Effective self-defense takes more than just firearms training. You need to be prepared for any situation in order to protect yourself and those around you. And one area of concealed carry clothing preparation many forget about is their choice of footwear — but this can be an incredibly important factor! Mid-height boots help give the wearer a solid and flexible platform to fight from.

In addition to the stability and foot protection, mid-boots also provide great support for carrying a handgun in an ankle holster. Positioned above the ankle and more on the calf, a concealed handgun in an ankle holster rides firmly locked in place well above the ankle bone where it won’t shift position. A handgun riding on top of my ankle bone is simply too uncomfortable.

In addition to making ankle concealed carry more comfortable, mid-boots reduce the chance of a concealed gun being exposed. It’s not uncommon for the bottom of a trouser to ride up when seated. If you’re wearing regular shoes, the ankle holster can be seen. But it will sit higher up and be less exposed atop a mid-boot.

And the 5.11 All-Terrain (A/T) Mid Waterproof Boots are a great option for more than concealed carry applications. They are also quite suitable for hiking and outdoor activities, daily wear, or serving as emergency footwear for your bug-out supply kit.

About the 5.11 All Terrain Mid Boots

The lightweight 5.11 boot is designed for rough use while maintaining foot comfort. And comfort is as important to me as durability. It comes in two brown-based color schemes: Dark Coyote (tested) and Umber Brown. Contrasting accent stripes as well as toe and end caps are included to break up the basic pattern, making them great for use with blue jeans.

The mid-boot from 5.11 is truly all-terrain tough yet comfortable due to several features, starting with their All Terrain Load Assistance System (ATLAS). It offers complete foot support and stability. The shoe’s upper is also constructed of waterproof breathable mesh. And 5.11’s Tac Dry® membrane is designed to keep feet dry and protected, while a molded rubber toe cap and heel counter add support and durability.

The boots’ full rubber outsole is slip and oil resistant with a multi-directional lug pattern. The Ortholite® insole provides additional comfort and a thermal barrier to protect the foot from surfaces in extreme temperatures. Finally, the midsole is made up of 5.11’s high rebound foam, designed to absorb constant pounding and sudden shocks.

Testing the All Terrain Boots

When boots were made mostly of leather, a break-in period was required. I remember treating my leather duty boots with mink oil and other compounds on a regular basis to either soften or re-soften the leather to keep them comfortable and professional looking. No need for that with the modern and breathable materials used in the construction of the 5.11 A/Ts. The laces are semi-tubular with what appears to be a seam on either side. They are laced up through loops on the sides with two retention loops on the tongue that keep it from annoyingly slipping side to side during wear. The lacing ends up with two optional reinforced eyelets at the top. There is a wide finger loop at the rear of the boot to assist when pulling them on.

I have been wearing the 5.11 A/Ts for several months now under various conditions. Through covering the 14 acres of displays at the recent NRA convention, my feet were in total comfort the entire time.  These boots were my preferred for light hiking on a campout with my son’s Trail Life troop, which also allowed me to test out the waterproof feature. My feet stayed dry through it all. Breathable boots that are also waterproof are important because nothing causes more miserable or potentially serious foot discomfort that having wet feet worn in waterlogged boots. The tread design and rubber sole material provide more than adequate traction.

Who Should Buy 5.11 Mid Boots?

5.11 A/T Mid Waterproof Boots are great multipurpose footwear for the concealed carry lifestyle. They are currently available at a $132 sale price. Unfortunately, it is not yet available for women, although Low A/T footwear is. Check them out along with all of 5.11’s gear at 511Tactical.com.