Men’s combat boots have an interesting history. The most famous brand is, of course, Dr. Martens (colloquially known as “Doc Martens”). The hard leather lace-up boot with its famously comfortable soles were first popular with German housewives in the late 1940s, but you’ll find them inside every hipster’s closet in 2020. Dr. Martens are universally recognized as the best combat boots for men and women, but they aren’t your only option.
Dr. Martens combat boots first appeared on the British fashion scene in 1960, and they became the favored footwear of workmen and skinheads. Then they were adopted by the Punk movement in the 1970s before they became the footwear of choice for 1990s Grunge rockers.
Today, Dr. Marten’s combat boots are a fashion staple and not simply a symbol of rebellion or rock n’ roll. Pharrell Williams even wore a pair when he received his honorary doctorate from NYU in 2017. Stylish men’s combat boots can be found in zillions of colors and fabrics, and it seems that almost every menswear designer has at least one or two men’s combat boots in their repertoire.
Men’s Combat Boot Profile
What the heck is a combat boot anyway? A combat boot (usually) sits on a thick rubber or crepe outsole. It is a lace-up shoe and the boot’s shaft ends a little over the ankle. Traditionally made from hard, durable leather or canvas, you can find them in suede, nylon, cotton and any combination of those fabrics. This durable military-style boot is designed to provide excellent traction and ankle support.
How To Wear a Men’s Combat Boot
The easiest way to style men’s combat boots is to wear them with dark blue or black jeans. Since many combat boots’ uppers look like oxfords, brogues or lace-ups, you can sneak them into offices that accept more casual attire. While the iconic Dr. Martens combat boot comes in a dark color like black or burgundy, you can now find men’s combat boots in a wide variety of colors and prints.
Wear dressier combat boots with cleanly tailored twill or cotton-blend trousers. On the weekend, they easily go with jeans and a button-down shirt or graphic t-shirt.
Keep reading to see our favorite men’s combat boots for sale right now.
1. Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boots
This is the classic Doc Martens men’s combat boot. When someone says, “Doc Martens,” this is the boot they’re talking about. Named after its debut date (April 1, 1960), this lace-up style’s been worn by everyone from The Sex Pistols to your next-door neighbor. It has 8-eyes, yellow topstitching, and the famous air-wave, air-cushioned sole. Shown here in “Cherry Red,” these classic boots also come in nine other shades.
2. Aquatalia Fernando Combat Boot
Italian brand Aquatalia creates fashionable footwear that’s waterproof or water-resistant. Fernando’s a futuristic-looking mix of combat and hiking boot. The outer is a combo of tech details and leather. The inner is lined in neoprene and has a leather padded insole. And, as we would expect from the best combat boots for men, they’re totally waterproof.
3. Prada Men’s Nylon Inset Leather Boots
Trust Miuccia Prada to tweak a classic style. Atop a funky lug sole this calf and nylon combat boot has a sleek vamp, so it can masquerade as a lace-up shoe for work. The padded footbed ensures all-day comfort, but that’s not really the point of $900 designer combat boots, is it?.
4. Pajar Men’s Combat Boots Rocky
BEST FOR ANY WEATHER
This men’s combat boot is office-friendly and can be either laced-up or zipped. The vintage style leather upper sits on a thermal rubber outsole that’s non-skid and slip-resistant. Canadian brand Pajar made its reputation creating footwear that can be worn during arctic blasts, and this combat boot is cold rated to -13 degrees.
5. Grenson Fred Brogue Boots
BEST FOR THE OFFICE
If you want to show off your fashion bona fides, then you need a pair of brogue boots in your fashion rotation. So up your style game with these office-friendly lace-up boots from Grenson. The combat boot’s profile is embellished with brogue punctured leather and waxed laces.
6. Steve Madden Men’s Saylorr Combat Boot
BEST BUDGET BUY
Burnished antiqued leather gives these combat boots a vintage vibe. They have a cap toe, padded collar, and zipper details. These combat boots for men will look absolutely killer when paired with dark denim. You can also go with the black combat boots instead, which will pair well with pretty much everything.
7. Dr. Martens 1460 Tartan Leather Lace Up Boots
Add some personality to your shoes with the plaid version of their classic combat boot. The boot’s covered with the Black Watch and Red Stewart clan tartans. The toe and half the shaft are in solid black leather. They wouldn’t be Doc Martens without the yellow topstitching and “Air Wave” air-cushioned insoles.
8. Under Armour Valsetz RTS 1.5 Military Combat Boots
Under Armour’s sporting goods can take you on and off-court. While you won’t want to play hoops or tennis in these combat boots, you’ll get the same level of ease and comfort as their sneakers. The upper has a fabric camo print and synthetic leather. The lightweight men’s combat boot also has a molded anti-microbial Orthrolite sock liner and the shaft has UA’s Clutchfit ankle support. This pair also comes in solid black, solid brown, and solid tan.
9. Dr. Martens Vegan Felix 101 Boots
Instead of 8 eyes, this men’s combat boot has 6-eyes and sits a bit lower than Doc Martens’ classic 1460 style boot. The Felix is made with vegan leather for guys who want to enjoy the best men’s combat boots without the animal products. These boots still have most of the brand’s hallmarks: yellow topstitching, the back loop, and the brand’s air-cushioned sole.
10. Dr. Martens 1460 Undercover Corduroy Boots
Japanese fashion designer Jun Takahashi runs the Undercover brand and collaborated with Doc Marten using the 1460 combat boot as the base of his vision. Takahashi’s version of the iconic boot uses a British-made black corduroy upper. The styling and fabrication is his homage to Doc Martens UK roots. On the vamp, there’s an embroidered “S” and “N,” those letters stand for “Spiritual Noise,” one of Undercover’s slogans. Adding to the appeal of this shoe, the sock liner has a boutique floral print. And yes, this boot has all the standard touches: the brand’s 8-eyes, yellow topstitching and an air-cushioned insole. We love these corduroy boots, but be warned — they’re almost sold out.
11. Dr. Martens 1460 Pascal Leather Splatter Boots
BEST PARTY SHOES
Dr. Martens has hundreds of styles and each one could reflect the way you’re feeling at the moment. Take these combat boots, for instance. They do look like they’ve been flecked with a paintbrush, but it’s actually a new leather the brand is using. “Splatter Chaos” leather is textured in such a way that it creates a trompe l’oeil effect. Perfect for days when you’re feeling creative. Aside from the cool leather, this is a classic Doc Marten combat boot: 8 eyes, “Air Wave” air-cushion sole, yellow topstitching, and of course, the back loop.