Top rated winter police boots
If there was one thing we realized writing about best winter police boots so far, it’s that Bates is the king of ice and snow.
Bates Ultra-Lites have dominated this category ever since we’ve decided there was enough material in winter combat boots to start a separate line of guides. Under Armour Speed Freek and 5.11 A.T.A.C. Storm follow it closely, occasionally switching back and forth. They didn’t though, this time around,.
So, one could say that this update didn’t bring anything new to the table, but one would be wrong. We’ve worked hard on this topic over the last two months, and we have a lot of new material to show for it.
You might think the only thing important about our bimonthly updates are the end results, but that’s not exactly true. We constantly gather new user experiences, new PROs and CONs, new test results and field performance from our featured testers. So, we have a lot of new and interesting info to share this time around, so stay put and keep on scrolling down. It’s an interesting read, trust us.
The list of winners for this/previous best snow boots update
We do have to go through this formality before we dig into the core of the article, the individual digest reviews (our favorite part).
So, let’s (re)introduce the best winter law enforcement boots currently on the market:
|Bates GX-8 GTX||95 / 100|
|5.11 A.T.A.C. Storm 8"||92 / 100|
|UA Speed Freek 7"||90 / 100|
Now that we have that out of the way, we can dissect these models one by one and see what makes them so good for winter conditions.
The dedicated reviews of best winter combat boots
Bates GX-8 8” GTX Men’s Ultra-Lites Waterproof Combat Boots
This Bates has been dominating a number of categories of police boots including the best police duty boots overall. Let’s see what’s so good about it.
Here’s some basic info from the Bates Shoe Company:
- Leather upper with synthetic (nylon) patches
- Rubber sole
- 100% waterproof
- EVA midsole
- Full rubber slip resistant outsole
- Cement construction
Positive experiences users shared in their reviews of these tactical boots:
- The shoelaces are very strong, and I don’t think I’ll be forced to replace them like with every other pair of duty boots I had
- They have very hard and protective toes. I’ve had an accident last month where a wooden beam fell on my right foot after being improperly placed, and my foot would be a goner if it weren’t for these boots. Great protection, great choice!
- I’ve always had problems with combat boots in the ankle area. That’s also where I need the most comfort since my ankles are just shambles of what they used to be. I’ve had two surgeries and need to pace myself when picking duty boots. 8 inches of height really helps with keeping everything nice and tight, and there’s no rubbing on my ankles whatsoever
- We really had a snowstorm this year, and my feet weathered through it like it was nothing. The waterproofing on these winter boots is definitely not just for show, and it works 100%!
- The zipper is tight and smooth, just like it’s supposed to be. I started losing fate in side-zip tactical boots since they all broke or got stuck regularly. Bates Ultra-Lites is a different story entirely
- They’re very warm and comfortable, and have kept me going all winter long IN MONTANA! I’m a police officer of 10 years, and I’ve been burning through potential duty boots like crazy all these years. Who would’ve thought I’d discover Bates just now
- Besides protecting my feet from the elements, they also give me good stability on sleek or snowy surfaces. Every step feels like I’m glued to the ground, but they also allow for a very quick change of direction and maneuverability. Great boots and highest recommendation
- The fit is just right for me! I’m not using the zipper all that much; rather, I lace them up every morning when I go to work. They’re not too tight as to stop the blood flow, but not too loose either. They give my feet just enough breathing room without feeling like I’m wearing two sizes larger combat boots
- My feet are probably the most “diva” parts of my body. I always need to get extra insoles for my flat feet, need to make sure the heel fits just right, blah, blah… It’s a nightmare. These were a perfect fit from the get go, and I didn’t need to make any modifications whatsoever. Good, rounded bottom part and heel were just what the doctor ordered
- I’ve never worn a winter duty boot that was this comfortable and protective at the same time. You usually have to sacrifice one for the other. Not here, though! The end of my marathon shift doesn’t mean sore feet and swollen ankles anymore, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice
- The rain-forest is my place of work, and I need work boots with good waterproofing year round. Hunting down bad guys through a soggy muskeg at 4 AM doesn’t end up with soaked feet anymore
- The thread is made perfectly for winter conditions. It’s no secret I wear these boots all year lone; whether as my duty boots or for hiking, when I get some time for my hobby. The soles grip the ground like crazy, and they keep my feet dry and warm no matter what insane trail I decide to tackle during the weekends
some negative opinions:
- These were somewhat stiff before they broke in. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but after a week or two was the time when I first felt how comfortable Bates Ultra-Lites really are
- The eyelets are too narrow for anything resembling quick lacing. I didn’t intend to use the zipper regularly, but getting the laces through these eyelets is just too big of a paint
- I feel like the upper part is too soft for my liking. The bottom and the toes are as sturdy as they get, but I think the top part doesn’t exactly follow this recipe
5.11 A.T.A.C. Storm Men’s 8” Side-Zip Tactical/Combat Boots
Here’s a quick introduction from the manufacturer:
- Upper material – Leather mixed with nylon (1200 Denier Cordura on the side panels)
- Manmade soles
- Hidden pocket
- Drilex anti-microbial lining
- Secure grip ensured even in prone position
- Triple stitching
Some of the most relevant user reviews:
- This is the best winter police boot by far! I’ve had a chronic blistering problem ever since I remember, and these really put a stop to it
- Very versatile boot. I’m talking about its behavior on different terrains I have to walk/run over. I also started using them for my occasional hikes, and they deal with jagged rock like no boots I’ve owned before
- The sole is hard enough as to give me enough protection, but still flexible enough to provide a good feel of what I’m stepping on
- They’re very easy to put on or take off. This is my first pair of side-zip duty boots as I was deterred from buying them by my colleagues. The zippers on their boots were stuck all the time or they simply fell off, neither of which was the scenario I need in my life. Buying these was biting the bullet of sorts, but they definitely paid off. Oh, and the zipper works flawlessly
- I’ve been taking these over rocks, gravel, asphalt and mud for 6 months now, and the soles still show no wear whatsoever. That caught me by surprise since they were usually the first thing to go with my previous duty boots
- The support is just incredible, and that’s coming from a police officer with extremely high arches. These were the first pair of tactical boots that came with comfortable and supportive insoles. I was stupefied when I realized I didn’t have to take them out and replace them with my Dr. Sholles
- These 5.11s are more than equipped for handling harsh winters and slippery surfaces. The inner lining is very thick and keeps my feet warm at all times. I don’t even have to wear extra thick socks since I have them. The grip is also excellent and keep me steady and stable when the landscape freezes over
- I like how they design these combat boots. They are a hybrid of sorts in my opinion. They look both very professional, but also like this wicked, pimped up assault footwear. Nice job 5.11
- These are the easiest boots to polish out of 6 pairs I’ve owned so far and they hold the shine pretty good as well
- We’ve had knee-high snow this winter, and these boots saved me from working 10-12 hour shifts with wet feet. I’ve been looking for a good pair of waterproof police boots that wouldn’t sacrifice usability and this is just the pair…
- After all tactical boots reviews I’ve read looking for a simple light police duty boot, I honestly expect 5.11 boots to be an underwhelming product, and, of course, they weren’t. But the thing that got me the most was how lightweight they are. Superb protection, waterproof lining, sturdy soles and they still somehow feel almost like my Under Armour running shoes
- I work as a State Patrolman, and I’ve had these boots since day one. They got me through skills/Academy and 3 years of service so far. I can vouch for their durability as well as all other factors you’d want in a good pair of service boots. Wouldn’t change them for the world
- No break-in time in tactical boots is not something you see every day. They were comfortable from the moment I got them out of the box up to this point, which is a 6 months time
- I like the depth of these boots. I used to wear 6” duty boots, and my ankles and knees can really feel the difference. The support is much better, and my feet feel much more “locked” inside the boot
Some downsides as reported by the customers
- The laces are longer than they need to be. I bought a different pair since the original ones used to bulge up under my pants and create an unprofessional, even sloppy look
- I knew they weren’t resolable coming in. I’m counting on the proven durability of 5.11, but if the soles do separate at some point I’ll just buy another pair
- The side pocket is definitely a useless feature. It’s too small for anything substantial to fit comfortable. It’s not like I’m gonna keep my house keys in there, and even if I did, I’d have to remove the key ring since there’s not enough room for it
- The price tag on these boots was a bit too steep for my salary as a police officer
Category and Overall Ratings of the 5.11 A.T.A.C. :
Under Armour Speed Freek tactical boots
- Waterproof GTX lining
- Overlays made of pigskin leather
- Protective outsoles feature push-trough technology for flexibility and protection in rough terrains
- TPU toecaps with high abrasion-resistance
- EVA midsoles
- The sockliner is Molded Ortholite
- Uppers feature shanks for speed lacing
- 20 oz
Under Armour is known around here as a manufacturer that likes to boast the good quality of its products and talk about their features at length. But let us move on to the real scrutiny…that of the users, the one that starts when the boot hits the ground..
- These duty boots feel like two cushions I strap to my feet every morning for work. They’re so comfortable and lightweight I can pull off my shifts without breaking a sweat. I highly recommend them
- We know rain in Chicago, that’s a fact. So, I needed a pair of duty boots that’ll keep me dry but also make for good police footwear. I’m constantly running and walking around without any pain in my knees and ankles, which was a regular part of my day before I bought these. Best winter law enforcement boots by a mile! And no, I don’t eat donuts for all you out there wondering
- I’m a police officer, but also a very passionate hunter. These Under Armour boots proved to be everything I was looking for in both my duty and hunting boots. They’re very comfortable and well-made, but also 100% waterproof and warm. It’s a match made in heaven
- I’ll start by saying these are the best-looking combat boots I’ve ever had. By best looking, I mean they kick a##. They go well with my uniform, but also with every casual combination I have
- I ride my bike when I have the time, and these make for a great pair of motorcycle boots. All my previous ones (I’ve had 3 pair of tactical boots and 2 dedicated motor boots) made me feel every single vibration coming from the bike, and my shattered knees weren’t very appreciative, to say the least. It’s a smooth ride with Speed Freek, and I recommend them to all my fellow bike enthusiasts. Damn, even the name is cool, SPEED FREEK!
- The toebox has a lot of space, so my toes aren’t cramped as with my previous duty boots. It’s also a whole different story going downhill. I haven’t had a stubbed toe ever since these arrived at my doorstep
- These are my construction work boots of choice. Irregular and uneven surfaces are my “playing ground” all day long, and these really help mitigate the damage that would do to my ankles
- I don’t know what magic Under Armour used to make these boots, but they’re the best winter police boots I’ve ever tried. This is coming from an old dog who’s on the force for 16 years now. The time took its toll on my legs, especially knees, and these offer more than enough support to keep me rollin’
- Completely waterproof, as proved by our last week’s hike with two river-crossings. I didn’t submerge them completely into water, but it was above ankles, and not a drop got my socks and feet
- I wore these boots even during the summer, and they are so well-ventilated my feet just kept on breathing. It’s amazing having a completely waterproof boot with such level of breathability. I don’t even think about sweaty feet and blisters anymore
- This is my second pair of these UA tactical boots. The first one was a revelation of sorts, and it served me for about 3 years of uber-heavy abuse. I couldn’t be happier with these boots, and I know I bought myself another 3 years (or so) of ultra comfort
- The leather material feels really nice, and it’s easy to shine. I’ve been a fan of Under Armour tactical boots for years now, and I’m glad they finally made a lightweight and waterproof combat boot that takes polish really well (or at all)
- They started off a bit stiff, but they were broken in after a very short hike
- I’m still waiting for the side-zip version. You did it with Valsetz, why not Speed Freek???
- They go about a half a size larger
- Not cheap by any stretch of imagination
Category Ratings of the “Freek”:
Conclusion of this guide on best winter police boots
This is one of the more exciting categories because the ratings are closer and there are more close contenders for the top 3 than in most other categories we rate boots in.
Bear in mind, all of our guides are updates on bi-monthly basis so that we can keep the information presented fresh and relevant.