Whether you are deployed or stateside, a desert eagle or a seasoned marine, the importance of wearing standardized combat boots cannot be overlooked. Army and military personnel come across deadly occupational hazards and risky environments more frequently, compared to other professionals. As a soldier in the middle of an operation, any weakness in your gear, tactics or body might cost you your life. You will also be endangering your team or slowing them down if your feet are injured due to wearing improper footwear. That’s why the U.S government requires all active army personnel to adhere to set standards and guidelines when it comes to combat boots. And this is where the AR 670-1 comes in. The AR 670-1 clearly stipulates the features that a military-issued pair of boots should have to ensure soldiers are adequately protected and they can achieve peak performance whenever they are out there on the field. So, whether you will be trekking through hot deserts, wading through rivers or tromping through mud, your army boots must adhere to the following standards.

Height of 8 to 10 Inches

Military-issued boots or combat boots should have a height of 8 to 10 inches. As you probably know, every mission presents a different set of challenges and risks. When soldiers are executing a mission, they are exposed to a wide range of hazardous elements such as rocks, logs, tree stumps, thorns, and snow, among others. And that’s why their boots need to have a high shaft, to ensure they are adequately protected against these elements. When you are deep in action, your boots will protect your feet against all dangerous elements that you might come across. Apart from ensuring optimal performance in all terrains, a height of 8 to 10 inches will also give your feet plenty of flexibility and mobility, thus making sure you remain agile throughout the mission. Boots with a high shaft also tend to provide better ankle support, as opposed to low-cut boots. Also, a high shaft will prevent the entry of trail debris such as soil or pebbles, thus ensuring your feet remain comfortable at all times.

Made of Cattle Leather

Tactical boots should come with a full-leather upper. However, a combination of leather and non-mesh materials is also acceptable for the upper. The leather used must be premium quality cattle hide leather. As much as there are numerous other types of leather used to make shoes, none of those variations are as sturdy and rugged as cattle hide. Cowhide leather comes with numerous exceptional features and properties. And that’s why it’s the preferred material when it comes to army approved combat boots.

Cowhide leather is stronger and more durable than other types of leather. Also, chances of cracking are minimal, even when exposed to extreme weather conditions. Apart from being sturdy, cattle hide leather is also flexible, supple and breathable while conforming to the shape and contours of your feet comfortably. Since they conform to the shape of your feet, you will not experience blisters, hot spots and other forms of discomfort, as long as your pair of army-approved boots are properly broken into. Cowhide leather also features excellent waterproofing capabilities. If you happen to come across wet conditions while executing your military duties, your feet will remain dry all through. Due to its powerful fiber composition, cowhide leather is sturdy, long-lasting, and naturally tough, making it perfect for demanding terrains and conditions.


Compliant army boots must be coyote tan or tan. Any other color is not acceptable in the military unless under special conditions or during special occasions. Coyote tan tends to disguise dirt better than most other colors. Also, it blends in perfectly with most environments, making it easy for the soldier to approach and attack the enemy unnoticed. You should also note that the color of the toe section of the boots should match the color of the upper part. The color of the laces should also match the color of the boots, that is tan or coyote tan. In short, there is no room for fancy colors or fashion statements in the military. Unless you are purchasing combat boots for your personal use or off-duty use, you should always stick to the official color code.

Authorized Outsole Materials

According to U.S army uniform and dressing regulations, rubber and polyether polyurethane are the only outsoling materials allowed for army approved combat boots. These materials are preferred for the outsole due to their excellent durability. They also deliver the best traction and resistance in all weather conditions and environments. Whether you are walking on scorching-hot desert sand or trekking on snowy conditions, as long as your boots’ outsole is made of rubber or polyether polyurethane, you can rest assured that you will have adequate protection and traction at all times. The AR 670-1 further stipulates that the outsole should not extend either to the front over the toe or to the back. Also, it should not be more than 2 inches when you measure it from the bottom.

Plain Toe

Army approved combat boots should have a plain toe. A plain toe style refers to shoes or boots with no medallion, ornamentation, or additional covering on the toe or vamp of the shoe. Also, boots should not have any zippers. Instead, they should have a traditional lacing system.

Closing Remarks

With hundreds of tactical boots on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the right pair of military boots for your feet. Regardless of the brand that you settle for, always make sure the boots align with the above guidelines. You also need to ensure that the combat boots you purchase are comfortable, have plenty of flexibility and they offer the right amount of support and protection. The right pair of combat boots will give you the confidence to focus on the mission without worrying about your feet. And in case you have any doubts whether a particular model of boots aligns with military standards, always check and confirm with your commanding officer.

About the Author Brian

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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