Why Do Tactical Boots Have Zippers?

The two variations you’ll commonly see in tactical boots are tactical boots with lace only and the second type includes tactical boots with zippers.

It’s the second type that was an addition to conventional tactical boots that used to have only laces. So, the question is, why were zippers added in the first place? 

Tactical boots have zippers to offer added comfort in a lot of ways. A side zipper (or a back zipper in some boots) not only makes wearing and removing tactical boots easier but also makes these boots more practical and time-saving. As long as you’re not in the Army or military, tactical boots with zippers are better options. 

Why Do Tactical Boots Have Zippers

Although the Army federation feels that zippers in tactical boots are a safety compromise at war, tactical boots with zippers are a boon for hikers.

Even the police force and construction companies’ workers prefer wearing tactical boots with zippers. Comfort is a luxury that doesn’t come easy: Tactical boots with zippers make this luxury a reality. 

You can easily tighten or loosen tactical boots with zippers, and this is something that’s difficult with tactical boots with only laces. If your feet get too hot while hiking or walking, simply zipping down the boots will offer immediate relief. 

So does it mean that tactical boots with zippers have no cons? The answer to this question is, tactical boots with cheap-quality zippers have cons. This guide will familiarise you with many interesting bits of information about tactical boots with zippers. 

Find out why tactical boots with zippers are becoming more popular, the many benefits of wearing tactical boots with zippers, some of the best tactical boots with side zippers that you can buy, and much more!

5 Reasons Behind Tactical Boots having Zippers

Tactical boots with side zippers or back zippers look classier and they offer a lot of flexibility and comfort. Let’s figure out why zippers are added in the first place.

1.) Zippers Make The Boots Comfortable

When you wear tactical boots with laces, you have to loosen the laces to remove the boots first and then tighten them again when you wear the boots again.

It’s pure discomfort since loosening and tightening the lace, again and again, doesn’t give the same level of comfort. The boots will sometimes feel too tight and some other times too loose. 

When there’s a zipper added, you don’t have to even touch the laces. Once you’ve fixed the optimum amount of tightness to offer a snug-fitting, from the next time you can just pull down the zippers, slip on the shoes, and voila! The level of comfort will be constant every single time!

If you observe the general pattern, you’ll realize that most tactical boots are at least ankle-length and calf-length.

When there’s no zipper, putting the leg inside the boots with a narrow opening is tough. But, when there’s a zipper added, you can easily slide your feet inside the boots without any issues. 

2.) It Saves Time When You’re in a Rush

If you’ve ever been late to work or have had to rush to hike, you know the difficulty of untying laces first and then tying them again.

When you have zippers added to tactical boots, you can slip them on within seconds and move out about your business.

What’s more? The kind of fitting your feet are used to stays the same without you having to adjust the laces at all.

3.) It Makes the Instep Much More Comfortable

Tactical shoes with laces can feel loose as well as tight. If you end up tightening the laces a bit harder someday, the instep will hurt your feet all day long.

This problem is entirely overcome when zippers are added to tactical boots. You can adjust the laces to the extent where the instep will feel comfortable and from the next time, all you’ll need is to zip and unzip the boots. 

4.) It Makes Wearing the Boots Easier for Long Continuous Hours

Whether you’ve gone out on a long hike or you have to spend most of your day working while standing up or walking around, tactical boots can make the feet warm and tire them as well.

Now, while you might dread the idea of loosening the laces and taking your feet out for a while when there’s a zipper, it becomes very easy. 

As soon as it starts getting too hot in the boots or you feel like you need to stretch your toes, just pull down the zip of your boots and that’s all.

Thus, wearing tactical boots with zippers is much more practical when you have to wear them for hours and hours. 

5.) It Makes the Boots Look Much More Stylish

Although nothing takes away the beauty of boots with laces, adding a side zipper takes the style quotient a notch higher.

If you’re somebody who has always given fashion statements and comfort equal value, you’ll find a perfect match in tactical boots with zippers. 

Disadvantages of Tactical Boots With Zippers – How to Overcome Those Disadvantages? 

The first thing that you should know before you learn about the disadvantages of wearing tactical boots with zippers is that only cheap-quality tactical boots with zippers have the disadvantages we’re about to mention.

As long as the ones you’re buying are high-quality boots, you won’t face any issues. On that note, let’s have a look at the disadvantages.

1.) Zippers Can Allow Water to Slip Inside

One of the benefits of wearing tactical boots is they’re waterproof and they don’t allow water to enter inside. But, when a zipper is added, it becomes the weak point from which water can easily make its way inside the boots and wet your feet.

Overcoming this disadvantage:

1.) Wear tactical boots that have gussets attached behind the zipper. Gussets are waterproof. They seal the opening that zippers leave behind. Hence, the boots will become waterproof again.

2.) Buy waterproof tactical boots with zippers, not the water-resistant variation if you like in the wettest regions in the US.

2.) Zippers Can Corrode and Ruin the Look of The Boots

This, as we already mentioned, happens when the zipper is of cheap quality. Boots with zippers made of excellent anti-corrosive metals do not rust. They work smoothly and do not ruin the functionality of the boots either.

Overcoming this disadvantage:

1.) Buy tactical boots with high-quality anti-corrosive zippers only. 

2.) Don’t drag the zipper up and down unnecessarily. Every zipper comes with a maximum gliding capacity. As long as you handle it with care, it will last for years without causing any trouble. 

The bottom line is buying high-quality tactical boots with zippers so that you don’t have to face these problems at all.

How to Take Care of Tactical Boots With Zippers?

The ultimate truth about every boot is that if you won’t care for it, it will cause problems. Tactical boots with zippers are no different.

You have to care for them if you want them to last and offer the comfort they’re known for. Find out how you can do so in the upcoming section.

1.) Don’t pull the zipper very roughly. Applying unnecessary pressure on the zipper will break it. It might even cause damage to the gusset.

2.) Always use a light brush to clean the zipper after a long tiring day in the mud. Not cleaning dirt and debris will attract all sorts of microorganisms and that will damage more than just the zippers, it will damage the fabric of the boots too. 

3.) Don’t store the boots while the zipper is still wet. Don’t even zip up until the zipper and the gusset are completely dry. 

4.) Use a lubricant (even olive oil would do wonders) once in a while to keep the zipper in perfect shape. 

5.) There are special zipper cleaners available in the market. Using those will also keep the zipper working smoothly. 

Most importantly, don’t share your tactical boots with zippers with anybody else. Not all feet are the same size and not all calves or ankles are the same size either.

With a leg that’s thicker than yours, it will unnecessarily create a lot of force on the zipper that could ultimately snap and damage your boots. 

Best Tactical Boots With Zippers

1.) Men’s Military Tactical Work Boots with Side Zipper by NORTIV 8

These leather boots feature a high-quality rubber sole that’s slip-resistant and tear-resistant. The fabric of these boots is abrasion-resistant and oil-resistant. 

1.) The high-quality YKK zipper adds to the style quotient of these boots.

2.) They have an additional hook lock and strap closure to secure your feet firmly. 

3.) The insole is cushioned. Plus, it’s shock-absorbing. On top of everything, it’s removable!

4.) The midsole as well as outside are flexible. Hence, there’s no problem of foot fatigue even when you’re walking on uneven ground and tricky terrain.

5.) These tactical boots with a side zipper have been designed for all sorts of outdoor activities ranging from hiking to mountain climbing, and even dirt biking.

Cons: Some users have reported that the shoes run one size smaller. So, do check out the size chart provided by the manufacturers instead of buying one size up straightaway. 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2.) Men’s ATAC 2.0 8″ Tactical Storm Military Boots with a Side Zipper by 5.11

Sporting an Ortholite footbed that’s further supported by Achilles heel flex, these are one of the best industrial-grade tactical boots that are often used by the police force. 

1.) They are lightweight and yet, they offer stunning shock absorption.

2.) The BBP membrane of these tactical boots makes them waterproof. 

3.) They have a YKK side zipper deployed to keep the feet comfortable and mitigate friction.

4.) There’s a knife pocket added to these boots that makes them perfect for hikers and patrol police officers.

Cons: Their price is their only one con – that is if we are to mention it. However, with the kind of support and protection they offer (not to forget the durability), they’re a worthy purchase and they justify their price. 

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


Tactical boots with zippers are more comfortable, and easy to wear and remove too. Not only do they save time when you’re in a hurry to go outside, but they also ensure that your feet get a better comfortable grip.

The addition of a side zipper makes it easier to wear these boots for long journeys as well. The only precaution that you must practice is to buy tactical boots with high-quality YKK zippers only. 

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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