The 5 Most Operator Shoes Money Can Buy 4.35/5 (40)

True operators can’t be bothered to wear standard-issue gear. For most steely-eyed gunfighters, brands like Bates and Rocky just won’t do. The modern generation of GWOT soldiers, Marines, contractors and professional badasses look to the private sector for their fashionable, high-tech and ultra sexy boots and shoes.

operator shoes
Ugh, look at all these gross issued boots. No operator would ever wear these. Ew. Source:

The things that truly separate an operator from a noperator aren’t training, experience, deployments, schools and weapons, but rather aesthetic differences.

In other words: how cool do you look, bro?

Looking cool can be objectively quantified.  For example, do you wear a boring helmet, or a cool-looking one?

Case in point:

operator shoes
LOL, what a boring helmet. This guy doesn’t operate. Source: Wikipedia Commons

This helmet is so boring, and this soldier is so normal, that despite his numerous awards and devices on his uniform indicating that he is airborne and pathfinder-qualified with combat infantry experience, he’s definitely not an operator.

But THIS GUY, on the other hand:

operator shoes
WOW! What an amazing helmet! I’d let this guy cut in line at the FOB chow hall any day. Source: Quora

HOLY SHIT. Do you see the night vision devices?  The battery packs?  The cut-out space for ear protection?  Velcro?  Wow.  Just incredible.  If you saw this guy walking toward you from across the FOB you’d probably get his autograph on your shitty little Rite-in-the-Rain notepad (he uses Moleskine).  Better pray you two aren’t stationed on the same base stateside, or he’ll steal yo girl before you turn in your M16A2 to the armory, fool.

So, without further ado, here are


1. Salomon Quest 4d GTX/Variants

operator shoes
These shoes give the extra boost needed to see over walls. Source: SPEAR Tactical Reviews
operator shoes
Protip: if it’s sold at REI, it’s cool. Souce: AR15 Forums

Oh man, Salomon’s are dope.  If you rock these babies, you’re looking at some seriously sick boots that come in black and other colors.  The company even made an iteration of them specifically for Army Special Forces.  But don’t worry, the civilian version is just as cool.

Sure, they’ll probably repel water and all that, but what they’ll also do is clash with your uniform and allow you to not blend in with anything, which are key aspects of choosing operator shoes.

2.  Merrell Moab Mid

operator shoes
This dude firing an M320 grenade launcher is the epitome of operator, especially while wearing Moabs. Source: Pinterest

These are kind of like the entry-level model for operator shoes.  They’ll get you right outside of “normal guy” status, but you’re going to have to accessorize if you want to really be cool.  These were issued to a lot of dudes during the Global War on Terror, so if you’re going to rock them, it’s good to do so as sort of a “throwback” to when nobody operated very hard, and these were the only boots available for cool guys.  If that doesn’t make sense to you, that’s alright: you’re probably not cool enough.

3. Converse Chuck Taylors

operator shoes
Pretty sure this is a Navy SEAL rocking Converse Chuck Taylors while doing some serious searcing and seizing at sea. I can’t confirm or deny, though. Source: Reddit
operator shoes
Rhodesian soldier on a helicopter back in the day. These shoes have been around forever, and so have the cool-ass dudes who wear them. Source: Reddit

Is there anything cooler than taking a pair of shoes intended for basketball and turning them into field-grade footwear?  You kind of have to be psycho and hardcore at the same time to wear these.

Although they lack the heel support common in most soldierly shoes, these babies come with built-in vents and high-top uppers for max heel support.  Just don’t let First Sergeant catch you wearing them.  Unless, that is, you’re a super-operator.


operator shoes
Crocs are ideal for hot, sandy environments. And operating. Source: Reddit
operator shoes
“I shot your Taliban friend in my Crocs, dog” he said, immediately after this picture was taken. Source: Instagram

If you deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq in the last 15 years you almost certainly got sent a pair of Crocs.  They’re universally renowned for their comfort, durability and grimyness after you get them wet when they are filled with sand.

What you might not know is that they are also the perfect operator shoes.  Shoot back at those pesky Al Qaeda jihadis wearing a pair of crocs and you’ll never feel better.  The perforated design allows your feet to cool off while shooting 7.62 at the cyclic.

5.  Whatever The Fuck These Things Are

operator shoes
operator shoes
operator shoes
Operate hard. Source:

Apparently these are the shoes of the Greek Presidential guard, a ceremonial unit called the Evzones.  Their shoes are not the only thing operator about them: their rifles, tights and skirts allow for maximum freedom of movement while yelling at tourists who dare to violate the Greek Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Sometimes, the most operator shoes are pretty unconventional.

Please rate this


  1. Grizz
    October 12, 2016 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    So much awesome in this post I’m unsure of where to begin.

    Grab her by the…

  2. Shaun
    October 12, 2016 at 1:15 pm — Reply

    They are not Chuck Taylors…..They are PF Flyers. Guaranteed to make any kid run faster and jump higher. Your welcome….

  3. James
    October 12, 2016 at 1:19 pm — Reply

    Seems legit to me.

  4. billx
    October 13, 2016 at 5:22 pm — Reply

    The Greek Presidential guard shoes are called Tsaroyhia is a traditional footwear in some areas in Greece, and during war the pom pom you see in front had had spikes

  5. Jason
    November 17, 2017 at 4:58 am — Reply

    This article is so well written that my cheeks and pants are wet with joy tears.

  6. Milind Gade
    June 13, 2018 at 1:30 pm — Reply

    One hell of a review ….
    Greek pom poms and crocs are the ugliest things ever built by man in a factory.

    • John Fannin
      June 13, 2018 at 1:37 pm — Reply

      We dunno man, our Crocs are pretty darn cool. We got them super camo painted to make sure they were operator approved.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post

Basic Training Story #4413

Next post

Basic Training Story #4394

The Author

Team AG

Team AG