1. #1
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    Default Hip boots rated for wildland fires?

    I have been looking, and have been unable to find hip boots (not hip waders) that are rated for wildland firefighting. Does anyone know where I could find some and the price? Or even if there is not such a thing. Our Fire Dept is in a location with a slight marsh (that has multiple fires each year) that if I could get boots to be used for firefighting and search-and-rescue I would much rather do that.

    Thanks.

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    You probably won't find any certified for wildland but you can probably find something you can use. There is only one boot currently on the market "certified" as a wildland boot, it is not a particularly popular boot either. Most agencies issue a logger boot (high heel, tall leather upper) The most popular with wildland agencies are Whites Smoke Jumpers and Nicks Hotshots, neither of these is "certified" for wildland, but they are basically the standard others follow. The only official requirements I am aware of are 8" or taller upper, lug sole (vibram or similar) and leather construction.

    You might try Drew's Boots, they sell alot of boots to wildland firefighters and carry a wide selection of boots for all purposes. They have good customer service and might be able to help you pick something to work for both of your needs. Many of the boots they carry are on the expensive side (Whites and Nicks run close to $400) but they also carry lower priced boots. I've bought 2 pairs through them over the years with no problems.

    http://drewsboots.com/

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    Red face

    Hey how's it goin'? I just wanted to let you know it's probably not a good idea, even if you could find NFPA Certified wildland firefighting hip boots, to purchase them. You don't want to work near water with them if there's much depth you'll sink like a rock, the second thing is they're bulky and anyone with wildland firefighting experince will tell you the last thing you need to more strenuious gear that will slow you down. My advice to you is get yourself a good pair of Leather sole,good traction boots that are light and will keep your feet dry, such as goretex. Good luck and have a safe and happy holidays.

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    Red face

    Hey how's it goin'? I just wanted to let you know it's probably not a good idea, (even if you could find NFPA Certified wildland firefighting hip boots,) to purchase them. You don't want to work near water with them if there's much depth you'll sink like a rock, the second thing is they're bulky and anyone with wildland firefighting experince will tell you the last thing you need to more strenuious gear that will slow you down. My advice to you is get yourself a good pair of Leather sole,good traction boots that are light and will keep your feet dry, such as goretex. Good luck and have a safe and happy holidays.

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    Default Plan B

    Let the marsh burn...... keep the fire from spreading to fuels you can safely reach or access.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

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    I'm with mtnfireguy about letting it burn. Next spring talk the county int putting a clearance around it, and back burn it every time it lights up.

    We use welders boots for our wildland and duty boots. The steel toe isn't good for long days hiking, but the nomex stitching stands up well to embers.

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    BerwynFD, be careful with steel toed boots. Most places don't allow them. They can heat up when you are working in the ash, and wont cool down like the leather will. When I worked in Idaho we were issued hip waders, but didn't use them on fires, just for project work. The easiest thing we did for the marsh fires, was use a tracked marsh cat and tramp the grass down into the water. The fire burns to the edge of the tracks and goes out. No one has to get out in the water, and the fire is contained.

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    I've heard that story many times but I have a fair amount of fire time under my belt with steel toes and I have never had them "heat up" any worse than the rest of the boot which can of course be painful The real problem is most steel toed boots are of an inferior quality to the really nice heavy logger boots most of us wear and have been known to disintegrate in various ways when exposed to the rigors of fire. I have seen boots held together by duct tape, nails, glue, screws, etc. to get a person through the day or even the duration of a fire if no new boots were available...goes to show you got to be able to count on your gear to hold up 14 days at least....

    Birken

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    I agree the quality of boots is very important, I have a pair of Whites that I love. I have had them for three seasons, and just sent them off to get resoled and rebuilt. The only problem I had was them stretching a little when they were wet for 4 days on a fire assignment, but insoles made them fit snug again.
    I have never tried steel toed boots, but I know some IC's on project fires will send you home if you show up wearing them. A lot of agencies wont allow you to wear them, and you may not be covered by workmens comp if you are injured while wearing them on a wildland incident.

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    Nick's make a boot for working on soft ground. It meets the requirements for wildland fire fighters, but does not have the high heel or arch support of the typical logger or hotshot boot. It's the Alaska Tundra. One of my fire fighters could not stand the high heel or arch and purchased a pair of this style boot. He says it was one of the best purchases he had ever made. He's now working on his Crew Boss certification and been out on several western fire trips. He may be a structural fire fighter, but his heart is in the wildland.
    "If it ain't broke, don't fix it...but, maybe we had better take a closer look at it."

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    There is a difference between NFPA approved Wildland Boots and Forest Service requirements for boots.

    Forest Service: FSH 6709.11 25.12
    8. Boots. Wear heavy-duty, leather, laced boots with nonskid
    soles and tops at least 8 inches (204 mm) high. Steel-toed
    (metal cup) footwear is not recommended for fire suppression.

    NFPA specifies steel toe.

    Depends on if you work for a career department which requires that your footwear has to meet NFPA standards.

    I have heard of a composite toe boot, anyone have any more info?
    Career/Volunteer, We are all professionals!

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    I have to disagree somewhat on the steel toe, yes your foot will heat up with or without the steel toe but the steel stays hot longer, I have been on a few wildland fires in steel toes and got a hot foot from it a couple of times, it stayed hot for quite sometime compared to my normal non steel boots. Simply discomfort though not really a potential for injury.

    The best reason I've heard for staying away from steel toes is they tend to crush down and sever your toes, it is unlikely you will have an engine run over your foot during a structure fire but it could happen pretty easily during pump and roll on a wildland fire.

    Steel toes also tend to rub the tops of your toes so if you're in a steel toe for a long time they tend to cause more blisters.

    As far as NFPA vs the USFS requirements, I'll stick with the requirements made by the wildland experts, NFPA is good for alot of stuff but I find them pretty weak regarding wildland fire. I haven't run across a department that required NFPA compliant wildland boots and the last time I heard about it there was only one brand of boot that had received the NFPA label (Redwings fire boot now out of production, not their logger), I recently heard Westco might have a boot blessed by NFPA but I'm not sure about that.

    There are a few boots with composite toes, personally I prefer the non-steel toe but I really don't think any of the reasons for recommending a non-steel toe are real safety issues, more comfort and practicality. Most who have tried steel toes don't get them a second time in my experience. BTW most wildland boots have a steel shank but I've never heard anyone with an issue about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF
    As far as NFPA vs the USFS requirements, I'll stick with the requirements made by the wildland experts, NFPA is good for alot of stuff but I find them pretty weak regarding wildland fire. I haven't run across a department that required NFPA compliant wildland boots and the last time I heard about it there was only one brand of boot that had received the NFPA label (Redwings fire boot now out of production, not their logger), I recently heard Westco might have a boot blessed by NFPA but I'm not sure about that.
    NFPA does not require a steel toe for wildland boots, now if I missed it somewhere in the 2005 edition of 1977 please let me know.

    Also, two members of the NFPA wildland technical committe are from the USFS.

    And there are several boot makers selling a NFPA approved wildland boot.


    Now having said that, I'll stick with my White's till they wear out.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfireguy
    NFPA does not require a steel toe for wildland boots, now if I missed it somewhere in the 2005 edition of 1977 please let me know.

    Also, two members of the NFPA wildland technical committe are from the USFS.

    And there are several boot makers selling a NFPA approved wildland boot.


    Now having said that, I'll stick with my White's till they wear out.
    whites all the way i have a set of 16 high

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    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF

    The best reason I've heard for staying away from steel toes is they tend to crush down and sever your toes, it is unlikely you will have an engine run over your foot during a structure fire but it could happen pretty easily during pump and roll on a wildland fire.

    Steel toes also tend to rub the tops of your toes so if you're in a steel toe for a long time they tend to cause more blisters.

    Watch Myth Busters they disproved the severed toe thing. I can also after working 10 years in EMS. I had a patient at a turkey processing plant get his foot crushed in the hydraulic line where he was working. The cap was slightly clamped down but did not compromise blood flow. Had he not had the steel toes he would have lost his toes. The main thing to remember is that if the force is enough to crush the steel cap and cause you to lose your toes.....your were going to lose them to begin with.

    Now with that little story out there, I will not wear anything but steel toes for EMS. I own 2 pair of Rockies and I absolutely love them. I did have a pair of Thorogoods that were not quality boots and I knew there was a steel cap there with every step. I do not even feel the cap in my Rockies. I have spent many hours on my feet in a busy ER and my feet were ok at the end of the shift. Proper fitting quality boots steel or not should not cause blisters.

    I am fine with not having steel on the fire line my feet get hot enough on their own I sure don't want steel to help steam my toes.
    Last edited by eyeofthestorm; 01-16-2006 at 12:21 AM.
    T. Krampe NREMT-P
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    Default Thorogoods are Certified also

    Quote Originally Posted by NonSurfinCaFF
    I have to disagree somewhat on the steel toe, yes your foot will heat up with or without the steel toe but the steel stays hot longer, I have been on a few wildland fires in steel toes and got a hot foot from it a couple of times, it stayed hot for quite sometime compared to my normal non steel boots. Simply discomfort though not really a potential for injury.

    The best reason I've heard for staying away from steel toes is they tend to crush down and sever your toes, it is unlikely you will have an engine run over your foot during a structure fire but it could happen pretty easily during pump and roll on a wildland fire.

    Steel toes also tend to rub the tops of your toes so if you're in a steel toe for a long time they tend to cause more blisters.

    As far as NFPA vs the USFS requirements, I'll stick with the requirements made by the wildland experts, NFPA is good for alot of stuff but I find them pretty weak regarding wildland fire. I haven't run across a department that required NFPA compliant wildland boots and the last time I heard about it there was only one brand of boot that had received the NFPA label (Redwings fire boot now out of production, not their logger), I recently heard Westco might have a boot blessed by NFPA but I'm not sure about that.

    There are a few boots with composite toes, personally I prefer the non-steel toe but I really don't think any of the reasons for recommending a non-steel toe are real safety issues, more comfort and practicality. Most who have tried steel toes don't get them a second time in my experience. BTW most wildland boots have a steel shank but I've never heard anyone with an issue about that.
    I opperate a Tender so I don't have to walk much. I just bought a NEW pair of Thorogoods for $26.00 on EBay! They are Kevlar Stiched, Wildland Certified (NFPA Cert. Label is on the tonge of the boot) they are not steel toed structial boots but Wildland Approved ones with Vibran Soles, high heal with the shark skin toe and heal covering. They seem to fit as nice as my Danners but for what I do, I am saving my Danners for my use. Been breaking them in for 2006 Season and happy with them so far. There not politly correct like Whites or Nicks are but the price was sure right!! Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by TenderR6
    I opperate a Tender so I don't have to walk much. I just bought a NEW pair of Thorogoods for $26.00 on EBay! They are Kevlar Stiched, Wildland Certified (NFPA Cert. Label is on the tonge of the boot) they are not steel toed structial boots but Wildland Approved ones with Vibran Soles, high heal with the shark skin toe and heal covering. They seem to fit as nice as my Danners but for what I do, I am saving my Danners for my use. Been breaking them in for 2006 Season and happy with them so far. There not politly correct like Whites or Nicks are but the price was sure right!! Mark
    Politically Correct Boots..... theres a new one

    White and Nicks are not Politically Correct boots.... there are quality boots that last a long time if cared for. I have used less expensive boots as well with good results.
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
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    Default There both great boots!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnfireguy
    Politically Correct Boots..... theres a new one

    White and Nicks are not Politically Correct boots.... there are quality boots that last a long time if cared for. I have used less expensive boots as well with good results.
    I will get me some Whites or Nicks maybe this year if I get to go out a lot. I have spent so much money on my Tender (over $28,000.00 in parts and materials) that it is running out!! I saw that pair for $26.00 and could not turn it down. I like hearing the guys cut each others boots on the fires if they are not what they are wearing that's what I ment by Politically Correct Boots. If your on your feet all day it makes a big difference in boots, kind of like me in my Tender makes a big difference how it is set up and powerd. I have been on fires walking a lot in bad boots and in 12 hours I was off the line with injured feet. I would spend as much as I could afford to get the best if I was on the line again! Mark

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