What are the World’s Best
Firefighter Station Boots?
Firefighters must adhere to a very strict uniform of protective clothing when they respond to an emergency incident. But what do they wear when they’re in the station? Once the bells sound, firefighters must rush to get ready to respond and ditch their station clothes for fireproof ones.
Often the trickiest part of this transformation is changing boots.
Station boots must be easy to remove yet comfortable and protective as fire stations pose hazards of their own. We’ve explored the key features all station boots must have and come up with a list of the best brands and styles available. Read on to find out which station boot we think is number one.
Why buy firefighter duty boots?
Firefighting is one of the most hazardous occupations in the country. Those who fight fire for a living put their personal safety at risk every time they respond to an emergency. However, fire stations also pose risks to firefighters who are on duty but not at the scene of an active fire.
Here are a few hazards firefighters can avoid by wearing good quality station boots:
• Sharp objects that could puncture the foot
• Falling objects that can damage the foot
• Heavy objects that can crush the foot
• Extreme heat (molten metal)
• Extreme cold (from extinguishers)
• Slip hazards like water, oil, sand and gravel.
Top three things to look for in firefighter duty boots
1. Easy to put on and take off
The main thing firefighters look for in station or duty boots is easy removal. When those bells sound, every second counts. Lace up boots are not an option as they take too long to remove. Most firefighters choose boots with zippers or slip on work boots. For some, even using a zipper takes up valuable seconds as most people need to sit down to remove these boots. Slip on boots can sometimes be kicked off while standing so are a popular choice.
Firefighting is an incredibly active job. Even when firefighters aren’t responding to emergency situations, they’re on their feet taking care of their equipment and vehicles and staying active to keep fit. With this in mind, firefighter station boots must be as comfortable as possible. Things like adequate arch support, ankle support, foam cushioning for the ball and heel of the foot and soft anti-chaff lining are very important.
The leading cause of injury to firefighters is not burns but strains and sprains. Firefighters have to move quickly and jump in and out of a truck which can strain and damage the muscles in the feet. Boots with shock absorbency are great at minimizing this. Some firefighters choose to wear boots with added protection like these Academy steel toe boots. However, while steel toes are compulsory in some workplaces, they’re not strictly necessary in a fire station and can be uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time.
If you have to buy new station boots every six months, the boots your buying are not fit for purpose. In a job like firefighting you’re putting your boots through their paces, so they won’t last forever. However, durable boots made from high-quality materials should last a few years minimum. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you will save money over time and avoid having to break in a new pair of boots so often.
If you’re looking for other work boots with more common designs you can view our homepage for more styles we recommend for general use.
Other features to look for in fire fighter station boots
Even in the station, firefighters can be exposed to very high temperatures. Boots made from materials that are not heat resistance can get hot enough to melt and cause blistering or burns. Composite materials like plastic, Kevlar aramid fiber, and carbon fiber do not conduct heat. It’s also important that station boots do not conduct electricity in case firefighters are exposed to an electrical fire.
All that heat can make feet sweat and lead to unpleasant skin disorders. A temperature control system, ventilation features and antibacterial lining are must-haves to keep your feet cool and comfortable.
A standard rubber boot sole isn’t effective in handling the varied conditions a firefighter might face at the station. Station floors are often wet with hose water or slick with engine oil from the truck. The floor might also be dirty from firefighters traipsing in and out. An all-terrain sole will ensure firefighters don’t slip in the station or have to endure wet or oil-covered feet at work.
Firefighter boots reviews
Here’s our pick of six boots that have all of the features on our wish list. The winner of our best firefighter station boots award can be found at the bottom of the list.
Thorogood’s Men’s Gen-flex2 Series 8″ Tactical Side Zip Jump
Many firefighters choose Thorogoods to wear at the station. This Thorogood station boot is a solid work boot made from smooth, full grain leather and featuring a durable side zip and Gen-Flex 2 dual-density rubber outsole. Traction lugs on this outsole offer great traction for uneven surfaces while the sole itself is shock-absorbing. These boots also feature polyurethane footbeds that support the arch of the foot and a gel heel insert. There’s no chance of these boots falling apart after a few months as they are constructed using the Goodyear Welt method, making them as tough as, well, old boots.
5.11 ATAC Jungle Boots for Men
These multipurpose tactical work boots are popular with firefighters for their superior comfort and durability. Made with tough full-grain leather, these boots don’t scuff or tear. All 5.11 boots feature special cushioned insoles with one layer of Ortholite X25 foam for shock absorbency, one later of Lazy recovery foam for comfort and an injection molded phylon midsole.
Built for the use of the American military, the manufacturer of these boots promise that they’ll last you for years to come.
Blundstone Work Series 990
For slip on station boots, you can’t go wrong with a pair of Blundstone work boots. This popular brand has been around for almost 150 years and is known for its durable yet stylish chelsea boots. Made from water resistant leather with elastic gore on each side, Blundstone work boots have a shock protection system that reduces the stress firefighters often feel in their feet and knees. Super heavy duty, Blundstones have an oil and acid-resistant outsole, good to know when you’re working somewhere like a fire station. This particular model of Blunstones also has steel toe caps.
Redback Men’s Bobcat UBBK Leather Work Boot
Made in Australia, Redback’s Bobcat boots are also slip on but guaranteed to be stronger than normal work boots. These boots are made from “full chrome oiled tannage”, meaning they’ll hold their shape and won’t crack and crumple like other leathers. Redback boots are manufactured using a tried and tested method that uses heat and pressure to fuse the leather upper under the insole. This method makes it virtually impossible for the sole to come away.
An innovative anatomic sole is filled with tiny air bubbles giving great support to tired arches and cushioning the soles of your feet, reducing pain and fatigue. Most importantly, these boots have an elastic side section so you can take them off in a hurry. Based on our own opinion and the brilliant reviews these boots have received online, Redback Man’s Bobcat UBBK are the best firefighter station boots out there.