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  1. #1
    OCFireEXP
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Anyone Know of any good Wildland Boots?

    does anyone know of any good wildland boots that dont cost an arm and both legs (whites costing an arm and 3 legs!)?

    sure would appreciate any feedback

    Joe

    ------------------
    Joe Nassetta

    -"I run through the gates of hell so you don't have to."


  2. #2
    RxFire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Joe

    Well, since you want to keep you appendages, I guess Whites are not an option. There are a bunch of copies of Whites, like Nicks, Buffalo, and others that are not QUITE as expensive, but still a pretty good penny. I myself go for WESCO's. They are a good quality boot, and handmade. Their website WESCO lists the boots at $268. Some people I have worked with used Red Wings, which are a less pricey, but under severe wear don't seem to hold out for many seasons.

    Go to a reptuable boot shop and try several pairs and multiple brands, and get fitted correctly. Nothing is worse than boots that are uncomfortable or hurt. Remember, you are going to be on your feet ALOT, so don't skimp. Even the outrageous cost of Whites is easily made up on one fire. Check the shop, sometimes they give a great price break if you get the boots custom fitted.

    Be Safe and remember the 10 and 18.

    Good luck
    Dave

    [This message has been edited by RxFire (edited February 24, 2000).]

  3. #3
    monte
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The reason they are expensive is because they save your appendages. Another good one is Grizzley's, and a vote of confidence for White's, Nick's, Wesco.

  4. #4
    mtnfireguy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    As the others have said.... dont't cheat yourself when it comes to your dogs... get good quality boots. I have a pair of Hawthornes that I have had for going on 6 years now. Not the best boots, but very good.

    Go with Whites, Nicks, or the lower cost version of whites - Hawthornes (made by white)
    www.nicksboots.com

    You will thank yourself in the end.

  5. #5
    ks_wildlandfire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Add another vote for Hathorn Smokejumpers. I've had mine for three seasons and they are still going strong. I got them from Drew's Boots in Klamath Falls, OR. They are currently listed on their web page for $199, which is less than I paid for them 3 years ago. Their website is http://www.drewsboots.com/

    I would agree with RxFire though. If you can get up north to Drews and try them on before you buy them, that's the way to go.

  6. #6
    Captain Hickman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I got a pair of Carolina's in 94 and been wearing them for everything. Just had them rebuilt last month. Had new heels and replaced plastic in heels with leather. Plastic started to show signs of melting from the stump holes and direct attack fire fighting. The boots weren't the high cost ones like White or Nick's, but for me in the rocky Ozarks, they have done the job very well. As mtnfireguy said, ...dont't cheat yourself when it comes to your dogs... Look around and try several different types and fits, you may have to try on several different manufactures. If you plan on using them for fire fighting in rough terrain and for several years, get what fits the best. You don't want them to tight, just a good close fit. You'll need good ankle and arch support and something you can not only work in, but possibly sleep in them, or even have to wear them without socks. Make sure it's comfortable. Once you've made your selection, baby'm. Take care of them, keep them oiled, make sure that you keep the sweat out of them, leather doesn't like salt and bacteria. Use foot power inside and mink-oil or bee's wax to protect the outside. Don't use them for walking in mud or protecting your feet in the rain and snow. For that buy yourself a pair of rubber boots. And most IMPORTANTLY, wear them and have them broke-in before the fire season starts. You're no good to the crew when you have blisters on top of blisters and sitting in rehab, I seen that happen. You are going to spend big bucks for a good pair of boots, so you want to make them last.
    I've been looking for a new set for about a year now, thinking about the Wesco boot or a set of Nick's. I have several sources of Wesco, which are close to me and repair service also. Where ever your choice, make it right for you!
    Good Luck
    Hickman

  7. #7
    SWIDFCWINS
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Joe:

    All of the posted replies to your query contain good advise. My two cents...I bought a pair of Red Wings at least 6 years ago. They have withstood some, but not a lot, of firefighting and hiking around. They are still in good condition. But, they do cause me some blisters, even today. However, I have tender feet and they are hard to fit. Bottom line is to choose wisely and get a boot that fits well and comfortably and won't give you too many blisters. Spending a little more now can save you a lot of grief later on.Wear double socks and carry that mole skin when wearing the boots. And DO break them in BEFORE fire season starts. Good luck!

    ------------------
    DFCWINS

  8. #8
    OCFireEXP
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    thanks guys, i appreciate it. any one know of anything special i should look for in a wildland boot? are there NFPA requirements that i have to look for? right now, im wearing a pair of Justin workboots, with 10" uppers, and a steel toe. they are verrrrry comfortable, but i dont think i would use them in a fire situation.

    how much do a pair of whites smokejumpers cost anyway? if it wasnt for my new Ford pickup, id buy them now! i just might get some anyway though.

    how about ankle heighth? alot of guys tell me that 10 is ok, but 12 is great. i know a guy with a pair of 16" whites! those boots are taller than his structure boots! crazy!

    thanks again,
    Joe

    ------------------
    Joe Nassetta

    -"I run through the gates of hell so you don't have to."

  9. #9
    RxFire
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Joe

    I believe steel toes are not permitted with the Feds or CDF. Not to mention the case of hot foot those would give you - ouch! As for boot height, I prefer 10", would like to try 12". I have discovered a Murphy's law re: boot height - the grubing end of the pulaski will somehow find your shin about 1" above the boot line.

    As for NFPA certifcation, my most recent pair of wesco Jobmasters has the same tag sewn onto the inside of the tongue as found on my nomex. Wesco's website even lists the boots as NFPA compliant.

    I imagine all the common forestry boots are NFPA compliant. Shop around, Whites work for some, but not others. Go with what feels best and like everyone said... break them in before fire season, but even then, it takes a few good fires to really get everything set.

    Dave

  10. #10
    fireman14us
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ranger Wildland boots - $144.99 a pair at Gall's. Fully NFPA compliant and very comfortable.

  11. #11
    mtnfireguy
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Whites are around $300... you can buy factory direct or thru a dealer. I have seen them as low as $250. Also, for those of you with hard to fit feet, White will custom build boots to fit your feet
    http://www.whitesboots.com/whites2.html

  12. #12
    OCFireEXP
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    steel toes are a bad thing? i see where yall are coming from, and must admit ive never thought of the hot foot thing! the funny thing is my dept issues steel toed wildland boots to the career and reserve firefighters! redwings i think. i dont know, i guess ill use my current boots this summer, and i probably wont use them much anyway, me being an explorer. thanks alot everyone, i learned a few things from this one! mabyee ill get some whites some day!

    thanks again,
    Joe

    ------------------
    Joe Nassetta

    -"I run through the gates of hell so you don't have to."

  13. #13
    monte
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Some other things to check with: at least 10" tops. If you get into deep duff or lots of litter that will easily find it's way into your boots, go with the 10" or greater tops. Check the number of stitched seams: always a place to let water in. Also check the stitches, single or double, and the width of the thread. Also check the lug soles, just like a tire some tread is more agressive than others. Vibrum is traditional so compare to that. Also look the texture of the leather. If you wrinkling along the ankle area, suspect it is thinner cow hide from their stomach area. This may not mean much, but it stretches easier, which means if you end up in the Salmon River Breaks, and your sidehill gouging all day, the boot leather can stretch. Also look at the soles for how they are attached: glue, glue and stitching, or glue, stitching, and screws. You want the most advantage to hang on to all parts of you boots throughout the assignment. Good luck.

  14. #14
    Wills
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Well let me tell you. I have had red wings before. Now I have WHITES I wouldn't recommend anything but the best and I feel that is WHITES. If you do wildland firefighting then that is what you need. you must rely on your feet to do alot of hiking. If you feet get tired then so will you. The White boots keep your feet as comfortable as the can be. If you are an Explorer then you must be pretty young. The reason I say that is because the exporers in San Diego have to be under 18 yrs I think, but my point is that you WHITES will last you 10 yrs or more. It all matters how much you fight fire.

    I know they cost alot but the are worth every penny. If you are going to do the job you have to use the right equipment. If you are going to put out a fire you dont use a garden hose do you. Well no you use hose which is large and that is meant to do the job. Well if you want to fire wildland fires thensave yo money and by the best. You wont regret it. If you by something cheaper I will bet that it wont last as long and you have yrs. left in this job.

    ------------------
    Take Care,
    Wills

    [This message has been edited by Wills (edited April 01, 2000).]

  15. #15
    NYTINARMOR
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    For the last 16 years I have been wearing Whites Smokejumpers in the 10" height. I tried wearing Red Wings and Nicks, but they do not compare to the Whites. If you keep them oiled and clean they will last you 4 or 5 busy seasons before you have to send them back to Whites to have them rebuilt.

    Stay safe....

    [This message has been edited by NYTINARMOR (edited April 02, 2000).]

  16. #16
    Aerial 131
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    I have tried West Coast loggers, hurt my feet, tried Red wings, cost to much and hurt the feet and took a year to break in, I now use Black Diamonds, Love them a bunch, no sore feet, fit perfect right out of the box. Only problem is that they seem to wear out in about two years. In the area of the TriCities Washington we do not have full time wildland, all of us in the area structure & wildland(double trained). Don Zimmerman, Captain Hanford Fire

  17. #17
    OCFireEXP
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    guys, i think im gonna get me a pair of nicks hotshots. does anyone have anything to say about them? are they good? does anyone have any horror stories about nicks to tell before i buy them? i really like the nicks hotshots, cuz they have that thicker sole on them... but the whites are only $4 more, but i see the thicker sole as an advantage. does anyone think im insane for this?

    thanks,
    Joe

  18. #18
    Brian Johnson
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Joe:

    I bought a pair of Red Wings from the Red Wings Shop on Main street in Santa Ana in 1982. I still have them and plan to climb Mt. Fuji in them this summer.



    ------------------
    Brian Johnson
    Assistant Chief
    Okinawa, Japan


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