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Aggressive, stylish military boots for outdoor sports

Updated on June 20, 2011

Cool, Aggressive, Stylish

Bates M9 Desert Tactical Boot
Bates M9 Desert Tactical Boot

You are playing outdoors. Shouldn't you be protected?

If you are playing an active sport like airsoft, paintball or an outdoor laser tag, and you already have camouflage. How can you take your cool to the next level?

With military boots of course! Recent advances in footwear, combined with an overabundance of manufacturers and stiff online competition create a perfect atmosphere to buy your first pair of military boots!

I first got into this a few years ago with a pair of Bates M9 boots, that I own to this day. In fact, this is the only pair of boots that I have used for the past 3 years! Before I was using Nike 5" all condition gear, but they don't quite compare.

Tactical boots

An example of tactical boots
An example of tactical boots

Comparison shoe shopping ! :)

Yes, both of these look quite ugly, but they have seen a lot of action and have never been cleaned! Nike ACG on the left, Bates M9 on the right
Yes, both of these look quite ugly, but they have seen a lot of action and have never been cleaned! Nike ACG on the left, Bates M9 on the right

It's all about durability

While both shoes above look like crap. They weren't always like this. The shoe on the left is your typical Timberland-Nike - whatever, and it got really scratched and messed up after just a few airsoft games! These shoes cost 90$ at a retail outlet!

The shoe on the right, while also looking like crap is 3 years old. It has seen many airsoft and paintball games and served as my winter boot (US North East) for over 3 years. It is very comfortable and offers excellent support! I got them for 45$ + shipping on sale!



What are military boots?

There's so many boots on the market, it is enough to make your head spin! Lets look at some of them in more detail:

  • Army Boots - These are the combat boots worn by the army. Made at least 8" tall of tan color roughed leather. Feature excellent durability
  • Marine Boots - These are the US marine combat boots. They are similar to the army boots - at least 8" tall, made of rough leather. The distinguishing feature here is the appearance of the eagle, globe and anchor on the boot's heel
  • Assault boots - Possibly a cool re-branding of the army boots, to make them appear even more aggressive :)
  • Tactical boots - These boots are intended for short operations within urban areas and are not usually waterproof. They are often black in color to match civilian law enforcement uniforms.
  • Desert boots - this is the lighter version of the army boots, made more breathable for hot climates
  • Jungle boots - these have canvas inserts to help with heat and moisture exchange in hot and humid climates (like a jungle)
  • Tanker boots - these are special boots for mechanized vehicle crews. They are made of leather and do not have lace, but are closed with leather straps and buckles. These shoes resist a wide variety of chemicals and are often waterproof. However, don't go off running in them, as they are not made for that.
  • Military shoes - these are oxford dress shoes that are not worn in combat

Whoa, that's a lot to look at! Some military boot stores have as many as 400 varieties in stock! Combined with the fact that many shoes come in different shoe sizes, they must really carry an impressive inventory!

Waterproofing your shoes!

You don't need to purchase a pair of 200$ waterproof shoes for outdoor games. Silicone water repellent also don't work too well.  Consider this pair of desert shoes with rubber covers. These let me play for a whole day in the rain with no issues! The
You don't need to purchase a pair of 200$ waterproof shoes for outdoor games. Silicone water repellent also don't work too well. Consider this pair of desert shoes with rubber covers. These let me play for a whole day in the rain with no issues! The

An important note about waterproofing

Many "hardcore" outdoor sports games will take place rain or shine. It is not until your first night game or a rainy game that you will discover the need for waterproofing. Playing in wet boots really sucks!

There are 3 options that you have for waterproofing:

  • Buy waterproof boots
  • Use waterproofing silicone spray, at least 24 hours before the game
  • Buy rubber covers for your shoes!
If you don't like how they look, pretend its 1942 and you are in the British military :)

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