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The 10 best survival boots

Best Survival Boots

Imagine: you are in the middle of the woods, living off the grid, having a great time. Your hunting-gathering is very fruitful, good for you!

Until your boots break. Not so good.

When it comes to surviving far from civilization, you need a pair of boots that’s tough enough to stand on its own. This means being able to fend for themselves, so you don’t have to worry about them, allowing you to worry about other things more pertinent to your off-grid comfort.

We’ll describe some of the best survival boots in more detail later, but we’ve provided a quick cheat sheet for you to get the information you want and get on with your survival ways.

Our Top Picks

  • Best overall option— KEEN Revel III Men’s Hiking Boots
  • Best Premium Product— Garmont T8 Extreme GTX Tactical Boot
  • Best Value Product— Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot

To find out why we chose these boots and the others on this list, read on.

What should you look for in survival boots?


In general, it’s smart to save money whenever you can, but that rule doesn’t apply to survival boots.

A good pair of survival boots should be considered an investment in your long-term future. Not only that, it is an investment in your survival. If you plan to be in remote areas for days or even weeks, you need to make sure that the shoes you wear will last you without a problem. Therefore, you should consider affordability, but it should be your least concern.

When it comes to survival gadgets, there is a direct correlation between what you pay for and how well that item performs. In short, you get what you pay for, so you might be better off saving up and buying a more expensive pair of boots if it means reducing the chance of shoe-induced headaches down the road.


Beyond price, boot fit should be your biggest concern. Blisters and rubbed skin are the last thing you want after a long day of hiking.

There are many great deals online, but you should check out your hiking boots in store so you have a chance to try them on before you buy.

If there are no hiking or survival stores near you, you are forced to buy your shoes online. In that case, give yourself a few more weeks to sort your boots and possibly return them if they aren’t perfect.

When looking for the right fit, you want to make sure there are no pinch points anywhere on your foot. This means not only around the toes, but also the heel and the back of the ankle. You should be able to walk for about ten to fifteen minutes without severe pressure being placed on your foot. If there is pressure anywhere, it will only increase throughout the day and cause pain.

So even if your shoes fit great when you try them on out of the box, be sure to give yourself a few more days to walk around and get them Used to.

How to break in shoes quickly

  • Wear thick socks. Put on a pair of thick wool socks and walk around your neighborhood for a while in your New shoes.The thickness will not only press against the shoe material and expand it a bit, but it will also help smooth out any areas that might cause blisters or chafing on your feet.
  • To walk. A lot. This means a couple of laps around the block in a slow and busy place. Be sure to walk on a concrete sidewalk or roadside to avoid damaging your shoes with hard materials. Bonus points if you wear thick socks while walking around the neighborhood.
  • Use the ice pack method. Pour some water into two high-quality Ziploc brand bags. Put those bags in your shoes, then put your shoes in the freezer overnight. The water will expand against the boot material and slowly stretch it out.

When the next day comes around, take out the bags and let your shoes come to room temperature, as you don’t want to stretch out the constricting material. You can then walk around in your shoes and you will notice that they are a little looser than when you initially tried them on.

The ice pack method may be the first step you take to break in your shoes, so you can do it before you walk around your neighborhood wearing thick socks in your New shoes.


You should have a vague idea of ​​what terrain you’ll be on for your survival adventures. Could it be the forest? Desert? Tundra? Comparing the specific environment you’ll be in with the standard “off-road” will help you get more utility out of your shoes.

All-terrain shoes are great and are suitable for many scenarios in the field, but they are essentially generalist shoes. You want shoes that are specific to your environment, because that means the company will have taken all the needs of that particular environment to create your shoe, creating a better product overall.

When it comes to survival shoes, it’s best to go for more specialized shoes if you can. It’s great to want a pair of shoes that will last you for many years, but what if you end up having to go to different environments? Shop for specialized shoes, or pay a little more for truly all-terrain shoes, like tactical boots comparable to those worn by the United States military.


Stiff shoes are the end of your feet. Really.

Shoes that don’t allow your feet to move can have their advantages. It could mean that the soles of the boots are incredibly stiff and therefore durable, meaning you can walk on a variety of terrains. It could also mean that the boots have good traction when walking on wet surfaces.

However, you don’t want inflexible shoes because they will eventually leave your feet sore and blistered. When you can’t move your feet fast enough, you could take the wrong step and not be able to stop.

You need your agility and all your reflexes unimpeded when you’re out on the pitch, which is why it’s essential to have shoes that are flexible in both the sole and upper material.

One other thing: your foot swells naturally throughout the day from all the walking. The maximum swelling occurs around noon, so it is better not just to choose the shoes at that time to soften them as well.


Chances are you wear your shoes half the day. If your feet get hot and sweaty, your skin becomes softer and therefore more prone to blisters and tears. Also, excess moisture and heat are uncomfortable.

When looking for the right boots for you, keep breathability in mind for the comfort of your feet. You will not only feel better, but also protect the health of your feet.

A note that shoes must provide flexibility around all joints of the foot, and particularly the ankle and balls of the feet.


You have found the most amazing pair of survival shoes. They are supportive, flexible, easy to walk in and are functionally perfect. Until you wear them and realize there’s not much you can do to make sure your shoes keep their cool over time.

While the shoes should have the functionality features above, they should also be easy to clean and maintain. This means that leather shoes fall into the lower category of survival shoes that you should consider.

Leather has many advantages: not only is it attractive, but it is also naturally waterproof. However, leather dries out over time (especially when it gets wet) and can lose its serviceability over time. Without constant cleaning, moisturizing and conditioning, your shoes can wrinkle and crack and let water in. That’s not what you want in a survival shoe.

This is why you will rarely see survival or tactical boots made of leather. If they are, it is mainly for cosmetic reasons. Consider canvas, synthetic, or perhaps suede leather instead of finished leather. While suede is still a type of leather, it doesn’t crack or Dry out like polished leather does.


When you wear your boots, notice how they make your ankles look. Do your ankles seem crooked or upright? What about your knees?

Your shoes should make your ankles vertical, which you may notice when you stand in front of a mirror. Ask your friends or the store clerk to observe the angles of your ankles. Anything less than a 180 degree vertical can cause problems.

Why? Because ankle misalignment can cause a substantial cascading effect of problems in your body. When your ankles get out of control, different parts of your feet are forced to compensate as a result.

This changes the way you use your knees, which affects your hips, and then your back. When you lose your balance for too long, you can develop pain in your joints or spine, which can slow you down or affect you even more when you’re out on the course.

Therefore, it is crucial that you realize how your boots make you feel when you walk in them. Does your back hurt after three hours of use? Do your knees feel hot and swollen after a short trip around the block? Any pain can worsen the health effects at the most inconvenient time for you.

Not only that, but your shoes should especially support proper foot health. As mentionedabove, the boots should fit well, which means that they do not cause blisters or sores on the feet.

But besides that, your shoes must ensure that the internal mechanisms of your feet also work smoothly. Boots should have plenty of cushioning on the inner sole and arch support for the sensitive bones and connective tissues around the midfoot. There should be plenty of room in the toe box and ample padding around the heel to prevent painful chafing.

The arches of the feet can droop over time due to wearing shoes without proper arch support, which can lead to flat feet. Flat feet can cause pain in the midfoot when walking and make it difficult to dexterate your feet. Avoid fallen arches by purchasing shoes with proper arch support. Consider buying arch support braces too, just in case.

Your feet are your most important tools for survival, so be sure to take care of them with the proper insoles and survival boots.

Other Tips

  • Tape pressure points. If you find that your perfect pair of shoes are still squeezing your feet and causing blisters, it’s best to tape the parts that cause discomfort. The duct tape softens the pressure that falls on your feet and reduces the chance of developing a blister.
  • Purchase braces, if necessary. Some boots are great and provide arch support. Others don’t. If you bought boots without arch support and don’t want to return them, buying an orthotic can mean protecting your foot health over time. You should try to mitigate the fall of your arches at all costs, and orthotics tend to be inexpensive.
  • Test the waterproofing before you head out. Some all-terrain shoes are less suitable for all terrains, especially when it comes to water. Sometimes the seams allow water to seep through and onto your feet, which would not only be uncomfortable but also make you susceptible to developing blisters.

Instead, fill a bucket with a couple inches of water and let it sit for a few minutes. Then walk. Do you feel your feet wet? If so, you will need to take steps to make your boots more waterproof than they actually are or return the shoes. I’m glad you know that now instead of in the field, right?

Best Survival Boots Review

1. Smith & Wesson men’s boots

Smith & Wesson Footwear Men's Breach 2.0 Tactical Size Zip Boots, Black, 5

For heavy-duty survival shoes, consider these Smith & Wesson boots. The company is known for its high-quality products and attention to detail, and these shoes are no different.

These shoes are made from durable leather and a nylon construction that protects your feet while keeping you comfortable. The gusseted tongue keeps out debris and dirt, and the EVA midsole cradles the bottom of your feet.

There is a lot of support to keep you walking without blisters. The torsional stiffness reduces foot fatigue, which is crucial when you plan to walk for hours on end.

Not only that, but the sole of the shoes is non-slip. In fact, rubber soles are designed to minimize loss of tractionn thanks to its creative pattern. The pattern easily grabs onto the ground, fences, stairs, rocks and any other tricky surface.

For an inexpensive boot, consider the Smith & Wesson Men’s boot. While the leather may need maintenance over time, the rest of the boot’s performance more than makes up for that minor inconvenience.


  • These shoes are comfortable and affordable.
  • EVA midsole cradles the bottom of your feet and prevents foot fatigue.
  • The outer soles of these shoes are slip-resistant, which improves safety.


  • The leather option means constant maintenance in the field.
  • Some users found it difficult to find the correct size with these shoes.

Buy on Amazon

2. Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Men’s Hiking Boot

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot, Walnut, 8 M US

For flashy hiking boots that can last thousands of miles in the woods, check out the Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boots. They’re more understated than the tactical boot pictured above.

The upper is made from 100% leather and mesh, so the boots not only look good, but breathe well too. In addition to the upper, the seams are also breathable. So the boot is more for dry areas without a lot of standing water, as the breathability means these shoes are not waterproof.

The removable insole allows you to add your orthotics or extra cushioning with ease, making customizing these shoes that much easier.

These shoes come with air cushions in the heel that absorb shock with each step and add stability to your frame, reducing walking fatigue. The inner soles also have plenty of arch support to protect the bones in your feet.

Protective rubber toe cap helps protect your toes from damage – we all tend to kick a log when we accidentally walk, and stuck toes are never fun. The shoe’s tongue is also padded, which means maximum comfort for your feet. The outsole is also slip-resistant, which means fewer potentially dangerous falls on the trail.

For affordable and functional hiking boots, consider the Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot.


  • The breathable upper means less sweat on your feet and more comfort when walking.
  • The Merrell Moab 2 hiking boot has slip-resistant outsoles and shock-absorbing midsoles.
  • There is a lot of arch support in these shoes.
  • These shoes are affordable.


  • When these shoes get wet, they tend to absorb a lot of water and stay wet. Be careful when walking near bodies of water.
  • Some users say that they have had problems with the laces of these shoes.

Buy on Amazon

3. Garmont T8 Extreme GTX Tactical Boot

Garmont Men's T8 Extreme GTX Insulated Tactical Military Coyote Boot, 11 Regular

For a survival boot that performs exceptionally well in cold environments, look no further than the Garmont T8 Extreme GTX Tactical Boot.

These shoes are incredibly Insulated while still being lightweight and comfortable. For walks in the snow or other adverse conditions,These shoes ensure that your feet stay Warm enough for you to move around.

They also have ample cushioning in the midsole, so your feet won’t get tired after hours of wearing these shoes. Not only that, the Vibram outsole provides maximum traction, which is what you need when traversing ice or other slippery conditions.

These shoes are durably stitched and constructed, meaning cold water won’t seep through seams or cracks in the sole over time. The durable upper provides breathability and ventilation to keep your feet Warm and cool at the same time.

For demanding jobs or tough work in unforgiving environments, the Garmont T8 Extreme GTX Tactical Boots are the boots for you.


  • The Garmont T8 Extreme GTX tactical boot has a robust construction and has non-slip soles.
  • The midsole provides enough cushioning to prevent foot fatigue.
  • These boots are especially suitable for cold environments.


  • Some users report that these shoes are a bit difficult to find in the correct size. You have to go up a size or get the wide version.

Buy on Amazon

4. KEEN Revel III Men’s Hiking Boots

KEEN Men's Revel iii-m Hiking Boot, Great Wall/Canteen, 9 M US

For hiking boots that are lightweight and more discreet than tactical boots, try a pair of the KEEN Revel III Hiking Boots.

KEEN is a company known for high-quality outdoor products, and these shoes are no different. When it comes to getting you from point A to B (and C, and D, and E…), the Revel III hiking boots not only have a durable construction, but they’re comfortable enough to keep you hiking all day. with little or no discomfort.

Firstly, the exterior is made from 100% waterproof nubuck leather, which means that crossing the occasional river or stream won’t have your feet soaking wet for hours. The outer rubber sole is durable and slip-resistant, which means fewer falls on the trail.

The lace-up portion of the boot also features waterproof material, plus a dry membrane and plush padded collar that keeps the tops of your feet comfortable as you walk.

These shoes are also Insulated, so when the sun goes down and the temperature drops, you don’t have to worry about your feet freezing. The dual compound bottom grip is suitable for both snow and ice, as well as a variety of other terrain.

KEEN has a wealth of knowledge in making high-quality hiking boots, and that knowledge shows in the Revel III hiking boot. For luxury hiking boots that will last you for years, check out these boots from KEEN.


  • The KEEN Revel III Hiking Boots feature breathable and waterproof uppers that keep your feet comfortable as you hike.
  • Shoes are Insulated and slip resistant in icy conditions.
  • The midsole is cushioned and cradles the bottom of your foot, reducing the feeling of tiredness after a hard day of walking.


  • These shoes are a bit expensive and may be out of reach for some hikers.
  • Some users report that the toe box is too tight and doesn’t stretch over time, so you should consider buying a half size or larger.

Buy on Amazon

5. Men’s Salomon Quest 4D 3 GORE-TEX Backpacking Boots

Salomon Men's Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking Boots, PHANTOM/Black/Quiet Shade, 9.5

These sleek and stylish shoes not only look good but are one of the best hiking boots on the market. Check out the Salomon Quest backpacking boots.

The upper is made of leather and synthetic material, making them waterproof on leather and breathable on synthetic mesh vents. They’re designed for maximum traction on mixed terrain thanks to durable, slip-resistant rubber soles.

These hiking boots feature a 4D Advanced Chassis that helps guide your foot instead of simply succumbing to the weight of your foot. Such an orientation not only feels more comfortable while walking, but also helps reduce foot fatigue during your walks, even on uneven and rough terrain.

The midsole feels soft and secure against your feet, thanks to the light inner cushion. The interior is designed like a running shoe: it provides enough support for maximum movement and ensures that there are no obstructions in your path. These shoes keep all your joints in alignment to prevent damage to your body from hours of walking out of alignment.

Whether you’re planning a short day trip or a trek for months, these Salomon Quest backpacking boots are adequate enough to live off the grid for a long time. Whether you’re hiking, backpacking, or deciding to live away from civilization for a while, these shoes are tough and durable enough to handle your outdoor needs without a lot of maintenance afterward.


  • The 4D Advanced Chassis technology in this shoe guides your foot as you walk, ensuring proper joint alignment and reducing foot fatigue.
  • The inner shoe is designed like a running shoe, making these boots comfortable enough for all-day walking.
  • The outsole is designed to prevent slips and falls in mixed terrain environments.


  • These shoes are a bit expensive.
  • While the company claims these shoes are waterproof, some users report getting wet when submerged in water.

Buy on Amazon

6. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped

Like KEEN, Columbia is another company known for its outdoor gear. The Newton Ridge Plus hiking boots are another example of high-quality outdoor Footwear from an expert hiking company.

These shoes from Columbia support the bones in your feet while maintaining flexible cushioning, meaning your feet stay comfortable throughout your hiking trip. The weather-ready upper and grippy sole mean you won’t have to sit for long when it starts to rain. You can go ahead and not miss a step.

The laces of these shoes also n They are waterproof, as well as providing a firm grip while you walk. You don’t have to constantly take breaks to make sure your shoes are tied, just tie them in the morning and forget about them.

The seam-sealed Ombi-Tech membrane ensures that even the seams of these shoes are waterproof. However, they don’t block the breathability of these shoes, so you can be protected from the elements while remaining comfortable.

The tongue and collar of these shoes are padded which further increases the comfort levels of these shoes. Plus, the Techlite midsole is lightweight and cushioned to give you plenty of energy as you walk.

Last but not least, the non-marking Omni-Grip rubber outsole gives you reliable traction in both dry and wet conditions, reducing the chance of potentially fatal falls when you least need them.

Functional yet understated, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots provide a minimalist look and give you all the features you need to hike safely and comfortably in the great outdoors.


  • Waterproof yet breathable
  • Strong lacing system
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day


  • The toe box is a bit short

Shop at Zappos

7. Garmont T8 Bifida Tactical Boot

Garmont Men's T8 Bifida Tactical Military Coyote Boot, 11 Regular

Another great pair of tactical boots from Garmont, the T8 Bifida, are known for their high quality and born with great attention to detail.

These shoes are made from durable metal eyelets and nylon straps, so you’ll always be able to lace these shoes without fear of tearing the seams or eyelets. These shoes are also incredibly comfortable, thanks to the GORE-TEX interior technology that not only provides insulation but also cushioning.

These shoes prevent foot fatigue thanks to the breathable PU insole and EVA insole. These shoes feel incredibly soft and flexible against your feet, which is exactly what you need when embarking on your next survival journey.

The upper provides great performance on a variety of terrains, so you don’t have to worry about how your shoe will perform when you head into the next ecosystem. The soles are slip-resistant and made of well-constructed rubber that prevents you from falling – you’ll always be able to get where you need to go without fear of falling.

Your feet need shoes of the highest quality that allow you to achieve what you need. Whether it’s for a military mission or a target you’ve always wanted to cross off your bucket list, the Garmont T8 Bifida Tactical Boot has a high-quality construction that’s ideal for both amphibious and dry environments.


  • GORE-TEX technology provides cushioning and insulation.
  • The soles have grip and prevent slipping.
  • These shoes have incredibly soft inner soles that feel great against your feet.


  • Some users report that the tongue is a pressure point that can cause discomfort when you first wear these shoes.
  • The toe box is too roomy for some users.

Buy on Amazon

8. Wideway Men’s Military Tactical Boots

WIDEWAY Men's 8'' Military Tactical Boots Outdoor Water Resistant Boots with Zipper

Another great pair of tactical boots comes from Wideway. The company specializes in manufacturing premium military-grade tactical boots, so there’s no reason you can’t get the best survival boots for your needs.

In fact, if you don’t like these boots, the company gives you a 30-day 100% refund if you don’t like these shoes.

The upper is made of polished leather and nylon for support and water resistance. The interior of these shoes includes a padded tongue, a removable cushioned midsole insert, a breathable lining, and a side zipper that makes getting these shoes on and off a breeze.

These shoes also help regulate the temperature of your feet, so whether you’re in a hot, arid environment or where it’s icy, your feet will stay comfortable no matter what. The sole grips ensure that you can walk in mixed terrain environments while maintaining your balance; no falls are anticipated in the future.

These boots are easy to clean and care for, so you can be sure they will be with you for a long time. The company even includes a size reference to make shopping for these shoes online much easier, so you can buy the right pair the first time.

For military grade boots at an affordable price, Wideway Men’s Military Tactical Boots are the way to go.


  • Wideway offers military grade boots at an affordable price.
  • The interior is padded and comfortable, while the exterior is suitable for a variety of harsh environments.
  • The non-slip sole guarantees the best balance on uneven ground.


  • Some users report that the soles of these shoes wear out easily.

Buy on Amazon

9. Mishmi Takin Kameng Mid Event Waterproof Hiking Boot

Mishmi Takin Kameng Mid Event Waterproof Hiking Boot (EU 40 / US Women 9, Sunset Orange)

For backpacking, hiking, or just surviving in the woods, the Mishmi Takin Kameng Hiking Boot is suitable for any outdoor condition.

These shoes are designed to give you maximum performance in wet and treacherous conditions. A solidly built boot, they are waterproof and suitable for those whose feet tend to get warm. The boots keep water from touching your feet, but still maintain the ability to dry quickly when the outdoors get wet.

Vibram Megagrip rubber soles give you peace of mind as you walk. When you encounter dusty or wet ground, you don’t have to fear falling to the ground. The sole keeps you firm both on unstable terrain and on rocks.

The water-resistant suede upper and Cordura are resistant to abrasion, so you’re not likely to get twigs and branches against your feet or ankles when you walk. The Ortholite insole gives you first-rate comfort on your feet.

And finally, these shoes have a durable construction and are built to last a long time. While other hiking boots fall apart after a few years, rest assured that Mishmi Takin Kameng hiking boots are here to last for years to come.These boots are a bit pricey, but the investment can be worth it.


  • These shoes are durable and well-constructed so they’re not likely to fall apart.
  • The Ortholite insole protects the delicate bones in the feet from long-term damage.
  • The Vibram Megagrip outsole keeps you stable in dry, wet and rocky conditions.


  • These shoes are a bit expensive.
  • Some users report that these shoes are too narrow, which can cause discomfort.

Buy on Amazon

10. Mishmi Takin Jampui Mid Event Waterproof Light & Fast mountain boot

Mishmi Takin Jampui Mid Event Waterproof Light & Fast Hiking Boot (EU 43 / US M 10, Birch Rose)

Another great shoe from Mishmi Takin, the Jampui hiking boot offers the same high-end performance as its sister, the Kameng hiking boot.

These shoes are suitable for both light hiking and tactical use, which means you can use them for whatever your outdoor needs are.

The Jampui is 100% waterproof, so you can stand in a shallow river and not get a drop on your toes. While waterproof, these shoes are also quick-drying and highly breathable thanks to eVent membrane technology.

Vibram Megagrip rubber allows you to get the best traction on a variety of surfaces, even wet. Compared to the Kameng, the Jampui is slightly more flexible and much lighter, making it ideal for those who want to be fast.

For another pair of high-quality hiking boots worth the investment, the Mishmi Takin Jampui Hiking Boot is the way to go.


  • These shoes hold up well to abuse.
  • They are light and flexible, but still incredibly durable.
  • This Megagrip rubber outsole gives you maximum traction on wet or dry surfaces.
  • Anatomical insole provides arch support and overall foot comfort.


  • These shoes do not keep your feet warm, so they are best suited for hot environments.
  • Mishmi Takin Jampui shoes are a bit expensive.

Buy on Amazon

The verdict

Whatever your price range or other needs, these shoes will get you where you need to go without giving you extra headaches. We’ve covered a lot of shoes in this list, but we’ve picked three of our favorites in the main categories you’re interested in.

Best overall option —KEEN Revel III Men’s Hiking Boots

The KEEN Revel III hiking boot is not only suitable for light day hikes; it can also seriously help you on longer excursions. These shoes are lightweight and flexible—a must for great foot dexterity—but comfortable enough to wear all day.

The Revel III boots are also waterproof and help keep your feet dry in wet environments, which is perfect for ensuring your feet stay safe while you’re away from civilization.

Finally, while many shoes on this list are more expensive than the KEEN Revel III (and probably for good reason),the Revel III shoes provide everything you need for long-scale hikes at an affordable price. No extra bells and whistles, just everything you need.

Best Premium Product —Garmont T8 Extreme GTX Tactical Boots

Durability is the name of the game at Garmont, and the same is true of the T8 Extreme GTX Tactical Boot. What can we say — the boot hits all the points you need for survival. They’re lightweight, strong, grippy, and comfortable enough to wear all day.

Best Value Product: Men’s Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boots

While more affordable than the previous two shoes, the Merrell Moab 2 hiking boots don’t sacrifice quality for price. They’re still just as sturdy, comfortable, and sturdy as the other shoes on this list.

To survive in the woods, you need the best gear, and that includes the ones on your feet. You can’t go wrong with any of the boots on this list for all your outdoor trekking needs.

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