Best lightweight tactical boots – TOP 3
We would really like, just for once, to have something to show for these two months since the last update in the lightweight tactical boots category.
No such luck! Under Armour Valsetz 7” is still holding the lead with Bates Ultra-Lites and Maelstrom’s Tac Force breathing down its neck.Valsetz is on the brink of setting a new record in lightweight tactical boots category with six months (three updates) at the top. We all anxiously await future updates since the fight has just begun, it appears.
The balance of power remains unchanged (for now), but Ultra-Lites are definitely gaining momentum on UA’s running shoes/tactical boots hybrid. Next update promises an entertaining read for sure.
Top rated light tactical boots – TOP 3
|Picture & Rating
|Under Armour Valsetz 7"
|Bates Ultra-Lites 8"
|Maelstrom TAC FORCE 8 "
Now, let’s see what makes them so good, shall we? Time to sink out teeth into their respective digest reviews. Digest reviews are simply a shortened version of our tactical boots reviews. They feature all the essential parts, but we don’t go on for quite that long…
Here’s what to expect from the reviews:
- Product specs from the manufacturer come first
- Followed by some feedback from the customers (positive and negative)
- Summed up by our 2 cents about the product – its ratings in 10 different categories and a final Overall Rating
Let’s start with the winner…
Under Armour Valsetz 7” Tactical Boots – digest review
“The sweetheart of Under Armour” is really leaving its mark on the category of tactical boots without even being full-blown combat-oriented footwear.
It’s a tactical boot, don’t get me wrong, but built around the mold of running shoes. That fact alone is its greatest asset…but we’re getting ahead of ourselves…
Let’s begin by taking a look at the basic boots info:
- Lightweight and water-resistant upper features mesh patches for superior breathability, durability and comfort
- Midsole material is compression-molded EVA. They’re fully-contoured for optimal cushioning without adding weight
- ArmourGuide is a patented tech for foot-strike guidance
- ArmourBound is there for better responsive cushioning
- ArmourLastic deals with shock-absorption in the forefoot and the area around the heel
what the users and our featured testers liked about these UA boots:
- These army boots are just kings of comfort and light weight!
- I’ve worn them every day for a year and a half now, and they’re not showing any signs of wear so far
- They’re more like sneakers than combat boots. The soles are very soft, and they give me enough arch support, which is a big deal for my high arches
- My 5 years spent in the army and 9 more as a police officer say these are the best tactical boots, period! The thing I like the most is the support, especially in the ankle area. Every pair of combat boots I’ve tried over the years had some “discomfort areas”, none of that with Valsetz
- I use them as my work boots, and I can pull off a 10-hour shift no problem. Highly recommend them to all construction workers
- I became a deputy sheriff 6 months ago and wanted something lighter than Red Wing and Bates I wore in the military. These are simply awesome for walking between 6 and 8 miles a night on average. I ran wearing them, soaked them in mud, walked the hot pavement; they were stomped on, thrown up on and they’re still going strong
- They look super badass!
- There’s practically no break-in time. It’s like I’ve bought a pair or trail runners
- I’ve been working as a security guard in jail for 16 years. So far, I’ve burned through Rocky’s, 5.11 and Bauer’s, so I wanted to see what Under Armour had to offer. I knew they made running shoes, but their tactical footwear department is nothing to sneeze at as well. They’re everything the ads claimed they’ll be, and the price was more than affordable
- They’re a great transition from tennis shoes to tactical boots
The users also shared some CONs:
- Don’t even bother with these if you have to shine your boots for work!
- They’re not waterproof…
- I got a pair from defective series. The sole came off after a month or so. I didn’t expect much when I called Under Armour customer service, but they were more than forthcoming. They gave me a gift voucher since they didn’t have them at the time and were overall very pleasant. So, a bit of a rotten luck there but still came out on top in the end
- I wish there were more colors to choose from
Let’s sum up the review of our top rated tactical boots from Under Armour
The customers (and our testers) seem to enjoy the delicate mixture of a tactical boot built on top of a running shoe.
The main ace up their sleeve is how lightweight they are. They feature soft outsoles, cushy memory foam foot-beds and flexible, shock-absorbent midsoles. On the other hand, the protection, support/stability and grip of tactical boots are also there.
I guess people love getting “two” items for the price of one, especially when they’re put together so well. This symbiosis simply works, and I think Under Armour has a potent combo recipe for success.
Category ratings and Overall Rating
Bates Ultra-Lites 8” Side Zip Tactical Boot
It’s a matter of common knowledge that Bates tactical boots are ready to perform in both rural and urban terrain.
Today’s model, the Ultra-Lites comes equipped with their “Stealth” technology, meaning it’s 30% lighter than your average tactical/work boots. That’s what Bates claim, at least.
We’ll see how much of their marketing efforts actually hold water.
the specification Bates shared:
- Leather upper mixed with fabric
- Rubber sole
- High-cut work boot with breathable lining and lace-up vamp
- Removable cushioned insert
- Light cement construction
- Slip-resistant and durable outsole
- They’re just what I needed for my Fire Cadet program. They look very professional and incredibly sharp!
- The zipper works great
- I’ve always had problems with my high arches and weak ankles. These provide enough support on both fronts while being super comfortable at the same time
- This is my second pair, I had these boots in sage green until recently. They’re mega-light, which came off as a surprise considering how rugged and heavy-duty they look
- I’ve had them for 2 years, and they’re still kicking after serious abuse on daily level
- My shifts are 13 hours on a good day, and these have proven to be the best work boots a young soldier could wish for. Thanks, Bates!
- Finally, a pair of tactical boots I like that are actually polishable!
- The price tag didn’t alarm my budget too much, and I got a really sweet pair of work boots. Great deal!
- The construction is really solid, and they provide good traction on slippery surface
- I’m a professional soldier and a hiking aficionado. I own 4 pairs of Ultra-Lites already and think about getting the 5th. They’re incredibly comfortable and hold everything together nicely. I replace them much sooner than I should, and they still last more than 3 years a piece. My highest recommendation
some CONs customers shared in their review of this boot:
- Being waterproof is the only feature they lack in my opinion
- I polish them very quickly, but they don’t seem to hold the shine all that long
- They’re made in China, but I haven’t seen any problems so far. I’d rather pay 90-100 bucks for them than 180 anyway
- The sole IS oil-resistant, but I’d much rather have a Vibram sole
Bates Ultra-Lites Tactical/work boots – conclusion and final ratings
Bates is a well-known name in the world of tactical/army/combat boots. They’re owned by Wolverine Worldwide alongside Merrell and other famous brands. So, they’re in a pretty good company.
The Ultra-Lites belong in this category both in name and performance. Their most pointed out advantage is being incredibly lightweight in spite of rugged looks.
They’re made to look sharp and professional. It’s an essential feature for young cadets, soldiers and everyone who needs a certain level of dressing etiquette on their job.
On top of all that, user-feedback paints a picture of a very versatile piece of tactical footwear. They also say the traction is very good, but Vibram Sole would definitely be a step in the right direction.
Maelstrom TAC FORCE Side Zip Tactical Boot
Maelstrom says their company is all about making life easier for uniformed professionals.
These boots are specifically made for police and tactical duty officers. That doesn’t stop people from using them on physically intense jobs, though.
What Maelstrom shared about this light tactical boot:
- Leather/fabric upper
- Rubber sole
- Shaft approx. 7 inches from arch
- The upper is polishable. The lining is breathable with moisture-wicking properties. Outsoles are oil and slip-resistant
- Removable insoles are shock-absorbent and provide superior cushioning. Padded tongue and collar for added comfort
- Lightweight, molded, shock-absorbing midsole. Cemented athletic construction with a stitched toe
- Heavy-duty YKK side zipper for faster on/off. Composite shank provides support and stability
- 1-year warranty
- Multiple colors available
Here’s what the customers liked about these lightweight tactical boots:
- I’m a paramedic, and these are my work boots of choice. They’re exceptionally lightweight, so they don’t weigh me down but give excellent traction
- These tactical boots and I just had our first hike together. We went through mud, over hills and through shallow streams… They’ve been keeping my feet comfortable and dry all trail long, and they were pretty easy to clean afterwards
- The zipper is really nice and didn’t get jammed up once
- They’re comfortable like my 5.11’s and fit like the Bates
- Very good value for such an affordable price. I got them for 50 bucks on Amazon, btw
- I’m a firefighter, and these work boots are still in the testing stage as I’m writing this. So far, we were in several house fires, gas leaks, oil spills, rain, mud… You name it. So far, so good
- The best thing about them is how light they are. I don’t have that feeling anymore like I’m dragging my feet after a long shift
- I’ve been wearing them for a year and a half now, 72-96 hours a week. Besides minor scratches, they’ve held up their end of the bargain. The Velcro and zippers are still working fine, and the sole didn’t separate anywhere
- I work security in Maryland, and these are my duty boots for about 5 months now. They’re the best tactical boots for the price, hands down. Warm, comfortable, supportive and so light. I highly recommend them if you’re in security business
- These tactical boots are a small miracle! After walking over wet terrain and then on dry gravel, the stones never stick to the outsoles. It’s nice not to have a small construction yard when I enter the service vehicle
- The leather appears to be somewhat thinner than on my other tactical boots. We’ll see if that has some repercussions or not
- They run half a size smaller. My regular size is 11 1/2, but I ordered 12 just in case, and they fit perfectly
- The zipper seems sturdy enough, but it’s definitely challenging to pull it up at times
- The toe stitching on my left boot is little out of the groove. You can’t really see it, though, since everything is black
Final thoughts on these lightweight tactical boots
The thing that propelled these Maelstroms to its current position in our guide is quality-price ratio IMO.
We all appreciate a good deal when we see one.
These feel like they’re way above their price range, and users compare them to much pricier models. They were definitely designed with challenging work in mind; long shifts, inhospitable conditions, elements… Our testers and Amazon buyers report they remain sturdy and fully functional even after heavy-duty usage.
The second thing these boots got going for them is their light weight. People say it’s almost like wearing the Valsetz, which is a pretty admirable feat. The standard goodies like comfort, proper protection and support are there as well.
Summing up this update on best light tac boots
Well, we haven’t seen any real action this time around.
Stuff like that happens when you have 3 models so good at what they do. So far, Valsetz, Ultra-Lites and Tac Force reign supreme in the lightweight tactical boots category. It’s not only that they’re light; it’s that they offer a lot besides that fact.
I’ve always enjoyed combos that shouldn’t be possible. Like having a super light tactical boot that still offers enough protection, support and stability. If you add a good durability into the mix, you get exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the ultimate guide on lightweight tactical boots before we did it.
It was about time somebody recognized that weight isn’t a sporadic and irrelevant factor compared to support, protection, etc.
So, we’ll continue monitoring the market and listing out the best models we can find. Light weight is our crucial factor here, followed by other features they need to offer.
Stay sharp, professional and light on your feet,
Sole Labz team