Military boots with side zips are becoming an increasingly popular footwear choice for both active duty personnel and civilians alike. If you’re wondering what makes these boots so versatile and functional, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Military side zip boots offer convenience and quick on/off capability thanks to their full length zipper on the inner or outer side. They provide ankle support, durability, and comfort for marching, outdoor activities, work, and everyday wear.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about military style side zip boots, including their key features and benefits, differences between inner and outer side zips, how to size and break them in properly, top rated brands that make them, and much more.

What Are Military Side Zip Boots?

Military side zip boots are a type of footwear specifically designed for military personnel. They are characterized by the presence of a zipper on either the inner or outer side of the boot, allowing for quick and easy on and off.

These boots are commonly used by soldiers, law enforcement officers, and other professionals who require durable and functional footwear.

Definition and Main Features

Military side zip boots are typically made from high-quality materials such as leather or synthetic fabrics. They are built to withstand harsh conditions and provide comfort and support during long hours of wear.

The main feature that sets these boots apart is the side zipper, which allows for rapid donning and doffing. This feature is particularly useful in emergency situations or when time is of the essence.

Additionally, military side zip boots often come with other features such as reinforced toes and heels for added protection, slip-resistant soles for improved traction, and moisture-wicking properties to keep the feet dry and comfortable.

Key Benefits and Advantages

Military side zip boots offer several benefits and advantages over traditional lace-up boots. One of the main advantages is the time-saving aspect. With side zip boots, soldiers and law enforcement officers can quickly put on or take off their boots, allowing them to respond to emergencies or change into civilian attire more efficiently.

Furthermore, the side zip closure provides a secure and snug fit, ensuring that the boots stay in place during physically demanding activities. This feature helps prevent blisters and discomfort caused by the boots rubbing against the feet.

Another advantage of military side zip boots is their versatility. They can be worn in various environments and climates, making them suitable for a wide range of missions and assignments.

Inner Side vs. Outer Side Zippers

There are two main types of military side zip boots based on the location of the zipper: inner side zip and outer side zip.

Inner side zip boots have the zipper positioned on the inside of the boot, close to the ankle. This design offers a sleek and streamlined appearance. It also provides better protection against water and debris entering the boot.

On the other hand, outer side zip boots have the zipper placed on the outside of the boot, typically along the calf or shin area. This design allows for easier access and quicker removal of the boots. It also provides a more adjustable fit as the tightness can be adjusted according to personal preference.

Ultimately, the choice between inner and outer side zip boots depends on individual preferences and specific requirements.

Top Rated Military Side Zip Boot Brands


Rothco is a popular brand known for its high-quality military gear and apparel. They offer a wide range of military side zip boots that are highly rated by professionals in the field. These boots are designed to provide maximum comfort and durability, making them suitable for long hours of wear.

Rothco boots are also known for their excellent traction, ensuring stability even in challenging terrains. Check out Rothco’s website for more information on their top-rated military side zip boots.


Belleville is another well-respected brand in the military footwear industry. Their military side zip boots are favored by many servicemen and women for their superior quality and performance. Belleville boots are designed to meet the rigorous demands of military operations, providing excellent protection and support.

These boots are also known for their exceptional comfort, allowing for long hours of wear without discomfort. Visit Belleville’s website to explore their top-rated military side zip boots.


Danner is a renowned brand that has been manufacturing high-quality boots for over 85 years. Their military side zip boots are highly regarded for their durability and reliability. Danner boots are made with premium materials and advanced construction techniques, ensuring long-lasting performance in various environments.

These boots are also known for their excellent ankle support and stability, making them ideal for demanding military operations. Discover more about Danner’s top-rated military side zip boots on Danner’s website.


Bates is a trusted brand that has been supplying military footwear for decades. Their military side zip boots are favored by professionals for their exceptional comfort and durability. Bates boots are designed to withstand the toughest conditions and provide reliable performance in the field.

These boots feature advanced technologies that offer superior shock absorption and support. If you’re looking for top-rated military side zip boots, make sure to check out Bates’ website.


Rocky is a well-known brand that has been producing high-quality military boots for years. Their military side zip boots are top-rated for their ruggedness and reliability. Rocky boots are designed to endure harsh conditions and provide maximum protection.

These boots are also known for their advanced comfort features, allowing for all-day wear without discomfort. If you’re in search of top-quality military side zip boots, be sure to explore Rocky’s website.


Magnum is a respected brand that specializes in tactical and military footwear. Their military side zip boots are highly rated for their exceptional performance and durability. Magnum boots are built to withstand the demands of military operations, offering superior protection and support.

These boots are also known for their lightweight design, allowing for agile movement. To find out more about Magnum’s top-rated military side zip boots, visit Magnum’s website.

How to Find the Right Size Military Side Zip Boots

Measure Your Feet

One of the first steps in finding the right size military side zip boots is to measure your feet accurately. This is important because having the wrong size can lead to discomfort and even foot problems.

To measure your feet, you can use a measuring tape or visit a shoe store where they have professional measuring tools. Measure the length of your foot from the heel to the longest toe and the width at the widest part of your foot. This will give you a starting point to find the right size.

Consult the Manufacturer’s Size Chart

Each manufacturer may have slightly different sizing guidelines for their military side zip boots, so it’s important to consult the manufacturer’s size chart. This chart will provide specific measurements for each size, allowing you to compare them to your own foot measurements.

Keep in mind that sizes can vary between brands, so it’s always best to refer to the manufacturer’s chart for accurate sizing.

Consider Factors Like Weight of Socks

When choosing the right size military side zip boots, it’s important to consider factors like the weight of the socks you will be wearing. Thicker socks may require a slightly larger boot size to accommodate the extra padding.

If you plan on wearing multiple pairs of socks or adding insoles, you may also need to go up a size. It’s always better to have a little extra room in the boot rather than having them too tight and causing discomfort.

Remember, finding the right size military side zip boots is crucial for comfort and performance. By measuring your feet accurately, consulting the manufacturer’s size chart, and considering factors like sock weight, you can ensure a proper fit that will last throughout your military service or outdoor adventures.

How to Break In and Care for Your Side Zip Boots

Side zip boots are a popular choice for military personnel due to their convenience and ease of use. However, like any new pair of boots, they require a break-in period to ensure optimal comfort and performance. Here are some tips on how to break in and care for your side zip boots:

1. Wear Them Around the House

One of the best ways to break in your side zip boots is to wear them around the house for short periods of time. This will allow your feet to adjust to the boots and help soften the leather. Gradually increase the duration of wear until you feel comfortable wearing them for extended periods.

2. Use Boot Stretchers or Shoe Trees

If your side zip boots feel tight in certain areas, consider using boot stretchers or shoe trees. These devices can help expand the leather and alleviate any discomfort. Simply insert the stretchers or trees into your boots overnight or for a few days to achieve a more customized fit.

3. Apply Leather Conditioners

Leather conditioners are essential for maintaining the quality and longevity of your side zip boots. They help moisturize the leather, preventing it from drying out and cracking. Apply a small amount of conditioner to a clean cloth and gently rub it into the boots.

Allow the conditioner to absorb for a few minutes before wiping off any excess.

4. Waterproofing Treatments

To protect your side zip boots from moisture and prolong their lifespan, consider applying a waterproofing treatment. These treatments create a barrier that repels water and prevents it from seeping into the leather.

Follow the instructions on the product carefully and reapply as necessary, especially if you frequently expose your boots to wet or snowy conditions.

5. Regular Cleaning and Polishing

Keeping your side zip boots clean and polished not only enhances their appearance but also helps maintain their durability. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove dirt and debris from the boots, paying attention to the crevices and zipper.

Then, apply a shoe polish that matches the color of your boots, buffing it in with a clean cloth for a shiny finish.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your side zip boots are broken in properly and well-maintained for long-lasting wear. Remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific care instructions for your particular boots.

Now, you’re ready to step out in style and comfort with your military side zip boots!

Are Military Side Zip Boots Right for You?

When it comes to choosing the right boots for military or tactical use, there are a plethora of options available. One popular choice among servicemen and women is the military side zip boot. These boots are designed with convenience and functionality in mind, offering quick on and off access with the help of a side zipper.

However, before you invest in a pair of these boots, it’s important to assess your needs and preferences to determine if they are the right choice for you.

Assessing Your Needs and Preferences

One of the first things to consider is the specific requirements of your job or activity. Military side zip boots are often favored by those in law enforcement or military roles that require rapid response times.

They allow for easy and quick removal when needed, making them ideal for situations that may demand a quick change of footwear. Additionally, if you find yourself frequently needing to put on and take off your boots throughout the day, such as in training exercises or patrols, the convenience of side zip boots can be a major advantage.

Another factor to consider is your personal preference for comfort and fit. While side zip boots can offer convenience, they may not fit everyone’s feet as well as traditional lace-up boots. It’s important to try on different styles and brands to find the right fit for you.

Additionally, if you have any specific foot conditions or require orthotic support, it’s important to ensure that the side zip boots you choose can accommodate these needs.

When to Wear Them

Military side zip boots are versatile and can be worn in a variety of situations. They are particularly useful in urban environments, where quick movements may be necessary. For example, during urban warfare or SWAT operations, side zip boots can provide a tactical advantage by allowing for swift and silent movement.

Additionally, these boots are often worn during training exercises, outdoor activities, and even everyday wear for those who appreciate their convenience.

Potential Drawbacks to Consider

While military side zip boots offer many advantages, it’s important to consider some potential drawbacks. One concern is the durability of the side zipper. Although most manufacturers use high-quality zippers, there is still a risk of the zipper breaking or malfunctioning over time.

It’s important to choose a reputable brand and take proper care of your boots to minimize this risk.

Another consideration is the lack of adjustability in the fit. Unlike lace-up boots, side zip boots offer limited adjustability in terms of tightness. This may be a concern for those with narrow or wide feet who require a customized fit.

Additionally, if you often need to adjust the tightness of your boots throughout the day, side zip boots may not be the best option.

Ultimately, whether military side zip boots are right for you depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the demands of your job or activities. Make sure to consider all the factors mentioned above before making your decision.

Remember, comfort and functionality should be the top priorities when choosing your footwear.


Military side zip boots offer unrivaled convenience thanks to their signature full length zipper on the side. This makes them easy to take on and off in a hurry. Beyond that key feature, they provide versatility, durability, ankle stability, and comfort across many situations from outdoor adventures to work environments.

With knowledge of the top brands, sizing guidance, break-in tips, and care instructions, you’ll be able to find the right tactical side zip boots to suit your needs. So consider adding a pair of these multi-purpose boots with their iconic zippered side to your footwear arsenal.

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