1. #1
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    Post Boots- Rubber or Leather, which is better??

    My department has new leadership currently , and are getting crazy ideas to outlaw leather firefighting boots and start buying rubber boots. When we asked them why their answer was that they are cheaper and that they do not transfer toxins/chemicals. They said leather boots transfer these substances, but why are we walking through them anyway?!?!?! Our department has the money but we'd rather go for penny piching rather then safety and comfort Your opinion is greatly appreciated on rubber boots vs. leather!

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    Leather. If the comfort of your firefighters is considered a luxury then perhaps your priorities are a bit off center. You should walk through "toxins" anyways with basic fire boots. Spend 4 hours in a set of rubbers and then do the same in a set of nice properly fitting leathers. You will find leather to be way better. As far as cross-contamination, I think both will do it either through wear of the material or casual contact with the body incidentally.
    "The one man engine company...tough as hell cause we have to be."

    "What we have here is a Charlie Foxtrot of the Mongolian persuasion."

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    Wink

    Do a search for this. It has been talked to death over and over. Read all the comments!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnee View Post
    Do a search for this. It has been talked to death over and over. Read all the comments!
    You know what, Jonnee, your last three posts you just made really make you look like an *****. Back off and help a little or keep your crap remarks to yourself.

    To the OP. I like leather, but they shrink sometimes when wet. They do, however, make you walk alittle more 'balanced.'

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    clarkcounty nevada recently went from rubbers to leathers.
    and i like the leathers a lot better, a lot more comfortable for having boots on for long periods of time. IMO.

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    Default leather boots

    Anyone that has worn rubber boots and for the matter leather boots can tell you all the same thing. leather out ranks rubber on comfort by about a million to 1. but at the same time you have to ask yourself if they are considering rubber boots just for the simple fact of walking thru chemicals and worring about transfering them to other things. you kinda have to ask yourself does this make sense.... why would you be walking thru chemicals and not have the proper ppe on... ie level A suite.... i know there are times when it just happens.... but as with leather boots or rubber boots or any of our ppe. how you take care of your gear (ie cleaning it often and keeping up the maintance). depends on the resistance of things like cross contamination from happening.
    comfort and quality of life is the no 1 reason that i would prefer leather over rubber. (plus they look kewl!!! j/k).

    truckie4life

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  7. #7
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    Default made the switch to leather and will never go back

    We changed a few months ago - got a FIRE Act Grant for all new bunker gear but chief based the budget off of rubber boots. After trying different boots (leather and rubber) members voted to raise the $$$ for the difference between rubber and leather.

    Man are the leather boots a 1000 times for comfortable. I have not had a blister since we got the new boots.

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    That whole leather thing is such BS to me. Ask your chief this, if he is so worried about the boots soaking up chemicals, what do you think your bunker pants are going to do? and if you're like me I have mine long and they touch the ground when I walk.

    LEATHER BOOTS AND LEATHER HELMETS
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    Yawnnnnnnn

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    Default Leather

    Leather are so much more comfortable. I'll never wear rubber (boots) again.

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    After wearing rubber for almost 3 years I was lucky enough to get a pair or leather turnout boots in my new department. There really is no comparison when it comes to comfort and agility. They're more expensive but well worth it IMHO.

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    Default Never again!!

    I bought a pair of leather boots for myself and will never wear rubber again!!

    Here is what cornell University has for it's laboratory policy:

    2.2.7 Foot Protection

    Laboratory personnel (and other personnel) must wear foot protection at all times in laboratories, laboratory support areas, and other areas with chemical, biological and physical hazards present. Laboratory personnel should not wear sandals or similar types of perforated or open toes shoes whenever working with or around hazardous chemicals. This is due to the potential exposure to toxic chemicals and the potential associated with physical hazards such as dropping pieces of equipment or broken glass being present. In general, shoes should be comfortable, and leather shoes are preferable to cloth shoes due to the better chemical resistance of leather compared to cloth. Leather shoes also tend to absorb fewer chemicals than cloth shoes. However, leather shoes are not designed for long term exposure to direct contact with chemicals. In such instances, chemically resistant rubber boots are necessary.

    (Italics mine)

    here is the link to the manual:

    http://www.ehs.cornell.edu/forms/pdf/LSM_CHP.pdf
    37
    Last edited by Mzanghetti; 07-31-2008 at 11:27 PM.
    Mark Zanghetti
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    Goshen Fire Dept.
    Waterford, CT

  13. #13
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    Depending on what brand of leather boot you decide to purchase, along with a few other factors, it is possible to get five years, even more out of the boots.
    When you factor the cost of the leather boots over four, five, or even six years, the cost is far less for the average leather boot.
    In fact, if you factor a top of the line leather boot, such as the Globe, over five to six years, they are about half the price, per year, of rubber.

    Most rubber boots will last a year, or less. They just aren't as tough. Think about working at fires, as well. Ask yourself how many times a nail has gone thru a rubber boot? Just in my experience, there are probably dozens of instances that could be cited. Or how about the cussing that happens in the middle of winter, at a greater alarm, when you walk thru a puddle of ice cold water.

    Seriously, initial cost can't be the sole decider of an item. Rubber is cheaper, initially, no argument. What about over the next five years? Or ten years? How many rubber boots will have to be replaced in that same amount of time? How many leather boots?
    If a pair of leather initially costs three-thirty, but isn't replaced for five years, that averages out to about sixty-six dollars per year.
    Most rubber boots are in the hundred to hundred and twenty dollar range now. If they need to be replaced every year to year and a half-well, you can do the math.


    Without even talking about comfort, you could make a decent argument to go with leather over rubber, and save money.

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    Default 1 year for rubber?

    Our volunteer department has a lot of older rubber boots, many of which were surplussed to us from larger departments. Some of those have to be 10+ years old. So when you say rubber boots will only last a year are you talking about under daily use, or are the new rubber boots not as good as older ones.

    No disagreement here on leather though -- our new leather boots are super comfortable.

    Peter

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    This might seem a bit contrarian, but we have chosen to switch from leather back to rubber after trying out the airboss boot. It was as comfortable as the leather boots we had (pro warringtons) and the others we tried out (lacrosse, globe, thorogood). But it offered better protection and better durability than any of the other boots. I don't know how they did it, but they redesigned the boot to make it as light and comfortable as leather, with better traction. Alot of our guys were hesitant to switch, but everybody has nothing but good things to say about the boot. I don't know who said rubber boots do not last as long as leather boots, but they haven't tried the airboss boot for sure. Ours have been in use for over a year and are still good to go, even better wear and tear than we were getting from our leathers. My recommendation would be to at leat try it out to see for yourself.

  16. #16
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    I was never a big believer that it mattered, until I tried on a pair...

    Wow, very nice and comfortable.

    Go with the leathers, you'll be much happier.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    There is only ONE appendage that a 'rubber' should be going on

  18. #18
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    If you haven't tried the airboss boot yet, I would strongly suggest that you do before buying anything else. By far the best boot out there. Our department bought them for our haz mat team, and everybody else has been switching over to them after seeing them and trying them on. Hard to believe, but its true. Don't know how they did it, but my airboss boots are more comfortable than the lacrosse boots I had before.

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