11 Best Combat Boots for Men: Tactical and Casual Options 2023
Stylish, functional, and tougher than Dirty Harry with his .44 Magnum, the best combat boots for men are no longer just for majors of the military. Having twisted and turned their way through multiple decades and countless fashion scenes, the rough-and-ready footwear style is now worn by guys of all sartorial preferences.
Before we find ourselves in the midst of peak boot season, I’ve pulled together all of the must-have styles suitable for every budget. Whether you’re in need of something for the weekend or an upcoming city break, these are the best men’s combat boots around.
With so many options available, finding the best combat boots for men can almost seem like mission impossible.
However, if you know where to look and who to turn to, victory is a lot closer than you may think. I’ll give you the lowdown on the styles that deserve a place in your collection, plus highlight their advantages—from durability and comfort—and what outfits they can be teamed with.
Finding the best combat boots for men was no easy feat but I stand by the Myrqvist Tjärnö Black boots. They’re stylish enough to pair with all outfits but the leather stitching makes them more unique than your average Dr Martens (which are also great if that’s the look you’re going for).
Our Top Picks
Size Range: 6.5-12.5 | Material: 100% Leather | Colors: Black
If you’re looking to channel your inner Action Man, I’d say a pair of black boots are a great place to start. Not only do they look pretty badass, but they’re super versatile. Whether you’re on a mission to defeat Dr. X or dressing for a winter wedding, there’s no situation they wouldn’t sartorially improve.
This pair of men’s combat boots from Myrqvist sit somewhere in the middle of smart and casual—there’s no end to places you can wear them. Handcrafted in Portugal from full-grain leather, you’ll find decorative punching on the toe cap and double-studded rubber soles. Thanks to their Goodyear-welted construction, they’ll be with you for many years to come.
Size Range: 5.5-11.5 | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: Black, Cement
Buying a pair of combat boots that aren’t waterproof is basically like buying a chocolate teapot. It may look good, but it’s totally useless. If you want to get maximum wear out of your new footwear, it wouldn’t make sense to invest in a pair that will leave you with soggy feet if they’re exposed to a bit of rain.
Ready to keep your tootsies stylishly dry are these limited-edition boots from Rains. Designed for the label’s AW22 runway show, they’re crafted from a water-repellent fabric and finished with a reinforced toe, heel caps, and weather-resistant metal eyelets. They’re on the chunky side, so I’d team them with slim-fit jeans (not skinny) and an oversized hoodie or knitted sweater.
Size Range: 7-13 | Material: 100% Leather | Colors: Black
Although some men’s combat boots might look a little aggressive, the reality is they’re super simple to wear—especially during the fall and winter months. Keep it simple, and you’ll have no problem teaming yours with the majority of the staples already hanging in your wardrobe.
For maximum versatility, I suggest investing in Belstaff’s Alperton boots. Inspired by vintage military designs, they’re made from full-grain leather and finished with rubber-lug soles. Wear them with a tweed suit for the most formal occasions or with jeans and a thick turtleneck sweater to tackle the elements in style. If you think these are the ones for you, the brand suggests taking one size smaller than normal (as they fit a little large).
Size Range: 4-14 | Material: Cordura | Colors: Black, Brown, Sage, Tan, +
You don’t have to be a soldier to take part in rucking—apparently, some of you do that stuff for fun (I know, beats me). Now while I don’t claim to be a highly successful rucker, I do know a thing or two about the best equipment for the job. That includes some suitable combat boots.
Designed for all-day comfort and optimum durability, this pair from Oakley are ideal for clocking up some serious miles (even with some hefty weight on your shoulders). If you’re expecting to go on a long march, don’t forget to give them a test run first. Even the most comfortable walking boots need breaking in gradually.
Size Range: 7-13 | Material: 100% Leather | Colors: Black
Some of the best combat boots for men are those that look like they belong to the wardrobe of the latest war movie. They’re the kind of tough-talking footwear that would impress both your great-grandfather and that blue-eyed barmaid you’ve been trying to date for the past year and a half.
But where can you find such a pair? Well, that’ll be Grenson. Using their 150 years of boot-making experience, they’ve come up with the Dudley—a round-toed lace-up design set on sturdy Goodyear-welted soles that promise to outlive every other shoe in your collection. They can be styled with everything from formal slacks to khakis and slim-fitting denim.
Size Range: 4-15 | Material: Suede/Synthetic | Colors: Brown
Military combat boots for men are a certified must-have for those with careers in the special forces, security sector, or army. However, it’s also totally fine to want to own a pair to simply look like a real tough guy in your military-inspired attire. Who am I to judge?
The Garmont tactical boot offers so much more than its hard-as-nails exterior. The lightweight suede and polyester upper are complemented with a super breathable footbed and EVA insole. The rugged rubber soles are designed to grip the ground and avoid any slips. There’ll be no need to worry about trench foot, as the quick-drying materials are suitable for even the most extreme wet weather conditions.
Size Range: 4-14 | Material: 100% Synthetic | Colors: Black, Red
I don’t think I’ve come across anything I can’t buy on Amazon; that insanely rich bald guy has thought of everything, hasn’t he? So it’ll come as no surprise when I tell you that they have a pretty impressive selection of boots to choose from.
My pick of the bunch is this pair from Dr. Martens. Featuring all of the iconic features you’ve come to know and love, but with an eco-friendly twist: they’re made from a fully synthetic material using a 100% vegan construction. They’ll pair with your favorite jeans or khakis and look particularly awesome with leather jackets and oversized tees.
Size Range: 7-13 | Material: 100% Leather | Colors: Brown
Every now and again, there’ll be a designer that comes up with something completely new that we can’t wait to add to our wardrobe. But let’s face it, more often than not, it’s the reinvented classics that we turn to when we really want to impress.
Case in point is this pair of 8085 Iron Ranger boots from Red Wing Shoes. A must-have for any shoe collection, they were originally made for miners working on Minnesota’s Mesabi Range. Today, they’ll find themselves on the feet of some of the most stylish guys around. They’re constructed from hard-wearing leather and finished with double-layered cap toes and thick Vibram 430 Mini-lug soles. If you’re looking for a pretty face that’s going to last a lifetime, you’ll struggle to find better.
Size Range: 7.5-12 | Material: Polyurethane | Colors: Black, Brown
The thought of packing away your summer sneakers and sliders can be enough to leave even the most positive of souls running for the hills. To make matters worse, finding the best combat boots for men can leave quite the dent in your wallet. But it doesn’t have to. You’ll be pleased to know there are a bunch of wallet-friendly options out there to keep you and your feet happy.
H&M’s lace-up boots are yours for just under $70, but they certainly look a lot pricier. Finished with toe caps and fluted soles, they’re suitable for work or the weekend—you can team them with formal slacks or black jeans. What I particularly like is the addition of zipped sides. If you’re prone to being all fingers and thumbs, it makes putting them on a helluva lot easier.
Size Range: 6-14 | Material: 100% Leather | Colors: Black, Brown
Inspired by the durable footwear worn by soldiers, the best combat boots have never really gone away. Truth is, they’ve been doing the rounds for a while now. But when the high-end designers get in on the act, you know it’s time you make your move.
If budget isn’t a problem, I suggest splashing the cash on these beauties from Common Projects. Complete with gripped soles to keep your feet on the ground, they’re made from glossy calf leather that makes them suitable for semi-formal and casual looks alike. They’re ideal for slacks and a roll-neck jumper, but don’t be afraid to team them with khakis or selvedge denim.
Size Range: 8-12 | Material: 100% Leather | Colors: Dark Brown
No longer kept for battlefields, the best combat boots for men translate perfectly into civilian life too. They stay true to the rugged, durable styles used to perform in harsh environments but won’t look out of place as you head for brunch at the weekend.
Everyone seems to be in on the act, yet it’s Polo Ralph Lauren that has really hit the sweet spot between form and function. Made from tough leather with hardworking soles, the Bryson boots will make light work of slippy pavements and muddy turf. You can dress them up with selvedge denim and flannel shirts or keep it casual with cargo pants and quilted outerwear.
What To Look For When Buying The Best Combat Boots For Men
From chunky boots ideal for wet weather to sleeker styles you’ll wear in summer, the best combat boots for men are available in many variations. To ensure you get maximum wear out of your new footwear, it’s important to choose the design which is best suited to your tastes and needs. Think about when you’ll most likely wear them and what you plan to wear them with.
If you want your men’s combat boots to be reliable, pay close attention to the construction; how they’re made plays a vital role in how long they’ll last. Goodyear welt is considered one of the hallmarks of a well-made shoe. It can come at a price, but it’s well worth the extra investment. Boots that are constructed using Goodyear welting can be repaired and refurbished, so even if they do get damaged, there’s no need to chuck them in the trash.
The material of your boots affects both their lifespan and comfort. Leather is the failsafe option that’ll never let you down. Not only durable, but the natural material also gets better with age and adapts to the shape of your feet with each wear. If looked after correctly, a pair of leather men’s combat boots will stay with you for many seasons to come.
You’ve probably got the gist by now, but just in case you missed the memo: it turns out the best combat boots for men are a key part of any successful shoe collection. Why? Essential styles like Polo Ralph Lauren’s Bryson boots bring so much more to the table than just a swish exterior. Tough, durable, and highly versatile, they can be worn year-round and look great with everything from smart slacks to ripped denim and classic cargo pants.
Military combat boots for men are far more versatile than you may think. In fact, you can pretty much wear them with anything, smart or casual. Dress them up with slacks and a knitted sweater, or keep it relaxed with a bomber jacket, T-shirt, and jeans. If you opt for the latter, try rolling up the hems to show off a little more of your footwear.
There’s no doubt that combat boots are at their most effective when the weather starts to turn. However, this doesn’t mean they can only be worn during the depths of winter. If you want to wear yours during the summer months, choose a more lightweight style that will keep your feet cooler and won’t look out of place with your warm-weather staples.
Although they share some similarities, men’s combat boots are not the same as tactical boots. Combat boots were designed for the military, but they are now also used as a fashion statement. Tactical boots are worn by special ops‚ security‚ and public safety workers to enhance performance. They are generally lighter and more flexible, while combat boots are heavier and offer greater durability.