Tactical Boots vs Hiking Boots

You are probably thinking of going to hiking with a traditional hiking boot but then tried on some tactical boots and found them surprisingly comfortable.

Tactical boots are very comfortable and have some of the essential qualities of traditional hiking boots.

So which one should you choose, tactical boots or hiking boots? In this article, we compare tactical boots vs hiking boots to help you decide which one is best for you.

Difference between tactical boots and hiking boots

Tactical Boots vs Hiking Boots

Without further ado, we are going to look at the essential features required in hiking boots and compare them with tactical boots.


Both tactical and hiking boots are very lightweight and made with leather and nylon which make them lighter enough for a long day hiking or short overnight backpacking trips.

Although, hiking boots can sometimes be a bit lighter than tactical boots, but depends on the brand and construction.


Both tactical and hiking boots have soft inner materials, cushioning, ankle support, and are lightweight which make them comfortable enough.

Comfort should definitely be a priority when choosing a pair of hiking boot. If the boots fits you well, use it and don’t worry about who it was for.


Hiking boots vs tactical boots

Both tactical and hiking boots offer more safety and protection. They possess puncture proof soles, toe caps, and ankle support to give you the protection you need during a hiking trail.

However, tactical boots have more ankle support than hiking boots to protect your ankle from injury.

Hiking boots also have toe caps or rubber rubber rands that cover their front, while some tactical boots have steel/composite toes which offer even more toe protection and to keep your toe in one piece incase you accidentally kick a rock on the trail.

If safety is a great concern, then tactical boots can be a better choice as they offer more safety and protection than traditional hiking boots.


Both hiking and tactical boots have astonishing durability as they are made with heavy duty materials with make them wear and tear resistant.

They are both made with leather, suede or nylon which are often found in tough and heavy-duty boots.


Tactical and hiking boots’ weights generally vary a lot, but it is equally obvious that weight have an impact on boots’ performance.

Lighter boots will generally offer less protection, stability and durability over the long time.

If you are carrying a heavy backpack or are traveling over rough terrain, then going with lighter boots can be a better idea.

You can easily find a pair of tactical and hiking boots that are incredibly lightweight or weight more depending on your needs.


The primary function of hiking boots is comfort and safety during hiking trails, while tactical boots are multi purpose and designed to for safety, stability, durability, and protection.

If you need super protection, you can go with tactical boots as they offer more protection.


Is hiking boots better than tactical boots

Both tactical and hiking boots have slip and oil resistant outsoles for grip and traction on wet, mud, ice, rocks and various surfaces.

However, tactical boots usually have padded collars, multi-terrain treads and reinforcement at the basement of the boots for more grip and traction during steep slope climbing.


The vast majority of tactical and hiking boots are waterproof and are usually made with leather that is 100% waterproof.

They mostly come with breathable Gore-Tex linings which is the best technology in terms of Waterproofing performance and breathability.

It is nice to have waterproof boots so that your feet stays warm and dry when walking through mud, snow or crossing the stream.

But you should keep in mind that waterproofness in summer backpacking will make your feet wet and sweaty if the boots are not breathable enough.


Both tactical and hiking boots are breathable and come with a moisture wicking linings for breathability.

The more waterproof a boot is, the less breathable it becomes especially heavyweight boots that have goretex linings.

Which is better between tactical and hiking boots

Final Thoughts

Both tactical and hiking boots share essential qualities and each style has its own strenghts and can all be used interchangeably for hiking and backpacking trips.

A pair of hiking boot will be your top choice if you prefer comfort and ease of a low-cut models. They are perfect for day hiking or short hikes on well travelled trails and for the lightest weight hiking.

Also, tactical boots can be the best choice if you are going to hike through rough terrain and extreme conditions, and if safety can become an issue. They offer more protection and better grip and traction on rocks, mud and varied terrain.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, if you find tactical boots to be more comfortable, it doesn’t matter what others think. You should just choose whichever is perfect for the condition.


Leave a Comment