Best combat boots for women of 2022

Published Jun 9, 2022 3:21 PM

Women’s combat boots create an iconic look that make them a popular type of footwear during those colder fall and winter months. They come in varying styles that allow you to create an edgy look or can be formal enough for a casual workplace environment. Why fashion may be crucial, women’s combat boots aren’t just about looks. Their lug style outsoles provide great traction in wet and icy conditions, while the thick midsole provides ample cushioning when your feet are pounding the pavement. 

Most combat boots are waterproof with high shafts that protect the ankles. Read on to learn about the best combat boots for women.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Combat Boots for Women

Midsole and Insole

While combat boots are largely about achieving a certain look, that matters little if the boots aren’t comfortable to wear. Like any other boot, a good combat boot will use its thick midsole to add cushioning and rebound either with air pockets or cushy high density foam. The construction of the insole is crucial. While some boots will have a cushy foam insole that molds to your foot others will use a simple leather one, which won’t provide much cushioning at all. 


Most combat boots have a leather upper, which is durable and provides support for the ankle while resisting all types of wet weather. The leather also creates the iconic look that draws so many to the combat boot. Tactical combat boots designed for women in the military or law enforcement usually use a mix of leather and nylon, giving them more flexibility for crouching, running, climbing, or crawling. 


The tread varies on women’s combat boots from a smooth bottom for trekking around an urban setting to the heavy tread of a tactical combat boot. When selecting boots, consider where you plan to use them and what type of traction is appropriate. 


While there are tactical women’s combat boots, most combat boots are about creating a certain look while also adding comfort and performance during snowy and wet weather. Despite their name, combat boots come in styles that make them versatile enough to wear to work or in more casual outings. 

Best Overall

Steve Madden Women’s Troopa are the best overall combat boots for women.

Why It Made The Cut

This pair from this iconic designer are well-made comfortable with a classic combat boot look.

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 5.5-11
  • Material: Genuine leather w/ synthetic sole
  • Shaft Height: 8 inches 


  • Insole zipper makes them easy to take on and off
  • Genuine leather construction
  • 1-inch heel ideal for walking


  • Smooth sole not suitable for rougher terrain

This pair of combat boots from Steve Madden checks all the right boxes for what you’d want out of the best combat boots for women. They’re made from 100 percent leather and have a one-inch heel that makes them comfortable for walking. A full length in-step zipper makes them easy to put on and take off, while a lace up 8-inch shaft allows you to get a snug fit around the ankle for support. It also features a roomy toe cap that gives your toes some wiggle room. 

Cushioning on the footbed is light, so you should consider going up a half size and adding an aftermarket insole if you prefer a plusher footbed. A smooth outsole makes these boots suitable for adventures that take you through urban areas but don’t offer enough traction for more rugged terrain or sloppy weather conditions. You also have some style options with these combat boots, which come in four different colors.

Best Waterproof

Timberland Women’s Malynn Ek+ Waterproof Boot is the best waterproof.

Why It Made The Cut

These boots are well prepared for foul weather with leather upper that resists water and a waterproof membrane on the interior. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 5.5-11
  • Material: Waterproof leather with rubber sole
  • Shaft Height: 8 inches


  • Tread suitable for wet weather
  • Made from 50 percent recycled materials 
  • Leather comes from a sustainable farm


  • Boots might be too narrow for some feet

Timberland knows a few things about making rugged waterproof boots, whether they’re for work or play. This pair is a great example of the company’s ability to make a rugged boot for messier weather conditions. The boot wards off the elements on two fronts. The upper is made from water proof leather while the interior is protected by a waterproof membrane, ensuring your feet stay dry in soggy conditions. An aggressive tread provides ample traction while keeping the midsole elevated above the muck and the mire. The midsole consists of high density foam with excellent shock absorption while the insole cushions the foot with high-rebound bio-foam. 

Timberland’s Malynn boots are some of the most environmentally conscious pairs you can buy. Half of the fabric it uses to make boots comes from recycled plastic, while the leather comes from regenerative farming practices. Style options range from an edgy black with purple laces, a more refined tan, and a classy dark brown. 

Best for Everyday Wear

Dr. Martens Women’s 1460 Pascal Wanama Combat Boot is the best for everyday wear.

Why It Made The Cut

No list of the best combat boots is complete without a pair from this iconic maker of this boot type. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 5-11
  • Material: Leather w/ Synthetic Sole
  • Shaft Height: 6 inches


  • Tread suitable for wet weather
  • Made from 50 percent recycled materials 
  • Leather comes from a sustainable farm


  • Boots might be too narrow for some feet

This classic boot from iconic boot maker Doc Marten has been around for more than 60 years and for good reason. The boot’s upper consists of Wanama leather, which gives the 1460’s satin-sheen finish they’re known for while also making the overall boot lightweight. While black with yellow stitching is the classic look of the 1460, they’re also available in diverse color options that include silver and red. 

In addition to its style, the 1460’s staying power is also a testament to the quality of its construction. A Goodyear welt seam and rubber lug sole gives this boot excellent durability. 

The 1460s are also a comfortable walking boot thanks to its use of the AirWair sole, a technology Doc Martens originally debuted back in the 1960s. This design places an air pocket in the midsole that provides great shock absorption and rebound while walking. The 1460s also have a laceup shaft that rises 6 inches that provides excellent ankle support while preventing moisture from finding its way into the boot opening.

Best Military Boot

Bates Women’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Boot is the best military boot.

Why It Made The Cut

For those who want a true military tactical combat boot, the Bates tactical boot, which sees widespread use in the military and law enforcement, is the pair. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 5-11
  • Material: Leather and nylon
  • Shaft Height: 7.5 inches


  • Rugged slip-resistant outsole
  • Light weight
  • Waterproof construction
  • Side zipper for easy entrances and exits


While many womens’ boots use the combat boot style in their design, most are not true military boots. This set of tactical boots from Bates, a footwear company that makes boots for all branches of the military and various law enforcement agencies, makes tactical combat boots. 

Whereas other women’s combat boots have fashion as part of their design, Bates military boots are all business. They have a slip-resistant lug outsole with monster tread designed to provide maximum traction in rough conditions. A membrane liner keeps your feet dry in sloppy conditions while allowing water vapor from sweat to escape. 

The upper is a mix of nylon and leather, which gives the boot more flexibility and hence greater freedom of movement than all-leather boots. Bates also designs these boots to provide ample support and a customized fit with a tall 7.5-inch shaft and a disc adjuster inside the boot that allows you to dial in that just-right fit. There’s also a locking zipper that allows for quick entrances and exits and cushioned high-density foam midsole for shock absorption.

Best Fashion

Vionic Women’s Charm Lani Lace Up Ankle Bootie is the best for fashion.

Why It Made The Cut

Multiple style options and a more subtle look make these some of the most fashionable combat boots you can wear. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 5-11
  • Material: Leather, patent leather, or suede w/ Synthetic Sole
  • Shaft Height: 6.5 inches


  • Diverse style options
  • Insole engineered for comfort and stability
  • Side zipper for easy entrance and exit


Vionic’s take on the combat boot has sleeker lines than a classic military boot style, giving it a more refined look. The company also offers a variety of styles with material options that include tumbled leather, suede and patent leather with red, black and white color options. 

Viconic uses what it calls its three-zone comfort, which consists of a deep heel cup for stability, high density foam in the front of the footbed for cushioning and ample arch support in the midsole. A 6.5-inch shaft provides good ankle support, while a side zipper makes it easy to take these boots on and off. The rubber outsole consists of a thick tread with a Goodyear welt, making them suitable for use in foul weather conditions. These boots are also lighter than most combat boots, making them comfortable to wear while hoofing it around an urban setting.

How We Made Our Picks

Women’s combat boots should be stylish while also providing warmth and protection from the elements. Keeping that in mind, we made our boot selections based on the following criteria:

  • Comfort: A good combat boot should come equipped with features that make them comfortable to wear over long periods of walking. They should have a cushioned midsole and insole as well as a shaft that hugs the ankle to provide support.
  • Protection: Combat boots are fall and winter footwear. Thus they should be able to keep your feet dry in wet and snowy weather while providing good traction on slick surfaces.
  • Style: Of course, combat boots are just as much about style or perhaps more so than they are about performance. I selected boots that best exude this iconic look while offering multiple color and material options. 


Q: Are combat boots good for feet?

Just like any other boot, combat boots must fit well so as not to cause foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and painful arches. With that in mind, the combat boot should have cushioning the footbed and either high density foam or air pockets in the midsole that provide shock absorbing rebound. 

Q: Do you tuck skinny jeans into combat boots?

While you don’t need to tuck skinny jeans into your combat boots, if they look a tad too long and are covering the top of the boot, you can definitely choose to tuck them into the top of the boot. 

Q: Should I size up or down for combat boots?

Whether you should size up or down depends on the fit of the boot. Once the boot is laced up, there should be no more than 1/4 inch of movement in the heel when you walk. If the boot feels like it’s shifting too much, go a half size down. Likewise, if the boot feels too cramped or uncomfortable, you probably need to go a size up. 

Q: What’s the difference between combat boots and tactical boots?

Classic military combat boots are heavier and made with tougher materials than tactical boots. That said, most modern military and law enforcement use tactical boots, which are lighter and more flexible to promote the freedom of movement members of the police and military require. 

Q: Why are combat boots so high?

Most military combat boots have shaft heights of between 7 and 8 inches high. This height is to provide ankle support to prevent injury while moving quickly through uneven terrain while also preventing mud, water and other debris from infiltrating the boot through the opening. 

Q: Can I wear combat boots everyday?

Today’s combat boots are versatile enough that many women can wear them just about every day. They’re just as at home in the casual workplace environment as they are for a night out with friends. Since these boots provide warmth and protection from the elements, good support and a thick midsole that absorbs shock, they are great choices for everyday footwear. 

Final Thoughts

The best combat boot for women should be stylish, comfortable to wear, and easy to take on and off. The Steve Madden Women’s Troopa does all those things, making it one of the best all around women’s combat boots on the market. Those looking for a boot that’s versatile enough to wear out or even to work should consider the Vionic Women’s Charm Lani Lace Up Ankle Bootie with its subtle design. 

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