Hot weather is known for its adverse effects on the performance and efficiency of men in the field; soldiers engaged in operations are no exception. While it may not be possible to control the temperature and humidity in the field, soldiers can minimize its adverse impact by adjusting their dress and gear according to the climate. Tactical boots, in particular, should be lightweight, breathable and comfortable to keep feet dry and rot free in hot, humid summers.
Here is a list of the Top 5 Best Summer Tactical Boots
Characteristics of Summer Tactical Boots
A few of the essential aspects to look for in a pair of summer tactical boots are:
1. Excellent air circulation, allowing the air to move freely through the boot while keeping the moisture out. This will keep the feet dry and comfortable.
2. Lightweight, because weight adds to fatigue in hot weather particularly if a soldier wears them for long stretches of time.
3. An anti-microbial shield to prevent bacteria and fungus build-up inside the shoes. Healthy and hygienic feet are the key to endurance for any soldier.
4. The sole should be comfortable and resistant to temperature so that the external heat is not transmitted to the feet.
5. Speed lacing, abrasion resistant, and durable, with excellence craftsmanship.
Top 5 Best Summer Tactical Boots
Over the years, I have been compiling a list of best summer tactical shoes that have not only performed well, but are also AR670-1 compliant. As per my ratings (and the opinion of a few of my fellow soldiers) the top 5 best Summer Tactical Boots, in order of quality, are listed below:
Tactical Research Minimalist Transition Boots TR115 (Coyote) AR 670-1 Compliant
Summer is the time to wear light gear and shed any unnecessary weight, and I start with my boots. Weighing less than 2 lbs. a pair, the Tactical Research Minimalist Transition Boots are my first choice. I have always admired the Transition Boots concept. It is a great balance between natural feel, traditional military boot ruggedness, and comfort (I am not very fond of the absolute ‘barefoot’ experience). I also like the breathable, hydrophilic mesh lining used in its construction. The Aero Spacer mesh keeps the feet dry and ventilated, even during a long march in hot weather. The TR111 in ‘desert’ color has the same characteristics, but I like the Coyote Brown because of its appearance.
A few of the other features of this awesome pair of tactical boots are:
1. A height of 8 inches and is made of flesh-out leather and a 1000 Denier Cordura nylon upper to provide resistance against dirt and abrasive surfaces.
2. The single density molded EVA insole and compression molded EVA mid-soles are comfortable as they conform to the foot’s contours and protect them against injury. The Vibram TARSUS outsole provides excellent grip and resists oil slips.
3. The heel is only 8mm thick, much thinner than traditional boots, to give you a feel of the ground.
4. The excellent craftsmanship with double and triple seams eliminates the need for frequent repairs.
5. The boot is equipped with pull-on loops for easy donning. These shoes are true to size for men and for women buying two sizes smaller than normal (6 instead of 8) is recommended.
McRae Hot Weather Boots with Panama Sole 4189 (Desert Tan) AR 670-1 Compliant
Our answer to scorching heat of Iraqi deserts in Operation Desert Storm was the McRae Hot Weather Boots with Panama Sole 4189. This is an old design but it is truly ‘gold’ because of its excellent ventilation and sturdiness in hot climates. It does not incorporate any ‘state of the art’ meshes, but often the simplest solution is the most effective. Nylon coated brass drainage vents embedded into the sides are effective in aerating the foot bed and therefore the foot remains dry for a long time. These are also useful in drying the shoe in wet conditions. Also known as ‘Schwarzkopf’ boots, its other features include:
1. A tan suede and cordura upper that makes it extremely durable and abrasion resistant. Speed eyelets facilitate easy lacing.
2. A removable, cushioned insert, and the stem is adequately padded to protect skin against abrasions.
3. A Panama sole that is resistant to oil, acid, and slips, which make it great for uneven and slippery terrains. It handles well in dirt and mud and does not let dirt accumulate in large quantities.
4. An 8 inch height to provide maximum protection and support to the ankle during long marches and challenging terrain.
5. Made in the USA and true to size.
Also to note: you have to allow the new boots some break-in time and the cushioning is a bit rugged when compared to modern standards.
Rocky S2V Army Steel Safety Toe Tactical Military Boots (Desert Tan) AR 670-1 Compliant
Rocky S2V military boots are pricey but they are a great piece of technology and worth every cent. Equipped with a number of safety and comfort features for the summer heat, these shoes are rugged and durable enough to withstand whatever the terrain throws at it. These boots have the following distinct features:
1. A state of the art ventilation system to allow 360 degrees of airflow. These boots are quick drying and only a 45 minute walk after being submerged is adequate to dry them. The boots are equipped with anti-microbial shield to prevent foot rot and fungal infections.
2. Durable and eliminate the need for repair because of their triple-stitched construction and Dri-Lex lining. The S2V sieve technology allows air to circulate but keeps water out. The drainage vents stop the debris from getting in and allow water to flow out.
3. A cupped sole to provide ankle roll stop protection, which is incredibly useful in preventing injuries. Your heel is placed inside the sole, instead of on top, and this provides added protection.
4. Made of 1000 Cordura nylon and leather uppers. It has a protective steel toe for protection against abrasion and compression injuries. These boots have a PTFE coating and Vibram sole with perforated Airport Cushion foot-bed and polyurethane midsole.
5. A snug fit because of the stretch Lycra tongue. I found these true to size but one of my colleagues found them to run a bit short, and advised going half size up.
(The Rocky S2Vs is a favorite here at Authorized Boots, check out our full length review of them by clicking here)
Belleville 610Z Hot Weather Tactical Side Zip Boots AR 670-1 Compliant
During intervals on a long, grueling march in hot weather, there is always a desire to just rip off your shoes to allow the feet a breather. Unfortunately, time constraints and operational hazards do not allow it. Speed lacing has made donning shoes faster, but zippers are the fastest way to lace at a moment’s notice. I have always been a skeptic of the zipper quality until I used the Belleville 610Z Hot Weather Tactical Side Zip Boots. They quelled all my doubts. These lightweight and sturdy boots have YKK coil zipper with auto lock slider on its side, in addition to the regular lacing system to give you a snug fit.
Another feature that comes handy in hot weather are drainage vents that not only allow circulation of air to keep your feet dry and rot free, but also assist in quick drying during wet conditions. These boots are very lightweight and have the feel of a running shoe because of their adequate padding throughout the body. Their features include:
1. Quality cow hide leather with Cordura nylon fabric uppers to provide support and comfort to the feet. 8 inch standard height protects your ankles against injuries.
2. The MeraMax dual density polyurethane sole is an excellent shock absorber (50% better than the rubber) and is extremely durable.
3. The boots are designed for running and their padded collar and tongue provides protection to skin and feet against any shock or injury.
Reebok Dauntless 8" Army Boots RB8820 (Desert Tan) AR 670-1 Compliant
Foot rot is a constant fear for soldiers employed in hot climates because keeping the feet dry and disease free is a constant challenge. The Reebok Dauntless 8’ Army Boots have solved this problem by introducing an Aegis microbe shield that prevents buildup of bacteria and fungus inside the boots. The same shield also acts as a moisture wick to absorb the sweat. In fact, every segment of the foot bed, including the removable inserts, is designed to wick away moisture. Side air drainage vents allow easy airflow to keep the feet dry and aerated. Made of quality suede and nylon, these boots are comfortable and durable. Other features include:
1. The boots are made up of suede leather and 1000 Ballistic Nylon which makes them abrasion resistant and durable. The mid-sole is fitted with a TPU bruise plate to protect against injuries.
2. They are extremely light weight and equipped with specially designed forefoot pads to protect your toes against injury.
3. Their 550 Paracord laces are strong and useful in survival missions.
4. Injected EVA midsoles provide extra cushion; the toe is soft for natural fit and flexibility. The boots have a rubber heel and the tread is easy to clean and maintain.