Modern policing is a complex job that needs a lot of flexibility from officers. The need to respond to the full spectrum of police tasks means that every time you walk out of your station, you need to be ready to handle routine patrolling, public order tasks or a major robbery. When the call comes in, you won’t have time to go back and get the gear you need, so you need to be prepared for anything. That means having equipment that can meet a wide range of demands, and one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need is decent boots.
Law enforcement boots have a lot in common with military ones. They need to be comfortable to wear for extended periods. They need to give the support your feet and ankles need under rough conditions. They need to protect you from the hazards your job attracts, and of course they need to meet your dress regulations.
There are some differences too, though. Military boots are usually optimized for marching while carrying a lot of weight. As a police officer, you’ll usually have a much lighter load. You need soles that can absorb impact but also keep your feet comfortable when you’re standing around for long periods. Uniform regulations mean you might need black boots too, while military boots are increasingly brown or sand colored. These factors mean that while a lot of military footwear is ideal, not all of it is.
The Best Police Boots Offer Support
So what are you looking for in the idea police boot? The first priority is support, so look for a boot that’s about 6 to 8 inches high. Try to find something relatively light, though. Because you won’t be carrying 100 pounds of gear, you don’t need the heavy construction found in a lot of modern combat boots, and a classic jump boot like the Corcoran models is ideal. Either leather or mixed leather and fabric construction is good, giving a professional appearance in a robust package. Side zips are also a great option – the first time you wear them you can take time to get the lacing just right, and after that you can use the zips to get them on and off quickly.
Don’t overlook comfort either. Good padding round the top will protect your ankles from fatigue, and a waterproof liner will avoid the misery of wet feet when you’re standing around in the rain. The Tactical Research Khyber is very popular with officers on foot patrol. If you opt for boots without waterproofing, make sure they can be proofed with a good leather or fabric compound.
The Best Police Boots Provide Traction
If you usually work in urban areas you need a sole that grips well on wet pavement or concrete. A lot of modern military soles are better in sand and loose soil, with large, open cleat patterns. These are great at what they’re designed for but on hard surfaces they can lose grip, so look for a tread with smaller elements. Reinforced, puncture-proof soles give valuable protection against hazards like broken glass and nails.
Tactical boot manufacturers are now starting to recognize the special requirements of law enforcement work and there are dedicated models appearing, like the SWAT Metro 9 inch boot. Some features you can find on these include protection against hazards that aren’t a major factor in combat but are often a day to day risk for police officers. Electrical insulation, resistance to blood-transmitted pathogens and reinforced toecaps will all help keep you safe on the job.
Any decent tactical boot should be adequate for law enforcement use, but it’s possible to do a lot better than adequate. Taking the time to find the right footwear will keep you comfortable and make you more efficient, and it could even save your life.