Are you suffering from sweaty feet while wearing your boots and are wondering how to keep your feet cool in tactical boots?
Wearing tactical boots for a long period can make you feel the heat in your boots. This is usually the cause of sweaty feet during hot weather conditions. However, this could be an advantage during cold or freezing as it will keep your feet warm and comfortable.
In this article, I’m going to share with you seven ways which you can use to keep your feet cool in tactical boots alongside their pros and cons.
I’ll also share various ways you can combat the heat inside your tactical boots. However, before we proceed, we’ll first look at the causes of heat in tactical boots. Let’s dive in.
What Makes Tactical Boots Hot?
You may discover that some tactical boots are warmer while others are not. Why are some tactical boots warmer than others?
It is largely due to the design of the boots since some are designed to be more breathable than others. Some of the factors that contribute to the hotness/warmness of tactical boots include:
Most tactical boots are heavily insulated. They are designed for advanced functions and to protect you from injuries. Generally, insulated tactical boots are made for use in the winter to keep your feet warm in cold or freezing.
While this can be an advantage, it is a significant heat promoter in tactical boots. The design of insulated tactical boots prevents airflow into the boots, which ultimately results in heating.
2. Wearing Thick Socks
The thickness of your socks can also be s contributing factor in making your feet hot.
The breathability and airflow allowance in socks depend on their thickness and material. If the socks are very thick, it will cause more heat to build up in your socks, thereby making your boots hot.
Additionally, the materials used in the production of the socks determine their breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities. Cotton is generally known to be lighter and more breathable whereas polyester tend to generate more heat to your feet.
3. Wearing Wrong-Sized Boots
It is recommended to wear tactical boots that fit you properly, and these are global recommendations.
Wearing a wrong-sized boot, especially smaller one, will make your feet extremely tight in your feet, leaving no space for your toe to wiggle. If the boot is too tight for your feet, the breathable parts of the boots will be blocked.
Due to the lack of airflow, your feet will heat up and make you extremely uncomfortable.
4. Materials of the Boots
The material overlying the breathable membrane of the boots also plays a role in determining the boots’ breathability. For instance, tactical boots made with leather, especially full-grain and split-grain types, are famous for having poor breathability. Tactical boots with these types of leathers in their upper parts will have hot interiors.
Additionally, some tactical boots with synthetic fabrics are also known to produce heat, although they can be as breathable as boots with mesh designs. With that said, tactical boots with mesh designs tend to be more breathable than boots that have leather membranes.
5. Waterproof Membrane
While this is often disputed, some waterproof membranes have moderate breathable capabilities. The waterproof membrane is designed to prevent even the tiniest drop of fluid from getting into the boots. While it is among the minor causes of heat in tactical boots, it can also prevent air from flowing into the boots.
However, waterproof GORE-Tex linings offer waterproofing capabilities while offering more breathability.
6. Water-resistant/water-repellent coating
The waterproof coating usually prevents leather and fabrics’ breathability and reduces airflow in and out of the boots.
However, the best way to get around this is by wearing low-cut/mid-cut tactical boots with massive petite holes or obvious vented holes along their sides.
Consequences of Hot Feet in Tactical Boots
Though we put on tactical boots mainly for protection, it can become dangerous if not handled carefully.
So the first thing is to know all about the boots before wearing them. Ignoring this can cause a hot interior in the boots, leading to several consequences.
Therefore, what are the consequences of having hot feet in tactical boots?
- Sweaty feet
- Foot pains/sores
- Stinky boots/feet
- Alters the boots’ quality
- Foot-related medical conditions like Grierson-Gopaian syndrome.
How To Keep Your Feet Cool In Tactical Boots
Honestly, it is tough to avoid sweaty feet in tactical boots, especially during hot weather conditions. However, there are various ways you can use to manage or even combat the situation to prevent further consequences.
So how do you keep your feet cool in tactical boots? Here are some ways you can use to keep/maintain a cool temperature in your tactical boots:
1.Breathable Moisture Wicking Lining
The breathable moisture-wicking lining plays a vital role in keeping your feet cool. Its main purpose is to wick moisture or remove sweat from your feet.
When buying yourself a pair of tactical boots, make sure you get a boot that comes with a breathable moisture-wicking lining. GORE-Tex, eVent breathable linings are known to offer more breathability to keep your feet cool in hot weather conditions.
Read this article for the best tactical boots with GORE-Tex linings: Are Tactical Boots Waterproof?
- Wicks moisture away from your feet
- Keep your feet dry.
- Are a bit more expensive
2. Breathable Materials
While breathable moisture-wicking linings help keep your feet cool, the right choice of materials also determines the moisture-wicking capabilities of the boots. As I mentioned earlier, tactical boots with leather uppers tend to prevent air from flowing into the boots, leading to heat build-up in the boots.
However, nubuck leather can be a better option if you must pick a tactical boot with leather uppers. Mesh or Denier Nylon fabric uppers are more breathable and allow airflow in and out of the boots.
Both of these materials help in wicking moisture from the interior to the exterior of the boots.
- Aid moisture-wicking properties of the breathable linings.
- Allow for slight airflow around the footwear.
- Can increase the overall weight of the boots.
- Mesh and Denier Nylon might be moderately durable.
3. Eyelets and Vented Holes
These are standard features in tactical, combat, hiking, and work boots. The eyelets are installed on the upper part along with several vented holes around the boots.
The eyelets and vented holes allow proper airflow inside the boots. They help exchange hot air inside the boots with cool air from the outside. This gives room for continuous airflow in the boots and ensures stable temperature to keep your feet cool inside the tactical boots.
- They promote airflow inside the boots
- Help keep your feet cool and dry
- They can allow water and other fluids to get into the boots
4. Moisture-wicking Insoles
The insoles are the part of the boots that comes in direct contact with your feet. They usually come in different shapes and sizes, as moisture-wicking or gel insoles.
The moisture-wicking insoles can help in keeping your feet cool and dry. This is because they are made from hard-wearing natural cotton that can absorb the sweat and between your toes.
Additionally, the moisture-wicking insoles also have grooved and perforated antibacterial skin lower parts which can help prevent odor and keep your feet smelling fresh.
Also, you will get additional support and comfort with moisture-wicking insoles than any other. Whereas the gel version of insoles is perfect for cooler weather conditions as they mainly create heat.
- Provides support and comfort to your feet
- Wick moisture
- Supports feet.
- Gel insoles can cause heat and are perfect for cooler conditions
5. The Boots Should Fit Properly
Generally, your tactical boots should fit snugly, provide enough space for your feet to wiggle, and allow airflow. If your feet fit too tightly in the boots, it will reduce the chance of airflow in and around the boots, thereby making the boots hot.
So it is advisable to pick pair that fits you perfectly to keep your feet cool and allow airflow. Comfortable fit will cause the boot’s materials to wick moisture perfectly, and also for the vented holes to allow airflow in and out of the boots.
However, if you have a pair of tactical boots that is extremely tight, you can relieve the tightness by loosening the boots’ laces to allow more airflow into the boots.
- Makes your feel more comfortable
- Allows airflow to the boots
- Can prevent blisters
- Can be challenging to spot the proper fitting
6. Pick Lightweight Tactical Boots
Lightweight tactical boots tend to be more breathable and allow proper airflow into the boots. Wearing heavy tactical boots can cause strain, requiring you to exert more strength to move the boots faster.
Heavy boots can make your feet sweat even on a day with cool weather conditions. However, lightweight tactical boots will require less energy to lift them off the ground, causing less sweating.
Additionally, you might want to consider low-cut tactical boots over the mid/high-cut ones as they will expose parts of your feet, thus increasing ventilation.
- Easier to lift and move
- Causes less perspiration due to less energy required to use them
- They tend to be more comfortable
- Might lack some essential features like protection
7. Wear Moisture-wicking Socks
Wearing moisture-wicking socks can help keep your feet cool in tactical boots. Socks that have moisture-wicking or absorbent properties can help prevent sweat build-up and odor in your feet.
There are several materials used today in producing absorbent socks. Cotton, synthetic, and polyester socks usually have the best moisture-wicking capabilities.
While socks made from wool have poor moisture-wicking capabilities than those mentioned above.
- Helps in preventing sweat build-up
- Can prevent blisters
- Can prevent foot odor
- Assists in maintaining good foot health
- Socks made from wool is likely to cause additional heat
There you go. Seven ways to keep your feet cool in tactical boots. They are:
- Use Boots that Have Breathable Moisture Wicking Lining
- Use Boots that Come With Breathable Materials
- Your Boots Should Have Eyelets and Vented Holes
- Use Moisture-wicking Insoles
- The Boots Should Fit Properly
- Pick lightweight tactical boots
- Wear moisture-wicking socks
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Jesse is the main author of Tactical Angle. He’s also an avid survivalist, backpacker, and fishkeeper. He spends time setting up/maintaining my fish tanks, hiking, hunting, and climbing mountains.