Top rated cheap police boots – we tested 12 and chose these 3
We’ve received E-mails upon E-mails with your requests for our picks and reviews of best cheap police boots. Today’s guide is all about our attempt to find police boots on sale or some generally cheap models that can do the job right without nuking your budget.
We choose, bought and sent out 8 pairs of low-priced duty boots and asked our featured testers to rate them.
Two pair of boots stood alone in the category – the Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9” and the Magnum Response II, with the S.W.A.T. Classic coming out on top by a small margin.
This is a big day for us as well since we’re starting a whole new category that we will regularly update every two months starting now. It might be one of the trickiest things to write about and share useful insight, but for us, it’s also one of the most fun ones.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to throw a pile of cash at some shiny new tactical model and call it a day. However, if our budget is somewhat limited (or extremely limited),it’ll take some research, patience and a pretty good understanding of what makes the best police boot.
It’s a challenge, whenever we write about budget models but we love it! We feel like these guides are doing the most good out of all the categories we have at this point since most of us weren’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
So, this is officially our first ultimate guide on best cheap police boots. You’re witnessing history in the making (sort of).
We’ve applied every bit of our intricate rating system (testing the boots outdoors, user reviews, machines for performance testing…), and we have the following 3 model floating at the very surface:
- Original S.W.A.T. Classic, which is no stranger to our guides in multiple categories
- Magnum Response II, which also popped up here and there
- And the first ever appearance of Rothco Forced Entry (that model name sure caused a chuckle or two around the office
A proper introduction
Now that we know exactly what we’ll be dealing with here, we can have a proper look at our chosen winners.
Here are the best cheap police boots out there:
|S.W.A.T. Classic 9"||87 / 100|
|Magnum Response 6"||87 / 100|
|Rothco 8" Forced Entry||83 / 100|
Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9” Men’s Tactical Boots
We’ll start with the boot specification directly from Original S.W.A.T.:
- Leather and nylon uppers
- Leather sole
- Moisture-wicking tech
- EVA midsole made via compression molding
- Counters on heel and toe are made of thermoplastic polyurethane
- Outsole is in accordance with ASTM F489-96 slip[ resistance test standards
- The insoles are orthotics and removable
- ASTM F489-05 and ASTM F2413-05 EH standards for protection against electric hazards are met as well
Let’s see what the users liked about these boots:
- I was looking for a good pair of cheap police boots in forever and read all the reviews I could get my hands on. The best thing I found were these Original SWATs since they have everything I really wanted. Great duty boots with super affordable price tag and a pretty solid brand backing them up
- I like the overall feel the soles on these duty boots give me. They’re very tough and hard, but flexible at the same time. Now I can feel exactly what I’m stepping on without any danger of something piercing through my boots
- My feet were always sore after a 10 hour shift because my boots were always too stiff. I know they’re there primarily for protection, but give the man some cushion and flexibility as well. These move like one with my feet and I can feel them flexing as I walk. Awesome boot, great comfort!
- These are my main boots for working out. I like to replicate the academy training during my workouts as much as possible, so I do them wearing tactical boots. They’re very lightweight and much better quality than the standard issue I got back then. Not to mention the price was such a doozy
- People constantly ask me what happened with the way I walk. I was confused at first since I didn’t notice any change. I finally got it when the pain in my back started toning down. I realized my back pain came from uncomfortable and unsupportive work boots, and these literally put it all back in its place
- They fit true to size and they were pretty comfortable right out of the box. They do break in even more after a couple of days, but the main point was I could use them from the moment they’ve crossed my threshold
- There are four colors to choose from! I bought the black ones as my work boots, and that’s pretty much where the story ends with tactical footwear. You get black, maybe desert tan or sage green… I’ll say it again; there are four colors to choose from here! Tactical boots are pretty much my footwear of choice no matter what I do, and having some more exotic options is definitely a good thing coming from Original S.W.A.T.
- I’ve proved myself how waterproof these boots are, which is 100%. The water CAN get in through the top of the boot, but there’s simply nothing anybody can do there. The main thing is, I can stand in an ankle-deep puddle or cross shallow creeks without ending up with wet boots, socks and feet
- They’re highly ventilated, so they saved me all the trouble I had with sweaty feet and blistering during every patrol
- I can’t believe how lightweight they are. This is my first pair of tactical boots ever since I’m fresh out of the academy. I chose them mainly because of the famous name and cheap price tag. I didn’t expect much for 40 something bucks, but they really pack quite a punch. As I said, they feel like running shoes almost but with much better foot support and cushioning
- They’re the best boots for paintball ever! Good performance and a ridiculously low price
Let’s go over some downsides:
- I wish they came with a zipper. It would be so much easier to put them on and I would be saving a lot more time
- I’m not quite sold on the design choices here. I don’t like the meshy parts, for instance. I’m a full-leather kind of guy, but you don’t get full leather for this kind of money. They are a good bang for what they cost, I gotta give ‘em that
- They could definitely make this into a prefect police boots if they added some extra cushion to them. I solve it with a pair of thicker insoles so not a huge problem
Magnum Response II Men’s Tactical Boots
Here are the specs from Magnum:
- Upper material – leather with textile
- Rubber sole
- Sturdy rubber outsole
- Removable, contoured insoles
- Composite shank
- Outsoles are slip/oil-resistant with high traction
Some of the PROs users shared in their reviews:
- I got these police boots on sale for under 40 dollars. Talking about a sweet deal!
- I’m an ICU/ER travel nurse, and I needed a pair of durable work boots. I picked up these Magnums and never looked back. I found a ton of positive user reviews online, and they were all true. The most important thin for me, however, is that they’re comfortable for working long hours, which they most definitely are
- I work as a delivery driver, and I spend 10-11 hours on my feet every day. These boots were definitely a way to go. Very comfortable all day long, but also lightweight so they don’t drain on my energy by being like two rocks strapped to my legs. Recommendation from me
- I’m a truck driver, and I was looking for a good pair of budget boots to help me with my plantar fasciitis. I’m constantly behind the wheel, with some loading and unloading here and there. Imagine all that with a constant sharp pain in my heels. These Magnums really helped me a lot. They’ve somehow reduced the pain, and they keep my feet comfortable and well-aligned no matter what I do
- I’ve definitely switched to Magnum as my work boot of choice. I used to wear heavy-duty steel toe CATERPILLAR boots, and they made my feet ache with every step after a few hours of work. These magnums are more like sneakers compared to CAT boots. They’re lightweight, well-cushioned and comfortable for long shifts
- We have a long line of cops in my family, and I have to thank them for recommending me these Magnum police boots. I didn’t think much of them, to be honest, judging solely on low price, but boy do they pack a mean punch. I’ve been wearing the same pair for EIGHT years! Now that it’s time for a change, I’ve decide to write this short review and recommend these to all my colleagues out there
- They look really good with my uniform, and they even go well with the casual clothes I usually wear. Admittedly, I’m no fashion freak, a pair of jeans and a shirt is all I rock basically
- I’m a biker, and I decided to give them a try just for the sake of it. I was like hey, if they’re no good, at least, I didn’t burn that much money on them. Showed me right when they blew me away. I feel no vibrations from the bike as I ride, and they keep my feet well-ventilated and dry at all times. A good pair of motorcycle boots for sure
- They-re just jack of all trades among boots. They don’t do this or that the best, but they cover a wide range of features. There’s plenty of comfort, especially if you’re standing your whole shift like me, enough ankle and heel support, good waterproofing and ventilation and pretty decent flexibility. They’re not the best tactical boots in the world but for this kind of money, they sure come pretty close
Some of the things customers didn’t enjoy so much:
- The insoles deteriorate pretty fast. I needed to change the a couple of months after I got these but if insoles are your biggest problem with your new boots, you have nothing to worry about
- The bottom of the boots feels a bit flat. The traction is decent, but more pronounced lugs would definitely bring about a large improvement
- Order a size smaller since these tend to go bigger than the chart states
- The tongue occasionally slips under the laces and it’s a real acrobatic challenge getting it back up. I would like if they added some sort of a pull loop so the whole “operation” wouldn’t take as much time as it does now. Other than this little problem these boots run like clockwork
Rothco Forced Entry 8” Side-Zip Combat Boots
This is the first time these Rothco boots ever showed up in one of SoleLabz guides, so let’s make sure we do it justice.
Here are some ABCs for this model:
- Leather upper
- Military boot with comfort of a running shoe
- YKK zipper
- Breathable mesh patches on the uppers
- Comfort collar
- EVA midsole
- Rubber outsole
Here’s what our fellow customers liked about them:
- For this price, I got much more than I expected. They’re just a tad heavier than my slippers I wear around the house. Under Armour line of tactical boots comes to mind as a perfect comparison when it comes to the overall weight
- The leather they’re made of seems good quality and durable. The meshy parts add to the breathability, but they also look pretty structurally sound
- The fit is pretty snug, but I’m left with enough space to sneak in a pair of super thick winter socks when harsh weather comes a knocking. I use to freeze my feet off with my old boots since they were too tight and uncomfortable if I wore thicker socks. Live and learn, I suppose
- The accommodate my orthotics insoles without a problem, which just add to the already good amount of comfort they provide
- These are my hiking boots of choice. They’re very cheap, but they give me incredible traction on the trail. The thread patter is very rugged and pronounced. Every single step I make feel very solid and stable, and the lugs don’t show any signs of wear after taking a serious beating for almost 4 months now
- The price is so low I bought two pairs at once so I could always have a backup boots if something happens to the main pair
- The thread doesn’t allow for mud to create a build up and make the movement harder. They clean themselves as I walk, which is a pretty nifty and handy feature to have
- These boots offer a lot of versatility for the price. I expected to see a one trick pony, but they really caught me by surprise. So far, I used them for hiking, rock climbing and caving, and they performed very well in all these situations. Not to mention I’m not exactly the kindest guy to my footwear, so they’ve been through quite a torture up to this p0oint. They look almost brand new, and I can’t believe what I got for 38 bucks
- Look great and they’re very comfortable. Not exactly a comfort you’ll get from Under Armour or Bates, but pretty close. Considering the price, I would say I got way more than I paid for with these boots. I bought a pair of extra cushion insoles btw, and that made the whole experience a lot more hmm, cushioned
- I was stationed in Afghanistan, Kunar province for 8 weeks, and wore these the whole time. They gave me good support overall, and worked great for kicking doors. They’re about almost as light and comfortable as your average sneaker
- I use them for my trainings and runs every single day, and I have nothing but positive things to tell you. They’re very light and comfortable, but also very airy and breathable. My feet can almost feel the breeze going through them, so there are no such things as blisters or overly sweaty feet anymore
Here are some shortcomings:
- The zipper is made of plastic and it feels somewhat flimsy. I’m scared of using it more aggressive because I constantly have a feeling it’ll break or something. Why would they make a decent boots overall and then skimp on the zipper??
- It really bummed me out that you can’t order them in half sizes. So, I ordered half a size bigger, and have some extra room for my toes
- They are a pretty good fit overall, except the toe-box. I think this boots needs a bit of an extra toe space. It’s pretty much ok when I’m just walking around, but if I descended some hill, I know there would be nothing but pain down there
Honorable mentions among cheap police boots – rated 4th to 6th best
The low-priced police boots that didn’t make it to the TOP 3 end up in honorable mentions. This time around, the following three pair of inexpensive duty boots are among the honorable mentions:
- Maelstrom Tac Force 8
- Rocky C4t 8 Inch
- Magnum Stealth Force 6.0
Digest review of Maelstrom Tac Force 8 – placed 4th in the low-cost tac duty boots
This Maelstrom has been in and out of the TOP 3 low-cost duty boots for over a year now. It’s currently rated at 82 points which is just a point short from being in the top 3.
Maelstrom Tac Force 8 – specs:
- Materials: textile and leather
- Sole and outsole: Slip and oil-resistant rubber
- Arch to shaft – 7 inches
- Polishable uppers
- Added comfort – padded collar design
- Midsoles molded to absorb shock
- Stitched toe section
Some of the PROs – what testers told us in their reviews:
- Great balance between weight and traction, behaves great in field work in a range of circumstances, from muddy and wet to scorching hot. Well-made and durable police boot, especially at the low-price, which was initially my reason for being skeptical
- Unlike most zipped duty boots I owned this zipper and the Velcro seem to be properly placed and crafted, no jamming or splitting so far and I had the boot for 6 months
- Very easy on the foot, absolutely no blistering and very short wear-in. Great choice for a construction site.
- I’ve been with the force for 15 years and I went through dozens of duty boots, from high end stuff to low-cost pairs like this one. I can honestly say I see no apparent difference between these and the boots that I paid trice as much. This is value for money at its best…
- I’ve always had problems with my boots holding a shine, especially the ones with textile.
- I didn’t have high expectation and I was planning to get regular winter boots, but when I got here (Alaska) and decided to give these a go on a “chilly” night I realized they’re a great choice for the cold. I wore nothing but regular athletic socks underneath. When I got home I could barely move my face from the cold but my feet were perfectly fine. I didn’t expect a tactical boot sin this low price range to stand tall against Alaskan nights
- I got these tactical boots on a hefty discount but they are responding to working on an oil rig just as well as my old ones used to – no slipping (of foot inside the boot or the boot itself) and pretty good heat resistance. If you are doing any dirty work these boots makes perfect economic sense
- I was thinking that I’d get a poor-quality second-rate tac boot for this money, and the fact that the shipping took too long didn’t help but when these babies arrived and I “introduced” them to my farm it was a pleasant surprise. They are light and pretty comfy yet stable enough for serious work…
- I wore these on my second tour in Afghanistan and feel in love with the boot. Regardless of the fact that most guys were wearing tac boots that cost way too much, this cut-price Maelstrom was every bit as good
- I’m an emergency medical technician so if anybody is abusing their footwear, I am, and in all kind of rugged and inhospitable terrain, too. After 8 months of at least 10,000 steps every day and 6 months in this boot feels the same as it did one week in. It does look worn out but the support is not compromised at all
- This is my first tac boot with a a zipper and it works great. You tie the boot in the morning and slip in and out as needed, no need to re-tie and tighten whatsoever
- I’m loving the cushioning and the sole of these, feels like an air sole
- The metal holes for the laces chafes the laces and the lace itself is not very good so they go pretty quickly. I had to replace them with a month with a better lace
- I began to notice a small separation at the part where the upper meets the sole after only 4 months. It still hold in terms that there’s no moisture creeping in because the foot is not exposed but the separation is growing every month and I don’t expect these to last over 8-9 months before I need to replace them
- While these were new they felt great but at about 6 months the inner cushioning began flaking and thinning so the boot doesn’t fell as supportive as it used to. These boots were a bargain when I got them and they are worth the price but if you need a tac bot that will stand the test of time, I wouldn’t go with these
What we think about the Maelstrom Tac Force 8
An inexpensive boots featuring materials of tac boots from much higher price ranges is always a cause for skepticism. It was about a year when we included this Maelstrom as a contender in the category of cheap and discounted tac boots and it’s been in the TOP 6 ever since.
To be honest the competition is not that vicious in this category since not many brands make good boots at these prices, but that’s what makes it extra special to find this kind of a gem. The midsoles and the sole are the same material that’s used in boots that cost two or three times as much. We were expecting that we’re going to see reports of defective zippers, poor connections between the parts of the boot and similar details that suffer when a company sets out to make a cheap boot. It’s also one of the best Rocky tactical/duty boots out there.
This Maelstrom has very few of those and it’s well worth the money.
Rocky C4t (8 Inch) – one of the few Inexpensive Rocky tactical boots
We rate boots in 10 quality categories and this Rocky got 6 ratings of 9/10 in those categories. Sure, it’s nothing strange for a Rocky, but what is “strange” is the low price of the C4T – it’s way below the Rocky average which is about 1.5-2 times as high. Let us look a bit closer and see what corners had to be cut (or not) to lower the price of the C4T.
- Materials: leather and fabric
- Sole: synthetics
- Shaft to arch – 9 inches
- Heel – 1.5 inches
- Platform: 1 inch
- Weight: 425 g
Consumer opinions shared – PROs:
- Just the right fit and it wears great. Plus. it’s a head-turner, especially when polished and it holds a shine pretty well
- This Rocky is a pleasant surprise with the low price and all. The sizing is right and it’s pretty comfortable, easy to clean and protective in the toes area where I need it the most. I wear it bot as a work boot and as an every-day boot.
- It does take a few days for these to mold to the foot and wear in but when they do, it’s all worth it. As far as I am concerned, it’s just as good, light and comfortable as my old Danner that was twice as expensive
- I’m so pleased that I found these. They hold a shine when I need it and the comfort simply cannot be compared to that of an army-issue
- The C4T is a great choice for summer boot. I work in the desert and, for me, it’s super important that it airs well and this if a God-given when it comes to that
- A bit of kiwi and a little heat and these shine in minutes and hold it, which is kind of impressive having in mind most of them are fabric and synthetics
- Probably the lightest and most comfortable boot that I ever owned, especially if you have the low price point in mind
- The Rocky c4t is everything you’d expect from a rocky boot. I love Rocky tac boots and this is my 4th pair – I’ve been wearing these for about 6 months now and I’m glad I decided against splurging and got these inexpensive pair. It’s just as comfortable, light and supportive as the S2V that I wore before these
- I work in construction and it’s not rare that I pull off 15-hour work days. This is the first boot I found that’s breathable and yet supportive enough for those kind of days. Just what I was looking for…
- I had a very light Danner duty boot before these and I thought that no tac boot at this low price range can replace them. Boy, was I wrong…the ventilation is top notch and the sole is great. It’s a fact that you rarely find a decent sole in light and cheaper boots but this sole is just rigid enough for proper support.
- It’s been 6 months since I got these and I waited to write a proper review because for me and my work that’s what a tac boot is about, after all, holding up against time and harsh conditions…and this Rocky does it for me. The balance between the quality, weight and the low-price is amazing, I’ve never seen it in a tac boot before.
- No binding on the ankle (it’s just canvas) but the toe-box is a bit narrow. The lacing and the ventilation is good and after all, it’s a cheap tactical boot, which is huge for me because I go through these like T-shirts.
- This might not be the boot for those people out there that are what I call a “one buy” person. If you are in the army and rucking this C4T, chances are that you’ll not get much out of these. It’s mostly mesh and synthetic leather so I can’t see these lasting under serious field tasks. But for what they are, an inexpensive duty boot, they do a pretty good job for every-day stuff.
- Good customer service experience – when I got these I expected them to fit like the Rocky S2V which was much more comfortable compared to these, especially at the top. So I had to send these back and go a size up. I was surprised to see that the box was on my Doorstep 2 days after sending these back. The half size up fits like a glove and feels much better if you are working long hours
- When these arrived I had the feeling they wouldn’t last a month on my farm. They felt a bit flimsy for a work boot and the upper is breathable mesh so I didn’t expect much. It’s 5 months in and I’m a happy camper, no seams are giving in and the boot is not changing shape, it’s just what it was the day it arrived. It is a bargain for a tactical boot.
- I work with the force and I was looking for a police boot that would meet the criteria of being flexible and allowed me to run and jump over fences. It’s not easing chasing suspects that wear sneakers in a sturdy boot, and the Rocky C4T was an easy decision because, first of all, it made economic sense – if it wasn’t the right fit it wouldn’t b a big deal because it’s so reasonably priced. Luckily, so far these seem to be everything I was looking for, the breathable mesh and the flexible ankle allows me to run through alleys like I was wearing a sneaker.
- I am very careful and diligent when choosing my boots and usually go for the high-end stuff but this tactical Rocky was too much of a bargain to let it pass by. In the corrections, we have a spending cap and this boot was a great fit. they are pretty comfortable out of the box and once the leather fully breaks I can’t imagine these being uncomfortable
- Great built and craftsmanship, which was unexpected with the discount and all. The heel feels pretty good and provides good overall support, so far so good
CONs of the inexpensive tac boot:
- It was a full week before I broke these in, I had to replace the laces that are included with flat ones to make the period easier
- Don’t think about these if you need your tactical boot to hold up well in humid conditions, its not waterproof and I think it’s safe to say it’s not water resistant either. These might be a good budget solution for summer, dry conditions
- I feel like these run a bit small if you have wide feet like I do, I’m sending these back and going half a size up
- They felt pretty good for a few days but the ankle support is simply not there and once they fully break in, it becomes a problem – not for those who expect support.
- Not properly put together, I guess you get what you pay for, one boots is different from the other both in shape and comfort.
What we think about the Rocky C4T
At the low price point, the Rocky C4T is more than worth it, you just have to understand who’s it mean for. If you understand materials you can recognize that this Rocky is not the boot to go with if you are expecting harsh weather changes (especially snow and cold). It’s also probably not the best choice as your main army boot for field action. It is light, comfy and above all cheap but not the most supportive and lasting boot out there.
This boot happens to be the one of the best tactical boot in desert sand color, if color happens to be a point of interest for you.
If you need a low-cost and affordable tactical boot for every-day use, this might be it, but if you are looking for a boot to provide support protection and last years, we’d suggest you keep looking.
Magnum Stealth Force 6 Tac Boot
At this cut-price, the Magnum Stealth feels like a giveaway, especially compared to some of the other boots on this list. It’s sturdier and doesn’t feel cheap. Unlike the C4T, for example, it provides solid overall support but it’s probably not as breathable and light.
The basic fast sheet of this inexpensive fact sheet:
- Textile and leather
- High-quality rubber sole
- Arch to shaft about 6 inches
- Heel height – 1.5 inches
- Airport friendly
- Shank – composite
Positive experiences out testers shared on the Magnum Stealth Force 6:
- Apart from the break-in period which took a couple of days I have no complaints about these boots – budget-friendly tac boot (much cheaper compared to any boot I got in the last 5 years). I’m wearing them even as a comfortable, winter boot ( you can see the full list of best winter police boots here)
- I’ve been wearing these day in day out for three months and I’m very glad I ignored most of the reviews that found something wrong with it. It’s probably the best price to value ration I have seen in a tactical boot, solid supportive heel but still comfy enough as an every-day boot
- I used to be big Timberland fan until I tried these on when a friend got them. I ordered a pair the day after and received them in 3 days sharp. The Stealth is much lighter and costs two times less so Magnum is my new go-to brand for all my tac boot needs.
- Being a corrections officer and working 15 hours shifts, a good duty boot is a must and yet, I can’t afford to spend a fortune on expensive boots. This Magnum is a bargain for the quality it offers, just the right rigidity and support and flexibility for long hours.
- I have very wide feet and it’s really hard to find the right fit. In the last 6 months I went from high-end Under Armour and Danners to this low-priced boot. I can honestly say that I don’t feel the difference to justify the difference in the price tag. The wide version is the perfect fit for me, I feel that the sole is wider opposed to most other brands that just adjust the width of the toe-box
- I go these last week once you put them on, they feel pretty good, but it is a bit of hassle putting them on an off a few days a week so I replaced them for a zipped version of the same boot. the zipper is well-made and easy to use. It solves the issue of not having pull on tabs and the fact that the angle of the boot is downward.
- This Magnum takes good shine and holds it just as well as a full leather boot. they are not as noisy as my old pair of UA tac boots was and this makes them a much better choice for hardwood floors.
- I work in an auto-repair shop so I need an inexpensive boot that I can replace every 6 months or so. On the other hand, it also has to be a booth that is breathable enough for warm days but can still be worn in the winter. It might sound like I’m asking for too much, but this boot hits that sweet spot.
- When you look at these they don’t look as comfortable and I was surprised by how fast they broke in, it was just a matter of days. They fit like a glove.
- Very sturdy and supportive, it’s a good choice if you have knee problems like I do and do a lot of hiking and climbing.
- These tac boots look rugged but that’s not how they feel, they wear like a sneaker and the breaking in period is practically non-existent
- The heel feels a bit loose and I have to wear extra thick socks with these. I do have pretty narrow feet but this just doesn’t feel right to me, I guess I’ll try to make the best of these for a few months and then replace them with another low-cost tactical boot
- These are so hard to put on, esp0ecially during the first few months. I wish at least two of the top eyelets were hooks, it would make life so much easier
- I normally wear size 11 in boots and the size fits way too snug with these boots. I sent them back right away and hoping that going a size up will solve the problem
Conclusion of our guide on best cheap police boots
The purpose of this guide is to keep some pretty pennies in your pockets
It’s not all just about burning money with overly priced highly advertised tactical models. There’s something in hard research and knowing your ABCs, and we tried to make that part easier for you.
We’ve already updated the list of top low-priced