TACTICAL GEAR: Do You Really Need a Pair of Boots That Last For Years?


My boots have lasted 20 years! so what if they smell like a dead cat + a taco bell restaurant that's on fire

I was recently in the market for a pair of combat style boots in anticipation of heading back to the Middle East. So I decided to ask around to my buddies and see what the ‘latest and greatest’ ninja boot was.

No matter what brand they suggested the one common denominator was “dude, XYZ Brand will last for years” or “ZYX Logger Boots will last for 20 years”. From as far back as I can remember it seems that the lifespan of boots has always been an important factor whenever people talk about choosing boots.

Personally I don’t want a pair of 10 year old boots sitting in my house, after that amount of time they would probably smell like a dead body. Plus its not like my old boots are going to be some sort of family heirloom, I just need my feet not to be naked.

Back in the day when I first started wearing combat style boots for work I would always rotate them out every year. So ever since then my only concern when buying boots was “will they last a year?” and “how much?” – I actually don’t like wearing boots at all; I think they are uncomfortable regardless of the brand.

I can see buying a pair of boots that last for 10 years if you are a logger in Canada or a cowboy of something. Not really so much if you are wearing then everyday wile working in the Middle East. Mostly because they will be nasty after a year (well, for me they will be nasty) so spending 400 bucks on a top brand of logger boots just doesn’t make sense to me.

Anyway, I ended up going with the same model and brand I wore the last time I was in Iraq - so I basically wasted everyone’s time. If anything, I am a creature of habit when it comes to gear and guns (I am the guy with a 1911 in a sea of Glocks).

Converse Side zip Tactical Boots
Converse Side zip Tactical Boots

Converse Side zip Tactical Boots

I didn’t even know that Converse made military boots until I saw them in the PX a few years ago. Normally I never buy boots at the PX, but I had to have a pair of Desert Tan combat boots that I could wear with ACU’s that day (long story).

I have been a Chucks fan since I was a kid so I figured that Converse combat boots must be a good boot. They were also the only brand in my size.

Things I like about this boot:

- The ankle is very stiff, even after wearing for a year. I have problems with my ankles from playing soccer back in high school so I need solid ankle support especially when wearing full battle rattle.

- Side Zip I used to think guys who bought side-zipper boots were lazy people, after putting on these boots in 2 seconds for the first time I swore I would never go back to lace-ups again. I am a side-zip guy for life now; I think it is the greatest invention since online porn.

- They Look Cool Sure looks isn’t supposed to matter when choosing functional gear but hey, if you can get a good product and it looks groovy then why not right?

- The Price is Right The Converse Side zip Tactical Boots cost 99 bucks, not cheap but not too bad. Considering that I wore them for 12 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for a year and they were still in good shape I say they are a deal.

- They feel like tennis shoes Besides the stiffness in the body the shoe part itself feels like a tennis shoe, not too tight but snug fitting enough to keep your foot in place.

The only fault with these boots is the stiffness, they are very stiff and they never really loosen up much. For me that was a plus because of my ankles, for other people it might be uncomfortable.

If you are looking for a pair of good boots and you aren’t concerned with them lasting for 5 years the 99 dollar Converse Side zip Tactical Boots are a good choice.


James G. + Iraq + Forced to wear ACU’s = Had to buy a pair of damn desert Tan combat boots


~James G Founder - Editor in Chief

James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.