The Definitive Guide to Choose Your Combat Boots - From A to Z

What are the Requirements of a Law Enforcement Officer Has Towards Their Boots?

We list down the most common features police officers, civil defence workers or military soldiers asking from Tactical Boots below.

 

Waterproof

A law enforcement officer has to always deal with unexpected and challenging circumstances, leading them to step into puddles of water and wade across rivers or creeks.

 

They cannot hesitate about getting their feet wet during emergency times, right?

Altai Waterproof Boots

 

If you want to know more about the truth about waterproofness of boots, you can read this article here.

 

Lightweight

Law enforcement officers likely spend very long hours a day in their boots, and hence their best buddies (the footwear) should be light enough to maximize their efficiency.

 

Washable & Quick Drying

You can refer here on how to clean your leather boots without damaging the material.

 

Durability

Surprisingly, officers rank it after waterproof and lightweight (unless your company has special requirements). 

 

However, like many value shoppers, they hope what they pay for is equivalent to how many years they last

 

As it is highly relevant to the wearer's habits, usage, and time spent in their boots, no one can promise their footwear can help you carry out all the heavy-duty work without replacing any parts of it. 

 

According to My Work Wear, Pick A Boot and Gear Hungry, we found out the commonality of durable boots is usually made from leather, nylon, or both.

 

In terms of durability, the sequence will be Leather > Synthetic/Artificial Leather > Nylon; the order will be reversed if we compare their affordability and weight.

 

Looking at the image below, we know that top-grain leather offers the best durability and flexibility.

Types of Real Leather
Image from J Tillman

 

However, full-grain leather outperforms top-grain leather as the former does not need any "corrections" to remove its imperfections and blemishes; it is selected from the best part of each hide and minimally processed to preserve that original look.  

 

Moreover, they last for generations and will develop a luxurious patina over time, which adds character to your boot.

Leather Patina

 

As for the Synthetic Leathers, they are more affordable, lighter and highly customizable, yet they delaminate, crack and peel off over time.

 

Anti-Slip

The boots' gripping power depends on the outsole pattern, as they can be designed in triangles, squares, hexagons, or circles.

 

The tread creates a tunnel through which liquid is dispersed, producing the slip-resistant effect. 

 

To create even better traction, choose an outsole designed with small incisions that divide the tread shape into a few parts. These snipes transport more liquid to the outer portion of the outsole, increasing the anti-slip effect.

 

Besides that, if each shape of the outsole pattern is too close together, the space between may not be wide enough to channel liquid to the outsole outer edges and cause a hydroplane effect. So, look for the shoes with at least 2mm of space between the tread pattern shapes for maximum safety.

 

Taking into account that outsole tread depth is reduced by wear (depending on the surface you usually walk on), you should monitor from time to time and replace the boots if they are no longer able to provide a decent slip-resistant effect.

Vibram Outsole

 

Support & Protection

Height: 6" or 8"?

Unless you have encountered ankle injuries before, always opt for 6" breathable tactical boots in Singapore.

 

Support: 

  • Padded Collar/Tounge to support ankle 
  • EVA Midsoles (“rubber-like” in softness and flexibility, has good low-temperature toughness and stress-crack resistance) and extra cushioning in Soles to absorb shock

 

Breathability

As officers are usually wearing thick socks and their feet are stuffed inside the boots for very long hours, the breathability of boots is another main concern for them.

 

There is a trade-off between waterproofness and breathability of your footwear; the better the boots keep your feet dry when submerging in water, the worse their breathability is as they block not just water, but air flows, too.       

Especially in Singapore, nobody likes the feeling of sweaty feet and its smell, as waterproof boots tend to trap the perspiration inside the leather boots.  

 

Typical Military Boots Anatomy

Anatomy of Combat Boot

 

What is Considered a Good Fit?

When walking on flat ground, angled and uneven terrain, you should check whether the boots fulfill the below requirements to find your perfect fit.

  • Your entire foot should feel snug EXCEPT for your heel. Your heel will always slip a little (like 6-12mm space in between) in a properly fitted new boot. The slippage will disappear when you've broken in the boot.
    • If you are feeling too much slippage, the problems usually lie in...
      1. The boot is not laced tight enough.
      2. The boot is not broken in.
      3. The boot is too long for you. You can insert a heel grip to fix it.
      4. The boot is too high for you. You can insert a tongue pad to compensate for height.
  • Have a bit of wiggle room for your toes in the front of the boots. It would help if you buy your boots in the evening as your feet swell at the end of the day. If you can fit in your finger in the space between your longest toe and the tip of the toe cap, it is considered a good fit; but if you have a little extra space in your toe cap and the rest of the parts fit perfectly, you should keep it that way instead of sizing down.   
  • The widest part of your foot needs to be at the widest part of the boot. Most boots come without arch support, but you can get some orthodontic insoles if you have flat feet.
  • Wear thick socks when trying on the boots. Most boots are manufactured to be worn with cushioned thick socks (with extra padding at heel and toe areas), they are also to protect you from blisters and hotspots. Choose socks made from wool as it is moisture-absorbing, keeping your feet warm in cold, breathable, quick-drying, anti-bacterial, and odor resistant. Try out our moisture-wicking Outdoor Coolmax socks below!   
Altai Socks

 

How to Break-In Your Boots?

According to Survival Mag, most boots will stretch by only about a millimeter, even with a boot stretcher.

 

It is necessary to break-in your boots for your boots to take the shape of your foot to avoid blister, calluses & corns, hammertoe, and more foot pains. 

 

The video below illustrates the steps taken to break-in your boots.

 

Things You Might Look At

Is Vegan Leather Environmental Friendly?

Vegan leather, also called Synthetic Leather or Faux Leather, does not use any animal skin in its production.

 

The materials used are usually plastic-based materials, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU). MAHI Leather claims that very few vegan leathers are made from natural materials, although it is possible to find more eco friendly products made from materials like cork, kelp and even pineapple leaves.

 

When people think the term vegan leather might imply an environmentally friendly product, this is not always the case for footwear. The production and disposal of PVC-based synthetics emit hazardous dioxins, which can cause developmental and reproductive issues and even cause cancer. The synthetics used in vegan leathers also do not fully biodegrade, even though they can be broken down to a degree, they can also release toxic particles and phthalates, which can affect the health of animals and the environment.

 

Can Combat Boots Used for Hiking?

Definitely for ALTAI® Tactical Boots! You can try our full range boots at Black Tactical store. 

 

Extra Tip

It’s not a bad idea to get two pair so you can rotate days and allow one pair to totally dry out while you wear the other pair.

 

Need to Measure the Width?

Most of the combat boots in the market have leather or fabric as their toe cap with standard EE Width (men's wide width), like in all ALTAI® boots.

According to Boot Outfitters, over 90% of the population is a normal width. Hence, most boots size are based on length, not the width.

You can look at below sizing chart to have general guidance on notations that indicate a normal width measurement.

Singapore Combat Boots

Combine Smartness + Practicality

 

Sources:

"Top 15 Most Comfortable Combat Boots - Guide & Reviews 2020" My Work Wear/most-comfortable-combat-boots/

 

"Best Army Boots (Buying Guide for Military Footwear 2020)" Pick A Boot, August 5, 2020, /best-military-boots-reviews/

 

"11 Best Combat Boots (Review) In 2020" Gear Hungry, June 7, 2019, /best-combat-boots/

 

"Leather Boots Buying Guide: How to Identify the Different Types of Leather and Its Quality" Helm Boots, June 7, 2019, /product-spotlights/leather-boots-buying-guide-how-to-identify-the-different-types-of-leather-and-its-quality/

 

"Choosing the Best Slip-Resistant Shoe" Occupational Health & Safety, April 1, 2004, /Choosing-the-Best-SlipResistant-Shoe.aspx/

 

Brannon, R. "How Boots Should Fit (The Ultimate Boot Sizing Guide)" Survivalmag/how-boots-should-fit/#ia-flex-point/ 

 

Shep, C. "All You Need To Know About Vegan Leather" MAHI Leather/all-you-need-to-know-about-vegan-leather/

 

"Boots Size Chart" Boot Outfitters/size_chart.html/ 

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