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  1. #1
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    Default Question about boots (Brands)

    Our current safety rules say that are boots "Must have a defined heel and a heavy duty sole with some type of traction aid". They also must be "lace up" I have spent hundreds (close to a thousand) of dollars over the past 10 years on "winter boots" that are insulated and waterproof. And now, once again, for another year i have cold, wet feet and am out (this year) $200.00. The problem more then anything is the boot height. I walk in snow as deep as 2-3 FEET! on a daily basis. Just last night i had to walk almost 3/4 of a mile from my locomotives to a waiting taxi in snow above my knees. It took close to an hour and my beautiful Danner GoreTex/Thinsulate waterproof boots were totally waterlogged and my feet frozen. Nobody makes lace up waterproof safety toe boots in knee high models. And quite frankly, i would not enjoy taking the time to lace them on and off each day. So i suffer and use my electric boot dryer daily. I have tried gaiters but they never last since they have the strap that goes under the boot by the heel. I climb ladders so often they get destroyed.

    Yesterday i sat down with our company safetey officer and asked about the possibility of wearing rubber overboots or the rubber "construction worker type" boots. And they said no because they are not steel toe and do not offer any real ankle support. They are also not lace up. BUT, as it turns out, he happens to be a volunteer in his local department and said "The only exception i would make is if you bought some super heavy duty fire department type bunker boots" The reason being is he knows they are certainly up to the task. He even said he would actually give me a letter granting me permission to use a non lace up style boot so long as they are NFPA approved.

    My local FD supply house stocks Thorogood, Black Diamond and Lacrosse. I am planning on going there when they reopen monday. But i also know there are plenty of other brands on line. Globe, Warrington, Ranger, Servus, etc. I am guessing i am much better off trying them on in the store, but what are your opinions? My requirements are waterproof, warmth and comfort.
    Last edited by WD6956; 04-21-2011 at 07:05 PM.


  2. #2
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    We looked at them inside and out, tried them on, field tested several brands, even cut a couple pairs up, so that we could REALLY see how they were made, and we went with the HAIX. The Globe boots looked nice, and they clearly had the best marketing tools. but cutting them apart, they didn't compare with the HAIX. Additionally, HAIX had a fantastic re-sole and re-build program for worn boots.

    I, personally, went to leathers more than 10 years ago, several years before the department didd. I'd never wear rubber boots again. Better fit, more agility, less effort in performing skills. Also, take a look at the NIOSH report that was released yesterday, adding additional reasons why firefighters (drivers) shouldn't wear rubber boots!
    Last edited by DFDCar1; 12-24-2008 at 04:13 PM.
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  3. #3
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    You are out of luck. Rubber 3/4 boots are your only option and it sucks when you need to wear them and its cold or you are working hard. The sweat never evaporates from them and they just stay wet. Perhaps you should buy snow shoes?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    We looked at them inside and out, tried them on, field tested several brands, even cut a couple pairs up, so that we could REALLY see how they were made, and we went with the HAIX. The Globe boots looked nice, and they clearly had the best marketing tools. but cutting them apart, they didn't compare with the HAIX.
    The Haix do like nice. What model did you go with?


    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    Additionally, HAIX had a fantastic re-sole and re-build program for worn boots.
    That was another question i was going to ask. Re-sole issues. I guess you cant re-sole rubber, but being as most are in the $125.00 range, it's not that big of a deal to do every few years. But leather boots can be re-soled?


    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    I, personally, went to leathers more than 10 years ago, several years before the department didd. I'd never wear rubber boots again. Better fit, more agility, less effort in performing skills. Also, take a look at the NIOSH report that was released yesterday, adding additional reasons why firefighters (drivers) shouldn't wear rubber boots!
    Any link for the NIOSH report?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    You are out of luck. Rubber 3/4 boots are your only option and it sucks when you need to wear them and its cold or you are working hard. The sweat never evaporates from them and they just stay wet. Perhaps you should buy snow shoes?
    Snow shoes would be great if i was only walking from point A to point B. But i have to climb ladders and steps constantly and am often on very uneven terrain. So they are not realistic.

    Globe's headquarters is only about 45 minutes from me. I was contemplating taking a ride up there to try a set of their boots on.

  6. #6
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    We went with the HAIX Fire Hunter Xtreme. I purchaseed 48 pairs this year, on an AFG grant. Got them for $247.50 per pair. This is the boot, but the price that they show is list. I know that you vcan do MUCH better than that: http://www.haix.com/usa/firefighting...artikel=501605 WELL worth it!

    The info on the HAIX re-sole program is at: http://www.nushoe.com/product_lines/haix.htm

    Finally, the NIOSH report that I mentioned is at:

    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face200827.html

    The price for the leathers may seem high, but they hold-up, they are MUCH more comfortable, they provide a much greater level of ankle and foot support and protection, and you actually spend no energy trying to keep them on your feet, unlike the rubber foot buckets....

    Good luck with your shopping!
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  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber CFD Hazards's Avatar
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    Forget fire boots for what you want. I used to be on a USAR team and we were issued Matterhorn miners boots. I have had them for 6 years now and they are all I use in the winter. I have the 10 inch but they make a 16 inch boot. Here is a website.


    http://www.corcoranandmatterhorn.com...&CategoryID=37

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cfdeng3 View Post
    Forget fire boots for what you want. I used to be on a USAR team and we were issued Matterhorn miners boots. I have had them for 6 years now and they are all I use in the winter. I have the 10 inch but they make a 16 inch boot. Here is a website.


    http://www.corcoranandmatterhorn.com...&CategoryID=37
    I own a pair of the 10" boots shown there. I have had them for years. They are great, but as i mentioned above, the idea of lacing them on and off all the time would get very annoying. I am really looking for something slip on.

  9. #9
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    To answer your question. Leather is more comfortable, holds up longer and are better insulated. Brand should be determined by those deciders at the end of your legs. If your local supply house has boots on the shelf then try them on until you find a pair that feel right. If USAR boots are a beter fit for you there is always the zippered route that seems to work out fine.

    Another option you may want to look into is Justin makes a slip on safety toed work boot. My father and brother both work in Natural gas pipeline construction and safety toe is required. They are only a 10" boot but hold up very well. You can pick those up at Tractor Supply
    To err is human, To forgive divine and at times I am as much of both as you will ever find

  10. #10
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    I figured the leather would last longer. But how about the waterproofing? You would think a rubber boot being as its molded in one piece would seem to be more waterproof then a leather stiched version. I have owned many pairs or leather boots and gloves that claim to be waterproof but quickly prove otherwise. I would guess the standards are higher for the fire industry.

    So far i like the Haix Fire Hunter, Globe Magnum, Black Diamond X Boot and Warrington 8000 series boots in leather. Price wise, they are all within $20.00 or less of one another. So price is a non issue. It's going to come down to which one is best.

    I like Globe because i can actually go right to the Globe headquarters and see and try on a set. They also seem to get rave reviews on every forum i have found.

    The Haix look super well made and they too get great reviews. I LOVE the fact they have that place that will do factory resole work for a very reasonable price. The downside is i have no way to try a pair on.

    The Warrington 8000's look tough and i know Warrington is a respected brand. My local dealer carries Warrinton, not sure yet if they have 8000's in stock though.

    The Black Diamond boot looks super tough. And my dealer carries them too.

    As for rubber, it seems like it's a much easier choice. Ranger, Black Diamond, Servus, Thorogood, etc all make boots that appear to be nearly identical. Aside from the coloring, the features seem the same. I cannot imagine that with the rubber boots, one brand is above and beyond another. But please correct me if i am wrong.

  11. #11
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    I'm sorry! It looks like I misread the original question. You were looking for boots NOT for firefighting! I'm a Type 2 Safety Officer on the NYS Incident Management Team, and I've been looking for a good pair of boots for the deployments that we go on. Something that gives me maximum support and protection, but something that I can wear comfortably for 12-14 hour operational periods... Some wildfire guys that I talked to about it pointed me to a company called "Nick's Boots". http://www.nicksboots.com/

    I saw thier product at an Incident Management Academy that I attended last Fall, but I was only there for the last three days of the academy, and the vendors all picked up on my second day there. They seemed like a real QUALITY product, made for a variety of hard-work vocations - and not just for firefighting. Expensive, but high quality. The wildfire guys swear by them...
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDCar1 View Post
    I'm sorry! It looks like I misread the original question. You were looking for boots NOT for firefighting! I'm a Type 2 Safety Officer on the NYS Incident Management Team, and I've been looking for a good pair of boots for the deployments that we go on. Something that gives me maximum support and protection, but something that I can wear comfortably for 12-14 hour operational periods... Some wildfire guys that I talked to about it pointed me to a company called "Nick's Boots". http://www.nicksboots.com/

    I saw thier product at an Incident Management Academy that I attended last Fall, but I was only there for the last three days of the academy, and the vendors all picked up on my second day there. They seemed like a real QUALITY product, made for a variety of hard-work vocations - and not just for firefighting. Expensive, but high quality. The wildfire guys swear by them...

    They look like nice boots, but they are all lace up as well. I am trying to get as tall a boot as possible, that is a pull on. I have had it with laces and side zips and lace in zippers. I have two pairs of Bates side zips with mangled zippers and quite frankly am looking forward to not spending 10 minutes each day lacing and unlacing my boots. Not to mention, a pull on boot is not going to be as tight around my calves as a properly laced lace up.

    Having owned multiple paris of Danner, Matterhorn, Bates, Altama and many others from my years in the Military, i can tell you, many of the "waterproof" boots are simply... NOT!. That is why i am now looking to go with a tall (14" minimum) pull on style boot. Every firefighter i know has yet to complain about there boots leaking. And i figure if they can withstand the punsishment most firefighters endure, then they can easily handle what i throw at them.

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    On the boot subject, how is the fit?

    I know even in sneakers and everyday boots, sizes tend to vary by manufacturer. What about in the various fire boot companies?

    I went online and found a website..

    http://shoes.about.com/od/fitcomfort/ss/measurefeet.htm

    that tells you how to properly measure your foot. I traced my foot on paper, then did the measurements and using the conversion chart, it says i am a 15D. So that alone limits my size options as some models do not come in those large sizes. But do Bunker Boots tend to run large? Or are the sizes accurate?

    That should be an easy question to anyone who wears them.

  14. #14
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    Default Neos Boots

    I am a mailman I can relate to your issue. The post office has specific shoes we can order. The only thing I have found that works pretty well is Neos overshoes. Check them out they are alot more comfortable than Rubber Boots
    http://www.overshoe.com/

  15. #15

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    I have the same questions on sizing of boots as WD6956. I know the rubbers I have now are 2 sizes smaller than my normal shoe size (Rangers). I'm looking at getting Warrington Pro 5006's but i want to get the right size. Ideas?

    Thanks,

    Andrew

  16. #16
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    Amazing, on a forum with THOUSANDS of bunker boot wearing firefighters that only FOUR people have any comments on brands and styles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    Amazing, on a forum with THOUSANDS of bunker boot wearing firefighters that only FOUR people have any comments on brands and styles?
    Buy HAIX they are based in my first due area...we could use the tax revenue.

  18. #18
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    Well, just went to my local Fire supply house. Amazingly they had a few types of boots in size 14 and 15.

    I tried on a pair of Lacrosse Rubber boots and while they fit nice and had lots of insulation, they still were not anywhere near a "shoe fit". They felt like the typical slip on style rubber rain boots. Even though they were the correct size, they simply had too much room to make them feel comfortable. They offered very little support. I was not happy with the fit. I tried a pair of Thorogood rubber as well, same issue.

    As luck would have it, they had a pair of size 15 Black Diamond X Boots and as soon as i got one on, i was sold. What an incredible feel. They fit like a sneaker and felt like they were made for my feet. $260.00 and i was out the door. No tax, no shipping. And best of all, i LOVE the boots.

    I would have loved to have tried the Haix, Globe and Warrington and maybe one (or all) of those brands would have felt even better. But for the price and best of all, the chance to try them on before i bought them, i have no regrets.

    I am a 100% firm believer in the idea that leather boots are a world of difference in comfort. Even though they literally cost twice what rubber would have, in my opinion, its worth it.

    Thank you to all who responded. Be safe, Happy new year.
    Last edited by WD6956; 04-21-2011 at 07:05 PM.

  19. #19
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    Seems like I'm a little late getting to the party (since you've already bought the boots), but have you considered buying some waterproof socks (like Sealskinz)?

    http://www.danalco.com/


    They're knee high and you could wear any old leather boots you like....wouldn't matter if the boots aren't totally waterproof. Then if a sock develops a leak you could just replace them...I think they go for around $40. Mind you, I haven't actually tried them, because they are kind of pricey and I've never really had the need. Sounds like you have the need. According to their website, REI carries them.
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  20. #20
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    I've had Warrington & Thorogood, and have been satisfied with each.

    In general, I'd recommend you steer clear of anything that is glued like a sneaker. The HIAX I've seen are made this way. Boots made like this are less durable and harder to resole.
    Name:  cementing.jpg
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    Look for boots made with stitchdown construction.

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