The 25 Best Sports Movies of All Time
Sports movies are ingrained into our culture. Sure, many sports films follow a familiar path—the underdog team full of misfits that somehow comes together as a team and conquers the competition.
However, the best sports films tend to transcend these cliches, using the familiar structure to deliver character insights or cultural critiques.
Sports also can become a metaphor for personal struggles and challenges embodied in an athletic event.
Success on the field often equates to success in life or the vanquishing of personal struggles. Below are the best sports movies of all-time, memorable flicks that somehow rose above the genre’s predictability to become cultural touchstones.
1. Rocky (1976)
This Best Picture Oscar winner made Sylvester Stallone a star and launched a film franchise that continues to this day. It’s easy to forget how good this initial entry in the Rocky series was as it follows a journeyman boxer given the shot at a title by a champion looking for a fight he can sell to the public.
Rocky’s story and his relationship with Adrian is the focal point of the film. So much so that who wins the fight at the end is immaterial, Rocky has won his personnel battles.
2. Slapshot (1977)
The hilarious story of a minor league hockey team that resorts to extreme tactics, Slapshot delivers a good, hard punch to many of the genre’s most tired cliches.
Paul Newman is the player-coach of the Charleston Chiefs, a team on the brink as the local steel mill is closing, and the entire town falls on hard economic times. Newman begins a quest to save the team by any means necessary, often with vulgar and violent results.
The Chief’s desperation and frustration, and the team’s use of violence to deal with both, become an outlet for a community on edge.
3. Bad News Bears (1976)
Director Michael Ritchie’s comedy takes dead aim at parents overly invested in youth sports and delivers. Walter Matthau plays an alcoholic former minor league baseball player hired to coach a team of kids who weren’t good enough to make the little league.
One parent sued, resulting in a team of leftovers and outcasts. The first act is slow, but the final act and climatic game is one of the best sequences of any sports film as all of the story threads come together. Matthau’s dug-out meltdown and the realization he has become what he hates is amazing.
4. Raging Bull (1980)
Some consider Raging Bull to be Martin Scorsese’s greatest film. The story of Jake LaMotta and his demons was polarizing somewhat polarizing with critics upon its release. It has since become regarded as one of the greatest films ever made.
In a way, this is the anti-sports film, washing away all the romanticism and hero-worship we apply to athletes. What makes Jake LaMotta a compelling and successful fighter in the ring does not translate to making him a successful person outside of it.
5. Hoop Dreams (1994)
Considered by Roger Ebert as the best film of the decade, this documentary follows the basketball dreams of William Gates and Arthur Agee.
The two African American teenagers are recruited to play at the predominantly white, private, St. Joseph High School in the Chicago suburbs.
Originally intended as a 30-minute PBS documentary, the filmmakers ended up following their youthful subjects for eight years, documenting their sports dreams from the playground to high school to college.
A compelling 3-hour documentary, Hoop Dreams does far more than simply follow its subject’s athletic aspirations.
6. The Wrestler (2008)
Director Darren Aronofsky’s film stars Mickey Rourke as an aging wrestler Robin Ramzinski. Ramzinski is well past his prime and facing serious health issues as he tries to cling to his past fame and success.
Rourke’s performance is a tour-de-force as the film follows Ramzinski as he attempts to navigate life and deal with the fact his wrestling days might soon be behind him.
A League of Their Own (1992) – Penny Marshall’s heartwarming tale follows the creation of a women’s baseball league during World War II. Tom Hanks is a washed-up former ballplayer hired to manage a team that includes the best player in the league (Geena Davis) and her sister (Lori Petty). Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell appear in supporting roles.
The film is funny, and its ending is unexpectedly poignant. The heart of this film is the sisterly rivalry between the characters played by Davis and Petty and adds much to the film’s already rich story line.
7. Breaking Away (1979)
A coming of age story that is punctuated by cycling, Breaking Away is a heartwarming late 1970s comedy.
Four high school friends face adulthood and the potential end of their friendships as they start to go their separate ways. Our four heroes also have a rivalry with the college kids who come to Bloomington to attend the University of Indiana.
At the center of the film is Dave Stohler played by Dennis Christopher, a cycling obsessed kid, reluctant to leave his friends and go to college. If you sense that this film’s end might involve a bike race between the townie kids and the college preppies, you’d be right.
8. Bull Durham (1988)
Bull Durham is a comedy that deftly combines sex and baseball. Kevin Costner plays a minor league baseball catcher who is just good enough to remain in the minors for a long time, but not quite good enough to make it to the major league.
Tim Robbins is the young, dumb star pitcher he’s charged with mentoring. Susan Sarandon plays a woman who, each season, takes on the best local player as a lover – the relationships tend to last only a season or so as the players usually either wash out or move on to the majors.
This is a film that deftly blends sports themes and a love triangle, creating an entertaining, funny look at the world of minor baseball.
9. I, Tonya (2017)
This Tonya Harding biopic recounts the assault on Nancy Kerrigan and its aftermath. The film delves deep into numerous issues delivering a somewhat empathetic and controversial view of what transpired.
Harding is a poor girl who is struggling to fit in the skating world. She’s not tall and thin, but stocky and powerful. She’s from a poor family and participating in a sport that is fairly expensive to pursue. Her home life is chaotic. The media is happy to build up and then tear down her persona.
10. The Karate Kid (1984)
The feel-good story of an outcast who learns karate and gets the girl in the end, The Karate Kid follows a familiar formula.
At the heart of the film is the relationship between Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso and Noriyuki “Pat” Morita’s Mr. Miyagi. Their acting and the relationship between the characters elevate the film and make it one of its best of its kind. Some parts might seem a bit cheesy and dated today, but the two central characters’ unique friendship sets the film apart.
The film also deserves high marks for actually showing Daniel’s training rather than relying on a music-filled montage. The film also has given us the Netflix series Cobra Kai, which is one of the best sports series on TV.
11. Major League (1989)
Silly and fun, Major League revels in being a light, fun baseball comedy. Major League is an enjoyable ride for the audience, embracing some of the genre’s most predictable tropes.
The Cleveland Indians’ owner wants to move the team, so she assembles the worst group players to tank the season. Of course, this group of nobodies suddenly starts winning. Often hilarious, the film is engaging and fun.
It’s also a bit prescient, given that team tanking to secure draft position has increasingly become a thing across all professional team sports.
12. One Day in September (1999)
The story of the Munich Massacre, this documentary unfolds like a thriller, using archival footage and interviews.
Narrated by Michael Douglas, the film tells the story of Israeli athletes taken hostage by terrorists during the 20th Olympic games. The film presents the unfolding tragedy while the Olympics continue in the background, and an ill-equipped West German government struggles with the crises. The climax of the film details a disastrous rescue attempt and its horrifying results.
13. The Longest Yard (1974)
Burt Reynolds starred in this comedy-drama in which a former star college quarterback leads a prison football team in a game against the guards.
The film contains some great performances, including Eddie Albert as the sadistic warden. The game isn’t about football, really, but power, control, and submission. It’s a metaphor that extends far outside the lines of the football field.
14. Remember the Titans (2000)
Denzel Washington stars as real-life high school football coach Herman Boone. After the high school integrates, Boone is brought in to ease racial tensions while leading the football team. Passed over is the white coach Bill Yoast who eventually becomes Boone’s assistant. The movie is a terrific sports film that also grapples with issues of prejudice and racial identity.
15. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes are a couple of hoopster con men who decide to team up and make some real money. Rosie Perez stars as Harrelson’s somewhat superstitious girlfriend who stays with her man, even when he consistently does dumb things and routinely loses all of their money.
The interracial friendship between Harrelson and Snipes provides the core of the film and many of its laughs. Eventually, Harrelson is able to find success on the court and make some real money, but the cost is higher than he expects.
16. The Natural (1984)
Robert Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, the greatest pitcher ever in baseball – until he is shot and becomes its greatest hitter during an improbable comeback. The film is predictable but works as a baseball fairytale.
Hobbs is the hero who goes on a quest for baseball greatness, only to encounter villains who need vanquishing – a psychotic woman who shoots people, an evil newspaper reporter, a villainous owner and his henchman, and even a femme fatale. The film is defined by some fairly magical on field moments and visuals.
17. The Hustler (1961)
The original sports “hustler” movie, the film follows two pool players on their way to take on the legendary “Minnesota Fats.” Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, and George C. Scott, The Hustler has influenced many films, including White Men Can’t Jump and Kingpin.
Unlike those films, “The Hustler” is a drama and, at times, tragic. Filled with desperate characters attempting to use their skill at a game to make a living and improve their lives.
18. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
The story of Lou Gehrig, the film came out only about a year after his untimely death due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The film is a biopic that is more about Gehrig’s humanity and dedication to the game than it is about baseball or winning the big game.
The movie includes performances by several of his teammates who played themselves, including Babe Ruth, Bill Dickey, Bob Meusel, and Mark Koenig.
19. Rudy (1993)
The inspiring story of Daniel Ruettiger, who pursues his dream of attending Notre Dame and playing football despite significant challenges. Ruettiger has dyslexia, lack of money to attend a private university, and is undersized to play college football.
Ruettiger is the ultimate underdog who achieves his dreams on and off the field through heart, tenacity, and hard work. The scenes of Ruettiger winning over his skeptical teammates and disbelieving coaches is inspiring.
Ruettiger is a winner not because he wins games or becomes a superstar, but rather because he sets goals and achieves them.
20. Brian’s Song (1971)
This made-for-television film tells the story of friendship between undrafted NFL free agent Brian Piccolo and superstar Gale Sayers. Starring James Caan and Billy Dee Williams, the film aired just 18 months after Piccolo’s sudden death from cancer.
Brian’s Song is considered one of the greatest TV movies ever made and actually ended up garnering a limited theatrical run. The film is part of the “tearjerker sports movie” subgenre and evokes some genuine emotion, even if some of the production values are of the cheap TV variety.
21. Field of Dreams (1989)
Kevin Costner is an Iowa farmer who hears voices and decides to build a baseball field amidst his cornfields. Yes, the film is as “corny” as it sounds. But it works on a very sentimental level as it explores the timelessness of the game the filmmakers clearly love.
Costner’s journey and pursuit of his “crazy” idea is a fun ride for the audience. The film unfolds as a bit of a mystery, as the audience discovers along with Costner’s character what the point of it all is.
22. Caddyshack (1980)
Director Harold Ramis’ gross-out golf comedy is now considered a classic. Originally the film was supposed to be a coming-of-age film that focused on the caddies.
That focus shifted dramatically during filming, primarily because of the performances of Bill Murray as a groundskeeper and Rodney Dangerfield as a loutish golfer.
Disjointed and unfocused from a plot perspective, the film works in its own scatological way. In the end, Ramis went with what was funny and cut everything else.
23. Hoosiers (1986)
Gene Hackman plays the new high school basketball coach for the tiny town of Hickory, Indiana. Hoosiers is a cliched filled, shallow sports film elevated by Hackman’s performance and that of Dennis Hopper, who plays the town drunk given a shot at being an assistant coach.
None of the players are particularly well-developed, including Jimmy Chitwood – the best player on the team who refuses to play at first because of issues we are told about, but never see or experience from his point of view.
Also, the team isn’t very good until Chitwood shows up, which undercuts any notion that Hackman is a good coach.
24. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Clint Eastwood’s story of a cynical boxing coach who is cajoled into coaching a female fighter won the oscar for best picture.
The heart of the story is the relationship between boxing coach Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) and boxer Maggie Fitzgerald (Hillary Swank). Morgan Freeman plays a supporting role Dunn’s friend and employee.
An emotional story about friendship and about Dunn’s true character as a person, the film struck a chord with audiences and critics alike.
25. Kingpin (1996)
Funny and distasteful, Kingpin happily mocks many of the established sports film tropes and does so effectively. Randy Quaid is an Amish farm boy who can bowl. Woody Harrelson plays a former great bowler who lost his hand after a scam gone bad.
Harrison recruits the farm boy for a cross country journey and a chance at his own redemption. The film is a satire that takes aim at sports films and road movies and does so with glee. Also, there are plenty of fish-out-of-water jokes associated with the Quaid characters Amish background.
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The 10 Best Portable Speakers in 2021
For those on the go, regular speakers simply aren’t going to make the grade. They often don’t have the durability required for travel and the speakers may not be powerful enough to cope with an open environment.
If you love music and the outdoors, then you need a speaker that is able to cope with your lifestyle. That means an ability to protect itself from water, dust, and drops. It also needs sound that can cut through the open air.
Thankfully, you don’t need to look very far to find speakers to match those criteria. We’ve done the hard work to find 10 speakers that we think are perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Read on to find the perfect portable speaker for you. Let’s go!
1. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore
For the perfect combination of durability and sound quality, we picked this Bang & Olufsen speaker as the best overall choice. It has an excellent array of qualities and will never let you down.
The design of the speaker makes it look very tough and that’s exactly what you get. Its body is made from anodized aluminum and it can take a lot of punishment. This includes the speaker being both dust and waterproof.
While we adore the durability of this speaker, the feature we are most impressed by is the runtime. It can play for an incredible 27 hours before it needs to be charged. That’s usually enough time for most outdoor adventures.
There are many other aspects to love about this speaker such as the 360-degree sound, its solid Bluetooth connection, and the stylish earthy colors. While this speaker is great for any outdoor adventure, it’s brilliant in dusty or sandy environments where most other speakers suffer. It’s the perfect outdoor speaker, which is why it took our top pick.
2. Vifa Oslo Bluetooth Speaker
While the Bang & Olufsen speaker is perfect for those in more extreme environments, the Vifa Oslo is ideal for those who will be traveling in a bit more comfort. It’s a stunningly stylish speaker that comes in a choice of five vibrant colors.
It has two connection options of either Bluetooth or Aux, which are both very easy to use. The speaker itself is quite bulky, which is ideal for those looking for a larger speaker but not for those who need something compact.
The most impressive aspect of this Bluetooth speaker is the sound quality. The balanced woofers give you a premium level of sound at all ranges. It works well in any setting to give you exceptional performance.
There is also no doubting the level of durability and craftsmanship you get here. It’s extremely well made and has a soft feel. It looks great, sounds great, and is fantastic for premium sound quality on the go.
3. Anker Soundcore Flare Wireless Speaker
With the Anker brand, one thing you can always expect is excellent value for money. This speaker is able to produce premium sound while coming in at a lower price point, making it our best value product.
It has all the durability that you need for an outdoor speaker. It comes with an IP67 rating which not only means it can be briefly submerged in water but that it also has great dust protection.
For a small speaker, it also packs a punch. The bass especially stands out but the overall clarity is very impressive and it can deliver 360-degree sound. It’s able to run for 12 hours and is easy to charge back up.
A customizable light show is also available, which can be dialed back if you need to save power. That customization also extends to the EQ, which can be controlled via an app. It looks very good in either black or blue and is exceptional for a budget speaker.
4. Sonos Roam
A brilliant option for your outdoor adventure is to get a speaker that also has smart functionality for voice control. That’s exactly what you get with this Sonos Roam speaker which is packed full of exciting features.
It can be connected to a wide range of devices through either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which are both very easy to use. You can also control the speaker from their App, which adds to the usability.
As with most Sonos speakers, it looks stylish and will complement any room or outdoor space. It lasts for 10 hours, which is a little less than some rivals but is still a decent runtime.
You’ll find the music to have plenty of clarity with precision sound, even in an outdoor setting. Part of the reason for that is due to its ability to automatically adjust to its surroundings. We loved it and with the IP67 rating, it can easily cope with anything the outdoors throws at it.
5. Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3
If a company decided to call their speaker the MEGABOOM then it has a lot to live up to. You’d expect the volume to be great, even in outdoor settings. Thankfully, this outdoor speaker delivers on those promises.
The long cylindrical shape is very easy to carry and is able to deliver 360-degree sounds. This makes it ideal for the likes of a campsite where you can put it in the middle of your group and all enjoy the music.
You don’t have to worry about breaking it either. With its IP67 rating, the speaker can take a lot of punishment. That rating means it can be submerged in water and is highly resistant to dust ingress.
There are other features we love here such as the fabric covering, wireless charging, and drop resistance. It’s the ideal solution if you want a tough speaker that can deliver booming sound.
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6. JBL Charge 5
JBL is another brand name that you can trust. For these outdoor speakers to make this list, they needed to be very tough without compromising on sound quality. The JBL Charge 5 is a great example of that.
It’s able to produce a sound that is rich and clear. This is true even in challenging outdoor environments. If another member of your group has a JBL speaker with “Party Boost,” then you can connect it up for stereo sound.
It has 20 hours of run time, which is one of the highest available. If you use it for a few hours a day, then it has the potential to last for quite a long trip.
It’s another that has an IP67 rating but a standout feature is the built-in power bank that can charge your devices. It can be a lifesaver if your phone dies when you’re outdoors.
7. Sony Extra Bass Speaker
Sony is another company that has made an exceptional outdoor speaker. This stylish model comes in either blue, black, or taupe and will look great wherever you put it.
You’ll also be delighted with the sound quality. It’s both deep and punchy which can help to cut through any noisy outdoor environment. It also has a bass boost feature which can really boom.
The runtime is exceptional at 24 hours so you’ll be able to get plenty of enjoyment from it between recharges. It also has a lightshow feature that will sync up to the music that is playing.
The IP67 rating means it’s great for outdoor life but the fabric covering still adds style and a premium feel. The speaker is beautifully balanced and you’ll be impressed by the vocal clarity.
8. Urbanista Brisbane Wireless Speaker
When it comes to an outdoor speaker, style isn’t really that important. That being said, most people still want their devices to look great. It’s an area where this Urbanista speaker shines with its sleek rectangular design.
Looks aside, this speaker also performs brilliantly in both outdoor and indoor settings. It’s able to produce plenty of driver power which gives it a loud and deep bass. The vocal clarity is also excellent.
It’s highly compatible with many devices and you can also connect it with other speakers for surround stereophonic sound. It has a 10 hours runtime but only takes around three hours for a full recharge.
It isn’t quite as tough as other speakers we’ve looked at here as it has an IPX5 rating, making it splash resistant. That will still be more than enough protection for most uses.
9. Bose Portable Smart Speaker
If you want to have the ultimate in simple portability then you can easily get that here with this Bose portable speaker. It has a wide handle that makes it very easy to carry, along with it being lightweight.
It’s available in either black or white and both of them look great with the cylindrical design. There are many connection options here with Aux cable, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth all available.
It has an IPX4 rating which gives it decent splash resistance and a 12 hour runtime. You may also love the smart functionality, making it simple and easy to be controlled via voice.
10. Tribit StormBox Micro Bluetooth Speaker
For those wanting something a little more compact, this could be what you’re looking for. It’s only small but it can still pack a mighty punch in terms of volume and sound quality. The IP67 rating means it can cope with all tough environments and can easily manage rain, dust, and drops.
It will easily fit in any backpack and with the weight of just 0.64 lbs, you’ll hardly feel it. The eight hours of runtime isn’t the longest but you’d expect it to be a little lower with the smaller size.
The versatile speaker can be taken anywhere and your friends will be shocked at how much power can be delivered from this little thing. The bass can thump and it can cope with windy outdoor settings.
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Outdoor Speaker FAQs
Indoor speakers don’t usually need to worry about water, dust, and being dropped. An outdoor speaker is made to be much tougher and can cope with all these issues. An outdoor speaker also needs to be loud enough to cope with large open spaces.
Outdoor speakers need to have a high level of water and dust resistance, have enough power, and a long runtime between charges. After these key features, you can look at the connectivity, usability, and size. It’s important that you can easily carry it with you, so portability is also important.
We’ve looked at many great brands here such as JBL, Sony, and Bose. You can trust them all to give you a quality product. We’ve also looked at some lesser-known brands which often provide better value for money. It’s always a good idea to look beyond the brand and just get a speaker that perfectly matches your needs.
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The 10 Best Fashion Combat Boots for Men
The first pair of combat boots I purchased were a pair of black canvas Dr. Martens. Not to age myself but it was the 90s and I was in high school and they were essential in boosting my fashion confidence. I lived in Kentucky at the time and I stuck out like a sore thumb and I did not care.
Those boots made me feel invincible. And the best part? I still have them and I still wear them. Read the list below to find your next (or first!) pair of combat boots that you will be sure to have for years, nay, decades to come!
1. Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace Up Boots
This is the original Dr. Marten boot. Named the 1460 because they were born on January 4, 1960 (01.04.60) this 8-eye work boot is iconic and a must-have for every closet. Each pair stays true to the original design with a Trans colored sole and the classic black and yellow AirWair heel loop.
The Goodyear-welted lines are heat-sealed at 700 degrees celsius and reinforced with the brand’s signature yellow welt stitch. New colors are introduced every season but smooth black never goes out of style. The leather can be polished to shine or scuffed-up depending on your preference and style.
2. Thom Browne Tricolor-Stripe Brogue Combat Boot
Two words: Thom Browne.
Three more words: Add to cart.
These Thom Browne black books are a mix of a traditional brogue shoe and a combat boot. These sexy-ass boots are crafted in Italy from pebbled leather and have perforated wingtip accents, chunky rubber soles, a tricolor pull tab, tricolor toebox stripes, and a cutout heel groove that twists around the edge. I cannot stress enough the cool factor associated with these. Trust me. They are in my cart.
3. Clarks Batcombe Hi2 Boot
Lined with sheepskin, these dark olive suede lace-up ankle boots were crafted with your comfort in mind. Made with Clarks Cushion Plus™ technology, the unique dual-density foam technology reduces strain on the ball of the foot and supports your natural movement, keeping your feet comfortable all day long. The durable yet lightweight cleated rubber sole ups the ante with an unbeatable grip making for a versatile boot that works for all aspects of life.
4. Thursday Boot Co. Captain Rugged
If you know, you know… and if you own a pair of boots from the Thursday Boot Co. you know that they’re a company that makes handcrafted and hand-stitched boots designed to complement your look from business casual to everyday wear.
These boots are made from genuine leather with a fully lined supple leather interior, studded rubber outsoles, and cork-bed midsoles that form to your feet for added comfort in order to give a clean, rugged, yet sophisticated look.
5. Moncler Black Vancouver Boot
These buffed black leather ankle boots are built for cold weather and then some. They feature a round toe, tonal lace-up closure, tonal hardware, and black leather lining. These boots also have a Vibram® black rubber outsole, a padded nylon tongue with a logo patch, a pull loop, and a tricolor rubber midsole. Moncler sells luxury and this boot is no exception.
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6. Timberland 6 Inch Premium Boots
Timberland boots. Need I say more? Oh… I do? This is awkward… Ok, then, for the few of you who do not recognize the original Timberland waterproof “yellow” boots from a mile away, let me give you some more information.
This classic boot was born in 1973 and features PrimaLoft® ECO insulation and waterproof leather sourced from a sustainable tannery. With premium leather uppers, rustproof hardware, seam-sealed waterproof construction, and exclusive anti-fatigue technology that provides all-day comfort and support, these boots have proven they will be in style for years to come. And did I mention that they’re waterproof?
7. Diesel Lace-Up Combat Boots
These Diesel black, goat skin blend lace-up combat boots feature contrasting panels, a logo patch at the tongue, logo to the back, a pull tab at the rear, a round toe, a chunky low heel, and a ridged rubber sole. At the time of publishing, if you use this link, they are also 40% off!
8. Wolverine 1000 Mile Axel Boot
Handcrafted in America since 1914, the 1000 Mile boot still maintains the same attention to detail with the finest materials and craftsmanship as it did over a century ago. The uppers are made from premium leather from Chicago and flat waxed laces from South Carolina. The sole is made from Goodyear™ welt construction that’s durable, flexible, and allows the boot to be resoled for years of wear.
9. Alexander McQueen Military Boot
Hands down, no contest, Alexander McQueen is my most favorite and can do no wrong. But that’s just my humble opinion. You can decide for yourself. Inspired by the military (as most combat boots are) these boots are crafted from genuine calf leather and they secure to your foot with an eight-hole lacing system. The edgy aesthetic is completed with a chunky lugged sole and printed branding pull tabs.
10. Red Wing Shoes Heritage Iron Ranger
No list of boots is complete without a pair of Red Wing Heritage boots. The Iron Ranger was originally built for iron miners in the 1930s. The six inch boot’s signature is a distinctive leather toe cap. These boots are built with a Goodyear welt, Puritan triple-stitch construction, and brass speed hooks that provide precision lacing and a visual hit of hardware.
The Iron Ranger is anchored with a Vibram® 430 Mini-lug outsole. As you wear the footwear, the full-grain leather upper, insole, and cork midsole will mold to your feet, creating an increasingly personalized fit over time.
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Combat Boots FAQs
Historically, combat boots were a tactical boot style designed for the military to wear during literal combat. In the 70s they became a symbol of the anti-establishment, most popular amongst British punk rockers.
Combat boots really gained traction in the 90s with the emergence of the grunge scene. Today, combat boots don’t have the same anti-establishment appeal as they did in decades past but they still ooze cool. There are a variety of modern styles, including traditional lace-ups in black and brown, as well as more bold colors like green and blue.
Combat boots became mainstream in the 90s when grunge was both a music genre and a fashion trend. Band members and fans of groups like Nirvana, Garbage, Hole, and Alice In Chains started rocking the utilitarian tactical boot style and by the turn of the century, combat-style boots became a part of mainstream fashion.
Combat boots look great styled with skinny jeans, flares, straight leg, cuffed jeans – basically, they look good with pants. If your pants are too long, tuck them in or roll them up. Or pair your boots with shorts. A longer short looks better but with confidence, you can pull off almost any look.
The 12 Best Beaches To Visit in the U.S.
There’s really no such thing as a bad beach, right? Sand, sun, and glistening, refreshing water to play or cool off in – what’s not to love? Thinking about what makes a beach exceptional, though, is a whole different story. It’s a very subjective thing, as the best beach might mean calm water and powdery white sand to some, while to others it may mean excellent surf and plenty of opportunities for adventure.
Whatever your personal definition of the best beach is, America has lots (and lots) of them to choose from. With two very different coasts and three major bodies of water, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a beach for everyone here.
Do you prefer iconic, broad, sandy, palm tree-dotted beaches, hidden ones requiring a hike to access, or maybe even beaches where wild horses live? Whatever your beach style, you’ll find the perfect one for you on this list of the best beaches in the U.S.
1. Secret Beach, Kauai, Hawaii
For most people, Hawaii immediately comes to mind when they think of the best beaches in the U.S. Kauai’s Secret Beach, which is officially named Kauapea Beach and often referred to as simply “Secrets,” is the epitome of a pristine Hawaiian beach. It’s exceptionally large in terms of both length and width and features golden sand, shimmering turquoise water, and lush green rainforests.
To get to Secret Beach, you’ll need to find the unmarked, steep trail between Kilauea Point and Kalihiwai Bay. You can actually see the beach from the Kilauea lighthouse, so if you get stuck searching, try visiting there first. Secrets is large enough that it’s always easy to find a secluded spot for yourself to layout and relax.
Note that the far eastern end of the beach has a reputation for being a go-to spot for nude sunbathers. There’s also a waterfall toward the east end of the beach and at the west end, there are a few lagoons that form natural calm swimming holes. The strong ocean current here makes it difficult to swim at Secret Beach most of the time, so stick to these lagoons for swimming and enjoy simply relaxing on one of the best beaches in the U.S.
2. Miramar Beach, Santa Barbara, California
Technically five miles from Santa Barbara proper in Montecito, Miramar Beach is somewhat of a hidden gem. This beach is very quiet and calm, with gentle, clear waters and sugar-fine soft sand, making it ideal for everything from surfing and swimming to sunbathing and walking the shoreline.
Miramar Beach’s calm waters are attributed to the fact that it’s situated in a south-facing cove. It’s pretty well-sheltered, which also allows for leisurely exploring the crystal-clear water. At low tide, several tide pools are also revealed. Thanks to its location just outside Santa Barbara, Miramar Beach is rarely crowded, yet it’s less than an hour from Los Angeles. Talk about the best of both worlds!
3. Crescent Beach, Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Fun fact: Maine has more coastline than the entire state of California. It’s true! So it comes as no surprise that some of the best beaches in the U.S. are in Maine. Located about eight miles from Portland in southwestern Maine, Crescent Beach is a classic, postcard-perfect New England beach.
The beach itself, as you may have guessed, is a one-mile crescent-shaped swath of soft sand. It’s surrounded by saltwater coves, sand dunes, woods, and granite rock ledges. Swimming and sunbathing are popular activities at Crescent Beach, of course, but there are also plenty of opportunities for fishing and paddling, plus several hiking trails.
4. Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Alabama
Orange Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Gulf Shores, and for good reason. The superfine, sugar-white sand is so soft that it’s said to squeak under your feet and the calm waters are an almost unbelievable turquoise blue.
Adjacent to Perdido Key in the Florida panhandle (which is another spectacular beach), Orange Beach spans eight miles. It’s also fairly wide, so even on the most crowded days, it’s not difficult to find a patch of sand to make your own and stretch out comfortably. There’s a waterfront park, plenty of opportunities to fish either from the pier or aboard a boat with a guided outfitter, and even a shipwreck, The Lulu, to explore on a scuba diving expedition.
5. Moonstone Beach, Cambria, California
Part of Hearts San Simeon State Park and situated just off the world-famous Highway 1 (aka the Pacific Coast Highway) in central California, Moonstone Beach is one of the best beaches in the U.S. The coastline here is punctuated by rocky cliffs and several coves with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the beach. Spend some time combing the beach for several varieties of beautiful sea glass and impossibly smooth stones, including jade, jasper, agate, and of course, chalcedony – also known as moonstone.
Up above the beach, a boardwalk spans exactly one mile between the Santa Rosa Creek and Leffingwell Landing day-use areas, both with plenty of parking. A lookout near the boardwalk is perfect for spotting gray whales, dolphins, sea lions, and otters.
6. Siesta Beach, Siesta Key, Florida
Since 2015, TripAdvisor has named Siesta Beach America’s #1 beach a whopping three times on its annual Traveler’s Choice Awards. The soft, fluffy white sand is cloud-like, with hardly a shell or other debris in sight. And thanks to its composition of nearly all quartz-crystal, the sand doesn’t get hot on even the sunniest days – an impressive feat on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida summers.
The largest of Siesta Key’s beaches, Siesta Beach has shaded playgrounds, volleyball courts, picnic areas, and plenty of free parking. Dolphins are frequently seen playing in the turquoise waters just off the shore, and the sea here is calm, shallow, and clear, making it one of the best U.S. beaches for families.
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7. Jack’s Bay Beach, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Often overlooked, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a group of three main islands nestled into the Caribbean. Each of the islands – St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix – is stunning and, interestingly, very different from one another.
One of the best beaches in the U.S., Jack’s Bay Beach, happens to be on St. Croix and it’s well off the beaten path, which means you’ll likely have it all to yourself. Located near the far eastern end of the island, Jack’s Bay Beach is directly below Point Udall.
Fun fact: Point Udall is the easternmost point in the United States and sees America’s very first sunrise every morning. You’ll need to hike downhill from Point Udall to get to Jack’s Bay Beach and while it’s not a long hike, it is steep. The reward is well worth it, though, as there’s rarely more than just a few people at the beach.
8. Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Outer Banks, North Carolina
North Carolina has dozens of fantastic beaches to choose from, but one of the best is Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Technically a narrow, 72 mile long strip of several barrier islands between Nags Head and Ocracoke Island, Cape Hatteras National Seashore has a little something for everyone.
Enjoy broad sandy beaches dotted with seashells and framed by towering sand dunes, lots of water and beach activities, and a couple of lighthouses. In fact, the tallest lighthouse in the United States is here, 196 foot tall Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
Standing just 40 feet shorter, the Bodie Island Lighthouse is also nearby. Both date back to the 1870s and visitors can (and should!) climb both. Allow a full day for visiting the beach and lighthouse, and keep your eyes open for sea turtles sunbathing on the beach.
9. Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California
No list of the best beaches in the U.S. is complete without a mention of Big Sur. Arguably one of the most iconic stretches of coastline anywhere in the world, the Big Sur area is defined by dramatic rugged sea cliffs, crashing waves, and pristine beaches. Because of the rugged cliffs, Big Sur beaches aren’t necessarily the most accessible and visiting many of them requires a bit of effort.
That’s actually not the case with Pfeiffer Beach – it doesn’t require a hike or even an admission fee, but it is somewhat hard to find, thanks to the unmarked road connecting it to Highway 1. Once you do manage to find it, you’ll be treated to large unique rock formations (including Keyhole Arch, a natural rock arch) just offshore, tide pools at the north end of the beach during low tide, unbelievable sunsets, and sand that’s unmistakably purple, thanks to manganese garnet in the cliffs above.
10. Assateague Beach, Assateague Island, Maryland & Virginia
In the heart of the east coast, Assateague Island is truly unlike any other. The barrier island sits in both Maryland and Virginia and features a rugged landscape dotted with wind-swept sand dunes, grasslands, and warm, shallow bays. Oh, and it’s also home to hundreds of wild, free-roaming horses. Legend holds that they’re descendants of a handful of domesticated horses that survived a shipwreck sometime in the 17th century.
The horses are, of course, one of the main reasons that Assateague Beach is one of the best beaches in the U.S. However, it’s far from the only reason. Each side of the island is unique, with 12 miles of quiet sandy beaches on the Maryland side and the interior bayside being more recreation-oriented.
Here, there are numerous opportunities for kayaking, clamming, and crabbing, plus the waters are warmer and calmer – perfect for swimming. If you want to go for a horseback ride, head to the Virginia district.
11. Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, Georgia
Situated on one of Georgia’s four Golden Isles, Driftwood Beach is widely considered one of the best and romantic beaches in the country. Due to years and years of erosion on the northern end of the island, hundreds of weathered, warped, and bleached trees dot the beach.
It may sound a little odd if you’ve never seen it in person, but it’s strikingly beautiful and truly memorable. In fact, Driftwood Beach is one of Georgia’s most photographed landmarks!
Aside from being picturesque, Driftwood Beach has tons to do. Georgia’s coastline is notorious for its excellent fishing, there’s a great network of bicycle trails, and you can even camp on the beach here. Another must-do activity at Driftwood Beach is visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, an interactive experience for every member of the family!
12. Wai’anapanapa State Park, Hana, Hawaii
Wai’anapanapa State Park, along the famous Road to Hana, is the epitome of a Hawaiian beach. Its black sand was created by basalt lava flow several centuries ago, and it’s framed by lush green rainforest and indigo blue ocean.
The dramatic scenery is postcard-perfect and absolutely pristine. Being a stop along the Road to Hana, Wai’anapanapa State Park takes a bit of effort to reach. Those willing to put in the work are rewarded with a big payoff, as the beach is rarely crowded – something increasingly hard to find anywhere in Hawaii.
In addition to the beach itself, Wai’anapanapa State Park features large black boulders, sea caves, a natural sea arch, a blowhole, several small swimming holes, and a blowhole. Visitors can cliff dive, explore the sea caves, or hike to explore the boulders and inlets.
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