If you’re employed at law enforcement or correctional department facility, you’re probably used to being on your feet. Things can happen at a moment’s notice and leave you in situations that require safety attire to be worn. Personal protective equipment often focuses on the upper portions of the body, such as the torso and head. This isn’t to say that your footwear is any less important.
In fact, some of the most common injuries among police are foot sprains. Below are ten of the best correctional officer boots you’ll find, of which are specifically made for anyone that works in a field that involves security duties. After the reviews, you can read the Buyer’s Guide to help you pick the right pair for the shape of your foot. The top two best brands cited in the conclusion.
Top 10 Best Boots For Correctional Officers Reviewed
|Danner Acadia Boots|
|Bates Men's GX-8 Ultra-Lites GTX Waterproof Boot|
|5.11 ATAC 8 Inches Men's Boot|
For flat feet
|Smith & Wesson Breach 2.0 Tactical Side Zip Boots|
|Under Armour Men's Valsetz Rts 1.5 Military and Tactical Boot|
|Belleville TR960ZWP Tactical Research Khyber Lightweight Black Side-Zip Boot|
For combat training
|Danner Tachyon Duty Boots|
For sensitive feet
|Rocky RKC 50 Military and Tactical Boots|
|Original SWAT Classic Side Zip Work Boots|
|Bates Ultra Lites Tactical Sport Side Zip Boots|
So, what makes the Danner Arcadia 8″ Gore-Tex line so special? Gore-Tex, of course. That means it’s 100% water-proof, guaranteed by the Gore Company. What else makes the Arcadia really nice is this Vibram sole. This is probably the bounciest Vibram sole that I’ve ever tried on, and have seen others put on and been, like, “Wow, that’s bouncy.”
The Danner Acadia Boots manage to combine most of the qualities that one looks for in a heavy duty pair of boots. It will cling to surfaces without moving on its own. And the break will be over almost faster than it starts. Just place your foot in, walk around for an hour at the most, and you’ll be ready to go.
Now, since it’s Danner, you can tell it’s got that lace-to-toe all the way up, so they’re bringing it back down. They’re making sure you get a nice secure fit. Yes, it’s American-made. Danner mixes together some of the nicest, softest, oil tan leathers, with a thousand Denier nylon on the ankle and the forefoot. Adding that with that Gore-Tex is going to make this a real nice warm-weather boot.
Now, who did Danner have in mind on this boot? Well, of course, officers, law enforcement, tactical, or just guys who love a nice 8″ black waterproof boot.
You know it is Danner, so it’s a complete sew-down weld all the way around, which means this boot is re-craftable, re-solable. That’s right. You can send it back to Danner, and they’ll put new soles on it. For a price, of course.
Danner sends along with these things. Danner Orthotics. These go inside the boot, the left, and the right. What they do is they allow you to push air inside your boot, and keep air moving around. Now, since it’s a Gore-Tex line, that means it’s 100% waterproof. Nothing gets in, nothing gets out.
But it does breathe and it’s a little bit harder sometimes with a Gore-Tex boot that has Cordura and leather mixed together to get that moisture to push out. So, by creating these, Danner has basically created a balancing system that pushes air inside the boot, keeping the environment nice and comfortable inside your boot.
The Bates GX-8 takes waterproof to the next level when you’re on your feet. If your duties require you to be outside while on the job, moisture will never get into the interior while you’re wearing them, even if your feet are moderately sweaty.
So, at first glance, when you see this, what do you think? Combat boot. Of course. All technical boots are based on that basic idea from the Vietnam era jungle boot. That narrow front and what not. When I showed this to a lot of customers they say, “Oh, but the tip’s so pointy.” Well, it’s a tactical boot. You try climbing a fence with a Timberland Boondock or that big toe on the front, that ain’t working. This toe slides right into the fence nicely, allows you to get over the fence and get whoever it is you’re chasing.
Now this boot, thinsulated. Insulated. Yes, that’s right. A tactical boot that’s insulated. Only has 400 grams of Thinsulate ultra lite, which is fine, that’s great. 400 grams is a lot. It’s like packing a wool sock into this boot. You already got one wool sock on, and you got another one that’s built into the boot.
It also has Gore-Tex, true Gore-Tex, so when this says waterproof, it’s 100% guaranteed waterproof. That’s a good thing. Now if you still think that Gore-Tex is insulation, let me stop you right there. Gore-Tex is a fabric. It’s a membrane that’s built into the boot that allows moisture from outside not to penetrate, but allows the moisture inside the shoe, to evaporate out through a porous system. It’s quite interesting, if you ever get the chance, just look it up online, Google it, Wikipedia. Do whatever you need. But let’s get back to the boot.
So it’s beautiful. The heel’s reinforced. It’s got a beautiful, beautiful Bates sole with these little nipples in the center for traction and all this good tough rubber on the outside. It’s a dual density sole. It’s got a little bit of a soft EVA built into the heel here for impact, pretty nice. The zipper, since it’s an eight-inch boot, technically you could tie this boot once and never tie it again with that side zipper. But more than likely you’re going to have to wear this for a real-world application, so you’re going to have to tie it up in different ways for whatever it is you’re going for.
Now, having Gore-Tex in a boot is really important, but something else that’s really important, and Bates does not skimp on it at all, are they put in this beautiful EVA insole. And it’s shaped. It’s got an arch-shaped in, and it’s got a deep heel cup-shaped into the boot. Which coincides with what’s going on inside the boot. A very well engineered boot for correctional officer.
Outside of that, I can’t find any faults in this boot. I’ve been selling it for a while now, and everybody who puts it on, if they’re looking for this kind of boot, they fall in love with this boot, and they come back for it again and again.
The 5.11 ATAC is unique in a way that allows it to be used for either professional duties or in the most rugged and hard terrain that you can think of. The zippers that are placed on the side will get you in and out in seconds, and you might end up falling into the habit of not tying up the laces at all.
There shouldn’t be any issues if you’re going to be walking on tile or concrete.
The Smith and Wesson Breach 2.0 has outstanding tread patterns at the bottom and will make your foot lock on the ground until you’re ready to move. It ranks as one of the best for airflow and will keep sweaty feet dry nearly all of the time.
The Under Armour Valsetz is the boot that’s best for correctional officers that spend most of their time in the office, but may sporadically need to perform physical security work. You may not want them on if you’re prone to foot injuries near the toes though, as the guard isn’t very strong. But they should last a while if the seams stay glued to the portions that meet each layer, which might be easy for you to notice.
The Belleville Khyber maintains a great looking exterior on the sides and shaft, something that gives it a weatherproof shield but isn’t entirely moisture free. There are a lot of likable attributes regardless, the best of that being the ability to jog or event sprint in the boots without feeling fatigued. But prepare yourself for a long break in. Try them out if you’re job has you doing lots of things that necessitate running and/or fast-paced activities.
Another Danner pair, the Tachyon almost feels like something you wouldn’t want to take with you at work. You can do this, but ensure that you have backup boots in case something tears.
The Rocky Rkc050 is made for anyone that loves good ankle support in their boots. The pain won’t develop along the joints of your feet and padding improves as they conform to its shape. But if you like for your footwear to look new for as long as possible, you could end up disappointed since the outside material ages fast and permanently holds stains. Still, after a long day of work, your boot’s markings will probably become an afterthought if they work at keeping your feet pain free.
The Original S.W.A.T. is zippered and makes work in cold settings very pleasant. No longer will you have to put up with sliding on the icy ground or concrete; the boots will hold their position on most frozen surfaces.
And best of all, the zippers won’t get stuck when dirt is caught in between the teeth.
The Bates Ultra-Lites take equip speed very seriously, making it easy for you to put them on, even if the laces are tied tightly. They are also lightweight, which is a little surprising when judging them off looks alone.
They look and feel well in the areas that aren’t close to the shaft, and will get you through multiple workdays without tearing up too fast.
Before you go to the conclusion, here’s some information that could help you from stepping into a sole that isn’t like anything you anticipated. To ensure that your feet will be comfortable when the boots are on, check out the buyer’s information below to shorten up the list of brands that have caught your attention.
Make Sure that the Boots Won’t Slip
Have you ever worn footwear that seemed to change with the weather? It’s a very annoying conundrum that not only put you at risk of falling but foot injuries as well. Boots are sometimes no different, especially the lower quality varieties being sold to consumers. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for less, particularly if you’re a law enforcement officer. You want to be sure that your best correctional officer boots will get you through your shift, no matter if it’s rain, sleet, snow, or indoors. In order for this to happen, always check the tread for areas that you think will become a problem later when you’re outside. You can do this by taking note of any portions that you think could use more gaps, or areas that seem to not have a deep enough depth.
What You should know About Size
Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do when looking for any new pair of footwear is to check if the sizing is accurate to what your average shoe size. This can sometimes be hard to tell right away, especially when certain boots that you think won’t fit anywhere near the level that you would expect them to fit snugly. Although it’s not always a common issue with correctional boots, you should still keep this in mind and compare any brand to your own foot measurements. Look at both length and width too, particularly if you have a wider than average arch. And don’t be afraid to go up a size if you need to. Or, maybe you won’t have to change any sizes at all! Some sizes with naturally feel tight no matter what, that is, until the break-in period is over.
Is Water Resistance Really Resistant?
Water can be a boot’s greatest enemy. But why is this? What makes liquid wear down footwear so quickly? Water, especially groundwater, can contain lots of minerals and salts that will gradually break down the boots that you wear. In some cases, this could take years (usually higher quality boots) but in others, the wear may show up quickly, possibly even before the warranty date is reached. That’s why it’s important to know the differences between weatherproof, water resistant, and waterproof boots. The fist is usually arbitrary and is sometimes used as a marketing tool for some footwear brands to show that it will make your feet a little warm in the winter, or keep small amounts of moisture out.
Other times, it could be exactly what it says. Water resistance implies better blockage of liquid along the sides and tread of the footwear, but not enough to where you’ll be able to walk on poor ground without getting your socks wet. Waterproof, on the other hand, usually means that your boots will be well protected from all elements involving moisture, whether it be rain or crossing small puddles during your security details. The majority of the products shown in the reviews do contain waterproof material though, so don’t fret over this feature too much unless it’s description indicates a flaw in its protection.
Correctional Duties and Your Boots
Assuming you’re active while at work, remember that your boots will be what comes into contact with the ground or floors that you walk on. From this, look for boots that not only will keep you well protected on the outside, but inside as well. That means to check whether or not the insoles will need to be replaced early in the footwear’s lifetime, or looking at the material quality that sits along the portions that will support your ankles. The worst looking boots could be the one that’s the best for your feet in some situations; you don’t always need to make appearances a top priority.
When to go Heavy or Light
If you have had problems with heavy boots before, you may want to stay away from those that weight in excess of four pounds or more in total. Even still, there are times in which you would be well-served to adapt to heavier footwear, and security duties could be just the occasion that warrants such a change. That doesn’t mean that you must get the biggest and bulkiest boots in the reviews, but it could help prevent injuries from happening. Lightweight boots, while more comfortable, aren’t always great in terms of longevity and varied ground conditions. Go with what you think is best, but always keep safety in mind when you finalize your choice.
All About Socks
Socks are nearly as important as the boots themselves during shift hours, whereby a thin pair could leave your feet cooler but at times make your body feel colder than it would have been if you used a pair with thicker stitching. Some boots are better suited for thin or thick socks also. The best way to tell is by the material and size. Lightweight boots may feel better on your feet with fabric that’s thinner, but heavy duty brands might work better with something that will add a little padding to your step. If you end up with a pair that has thin insoles, the thicker socks may make your steps a little easier.
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t know before any other tips, it’s to always go with the pair of boots that you think is best for you. You know your feet better than anyone else, and your buying decision should reflect that. Nevertheless, there are two boots on the list that will help any correctional officer get through a long workday with their feet feeling great and lessen the chances of common injuries. The Danner Acadia and Bates GX-8 are top-of-the-line for durability, comfort, and tread strength. They will also blend with most blue or black uniforms. But do look into the others before you decide on one, however. The remaining eight are great boots too, and should not be ignored. Once you know what brand you want for your job, take note to see if there’s an alternative listed that you think may perform well for other duties outside of the correctional facility.