Combat Boot Selection Tips

Selecting the best combat boot for your particular military application is not as easy as it seems. Technology in footwear design today has come a long way since the World War I Army Infantry Boot, initially constructed from a canvas cloth joint stiched to a leather cutout sole. We are fortunate that today’s advanced combat footwear offers the best qualities to date in comfort, performance, and durability. In today’s combat boot market, there are dozens of footwear options and features to choose from, everything from composite safety toes to Gore-Tex moisture wicking linings. It’s important to know what qualities to look for in ensuring you obtain the best combat boots for you particular biomechanics and military or tactical application.


The most important quality in a combat boot is adequate sole support and cushioning. The midsole is essentially the “heart” of a boot and responsible for this function. Midsole’s today are typically constructed from lightweight foam, rubber, or a combination of the two.

Polyurethane or PU is the densest, most durable and stable foam midsole material. It provides maximum cushioning and support and is a highly resilient material so it readily retains its original shape after being compressed. However, it is also one of the heaviest materials. Boots featuring polyurethane midsoles also provide maximum arch support since they tend to flex less than other midsole materials. This is an ideal material for those with flat feet, arch problems, or planar fasciatis. Polyurethane is extremely durable. It is an ideal material for combat footwear that is used during long duty shifts, marching, or standing.

EVA is a flexible, lightweight foam midsole material. It provides high levels of cushioning, ideal for repeated hard impacts such as running or jumping. Over many months, EVA does eventually compress as air bubbles are squeezed out so it does not return to its original shape. Thus, combat boots made with EVA wear out faster than those made from other midsole materials. EVA is the material typically used in high-performance running shoes for its extremely lightweight and flexible qualities. It is ideal for combat or tactical footwear that requires speed or high levels of shock or impact.

Heel & Ankle Support

Maximum heel and ankle support should also be a top consideration but depends on the type of boot application. Most top brand cold weather combat boots are going to have adequate heel and ankle support. Hot weather combat boots using mainly Cordura nylon for their uppers construction are not going to provide as much support. One way to maximize heel and ankle support is to select a boot with a large profile outsole as opposed to a low-profile combat or tactical boot. This will provide a larger heel cup and maximize stability to keep your ankle from rolling to the side.

Ventilation & Moisture Wicking

For maximum comfort during extended wear, look for footwear with moisture wicking linings such as Gore-Tex. Besides comfort, it is important to keep your feet dry to help combat fungus and infection while in the field. Gore-Tex is a remarkable product that brings moisture from the inside of the boot to the outer layer for evaporation. This is a critical feature necessary for the care and maintenance of your feet. Another feature that manufacturers have added to combat and tactical boots is air vents for maximum ventilation. Look for these features to ensure that your feet remain dry and comfortable.


The insole is the interior surface of the boot that contacts the sole of the foot. When selecting an insole, it is important to look for maximum support and cushioning. High quality insoles use a molded plastic skeleton that provides structural support for the sole of the foot. This includes an arch support, a heel cup, and adequate heel and forefoot padding. Some cheaply made boots will provide a thin felt cutout as the insole which provides almost nothing in terms of foot support. For maximum performance, these insoles should be replaced with a high quality aftermarket insole such as Superfeet. Many top manufacturers are now including high quality molded insoles as standard with their boots.


GORE-TEX® is a high performance, waterproof and breathable fabric used on combat boot uppers. Gore-Tex provides moisture protection from entering the inside of the boot even in the wettest conditions. Another feature of this fabric is the ability to wick moisture from the inside layer of the lining to the outside layer where the moisture can to evaporate. Gore-Tex also provides breathability to minimize wetness when sweating from the inside of the boot.

Care & Maintenance: Keep the fabric clean of dirt and sweat which will disallow the Gore-Tex pores to bring moisture to the outer layer for evaporation. For cleaning, use a very light soapy water solution and lightly brush the surface of the Gore-Tex fabric. When dirt is loose, rinse and allow Gore-Tex to dry. Both wear and cleaning of Gore-Tex fabric does eventually diminish the moisture wicking properties of the fabric.


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VIBRAM® is the world's leader in outsoles for high performance footwear and boots. They are made of 100% rubber, slip and oil resistant, long wearing and easily re-soleable. Dozens of Vibram outsole patterns are used in the various combat and tactical boot models that we carry, each manufactured using the latest designs and best compounds for their specific use.

The VIBRAM® Sierra outsole is designed to perform in diverse and rugged terrain. Its unique design and placement of lugs provide maximum traction on a multitude of terrains. Multi-directional lug pattern provides maximum edging capabilty for stopping, pushing-off, and stability. The Sierra ladder grip lugs for rapelling, gripping on roots, branches, etc.

The VIBRAM® Fire & Ice outsole is designed for use in cold climates. The Fire & Ice outsole compound combines heat resistance of the VIBRAM®  FIRE compound with the slip resistance of the VIBRAM® DRI-ICE compound, for an even higher level of performance and durability. The DRI-ICE compound helps prevent slippage in icy conditions while maintaining its flexibility in freezing temperatures.   This premium outsole is ideal in cold, wet and icy conditions when superior traction is essential.

The VIBRAM® Chevron sole is designed for maximum slip resistance in demanding environments ranging from ship decks to asphalt tarmacs.

The VIBRAM® Ripple

The VIBRAM® Ananasi


MeraMax soleIntroducing our newest addition to our Sole System - MeraMax® by Meramec:

  • Industrial Strength Polyurethane - Exceptional Durability
  • The Ultimate in Abrasion Resistance
  • Oil-Resistant - Non-Marking
  • Shock Absorbent
  • Superior Cold Weather Performance
  • Excellent Slip Resistance
  • Strong Midsole Bond to Upper
  • Tread design promotes excellent traction and is self cleaning


CORDURA® is a high performance nylon fabric developed by Dupont. It is designed to be resistant to cuts, tears, and abrasions. CORDURA® is an ideal fabric for use in military footwear due to its exceptional strength to weight ratio and breathability, ideal for use in hot weather environments. It is typically used in the construction of combat and tactical boot uppers, along with leather or suede. CORDURA® is not damaged by sun, ozone, or weather. It will however, readily damage other fabrics that it comes into contact with. CORDURA® does not require any cleaning or maintenance.



This original "warmth without bulk" product was developed specifically for footwear. With its micro fibers trapping and holding body heat, THINSULATE™ maintains warmth even in damp conditions. Not only is it exceptionally thin, but is also extremely lightweight and durable.


NOMEX® fiber material provides outstanding heat and flame resistance which cannot be washed out or worn away. NOMEX® offers not only thermal protection, but is exceptionally light weight too.


Each of our high clearance steel toes meet ASTM F2412-05 and F2413-05 standards. Design extras such as padding under and around the steel toe and our Flange-Anchored construction provide increased comfort and safety.


We only use the finest quality full-grain cattlehide leather in all of our boots. This durable leather is engineered for superior breathability and long lasting wear.


Made with pure silver, X-STATIC® silver coated fiber lining is designed to eliminate microbes, neutralize odor and regulate body temperature. The hotter and wetter an environment becomes, the more effective X-STATIC® becomes. X-STATIC® is also permanent and its performance does not diminish over time.

Sole System Construction

Boots Built for Today's Missions

Belleville continues to be a leader in research and development of new boot technologies by investing heavily in cutting edge, computer driven technology that allows us to make footwear that looks like a boot, but feels like a running shoe. Belleville's ability to quickly adapt and respond to the frequently changing boot performance needs of the U.S. Armed Forces has earned us the reputation of excellence in product quality, on-time delivery and, superior customer service.

Belleville continues to take big strides every day to ensure our footwear is of the hightest quality as we look to expand our already vast presence in the military market. Meeting our customers needs and expectations will be the forefront of future challenges as we continue to make extremely durable and comfortable boots that are ready for wear when you are ready for battle.

Just take a look at our running shoe sole system construction:

The VANGUARD® Sole System provides a high performance, premium cushioning experience which distributes impact from heel to toe just like your favorite running shoe. This construction combines a thick polyurethane cushion midsole with a durable VIBRAM® premium rubber outsole. The outcome is second-to-none in Military Boot Construction - optimum cushioning and excellent tread durability.


MeraMax soleIntroducing the newest addition to our Sole System - MeraMax® by Meramec:

  • Industrial Strength Polyurethane - Exceptional Durability
  • The Ultimate in Abrasion Resistance
  • Oil-Resistant - Non-Marking
  • Shock Absorbent
  • Superior Cold Weather Performance
  • Excellent Slip Resistance
  • Strong Midsole Bond to Upper
  • Tread design promotes excellent traction and is self cleaning