Military boots aren't all just black combat boots that enlisted men and women, as well as gothic style teenagers, wear. They can be made from mesh. They can be camel colored. In some cases, they have straps instead of shoelaces. Some even have metal plates in the sole to protect soldiers from traps. Any of the boots below have the option of having a steel toe. The steel toe option is great for those working with heavy or sharp objects, just like in a construction or factory environment.
Basic Training Boots
These are the boots that probably come to mind when you hear the words "military boots." They're the traditional black boots with an all leather upper and hard sole. The sole's actually so hard and uncomfortable, it takes a few weeks after they're issued to get them broken in. These are the generic "combat boots" we've all seen and heard of.
With the help of insoles, this type of military boots can actually become rather comfortable. Make sure, if you're actually going into basic training, that you learn to shine them before you get there. They'll expect them to be perfect there and cause you great grief if you aren't getting it right! Those babies better shine.
These boots are actually made from very little leather. Usually, the toe and heel are the only leather parts. The rest of the shoe's upper is generally made from mesh. This offers a ventilation system in hot climates, plus the ability for your socks and feet to dry easily in a wet environment.
These military boots were created for the soldiers during Vietnam. They have a steel plate installed in the sole, which was originally to protect the soldiers from punji stake traps in the jungles of Vietnam. Now, however, the jungle boots for front-line men and women have changed from the black used in the Vietnam War, to a lighter tan color.
The jungle boot style can be made into a cold weather boot. The mesh is still intact, but there's a layer of insulation and moisture-wicking material between the outside of the boot and your socks.
Just as the name suggests, the jump boots of the military boots world are made for jumping from planes. These shoes lace up and offer excellent ankle support compared to other types. For an idea of what jump boots look like, think of the shoes popular among the gothic youth. They're wearing highly modified versions of the jump boot. These are also the military boots frequently worn by military personnel in parades.
Jump boots are available in cold weather and desert versions, which come complete with additional insulation. They are available in tan suede (desert) or black leather/mesh (cold weather).
Instead of shoelaces, tanker boots have leather straps that wrap around the ankle area. These are for men who spend quite a bit of time driving tanks, as the name suggests. There are pros and cons to this type of military boots. They're easier to remove and allow for better circulation than their eyelet counterparts. They also provide excellent protection against chemicals. The downside, however, is the lack of ankle support they provide.