Being a firefighter is one of the most dedicated and risky jobs we know today.
It takes a lot of courage to strap on that equipment and tackle a roaring fire.
While the equipment has features that make them indestructible, most firefighters are responsible for their footwear. A good pair of boots can give firefighter confidence and peace of mind.
Finding boots that are suitable for firefighters is not that easy. There are many features and standards that these boots need to adhere to. Throughout this article, you will see the features and standards that the best firefighter boots must have.
The reviews will also tackle the best firefighter station boots on the market today:
5 Best Firefighter Station Boots
For every boot, there is a large chunk of features that one needs to look for. However, these features make a big difference to the boot quality.
In the buyer’s guide, you can familiarize yourself with some of these features. However, the following boots are some of the best that one can find when working as a firefighter:
Thorogood Men’s 8″ Side-Zip Jump Boot (Best Choice)
The Thorogood Men’s 8″ Side-Zip Jump Boot is a well-rounded boot. It has full-grain leather construction with a side zipper that provides easy access. The polyurethane cushioning combines with EVA Flex Technology. These two features reduce the impact of landing and can help absorb most of the shock.
Inside the boot, you have a mesh lining that promotes breathability and ensures that moisture doesn’t build up inside. It features a composite shank to reduce the weight, but compared to a traditional nylon shank, it is more supportive.
No break-in period is required, while the boots have a gel insert that helps to absorb impact.
- Durable composite shank
- Moisture-wicking mesh lining
- Reasonably priced
- Gel insert absorbs shock
- No break-in period
- Fit runs a little small
If you want a boot that is made for versatility, the Bates Men’s 8″ Tactical Sport Side-Zip Industrial Shoe is the perfect option. Made from primarily ballistic nylon, leather, and rubber, the boot is not only durable but retains flexibility. Large lugs on the outer sole also ensure that traction is guaranteed on all surfaces.
Much like the best boots would, this one has an EVA inner sole that molds to the shape of your feet. The boot opening spans approximately 30cm, which enables those with large feet to enjoy the boot.
Since it is one of the more affordable boots, and the weight is not too heavy, it is the perfect combat boot for a firefighter.
- Slip-resistant (Oil and water)
- Moldable EVA inner sole
- Lightweight composite toe
- They do require a break-in period
The boot is not made specifically for firefighters but is made to fight wildland fires. It has a durable toe box and leather that can withstand extreme temperatures. A durable inner lining keeps your feet cool as well.
The boot is NFPA Approved for fighting wildland fires and comes with a durable outer sole that can resist punctures. The Vibram outer sole is ideal for not slipping, and a steel shank provides the best ankle and foot support.
Unfortunately, the boot is one of the most expensive you can find on the market today.
- NFPA Approved
- Puncture resistant
- Wide and comfortable design
- Shock resistant
The boot features European leather as part of the construction, with a rugged coating. Cross-Tech is the technology used for the inner lining, which helps to wick away moisture and prevent abrasions.
The best part of the boot is the inner and outer sole. Inside, you have a removable EVA midsole that molds to the shape of your feet. The Vibram outer sole has a solid plate integrated, which helps to prevent potential punctures.
However, the boot is NFPA Approved , and this means that it is also expensive.
- No break-in period
- NFPA Approved
- Moldable EVA midsole
- Not waterproof
Made from solid rubber, it is lightweight, with a large opening. It is 14-inches in length, which promotes ankle support and protection, but the rubber might not hold up under extreme temperatures.
The inside of the boot has an EVA midsole that will mold to the shape of your feet. However, a steel toe might be a counterintuitive feature when working under high temperatures. The most prominent feature is that the boot is affordable. Since the sizes run a little big, you won’t have problems getting your feet inside either.
- Fire resistant
- EVA Midsole
- Shock absorbing technology
- Sizes run large
- Steel toe is counterintuitive
Choosing The Right Pair Of Firefighter Station Boots
Not all firefighting boots are the same, and one needs to consider the important to make sure you don’t take too many risks.
In this guide, you will find some of the answers and the most important features that set these boots apart.
These features are mandatory for a firefighter station boot that will be used in dangerous environments:
What Are Firefighter Station Boots?
A common question is a difference between firefighter boots and regular working boots. However, the question is easy to answer, and you only need to look at a few different features.
Firefighter Station Boots are made to protect the feet of firefighters under high temperatures. They are much lighter than normal boots to promote maneuverability as well.
However, the biggest difference is the support and protection. While regular work boots have steel plates for support, a fire-resistant boot should not have any steel elements that could heat the boot. Composite materials are often the choice for the protective toe, whereas nylon is a common replacement for the steel shank.
Main Features Of Firefighter Station Boots
With the firefighter boot now thoroughly in your mind, you will notice that there are many different variations of this boot. However, the same important features are always mandatory.
Here is a list of the most essential features:
Safety and Protection
Safety and protection is often not only one aspect. The features are broken down into a few smaller features that are important. Every firefighter boots need to have the following three elements to ensure they will get the job done:
- Protective Toe: The protective toe is the ideal protection from falling objects and debris that might be flying around in a fire. However, a composite toe works better than steel and will not heat up to make the shoes unbearably hot.
- Puncture Resistant: A firefighter never knows what they will be stepping on. For this purpose, a puncture-resistant plate, often made from composite materials, is important. It prevents sharp objects from penetrating the shoe.
- Length: The length of the boot ties into the support, but most firefighter boots are taller than 8-inches. The additional fabric protects the ankles and the lower part of the leg. It also serves as a spot for the pants to fit inside and leave no openings.
Firefighter shoes are expensive, which means you don’t want to replace them every so often. They also need to keep your feet protected and not give in when you need them the most. Well-crafted leather, generally from a reputable source or country is often chosen for these boots. The leather will have a fire-resistant coating as well.
The durability also spills over to the outer sole. A Vibram outer sole is solid, and the lugs are multidirectional in most boots. While it is mainly a feature that makes the boot slip-resistant, it can keep you from falling and protect the bottom of your feet. Consider looking for laces that are fire resistant as well.
It might seem a little counterintuitive to think that someone will slip in a fire. However, oil is often the cause of the fire and may lead to slippery conditions under foot. However, the Vibram outer sole that we have just discussed can help prevent this. Vibram is solid, and the multidirectional lugs provide traction in all different directions.
If your thread in conditions that are littered with oil, it might be a good idea to wash the sole of the shoe. The oil can leave a stain, and if it enters the small friction plains on the sole, it could make the shoe slippery in the long run.
As a rule of thumb, you should always clean your boots after an incident where you fought a fire.
While firefighters don’t usually spend hours on their feet, the occasional rough day at the office might require a little more time on your feet. To help reduce fatigue, an inner sole made from EVA can help to keep your feet comfortable. However, the shank is just as important, with composite materials being the best option for a shank.
Nowadays, firefighter’s boots have a lot of different technologies that are available to them. Gel inserts and removable insoles can help relieve the strain on your feet. Every brand has its name for the technology they use that absorbs the shock from your feet as well.
Comfort and Fit
With all the above-mentioned features in your mind, you can take a small break and consider the fit of the boot.
A large boot is more comfortable, but you have a lack of control, and you might slip. However, the boot should not be too tight and prevent blood from reaching your feet. The fit is an important part of any piece of footwear.
For comfort, you will be looking at the inner sole. We have placed a lot of emphasis on EVA molding to the shape of your feet. However, a polyurethane footbed works well, but often it can be removed to insert a new insole.
Frequently Asked Questions
With all these features in your mind, the next boot you buy will be of great quality. However, there are a couple of questions that many of you might still have.
If you have more questions, drop a comment in the comment section.
1. Where are HAIX boots made?
European leather is the common choice for all HAIX boots. The assembly lines in Croatian and Germany are responsible for production.
2. What boots do firefighters wear?
The most important thing that every firefighter take note of is the durability and the FR logo on the boots. However, the boots often need to be NFPA Approved if they are to be used in wildland fire conditions.
3. Are all Thorogood boots made in the USA?
The USA makes around 65% of all Thorogood boots. They have two factories in Wisconsin, with only one of them still operational. Many people have found Thorogood boots made in China as well.
Boots are not simply boots, and firefighter boots require a lot of focus and effort to find. You can use the features in this article to find the ideal firefighter station boots for your needs. All of them are highly regarded, offering value and quality.
Drop a comment below to share your thoughts on which boots are the best or which boots you would have liked to see on this list.