- Durable leather and nylon upper
- Moisture-wicking mesh
- Composite, non-metallic toe cap
- Side zip design
- High-traction oil-resistant outsole
The upper boot comes in durable leather and waterproof nylon. Leather, which comprises 70%, holds up well to abrasion. Though waterproof, the boot has a mesh lining. Hence, it can wick away moisture and sweat in warm weather.
The toe cap comes in non-metallic composite material. I think it’s a mix of Kevlar and carbon fiber. Well, it doesn’t have the impact resistance of metallic toe caps, such as steel. However, it’s almost as strong. Also, it provides better insulation than a metallic toe.
Also, the upper boots have both lace closure and side zip. The lace closure provides room for adjustments. The side zip, on the other hand, allows for easy on and off.
The boot uses a white EVA midsole. Unlike the gray midsole, it’s lighter and softer. Hence, it offers better protection to knee and ankle joints. Plus, it makes an excellent choice for high-impact exercises.
Bates military boot has rubber outsoles. Well, it’s pretty much what you’d find in other boots. But what makes it special is the non-slip, oil-resistant performance. It provides durability and maintains firm footing on slippery surfaces.
The Bates military boot is available in two colors: black and tan.
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2. Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force Military Tactical Boots
Maelstrom is renowned for its comfortable, reliable, and affordable footwear. Among its best creations is the Tac Force 8-inch boot. It’s a versatile boot, excellent for military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Proprietary iH20-Tex waterproof membrane
- Dynamic 3-sole system
- Rugged all-terrain outsole
- Heavy-duty YKK side zipper
- Polishable full-grain leather and nylon upper
- Breathable mesh lining
The upper boot comes in nylon and full-grain leather. But it’s what you get in other boots. Perhaps what makes it special is the iH20-Tex waterproof membrane. Unlike other liners, iH20-Tex covers you on all fronts. Hence, it keeps you dry throughout the long shift. Also, it’s breathable for added comfort.
The Tac Force tactical boot has multiple closure systems. It has an adjustable lace closure, Velcro, and side zip. Well, I must commend it for using heavy-duty YKK zippers. Also, the upper boot has a pull tab for easy on and off.
The heel and the toe have a semi-rigid reinforcement. It offers some level of impact resistance. Plus, it remains flexible, allowing you to stretch your toes.
The midsole comes in flexible EVA. It’s light and soft to absorb shock and impact. For that, I’d recommend it for the best boot for hunting and landing over hard surfaces.
The rubber outsole adopts more aggressive treads for non-slip performance. Hence, you can transition between multiple terrains and environments. However, they’re not for the slippery industrial and restaurant surfaces.
The Tac Force tactical boot comes in a choice of two colors. You can choose between black and tan.
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3. Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS Tactical Boot
Valsetz is a feature-packed tactical boot. And as far as technology goes, it sits pretty much at the top.
- Under Armour Clutch-Fit technology
- High-cushioning Micro-G foam
- Welded, abrasion-resistant film
- High rebound Ortholite insole
- Synthetic leather and textile upper
The upper comes in synthetic leather and nylon. So, it’s nothing special from other boots. But the technology that goes into it edges out most contenders.
The upper boot uses the Under Armour Storm fabric. It’s durable and water-repellent. Hence, it keeps the boot from getting wet and heavy, even in a hard downpour.
Also, the upper boot affords Under Armour Clutch-Fit technology. It’s lightweight, more like a second skin. Also, it flexes easily under pressure. It’s pretty much what I’d recommend for athletes.
For such a cutting-edge design, I can’t afford to ignore the insole. The boot uses molded Ortholite insole for unmatched performance and comfort. The insole provides a high rebound. Also, it has 5% less compression than traditional foam insoles. Hence, it affords a longer lifespan.
Moreover, the insole uses open-cell foam technology. For that, it facilitates air circulation to keep your foot cool and dry.
The midsole comes in full-length Micro-G foam. It’s 30% thinner than standard, reducing the overall weight. Also, the thin design keeps it low to the ground. As such, it’s highly responsive. For that, you can change direction more quickly.
Moreover, the midsole provides a higher level of bounce. Hence, you get excellent energy returns, especially for an athlete.
Valsetz tactical boot uses a low-profile rubber lug sole. It has a good tread for maximum traction. Also, it’s durable enough to handle lots of abuse.
Valsetz RTS tactical boot is available in a range of colors. It comes in black, coyote brown, reaper camo, or desert sand.
4. Danner Men’s Tachyon 8-Inch Coyote Tactical Boot
The Danner brand pays close attention to details. It’s one brand that forgoes quantity for quality. And such is what you get in this tactical boot.
- Ultra-light construction (2.15 pounds)
- Weight-saving 100% synthetic upper
- Speed lace closure
- Breathable open-cell insole
The upper is 100% synthetic material, comprising synthetic leather and 1000D nylon. For that, it offers superior weight savings. Also, it rewards you with a super-fast dry time. Though light, it’s remarkably durable and weather-resistant.
Danner’s tactical boot uses a speed lace closure. It’s a zero-friction system that saves you time. Also, it provides uniform lace tension throughout. For that, it offers incredible support and comfort.
The boot has a plain toe. For that, it remains flexible and offers more room for natural toe movement.
This tactical boot has an open-cell PU insole. It provides superior shock absorption. Also, the open-cell design improves air circulation to cool your foot.
EVA midsole provides lightweight cushioning. Also, it has an excellent rebound for longer service life.
The outsole is 100% rubber, which provides superior resistance to abrasion. But what I like most are the pentagonal lugs. They provide maximum surface contact and excellent traction.
As the name suggests, this tactical boot comes in coyote brown.
5. Maelstrom Men’s LANDSHIP Tactical Boot
Certified and made in the US, this tactical boot lets you shop with confidence. It’s an all-rounder, both for military personnel and outdoor enthusiasts.
- iH20-Tex waterproof liner
- Suede leather and nylon upper
- Breathable, athletic upper
- Durable YKK side zipper
- Anti-fatigue 3-sole system
- Rugged all-terrain outsole
The upper comes in suede leather and mesh nylon. Hence, it stays breathable and provides durable performance.
Also, the upper has an industry-proven iH20-Tex liner. It’s breathable yet waterproof to keep you cool and dry. It holds up well to the wettest environments.
Also, the upper is insulated. As such, it offers some level of protection against cold weather. At the same time, it provides soft cushioning to reduce abrasion.
As with most boots from Maelstrom, the toe is of composite material. It has more flex than its steel counterparts. Also, it keeps the boot lighter. Even then, it provides excellent resistance to impact.
This tactical booth has lace closures and YKK side zippers. Hence, it offers an adjustable fit and easy on and off.
The midsole is pretty much standard for most tactical boots. It comes in light and flexible EVA. Hence, it provides excellent cushioning against impact.
LANDSHIP tactical boot adopts a lighter, rubber outsole to reduce fatigue. Even then, it’s rugged for heavy-duty off-road use. Also, it has excellent traction for non-slip performance on most surfaces.
LANDSHIP tactical boot is available in two colors: black and tan.
6. Smith & Wesson Men’s Breach 2.0 Tactical Boots
No matter your daily battles, Breach 2.0 8-inch tactical boot is up for the task. It provides rugged quality and utmost comfort for everyday wear.
- Leather and nylon upper
- Foam-padded collar and tongue
- Board-lasted construction
- Non-slip, non-marking outsole
- Side zipper design
- Steel toe cap
This tactical boot has nylon and leather for the upper section. Also, it has a foam collar and tongue. Hence, it offers ultimate protection and remains waterproof and breathable. And thanks to the gusset tongue, the boot keeps out dirt and debris.
Moreover, the upper has a board-lasted construction. It reduces fatigue and keeps you from twisting your ankle. Such a feature makes it ideal for hard landings.
The toe comes in steel. Well, it adds some weight to the boot. However, it provides the best protection against impact. The boot has both lace and a side zip closure for more flexibility. You can use the lace closure to adjust the tension. The side zip, on the other hand, allows for easy on and off.
Breach 2.0 tactical boot uses EVA midsole. It’s lightweight, soft, and provides cradling support.
This tactical boot has one of the industry’s best outsoles. It uses a non-marking, slip-resistant rubber outsole that exceeds industry standards.
7. TACTICAL RESEARCH Men’s Waterproof Tactical Boot
For the TR960Z, lightweight comfort and ultimate protection are a top priority. Moreover, it packs cutting edge features that make it one of the best.
- Lace-to-toe system
- Contoured, low-profile footbed
- 100% cowhide and nylon upper
- All-terrain Vibram outsole
- Side zip design
The upper of this 8-inch boot is full-grain 100% cowhide and nylon. Hence, it offers rugged durability. The upper has a unique membrane. It’s waterproof and also resistant to blood-borne pathogens. Plus, it provides moisture-wicking performance. As such, it prevents wet, sweaty feet.
A side zipper entry saves you time. Also, the boot has a more aggressive lace closure. As such, it provides a more customizable fit.
The Orthotic insole offers a more supportive fit. Also, it has ample padding. Hence, it reduces shock on the knees and ankles.
TR960Z has a contoured, low-profile midsole. It improves mobility and keeps the weight to a minimum. Also, it’s highly cushioned for excellent shock absorption.
TR960Z uses the exclusive Vibram outsole, one of the most iconic. It has a firm indentation that maximizes traction. Moreover, it has rappelling bars for excellent resistance against wear. It’s pretty much the kind of outsole you need for the rugged terrain.
8. Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS 1.5 Military Tactical Boot
Valsetz RTS offers the durability that the job demands. Be it for military or outdoor adventure; it’s up for the task. Moreover, it provides the comfort of running shoes.
- 100% synthetic upper
- Lightweight, rigid TPU shank
- Micro-G EVA midsole
- Under Armor Clutch-Fit
- High-traction lug outsole
Valsetz RTS has a 100% synthetic upper. Hence, it’s lighter and durable at the same time. The upper boot combines some of the best technologies.
It rewards you with the Under Armour Clutch-fit. It contours to your foot, providing support where you need it most.
Also, the upper has a welded PU film. It covers the entire perimeter, providing excellent resistance to abrasion.
The upper has a thermoplastic toe cap. It isn’t as strong as steel. Nevertheless, it provides excellent protection against impact and abrasion. Also, it has more flex than its metallic counterparts.
You get easy-to-adjust lace closure for a snug fit. Also, there’s a side zipper to let you slide your feet in and out easily.
Molded Ortholite insole provides the best in performance and comfort. It retains its shape and thickness for longer. Also, it comes a lot thinner and lighter for maximum comfort.
Moreover, the insole offers an excellent rebound for return energy. Plus, it’s breathable and anti-microbial. For that, it reduces the chance of smelly feet.
Valsetz RTS doesn’t use a standard EVA midsole. Instead, it uses proprietary Micro-G EVA foam. It has a more bouncy and responsive feel. Also, it comes 30% thinner and lighter than standard EVA foam. Hence, it offers a low-to-ground fit for all-day comfort.
The 100% rubber outsole boasts high traction lugs. As such, it provides excellent grip in a variety of conditions. Also, it features less wear on most terrains.
Valsetz RTS tactical boot is available in a wide selection of colors. You can pick from black, desert sand, ridge reaper camo, or coyote brown.
9. Merrell Men’s Moab Tactical Waterproof Boot
Tough environments demand tough boots. And the Moab 2 tactical boot is as tough as they come. It’s a boot you’d want to have for long days on duty or for hiking.
- Leather and ripstop nylon upper
- High-traction Virbac TC5+ outsole
- M-Select Dry waterproof membrane
- Durable side zipper
- Merrell Air Cushion midsole
The upper screams durability. It comes in PU-coated leather and ripstop nylon. Also, it boasts the M-Select Dry waterproof membrane. All considered it’s a step ahead in terms of durability and waterproof performance.
Moreover, the upper has a breathable mesh lining. Hence, it’s as comfortable as it’s durable.
The heel has a contoured cup for stability. The toe cap, on the other hand, comes in rubber. It protects against impact and abrasion. Moab 2 tactical boot uses both lace-up closure and side zip. Hence, you can slide in your foot at a moment’s notice. Also, you can adjust the tension for a customizable fit.
This tactical boot uses a kinetic insole. Well, I love it, and for valid reasons. It provides flexible, intuitive support. As such, it allows for harmonious movement. Also, the kinetic insole has a zonal arch for added support.
The midsole uses Merrell Air Cushion. It offers unmatched shock absorption, up to four times your weight. Also, it encourages proper foot alignment for a comfortable, stable walk.
Moab 2 tactical boot uses the legendary VibramTC5+ outsole. It has firm 5mm lugs that provide durable traction in all environments.
Moab 2 tactical boot is available in three colors: coyote, black, and brindle.
10. Magnum Men’s Response II 8″ Boot
Magnum Response II boot promises to hold up to most demanding situations. It’s a tactical boot that combines unmatched comfort and cutting edge technology.
- 100% leather and nylon upper
- Blucher lacing system
- Supportive steel shank
- Slip-resistant, deep-tread outsole
There’s nothing fancy about the material of the upper boot. It comes in nylon and full-grain leather for ultimate protection. Also, it affords waterproof performance.
Also, the upper has mesh inlays for breathable performance. And with extra padding for the collar and tongue, it offers long-lasting comfort.
Blucher lacing, though less formal, gives you control over the snugness of the fit.
There isn’t much information regarding the midsole. But from what I’ve gathered, it comes in compression-molded EVA. It’s lightweight, soft, but remarkably durable.
Response II tactical boot uses deep-treated outsole. It’s long-wearing and provides maximum traction on all surfaces. Also, the outsole is oil-resistant.
There are two color options: black and desert tan.
Best Lightweight Tactical Boots: Complete Guide
Lightweight tactical boots come in a combination of materials. Well, I recommend leather and synthetic upper, preferably nylon. Such a combination offers rugged durability without a weight penalty.
Climate & Weather Condition
There’s a tactical boot for every climate and weather condition.
For desert climate, consider a boot with built-in vents. Also, it should lace up tight to keep out the sand. And when you consider the hot temperatures, insulation isn’t necessary. Also, choose a tactical boot that doesn’t have a metallic toe cap. It can draw heat, making the boot too hot for comfort. As for the type of material, I’d recommend suede leather. It’s durable and doesn’t get scratched up easily by the rough desert sand.
For winter, consider a tactical boot with a ton of insulation. Also, it should be 100% waterproof and have a wide outsole to prevent sinking.
For jungle use, the ultimate waterproof boot is a must-have. Also, it should be quick-drying to keep it from holding moisture for long.
Of course, you’re looking for lightweight tactical boots. But how light should you go? My best recommendation will be up to 3 pounds for a pair. After all, you’ll be doing lots of running. Hence, you don’t want something that weighs you down.
Support & Cushioning
It would help to get a tactical boot that has a little bounce. It will help absorb shock during hard landings. Also, it will lessen fatigue after a long walk or hike. Alongside that, consider a boot that provides additional support to the heels.
Well, what affects support and cushioning most is the midsole. Generally, you want a soft midsole for high-impact exercises. A firm midsole, on the other hand, helps you feel the ground better. Hence, it’s an excellent choice for vertical climbing.
You’re most likely going to tread on slippery surfaces. Hence, you need high-traction boots. Consider a good tread, one that can handle lots of abuse. The depth of the tread is also crucial. Deep treads are a must-have for walking through mud. But for walking through desert sand, I’d recommend narrower tread and a wider sole to keep you from sinking.
Tactical boots aren’t that cheap. Hence, you want a boot that will last for a long while before replacement. It should be waterproof, or at the least, water-resistant. Also, it should be resistant to wear, tear, and abrasion.
Of course, you want a tactical boot that fits snug. For that, you need to get the right size. Well, all the tactical boots I’ve reviewed come in a range of sizes for every foot.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: What’s the best lightweight tactical boot?
Answer: I would confidently recommend all the models listed above. But owing to its ultra-light construction, Danner Men’s Tachyon is one step ahead.
Question: What’s the best lightweight tactical boot for running?
Answer: I’d recommend both options from Under Armour: Valsetz RTS 1.5 and Valsetz RTS tactical boots.
Question: What’s the best lightweight tactical boot for hiking?
Answer: For the best hiking boot, I’ll confidently recommend TACTICAL RESEARCH TR960ZB. It has the best traction that hiking demands.
Question: I need a tactical boot that has the best waterproof performance. Which should I choose?
Answer: There are several serious contenders. But I’ll give it to Merrell Moab 2 tactical boot.
Question: Are tactical boots limited to military personnel and law enforcement?
Answer: Despite the name, anyone can wear tactical boots. In fact, it has gained popularity among backpackers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.
A lot goes into getting the best lightweight tactical boot. Hence, I hope the review has saved you the trouble. I’ve listed and broken down the best possible pair you can get for the money. So, the ball is in your hand; to pick the best tactical boot for your needs and budget. What’s it going to be? Well, I’ll be more than happy if you share in the comments.