Just because you served in the military doesn’t mean you’re an expert on everything tactical. It’s okay to admit that, this is a tactical safe space; I mean, you didn’t get to choose what pair of boots or what brand of eyewear you received. But now you’re an adult and the supply NCO is nowhere to be found, so let’s jump into what you should consider when purchasing on your own.

The everyday carry:

Sometimes it’s best to just be prepared with everyday tactical gear that can go from the office, to home, and to the park. That means cutting out the high jungle lace up and range shades for something that won’t embarrass your kids. You’re still going to want quality and ensure that you’re hitting the right specs, so here they are:

Boots

  • A strong midsole cushion to avoid blisters and cut down your moleskin costs.
  • A strong shank (it’s the bedframe of your shoe) in between the outsole and insole of your shoe.
  • Decent ankle support in case things escalate. A rolled ankle can ruin anything.

Eye-Pro:

  • Anti-scratching. This is important since these will most likely get tossed around during everyday use.
  • Anti-fogging so your vision remains clear.
  • Adjustable frames to avoid a poor fit that could cause a headache or constant readjustment.

The perfect pairing is the Urban Assault tactical shoe and the Gatorz Magnum shades. Both are priced fairly, designed to perform at a military level (I’m talking ballistics protection), and look just the right amount of high speed so that you don’t intimidate the other dads at the baseball game.

The aquaman loadout:

Whether you’re a Navy SEAL or living in Seattle, the name of the game is dry feet and eyewear that can handle the glare of the ocean and ballistic-level wind coupled with rain.

Boots and/or flippers:

  • Mesh linings to assist in whisking away water and sweat from the foot.
  • Non-metal draining ports to push water out so you don’t launch your own ecosystem in your shoe.
  • An insole that will not absorb water.

Eyewear but maybe goggles:

  • Lens choices to adjust for changing glare and lighting.
  • Strong protection from wind and debris.
  • Prescription option since contacts may not always work in a sea-bearing occupation.

Boots like the Maritime Assault are a great option — you’ll be doing your feet a massive favor stopping them from growing their own algae. Once you’ve ordered those be sure to add the Wiley X Romer 3 Ballistic glasses to your cart. They’re also military ballistic rated and have interchangeable lenses for constantly changing sun exposure.

For the person still in:

While your friends got out, you decided to stay in and we applaud you for that. But if you’re still going with supply-issue boots, you owe it to yourself to do better. Instead of letting your supply NCO know that you’re talking to other brands by asking them what to look for, here’s a start:

Boots:

  • Durable polymer speed lace eyelets.
  • Carbon rubber outsole: non-marking rubber, exceeds the ASTM F489-96 test for slip resistance. Especially if you’re working any flightlines or ground maintenance.
  • Gusseted tongue to keep dirt, debris and anything that wants to crawl in, out.

Eye-Pro:

  • Military ballistic rated.
  • Shock-proof frames.
  • Fully adjustable.
  • Compatible with your night vision goggles.

The Foxhound SR 8 tactical boot and the Outlaw Fugitive TAC glasses both meet the above specs, which is good because you know there’s going to be at least one Staff NCO who’s having a bad week and is going to question the integrity of your gear. To put it simply, they go together like a cracker and jalapeno cheese spread.

Use the above checklist to upgrade your tactical game no matter your lifestyle. For more boot options check out Altama’s online catalogue, and it would behoove you to check in on the Task & Purpose MilTech section for the latest advances in gear.

In fact, if you want to be high speed, subscribe to the Task & Purpose daily newsletter so you don’t miss guides like this and end up buying gear that you’ll regret.

This article is sponsored by Altama