Thread: wildland boots

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    Default wildland boots

    hi all im new to fire fighting and was wandering if anyone can tell me a good brand of wildland boots

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    Nick's or Whites are good if you make your living at it or just want the best, otherwise there are various lower grade boots out there such as Nick's Contender, White's Hathorn, or Wesco boots. There are a few others I think

    Birken

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    Tulare

    I've been using Wesco's for going on 15 years now... recently having upgraded to custom fitted, and had no problems. They are rebuildable just like Whites. They've held up through working in NorCal, southern AZ (sonoran desert), and everything in-between. Cost wise, my custom Wesco's ran me about $318 to re-order back in March. Boots are argued about like stihl and husqvarna, ford and chevy... they all get the job done. I've know folks who swear by Red Wings. You need to find what will work for your foot... what you can wear for 14 hours on the line, a few more hours in camp, off for a few hours of sleep, then back at it again.

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    Try on as many different types of boots as you can, find something that fits you. Everyones feet are different, and just because one boot fits one person doesn't mean it will work for you.

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    That being said, I don't "try on" boots when I want them. I send them the drawings and measurements of my feet and they ship the boots to me. When you pull on a new pair and go to work having them fit already with no break in required, those are boots that fit. (Mine are Nick's)

    I went with Nicks because I usually go with a smaller company if two comparable products are available; I figure the little guy will be trying to outdo the bigger one.

    Birken

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    I agree that when you do finally order some boots you should do so with the measurements and a drawing of your feet. But it is good for a lot of people to get a chance to try different brands on, they all fit a little different. Whites tend to have a really high arch that bothers some people, so its is good to see if they are comfortable for you before ordering.
    Last edited by ramseycl; 01-16-2006 at 06:13 PM. Reason: can't spell..............

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    I love my redwings!
    Goretex lined! Super warm and comfortable!

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    They will build white's without the high arch if you request it. I couldn't wear them with the high arch and had them redone without it.

    My career department supplies us with white's to wear as duty/wildland boots. Wearing them everyday at work and not fighting much fire they feel like ankle weights.

    I do most of my wildland firefighting with a volunteer department as initial attack for the forest service in our area (we are red carded) and I love my american made carolinas for long days on the line. It is hard to find the american made though, don't buy the imports!
    Last edited by volunteercareer; 12-20-2005 at 11:23 PM.
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    White's Smoke Jumpers are practiclly the industry standard but there are plenty of other good boots out there. You will find individuals who don't like White's, Redwings are almost universally heckled by career wildland types but there are some who are quite happy with them. I started out with a pair of Redwings and was happy with them, but I also won't be trading my Nick's in for another pair of Redwings either.

    If you have a Workworld nearby they often carry many styles of boot you can use. The only requirement is that the boot have an 8" upper (the part that covers your ankle and calf), be made of leather and have a lug sole (vibram or other "waffle stomper" style sole). The Logger style boots (the one with a tall heel) are most common but any boot meeting the standards above is acceptable. Personally I prefer a little taller 10" boot than the minimum because of the extra protection for my leg (alot of stuff tends to hit me 9" up my shin).

    Just remember you get what you pay for, a cheap ($100>) boot will probably get you blisters and require replacement within a year if they get much use firefighting, I have yet to find anyone who was actually happy with a cheap boot, but many have been very happy with less than Whites. Redwing, Danner, Wesco, Nicks, Whites, Wolverine, and Wesco all make boots that you might want to look at.

    I talked to a couple of guys this year that bought Danner's new fire boot, mid season and both seemed happy with the boot (they were not on my crew so I don't know what they thought at the end of the season). Redwings are definately one of the most popuar lower end boots, Wescos are probably the most popular mid range boot.

    Don't know if you have shopped around or not but you have Redwings at the $160 range and the Whites / Nicks close to $400 (more for custom built), there are quite a few boots in the $200-300 range. If you are looking at occasional use like a VFD you will probably be fine with a lower end boot that fits your foot well, and might even give look at a cheap boot if it seems sturdy and comfortable (don't know if that really exists under $100) but if you are going to a department with lots of wildland fire you will probably want to spend a little more, as a seasonal with a state DNR, or Federal wildland agency spending a little more will probably be best.


    Hey BirkenVogt,

    the Nicks are pretty nice aren't they. I liked my White's too but I think the Nick's have them beat.

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    Now what about socks? I have been told that SmartWools are the best to wear for Wildland FF. Any other suggestions?
    T. Krampe NREMT-P
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    I like Smart wool socks and Dalgren socks (http://alpacadirect.com/Results.cfm?...2&Secondary=24 ), I also wear a pair of thin "sock liners" they are thin socks that wick the moisture and make my boots fit better. Good socks are as important as the boots. you want ones that fit well, and keep your feet dry. Spend some money and get good ones.

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    I use the two sock method... a pair of regular over the calf white cottons, then the wool (preferably) boot sock, such as wigwam, over that. Some people like the circus uniform sock, but I don't care for it personally.
    IACOJ
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    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

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    I also wear the two socks, a medium weight wool sock over a regular white cotton sock. The theory is the cotton wicks the sweat away and the wool holds onto it or something. In practice when you take your boots off at the end of the day (or week as the case may be) the feet will only be slightly damp. Works real well.

    One thing I learned is to wear the socks inside out. Socks have this seam along the tops of the toes that can cause blisters on the tops of the toes. Having this seam outward puts the smooth surface against the toes so this does not happen.

    Birken

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    Quote Originally Posted by RxFire
    I use the two sock method... a pair of regular over the calf white cottons, then the wool (preferably) boot sock, such as wigwam, over that.
    Same Here with good results, but still pack some moleskin just in case!
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    Thanks for the info about the socks. My Wescos are on the way to me as of today. I think I will try all of the various combinations that were listed during my break in time.
    a.k.a. emmit233

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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeOthestorm
    Thanks for the info about the socks. My Wescos are on the way to me as of today. I think I will try all of the various combinations that were listed during my break in time.
    What name do you post under on IACOJ? I don't recall seeing any application form you.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    What name do you post under on IACOJ? I don't recall seeing any application form you.
    I have always posted under eyeothestorm on firehouse. I was very actively involved in the EMS forums here until medic school took up my time. I am done with school and starting into wildland. I have not been very active here until recently. I applied via an essay as to why I wanted to be in the IACOJ over 2 years ago. B. Meyer was one to the "judges" at the time. Because I was not fire trained only EMS I was told I had to state that in my signature if I chose to use the IACOJ in it. Heck I don't know am I missing something...I have been away
    T. Krampe NREMT-P
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