The best army boots for deployment will really depend on what you will be doing with them and the size/shape of your feet. As you know, boots are designed for different purposes and requirements. More or less, there will be a trade-off for comfort vs durability. There is an endless list of situations/terrain we can talk about for what the best boots are for that situation; but for simplicity sake, we will discuss what the best boots are for “Afghanistan-like terrain.”
Let's further describe this terrain, shall we?:
- Any place where there are a lot hills to walk up and down, and rocks all over the place to step on.
- Spike plants may be common. (These plants could be so sharp, that it could pierce through your soles and into your feet, so be careful and watch out for these).
- The weather is always a factor. In this case, we are talking about a daily average of ~83°F. So yes, hot weather.
- Tough dirt looking to cause all kinds of pains to your feet, after miles of walking on them.
Here is a Visual Comparison Chart to Help You DECIDE
Is that what your deployment site will look like? If so, let’s jump right into it.
How would you like to see my secret stash of recommended boots to help improve not only your mobility but your quality of life? As you know, without the right boots in extreme conditions, it just feels like torture when you are on your feet all day long. I can’t emphasize enough that having the right boots are downright game-changing in your deployment experience.
Before your imaginations go wild with your favorite type/brand of boots, let’s first talk about the type of boots that won’t cut it for the mission and why we should avoid them.
Now that we have covered what characteristics of boots to avoid for tough terrain, let’s now get to the sexy stuff. The top 3 boots that I believe are the best boots for deployment. Let’s jump right into it.
The Top 3 Boots that I Believe are the Best Boots for Deployment
1. Rocky Men's 8" S2v (AR 670-1 Army Compliant)
For tough terrain, I really like the Rocky S2Vs. Made right here in the U.S., Rocky S2Vs are a great option because in places like Afghanistan, the surface isn’t always the most suited for walking. There are rocks everywhere and stepping on the wrong side of one can lead to serious ankle injuries at the very least.
The downside to the Rocky S2Vs is that due to their heavy duty design, some people believe they may be too heavy in weight for certain missions. Ultimately, you will have to decide on how much weight you want to trade off for extra durability to protect your feet. The consensus however from talking to soldiers who have been to Afghanistan, the weight isn’t an issue because of the protection they are getting. The additional durability make it worth wearing slightly heavier boots.
Overall, it doesn’t get any tougher than the Rocky S2Vs. If you need heavy duty boots for deployment, these are the ones you want. Rock S2Vs are just a great choice because they are comfy, supportive, and have all kinds of proofing (water/fire). When you need tough boots for survival, I recommend Rocky S2Vs.
2. Garmont T8 Bifida Tactical Boot (AR 670-1 Compliant)
The Garmont T8 Bifidas are a really good choice if you want durability but prefer boots that are a bit lighter in weight and taller in height. As you know, an extra pound to your feet feels equivalent to an extra 8 pounds to your back. So for some purposes, the extra protection a heavier boot isn't needed, and you just want your feet to feel lighter. The Bifidas are the best for these purposes. Let’s say you are always on the move but the terrain isn’t quite as harsh as going up rocky hills, it helps to have lighter boots to take weight off your feet to help you go the distance. The heel portion of the Garmont’s also are a bit higher than other similar boots to provide additional ankle support. When the terrain is rocky, it’s essential to have additional protection to your ankles.
Most boots have a height of about 12 inches, the Garmont T8 Bifidas are a impressively 15 inches tall. That's an additional 3 inches of ankle protection for you, that's if you need it!
Overall, these boots are impressive. I recommend them because they get the job done in tough terrain. They are durable, moderate in weight, have great grips and are well ventilated to keep your feet cool.
- Take a look at our reviews of other recommended Garmont Boots: Garmont T8 NFS and Garmont T8 Tactical Jungle Boot Desert Sand. Worry now, both of these fine boots are AR 670-1 compliant. Read for yourself.
- Here is our Garmont T8 buying guide
3. Rivot TFX 8" Tan NMT (AR 670-1 Compliant)
I really like the Rivot TFXs. They are lighter in weight compared to the Rocky S2Vs, but are still rugged with rough-out leather and nylon uppers. The Spacer mesh dispels heat vapors from the outside while retaining heat in the inside.
Now, since the comfortable military boots are about medium in weight, you’ll take a small hit on durability but gain some points on overall fit and good feel. The design can vary in size but it’s made with an athletic supportive fit with enough room in the toe. In other words, they are really good for preventing toe blister by way of the shoe design.
Now the downside to these boots is that they don’t have insulation. This could be a good thing or bad thing, depending on what you are looking for. If where you will be deployed has hot weather all around, it will keep your feet cool. On the flipside, in cold weather you will need to invest in heavy duty socks to compensate with the lack of insulation. Either way, the shoes are comfortable and well built.
All and all, not only are Rivot TFXs high quality, but they also look real spiff too. I like how the leather is stitched along the top and sides.
Feel free to share what your favorite boots are for deployment below.