Best Wildland Firefighting Boots -Buyer’s Guide

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If you’re planning for your next adventure Wildland Firefighting, or likely to be in the area of a wildfire, a good pair of boots is, without doubt, a must-have. But where to begin? With a wide range of options from cost-effectiveness through to durability, choosing your next pair of best wildland firefighting boots can feel like a daunting task.

We have narrowed down your choices to recommend our top-rated boot that offers you the most bang for your buck—whatever that may mean to you. Some people may need a cheap pair of boots to get them through a very short period of wildland firefighting, while others may be looking for a durable boot that will last through many rugged adventures. Whatever it is you need, you will find a great selection on this diverse list of the top wildland firefighting boots on the market. Our recommendations are compiled from reviews of consumers just like you.

Wildland Firefighting Boots are vastly different from, although often confused with, normal boots. The basic differences between these two types of boots is that firefighting boots offer improved traction for navigating tough environments, they are lightweight for ease of movement, and offer supportive protection from heat and debris. Often, they are comfortable enough to wear as a daily work boot or for outdoor activities.

If you’re spending a short period inadvertently exposed to wild firefighting, a normal boot is fine. If you plan a wildfire firefighting career, then a bought for purpose firefighting boot is a must-have part of your equipment.

Some people may fool themselves into thinking that they can get close to a fire wearing a standard shoe or their everyday footwear. Sneakers and shoes will become increasingly hot with every step you take if you are in the vicinity of a wildfire. Do not approach any fire if you are not correctly trained and equipped.

Even if you plan to stay in your car the entire time in the forest and just look at the wildfire, you will need to consider that you may have to evacuate the vehicle. Luckily, there are a variety of boots available with options sure to meet your needs and fit your budget. If you live in an area prone to wildfire breakouts they are an excellent investment.

Primarily you will want to be sure that you are purchasing a boot that has great traction to prevent falls and give stability when moving around, and a sturdy underfoot to protect your feet from everything that lays on the forest soil. The midsole and sole of the shoe are where to look for this protection. You need a lightweight, supportive and comfortable boot, which will ensure your ability to walk long distances without cramping or foot discomfort.

Crucially, heavy boots are not practical for Firefighting, as the weight will cause the muscles to tire more easily. All of these factors, as well as input from real customers, have been taken into consideration when compiling the list of the ten top firefighting boots.

SO, WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE BEST WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING BOOTS

1. ADTEC FIREMAN LOGGER BOOTS OIL AND HEAT RESISTANT

Adtec Fireman Logger Boots Oil and Heat Resistant are a fantastic, versatile boot offering superb protection within this price bracket. Adtec Fireman Logger Boots would not serve for front line firefighting but are a great boot as far forward as staging areas. Like all firefighting boots, they do not have steel toe caps but the oil and heat resistance offer you great protection from those dangers as a workboot and they are commonly used by loggers.

The versatility of the Adtec means that you can wear these boots with confidence for any outdoor activity hike. One of the greatest benefits of these boots is the ability to wear them comfortably around town for extended periods or out into the wilder areas with equal comfort and protection.

CCost and Value

With style and comfort coming together seamlessly, the Adtec Fireman Logger Boot gives you good value and excellent safety. A true all-round boot that can be worn everyday but offers that extra protection when you need it. Adtec have a fabulous reputation, and are known for their zero tolerance no-default approach.

Pros
  • Durable leather construction
  • Padded insole for comfort – excellent arch support
  • Fire resistant laces – steel hooks with solid brass eyelets
  • Instant comfort – no long break in period necessary
Cons
  • This is not a fire boot – excellent though for logging and outdoor work.
  • Sizes come up slightly small – best to order one size larger.

2. THOROGOOD FIRESTALKER ELITE WILDLAND HIKING BOOT

For a true Firefighters boot the Thorogood Firestalker Elite Wildland Hiking Boot is a safe bet. The Thorogood Firestalker Elite Wildland Hiking Boot is made from oil-tanned fire leather and complies with the requirements of NPFA 1977 Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Firefighting 2011 edition.

Vibram Fire all-terrain sole, giving stability and protection through the most extreme of conditions, with a moisture wicking removable footbed.

Lightweight

Choosing a lightweight shoe is the most viable option for those intending to wear them for extended periods of time. Heavy shoes wear out your feet and ankles more quickly. Watercress hits the mark when it comes to lightweight and capable of being worn for long walks.

Cost and Value
Those seeking good value for a really professional boot will appreciate that the price tag on these boots comes far from breaking the bank. A high-level reliable boot at an accessible price. The boot features a Kevlar lace and thread.

Pros
  • A regulations compliant professional boot
  • Offers great comfort
  • Triple ribbed logger shank
Cons
  • Known to require regular lace replacement

3. SCARPA FUEGO MOUNTAINEERING BOOT

The Scarpa Fuego Mountaineering boots offer true comfort and versatility and free you to explore for long periods of time without foot cramping or blistering whilst offering excellent support and versatility. The boot is made with 100% leather with a Vibram sole, offers a double gusseted tongue for comfort and protection whilst offering the look of a traditional mountain boot.

The Scarpa Fuego mountaineering boot offers a tall cuff for additional protection for foresters and firefights.

Footbed Design

For superior comfort and support, a steel shank supports the sole offering stability over uneven terrain.

Cost and Value
You will be hard-pressed to find a boot as suitable for all-round outdoor use, making the cost of the boot well worth the purchase. These are long-lasting boots and will see you through many miles and remain comfortable with extended wear.

Pros
  • Excellent durability and comfort
  • A perfect all around multipurpose boot
  • Superb Italian construction
Cons
  • Extra rigidity means that the boots take time to wear in
  • Recommended to go half a size larger than usual

4. WHITE’S BOOTS SMOKE JUMPER LACE-TO-TOE BOOT

The White’s Boots Smoke Jumper Lace-To-Toe Boot Sports a Vibram sole and meets protective clothing and equipment regulations for wildland firefighting. When you invest in White’s Smoke Jumper Lace-to-Toe Boot you know that you have the best the industry has to offer to protect your feet on the job.

Design

Coming in at the high end of the price range for boots, these are recommended unreservedly for the protection and design. The boots are completely rebuildable according to the manufacturer, offering opportunities to extend the life of the boot once they are becoming worn.
Cost and Value

Pros
  • Vibram sole technology
  • Meets regulations
  • Great traction
  • True to size
Cons
  • Cost may be prohibitive to some
  • Professional height boots are not designed for everyday wear

5. LA SPORTIVA GLACIER WLF WILDLIFE FIREFIGHTING MOUNTAINEERING BOOT

The La Sportiva Glacier WLF Wildlife Firefighting Mountaineering Boot is lower cost boot. This boot meets the US federal standards for wildland firefighters, post-fire clean-up but not front-line firefighting.
The boot is a rugged, mountaineering style working boot that offers suitable protection or wildland work, forestry demands, backpacking or trail building.

Adventurer’s Delight

Outdoor enthusiasts and workers will love this boot, it offers excellent value with adequate protection in an attractive, lightweight and comfortable boot.

 Cost and Value
These boots offer excellent value for money. There is a half steel shank in the sole offering good stability over uneven terrain, a Vibram sole, breathability and heat resistance up to 300 degrees.

Pros
  • Excellent value for money
  • Cross discipline use
  • Lightweight and comfortable for extended wear
Cons
  • Not suitable for front-line firefighting

6. DANNER FLASHPOINT II ALL LEATHER WORK BOOT

Looking for a low-cost hybrid workboot? Look no further than the Danner Flashpoint II All Leather Work Boot. These boots contain no metal, so are suited to working for firefighting. A slightly cheaper boot than those above, but still delivering great comfort and good design.

Design

These boots are designed and manufactured within the US, feature a Vibram Fire logger outsole and are non-insulated. They have Nomex stitching and are made from fire-retardant leather. Our reviewer’s particularly liked the fact that a women’s boot was available in a matching style.

Cost and Value
These boots are great value for money. Sitting at cheaper end of the price bracket for professional boots they still deliver superb protection and great comfort.

Pros
  • Budget friendly price
  • Comes in women’s and men’s fitting.
  • No breaking in time necessary.
Cons
  • Not waterproof unless treated

7. HATHORN MEN’S 110V SMOKE JUMPER FIGHTING BOOT

For a mid-priced, high quality firefighting boot, take a good look at the Hathorn Men’s 110V Smoke Jumper Fighting Boot. Once again made in the US, this boot also meets the protective clothing and equipment for wild land firefighting in accordance with the NPFA 1977-2011 31DR.

Design
A hook and eyelet 10” high upper with full-grain all leather construction. A lace in tongue guard and nylon laces are included – all that you need for an excellent mid-range boot offering a top of the range result.

Cost and Value

The cost of this boot offers great value in the of the spectrum of wildland firefighting boots, they offer comfort, support, protection and superior traction that will make you feel like you got away with a steal.

Pros
  • Completely rebuildable to increase life-span
  • Superb value for money
Cons
  • Water resistant not water proof
  • No slip resistant sole

8. WESCO FIRESTORMER FIRE AND WATER RESISTANT LACE-TO-TOE BOOTS

This boot is more than capable of handling the roughest conditions that can be thrown at you. Offered with more fire-resistant features than any other boot on the market currently. This does put them at the top of the market price-wise, but they were found to be worth every cent by our reviewers.

UL Certified for Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Firefighting in accordance with NPFA 1977-2011.

Design Features

Leather upper and Vibram fire and oil resistant non-marking sole. Comes in black, with a fire and water resistant upper featuring lace-to-toe. Lightweight black no-burn Technora upper stitching, heavy duty Kevlar sole stitching.

Cost and Value

This is a upper bracket boot with fantastic features and great protection for those who need serious footwear.

Pros
  • Excellent sizing, no need to adjust
  • Top of the range excellent protection for those that need a serious boot
Cons
  • Not suitable for cross-purposes
  • Only comes down to a size 8

9. MEN’S 9 INCH ADTEC LEATHER STEEL TOE LOGGERS BLACK

The Men’s 9 inch Ad Tec Boots offer two distinct benefits—price and durability. With steel toecaps they offer excellent protection for logging and wood workers and are a budget boot offering foot protection. Not suitable for firefighters.

Design

An imported boot offering a leather upper and rubber sole. The boot measures a 1.75” heel and 9” from the arch. Full grained oiled leather upper and an oil resistant lug outsole.

Cost and Value

You can’t go wrong with the low-dough price tag available on these boots. Pay a bargain price, and get a gem in return. These bots cost little more than a disposable Walmart pair of shoes, however they will last longer and provide more protection comfort and traction. For a work boot they are excellent value for money.

Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Excellent logger boots with no un-needed extras
  • Available in two widths
Cons
  • Only suitable for logging as they have steel toecaps.

10. THOROGOOD MEN’S POWER HV BUNKER BOOTS

A slightly different, but fantastic product to add to the selection you are considering. A 14” tall unlaced black leather boot. Waterproof, flame and cut-resistant leather upper. Abrasion resistant rubber toe and heel feature. Vibram fire and ice resistant toe and heel protection – the composite safety toe meets ASTM F2413-11 M I/75/I. Blood borne pathogen compliant.

Cost and Value
Not a cheap boot, but in its class a boot offering excellent protection and advanced design.

Pros
  • Superb protection
  • Unbeatable on design features
  • Easy to get on – no lacing
Cons
  • Some issues with putting on an unlaced boot have been reported

CRITERIA USED TO EVALUATE THE WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING BOOTS

PROTECTION FEATURES

When you purchase yourself safety boots, for work or hobbies, you need to know exactly which features they provide, and the level of protection you can expect. All of these boots offer slightly different protection levels, some can be applied across a range of activities, and some are more specialist. The main features of each boot design have been listed to enable you to make an informed decision.

Some boots are for front-line firefighting, some are more suitable for the station or post-fire cleanup purposes, and some for logging or forestry work. Using our reviews you can select the boot that best suits your purpose of the application.

The featured boots come in a wide range of prices. Whilst you do not want to be paying for an over-engineered boot that has features you have no need of be sure that you buy a boot that offers you adequate protection and you do not skimp on your personal safety and comfort.

FOOT PROTECTION

Any firefighter will tell you that foot comfort of a well-fitting and secure boot is paramount at the end of a long and tiring shift. This extends to anyone who wears protective footwear in a work or recreational capacity – painful feet make moving and making progress extremely difficult, in a highly dangerous situation you need to be able to move quickly, and safely.

Support for your feet with a sturdy sole means that you can cover uneven terrain quickly and safely, for any fire facing action the boot cannot contain any metal at all and this is designed out of the boots that we have recommended for that purpose.

For logging, forestry and trailblazing a metal sole support will ensure that the bed of the foot remains stable when covering really uneven ground or walking on hard landscaping materials. The stability for even walking then can come from the boot rather than from the terrain you are crossing.

Those spending long periods of time in their boots will recognize the necessity of comfort.

For those that need to put the boot on and get to work our reviewers have included recommendations about the length of time that it takes to break the boots in and achieve a good level of day-long wearing comfort. The more structured the boot often the longer it will take to break into your particular foot.

TRACTION

No matter what you plan to do, traction should be of high importance. The boots reviewed all took this into consideration and addressed it through design and material. Our reviews of the best firefighting boots have highlighted the sole materials and the benefits that they bring to the boot.

There are several different benefits offered from the boots, from oil resistant to increased traction or ice resistant – consider the conditions you will be asking your boots to perform within and choose appropriately.

LIGHTWEIGHT

Wildland firefighting boots do sometimes sacrifice weight for functionality, however, all models now use advanced modern materials in their construction and this ensures that the boots deliver excellent protection whilst remaining as light as possible.

Wildland firefighting boots will naturally be heavier than other shoes, but still, maintain a lightweight quality to allow you to put in a full day without wearing out your feet and legs and causing any injury.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FIREFIGHTING AND A LOGGING/FORESTRY BOOT?

A firefighting boot will contain no metal sole components – generally, they have a Vibram sole. They will also not have a steel toecap when working in heat metal cannot be worn.

For a loggers, protection boots may feature a steel toecap or a metal sole insert to offer rigidity when moving about in uneven terrain. Walking boots will also feature the sole strengthening of a metal implant.

DO I NEED A FIREFIGHTING BOOT?

Firefighters will need a firefighting boot! For anyone who works for this front-line emergency service protecting members of the public then the right specification, approved, specially designed footwear is a vital part of the necessary protective gear.

For members of the public who undertake risky employment or recreation then they are a good boot to consider. They offer excellent protection, support, are designed for extended wear without causing issues, and are manufactured to offer you peace of mind in extreme circumstances.

If you are working in forestry, logging, or any other outdoor employment sector then you need to decide which features best protect you in your particular line of work, and when you are facing the hazards that your day to day employment brings.

HOW MUCH CAN I HIKE IN WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING BOOTS?

Smoke Jumpers need to hike great distances. With this as a given wildland firefighting boots are designed to be worn whilst walking and for extended periods of time. The boot should not only offer the correct level of protection, but also offer a high level of comfort to the wearer.

For choosing any best wildland firefighting boots for hiking purposes make sure that you have worn them for extended periods prior to taking off to wear them in, taking the chance to highlight any issues that you may have. One thing is for sure, with the right wildland firefighting boot on you can take on any unexpected events that occur.