The 10 Best Army Boots
10. Bates GX-8
9. Danner Men's Marine Temperate
8. Under Armour Valsetz
7. Corcoran 1500 Jump Boots
6. Wideway Speedlace
5. Blackhawk Warrior Wear Desert Ops
4. Ryno Gear Tactical
3. 5.11 ATAC
2. U.S. Military Contractor's Mickey Mouse
1. Garmont T8 Bifida
Ten-Hut! Getting The Best Army Boots
A pair of army boots is designed to help carry a warrior (and the weight on his or her back) over mud, snow, concrete, and more. They are tough, supportive, and built to last, just like the soldiers for whom the army boot has been repeatedly refined and improved over many generations. But today, unlike civilians or veterans of years past, you need not seek out a local Army-Navy Surplus Store to find a great pair of army boots, and you don't need to settle for a "one design suits all" approach, either.
Today there are myriad different army boots that are available for sale to the general public. They vary in shape, size, tread pattern, and in other features as well. The unifying factor in all decent army boots is that they are durable and supportive, able to hold up well even under extreme conditions and able to keep their wearer's feet and ankles safe whether he or she is in combat, hiking a trail, or simply doing some yard work around the home.
When you set out in search of the perfect army boots for your feet, first consider the activities you will be engaged in while wearing them. Many available options approximate modern hiking boots, with enough support to keep ankles protected and enough cushioning to keep your feet feeling fine even after many miles logged on the trail or through the woodlands. These are fine choices for campers, hunters, and trekkers alike. Make sure to find a boot with a tread pattern that is not overly aggressive so you can wear these boots on multiple types of terrain such as you will likely encounter on any long hike.
Some army boots feature the distinctive extra high risers that were designed to cushion the landing of a paratrooper, preventing snapped bones of the lower leg after a jump out of an airplane. That same level of support can help protect your legs as you charge across the paintball or airsoft obstacle course. These boots are usually less comfortable for the long term wear of a hiking trip or a day on a job site, but are great for that extra protection you need during high intensity activities.
Speaking of the job site, many army boots make great work boots, just make sure you find a pair with reinforced toes, a feature that not all army boots have. Also consider features like the texture of the insole; if you will be wearing a boot all day, every day, it has to be designed as much for comfort as support.
Finally, if you are considering army boots as a unique fashion accessory, there are several models that can suit several different senses of style. Standard GI Type army boots, those leather and canvas boots iconic of the Vietnam War, have long been a counter-culture staple. Other highly polished black leather army boots can be worn with blue jeans without drawing much attention beyond perhaps a nod of appreciation.
Ensuring You'll Enjoy Comfortable And Lasting Boots
Army boots are rugged and durable, but even the toughest gear needs a bit of care and maintenance if it is going to last for years and perform at its best. One of the simplest, best ways you can take care of your army boots is to periodically replace the laces. The better a boot's laces are functioning, the better they will help maintain the shape and function of the footwear; replacing laces is cheap and easy and can even improve the appearance of your boots.
For boots with a coated patent leather finish, it's a good idea to apply a waterproofing agent to the leather before you first wear them, and then to apply a coat of store bought waterproof finish every few weeks that you wear the boots in inclement weather or muddy conditions.
For boots a non-patent leather and/or with fabric exteriors, there are several spray on protection formulas that apply a later of silicone over the material, helping to protect it from water damage and to repel some dirt, dust, and mud as well.
Even when the exterior of your army boots still looks fine, the interior might be starting to get worn down. Replacing the stock insoles of your army boots with custom insoles is a good way to maintain your comfort and support, and also to preserve the life of your boots. Once you know which aftermarket insoles work best for your feet, buy a few pairs and switch them out as soon as they begin to wear thin. Insoles take a large amount of the impact your boots absorb overall, so keeping them fresh and in shape is a good way to help protect your foot and your boots.
A Brief History Of The Army Boot
Ancient warfare was an often erratic affair, with soldiers wearing mismatched gear and using a hodgepodge of weapons, armor, and shields. It's no coincidence that many of the most successful ancient armies were also those that first embraced uniformity of equipment and outfit.
The Roman Army is the most frequently heralded ancient exemplar of organization and standardization. The Roman army famously wore the caligae boot when on the march and in battle, the term even leading to the de facto name of the infamous emperor Caligula -- or "Little Boots" -- who used to march along with the armies when a lad.
The centuries intervening between the collapse of Rome and the Early Modern Period saw little uniformity of military footwear. It was not until the 19th Century that armies around the world began to adopt truly uniform combat footwear. (And that combat footwear -- boots specifically designed for use on the march and in active conflict, that is -- was even truly developed.)
Many German and Prussian soldiers, especially officers and those in the cavalry, were issued calf-high Hessian Boots that were both supportive and considered handsome and stylish. Many civilians of the era adopted the style of boot as well.
British soldiers first adopted uniform ankle boots but, by the later decades of the 1800s, were wearing ammunition boots, leather combat boots that supported the ankles and featured thick rubber soles and that would remain in service into the 1950s.
American combat boots were not standardized until the 20th Century, and are still constantly being improved today.