I have recently gotten my NWCG certification as a wildland FF, and may be participating in some Rx burns in the spring, and suppression in the summer fire season. Was wondering if you old salts out there might be able to recommend any particular boot manufacturer over another.....
I know that if I take care of my feet- then they'll take care of me....
"In Omnia Paratus"
-- The opinions presented here are my own; and are not those of any organization that I belong to, or work for.
Boots for wildland... first question is how much time are you going to spend doing wildland then how much $$$ are you willing to spend? Whites are considered by many to be the best on the market. There are a number of copy-cat types of whites (Nicks, Hawthorne, and Buffalo(?)) that won't set you back quite as far, but regardless, they aren't cheap. I personally use and prefer <a href=http://www.westcoastshoe.com>Westco</a>. I don't know how the prices compare currently, but over the past 10 years or so, they are typically about 2/3 the cost of whites. I have heard many grumbles about the quality and customer service from whites, and it seems to be on the increase.
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.
This topic was also discussed almost a year ago here on the wildland board. Here's that <a href=http://www.firehouse.com/forums/Forum16/HTML/000065.html>Link</a>.
Good luck and let us know what you come out with all your appendages http://www.firehouse.com/forums/biggrin.gif
[This message has been edited by RxFire (edited 01-07-2001).]
I just got a chance to check the forums, and I hope I'm not too late. Do yourself a favor and go with a custom fit boot. I used to use the off the shelf boots,like carolina's, georgia's, westco's,etc. and got blisters. I finally broke down and got a fit kit from Nick's. Gary at Nick's is the nicest guy to work with. You don't really have to go with Nick's, as long as it's a custom boot built just for your foot especially if you have foot problems. Check out Nick's website at Nicksboots.com. Also check out Drewsboots.com, they can't build the boot to your foot, but it's close.
Goodluck, and keep the wind at your back and one foot in the black.
I have a pair of Buffalos which I had handmade back when I lived in Spokane. Whites makes Buffalo and Hawthorne, they are just less expensive versions of Whites. I was told by a White's employee that the difference between White's and Buffalo are Buffalo boots use a lower grade of leather, but still good. The difference between Buffalo and Hawthorne is Buffalos are rebuildable, and Hawthornes are not. Nick's Boots are made by former White's employees, also made in Spokane, and are about comparable to White's in quality. Wescos are also supposed to be good.
I tried off the shelf boots and they were ok, but not great. I now have a pair of Whites Smoke Jumpers, best boots I have Ever had they don't compare to any others, simply the best in my opinion.
I broke down recently and bought some 10" Hot Shots from Nicks ~ $350 - very awesome construction and now that they are getting broken in I am very impressed with the comfort. Don't know how durable they are in the long run yet, though.
Hathorns they are the same as whites but easier on the pocket book.