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  1. #1
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    Question Leather or Rubber Structural Firefighting Boots?

    I am a firefighter in Memphis, TN and am looking for some feedback concerning turnout boots. I am wondering what type of boots are being worn in different departments and areas in the country. Do you wear leather or rubber boots? What type of boots does your department supply? Which type of boot do you feel is more comfortable, durable and safer? Do you feel that leather boots are worth the added expense? If anyone can help me by answering these questions, it would greatly be appreciated. Please, feel free to add any tales or experiences to your remarks. Thanks to everyone who responds.


  2. #2
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    Default Philadelphia

    We started getting leathers a few years ago but were only issued to truckies and heavy rescue. As usual more ended up with them then they orignally expected. I would take the leathers over rubber any day of the week. They are more comfortable, seem just as safe, give better feel when climbing ladders, have better traction on those icy roofs. They feel kinda like wearing heavy sneakers. The department stopped issuing them about 6 months ago due to cost. Now everybody is getting those damn rubbers back. I was lucky and got an extra set so I will have them for awhile. The rubbers suck and when my leathers wear out, I probably will fork out my own money for a new set.

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmsl224's Avatar
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    Default Rubber VS Leather

    I work in fairfax County, VA just outside of D.C...We have been using Leather for some time now (at least 8 years)... Brother from Philly is right, there is no substitute!! They are lighter, more comfortable and offers more feel. One thing i would say is that, leather boots are not totally woter proof. I found that out wihile working outside in the middle of deep snow cover...Took about 1 hour before I felt "little" wet..Besides that...they are fantastic! Oh by the way. we use pull up Pro-Boots

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlavoie
    I am a firefighter in Memphis, TN and am looking for some feedback concerning turnout boots. I am wondering what type of boots are being worn in different departments and areas in the country. Do you wear leather or rubber boots? What type of boots does your department supply? Which type of boot do you feel is more comfortable, durable and safer? Do you feel that leather boots are worth the added expense? If anyone can help me by answering these questions, it would greatly be appreciated. Please, feel free to add any tales or experiences to your remarks. Thanks to everyone who responds.
    As an outsider I always assumed that the technology related to firefighter equipment was well developed and that most departments around he country had the same level of quality in their gear. I am now discovering this may be far from true. Our company is introducing a new, high output smoke simulation machine. In the process of our contacts with firefighter trainers I am learning that there are areas in need of equipment development or enhancement - or at least a need for greater communication between departments of development that has occured

  5. #5
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    Default

    leather all

  6. #6
    Forum Member fireman4949's Avatar
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    Default

    My dept still issues rubbers.

    I HATE THEM!

    I wear a size 16, and the Rangers and Servus boots I've had weighed a ton and absolutely killed my feet after just a short time wearing them.

    I bought myself a pair of Warrington Pro 5000's about 2 years ago (around $235). My first call wearing them was about 3-1/2 hours long. I was amazed at the comfort, feel, lighter weight and traction they provided. I'll NEVER wear a pair of rubbers again...EVER!

    My leather boots have never wicked any water in as was mentioned above, but other brands or styles may. I can only speak for the Pro 5000's. They're worth ten times the price to me.




    Kevin
    Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
    IAFF Local 2339
    K of C 4th Degree
    "LEATHER FOREVER"
    Member I.A.C.O.J.
    http://www.tfdfire.com/
    "Fir na tine"

  7. #7
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    Default

    i absolutely hate rubber boots. we had the exciting task of hose testing a couple of weeks ago, and my right boot sprang a horrible leak, so i wound up with a saturated sock and blisters from hell. not only that theyre the most uncomfortable things ive ever worn. thankfully my captain ordered me a pair of leathers, and hearing what everyone else says about them, im looking forward to it.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber MrYuk's Avatar
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    Default

    I have the Warrington 5000's as well and I have never felt any boot so comfterable. Rubber always made my feet hurt and that is never the case with leather.
    "Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"
    http://thedarksideof911.blogspot.com/
    FTM-PTB-EGH
    IACOJ

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    I was first issued a pair of rubber Servus Firebreaker IIs and I thought that they were a good pair of boots. I went about 10 months then my company started issuing leathers to everyone. When I got my pair of Pro Warrington 5000s and tried them on I was shocked to see how much more support I got out of them. They are so comfortable and light weight. Leathers all the way.

  10. #10
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    Default Boots

    Well, in the Air Force, it depends where you are assigned as to what type of boot you will be wearing. Since the military cannot quite understand that there are in fact two seperate standards for turn-out gear, they issue aluminized turn out gear to practically everyone. This is because the primary mission of the Air Force is aircraft fire protection and every firefighter is an ARFF firefighter first and structural firefighter second. Unfortunately, the aluminized PPE is to be worn for both crash rescue and structural PPE. Regarding boots, if you are one of the fortunate, you will be issued the structural rubber boots; not a great reward in itself. If you are one of the several hundred unlucky individuals, you will be wearing the heavy, cumbersome ARFF boots that weigh just about double the weight of structural boots.

    Here at the USAFE fire academy we are switching to the new Gobe Magnum boots. We tried on a demo pair and fell in love with them When ording, we were asked as to if we wanted the normal structural boot size or running shoe size. We opted for the running shoe due to the extreme comfort we found. You can run, jump, an stand for hours and never get fatigued from sore feet.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Pro Warrington's and I could never go back to rubber boots EVER again!!!!

  12. #12
    Forum Member st42stephenAFT's Avatar
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    All the firefighters in my department have leather boots. However most of the Juniors have rubber, along with the Explorers. Some of the Juniors have leather, myself included. If there's an extra pair lying around and no one needs them, the Juniors can get them.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default plisken

    Our department will purchase you rubber boot due to $. Yet 1/2 if not more have gone out and bought leathers. They are lighter, more comfortable and last a lot longer. The bottoms get harder and slipperier on ICE but once you go to leathers you wll never go back. Wellington, ranger what ever fits you best. look at the kevlar shanks also. Bring a pair of insoles with and try those (the insoles keep the feet toasty) but they are well worth the cash. Flat toe vs round? ive tried both and went to the flat, the ware seems to be less. some guys have gotten short (station type zip ups) I like the longer higher boot no zipper (bunker style) It all works and it is what fits you, remember at times you will spend hours (8+) in them. they do break in like any leather boot so dont get them to loose or to big. some like a extra pair of wool socks on those cold nights so consider that. But in my opinion the leathers are the WAY TO GO. look in the trade mags they always have some good deals. I Currently have thorogoods w/ sympatex lining. I also have a pair of ranger. and they work. Good luck

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber ftfdverbenec770's Avatar
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    Default

    just like everyone else has said. LEATHER IS THE WAY TOGO.

    if your dept doesnt issue them to you, spend the money and get a pair of your own. you wont regret it.
    Your a daisy if you do.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I have the Warrington Pro 5000 and I love them! They fit better than a rubber boot (more like a sneaker) and consiterably lighter. I purchased these a year or year and half ago before I started on a full-time position and I love them even more now. If you do get a pair of leather boots one thing that I have heard and this is in no way putting down one or the other, you need to treat them and clean them also. ie where the sole meets the leather esp. But to each is thier own. Stay safe

  16. #16
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    Arrow Leather is better imo

    My dept uses both, but as soon as a leather pair is available from a quitter, people are beggen to switch their rubbers for em. Station wise and off duty I usually wear magnums and would love to try their new turnout boots, If anyone has em would love your opinion

  17. #17
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    Angry sorry rubber

    I must say i'm so jealous of all the leather wearers. My dept uses survus and ranger rubber. I absolutly hate them for several reasons. They never fit really well there really heavy and the tred doesn't last very long either. My dept won't by leather because of cost and we won't be able to buy our own because of issue S.O.P I wish I could wear leather though.

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