When it comes to your feet, you need boots capable of meeting certain standards. While the matter of keeping feet dry and protected from the elements is always important, there are also matters related to performing specific tasks that you need to consider as a tactical professional. For instance, running is a task where the type of footwear can make or break your overall performance. Here are a few things to look for when trying to find the best tactical boots for running.

1. Fit

One of the most important elements of finding the best tactical boots for running is to consider the fit. This isn’t about finding the right size in terms of what you wear in regular off-duty footwear. The fit is about how well the shoe molds to your foot. For instance, you don’t want too much wiggle room in the toes, but you don’t want the toes to feel cramped either. For the heel, you want to make sure it is tightly modeled to the foot, so you are steady when you dig your heels in to run but not so tight that it is uncomfortable to wear. Remember, when you run the entire foot is engaged at one point or another so making sure the fit feels right is paramount to success.

2. Traction

Another important aspect of finding the best tactical boots for running is the matter of traction. Since you will likely run over several types of terrain over the life of the boots, such as grass, mud, concrete, and sand, the matter of traction can’t be stressed enough. Without the right level of traction, you will struggle to attain movement and speed, to say nothing of being able to stop on a short notice. When looking at traction for a new pair of combat boots, look for deeper grooves over shallow grooves, quality rubbers or other specially formulated materials, and more V-shaped lines over straighter lines.

3. Support

When it comes to support, your feet will pay the price without it, as well as your joints over time. For this area of boot consideration, you want to keep in mind that you can add insoles later to the inside of the boot for added support, but you should keep in mind how this may alter the fit. The best bet is to choose a pair of boots that offers built-in cushioning for adequate support. You should also consider the use of EVA midsoles and insoles because they provide better than average shock absorption and cushioning for your feet.

4. Flexibility

When we talk about flexibility in a tactical boot, we are talking about how easy it is to get the boot to move with your feet. For instance, when you run, your shoe needs to have a little more give to it or flexibility rather than rigidity that doesn’t move with your movement. While part of this is simply breaking the boot in over time, you also want to make sure you have an adequate range of motion from the start. When shopping for the boot, test out how it withstands moves with different movements to see if it will be too rigid for your needs.