No doubt, wildland firefighters are one of the bravest people out there. Being properly equipped is crucial for this profession. The wildland firefighting boots need to be chosen wisely, and must conform to the security standard and requirements of the NFPA 1977 Protective Footwear 2005 31DR Edition. Note that the firefighter boots should be made of high quality leather, and should provide sufficient support to the ankles and feet, plus a Vibram lug outsole which is puncture, slip and electrical hazard resistant. It is advisable to get boots with composite safety toe caps, because they do not conduct heat like steel caps do. Most of the models we’ve picked are great for big feet, because they are offered in 2E width, and Thorogood models are up to 3E! Here are our top picks that withstand the harsh conditions and fell good when worn.
Top Best Wildland Fire Boots Reviews
White’s Boots Men’s 400VLTT Smoke Jumper
White’s boots is one of the well known wildland firefighter boot producers. They make specialized footwear for a number of different professions, and are recognized as the producers of the top quality, comfort and durable boots. Here is why we picked this model:
- They are the standard setter in forest
- Heat and slip resistant heavy duty Vibram outsole
- Strong, cut and flame resistant leather upper, made of full-grain, oil-tanned leather
- Completely rebuildable due to hand-sewn, stitch-down construction
- Lace Dri-Lex lined tongue
- Lade to toe design for firm ankle support and proper adjustment
- Tough and durable lock stitching in three rows for the ultimate durability
- Durable Goodyear storm welt construction
- Certified and meets the firefighter boot requirements of NFPA 1977 Protective Footwear for WFF 2005 31DR Edition
- Made in the US
Overall, these boots are truly heavy duty, provide excellent traction, ankle and foot stability. They are heat resistant, and are made of the highest quality, durable leather and have rebuild able construction. The company even thought about the really big guys and has fire boots for big feet up to 12 (EE).
La Sportiva Glacier WLF Boot
These boots are also made for forest work, but they have all the characteristics necessary for being certified as conforming to the national standards for Firefighting Boots. Here are some of the main features worth mentioning:
- The rubber outsole is heat resistant to up to 300°
- The glue used is resistant to heat to up to 70°
- Idro-Perwanger, high-quality leather waterproof upper
- Moisture wicking lining for dry and cool feet
- Dacromet coated, tempered steel shank and carbon fiber reinforcing
- Great Italian quality
Tough, durable, heat resistant, water repellant and meet the standards for Wildland Firefighting Boots, but please note that they are not meant to be used for frontline firefighting.
Adtec Men’s 10″ Fireman Logger Boots Oil & Heat Resistant
We picked these Adtec boots as our next choice for wildland firefighting boots because of the following qualities they feature:
- The strong Goodyear welt construction
- Lug outsole which is heat resistant to up to 500° F as well as oil resistant
- Fire resistant laces
- High quality, full grain leather upper
- They barely need any break-in time
These logger boots are durable, heat resistant, slip resistant and made of the highest quality leather and strong Goodyear welt construction. It is recommended to order a size up if ordering online.
Thorogood 9″ Firestalker Elite Wildland Boots
Another wonderful pair of boots from Thorogood, these are also an excellent choice for wildland firefighters, because of the following characteristics:
- The leather upper is fire, water and cut resistant
- Cement construction
- The Sympatex waterproof barrier antibacterial lining
- The moisture wiking removable footbed
- The strong steel triple ladder shank
- The Vibram outsole which is slip, ice and fire resistant
- Meets the standard and requirements for wildland firefighting boots
Definitely worth taking a closer look at them if you are a wildland firefighter. They offer the perfect protection from cold, fire and heat. Their leather upper is of the highest quality and keeps the feet and ankles protected from fire, water and punctures.
Danner Tactical Firefighter Review (LIGHTEST MODEL)
Our next pick for the list of the Wildland Firefighter Boots is from Danner are more lightweight and athletic looking than most of our other top picks. Yet, they do provide the necessary protection needed for wildland firefighters, including:
- NFPA certified
- Strong Vibram outsole
- The upper is from durable rough leather which is fire resistant
- The lining is moisture wicking
- They have a full length polypropylene board and an integrated steel shank for torsional rigidity and stability
- They have a really mild break-in period
- They are more like what mountaineer would wear, which makes them more comfortable than the traditional logger boots
These Danner’s are the very light and weight only 1 pound and are the lightest among the best wildland firefighting boots on this list. Yet they durable, resilient, and will keep your feet safe while tackling a wildland fire.
Georgia Boot Men’s Logger 8″ Black Non Steel
These logger boots are another pair of great protective footwear suitable for wildland firefighters. We liked the following aspects:
- The strong Goodyear welt construction
- The high quality tanned leather waterproof upper
- The cushioned removable polyurethane insole
- The ANSI compliant safety toe caps
- The rubber lug outsole
These Georgia’s are very sturdy and of high quality. The only problem is that they may require a longer break-in time due to the tough leather upper, but otherwise have all the characteristics of safe and comfortable Wildland Firefighter Boots.
Scarpa Fuego Mountaineering Boot
The Scarpa Fuego Mountaineering boots are one of the best boots for wildland firefighters as they are safe, reliable, comfortable and durable. The Scarpa boot has all characteristics which you need to look for when choosing the wildland firefighting boot, including:
- Made of special sturdy one-piece Crosta Pro leather from Italy, which can be treated with wax and Silicone for added impregnation and water-resistance.
- They have high comfortable cuffs and additional eyelets to add support to the ankles on the roughest terrains.
- There is no rubber randings which means that there is no danger of the Scarpa Fuego getting scorched or melting when fighting fires.
- A superbly comfortable double gusseted tongue to keep the feet safe and stable and can be pulled up for casual walking or pulled down for difficult terrains.
- Taibrelle lining which lets the feet breath and wicks any moisture or vapor away.
- Comfortable EVA midsoles and a full shank for support and comfort.
- Reliable and anti-abrasive Vibram outsoles.
Even though they feature a classic mountaineering design, these Italian-made firefighting boots are a superb option because they are tough, extremely comfortable, provide excellent foot and ankle support and stability and will endure through the roughest terrains and fires.
Thorogood Firestalker Elite Wildland Hiking Boot
Another pair of hiking boots that are well-suited to be used as firefighter boots, because they have all it needs to be considered when it comes to footwear for wildland firefighting. Here are their main characteristics:
- True technical hiking one-piece vamp cement construction.
- Tough oil tanned leather which is fire and cut resistant.
- Breathable Cambrelle lining and a moisture wicking, removable footbed to keep the feet dry.
- A Bi-Fit reinforced insole
- A tipple ribbed logger shank for support and stability.
- Excellent multi-ankle grip provided by the special sidewall lugs.
- A durable Vibram Ice and Fire all-terrain sole.
- Tested to meet the rigorous safety requirements of NFPA 1977
- Meets and exceeds the ASTM standards for slip resistance.
- Fire resistant Kevlar laces and threads.
Designed and made specifically for wildland hikers and for firefighters, Thorogood Firestalker Elite are of top quality, are comfortable and have all the safety and protective features which a wildland firefighter needs in order to be able to perform their job safely and efficiently even in the roughest conditions. They are definitely an investment which is worth considering when it comes to choosing the most reliable firefighting boots.
Important Wildland Firefighter Boots Requirements and Characteristics
While many firefighters may have different opinions on minor features, most agree on the really important ones. It is important to keep your feet dry and protected no matter what. Also, you should be able to rely on your footwear at all times. So, without a further ado, here are the top 5 features you need according to our experts:
- Comfortable all day long – no matter what your day job requires, you feet deserve comfort. You can’t possibly fight fires when your feet hurt or are covered in blisters. Cushioning is really important, as is feeling well in your footwear. Comfort also means getting the right size and fit for your feet. However, don’t forget that they might need some break-in time (ranging from a week to a couple of months). You might be able to find boots that feel right from the start, but let’s be honest – this is more of an exception than a rule.
- Longer lasting – you certainly won’t be happy if they fall apart only after a couple of months, no matter how demanding and tough your job is. When you are spending hundreds of dollars, durability should be one of the important things
- Waterproofness – fighting forest fires inevitably exposes your footwear to harsh conditions. From getting soaking wet, to walking or standing for hours on muddy and wet terrains, this certainly puts a toll on your feet. Protect them with waterproof footwear
- High-quality outsole – that one is a must. Strong outsole, that is both slip and heat resistant will reliably protect you from getting seriously injured
- Certified to safety standards – it is the only way to be sure you are getting what you are paying for, is having boots certified and marked according to the PPE safety standards
Top Brands to Consider for Best Wildland Firefighting Boots
Founded by Charles Danner during the great depression, this company started with the goal to make and offer affordable and yet comfortable and reliable handcrafted work boots. Today, Danner is one of the most recognizable US-based brands for hiking, outdoor, uniform and work boots.
Nicks boots is well-known for its top quality handmade boots or the military, outdoors, public service and work or casual boots in the US. It has been making them since 1964.
This company has more than 90 years of experience in making the finest boots for climbers, hikers and mountaineers which are all 100% handcrafted in Europe. The manufacturer is the sole outdoor footwear producer awarded an ISO 9001 certificate for compliance to the highest standards of production and quality. Getting a pair of Lowa fire boots, such as Lowa Baffin pro wildland fire might be challenging, but if you come across a pair, don’t hesitate to try them!
And one last pair, we also recommend trying is the Cosmas hercules v2 hotshot boot. We we not able to find them online easily, but they are said to hit the sweet spot between mountaneering footwear and the wildland firefighting boot.
This is one of the best known mountaineering, hiking, alpine skiing and other outdoor boot makers in the world. This family owned business is based in Italy and has been making boots since 1938, and its boots have been worn by leading mountaineers and climbers, as well as by the Italian, Spanish, French and US military for extreme conditions.
Established back in 1892, Weinbranner became the first footwear manufacturer to specialize in making “jobber” (safety work) boots in the US. Today the Thorogood brand has evolved into one of the leaders for safety footwear.
Best way to break in a wildland firefighting boot
Most of the fire boots are not quite comfortable right out of the box. It is normal that the sturdy boots made of oil tanned and other tough leather will need some break-in time when you first buy them. Here is how to make the break-in easier:
- Wear them around your house with damp socks in order to allow for the leather to become moist and soften faster. This process could take two or more weeks before you can comfortably wear your boots outdoors or at work.
- Some firefighters suggest that you soak the boots with water by putting them on and standing in a water-filled bathtub or other container and then wear them for a few hours, so that the leather softens and start taking the shape of your feet. Wear them until they are dry.
If you choose good quality boots, and more importantly – a pair which fits you perfectly, you shouldn’t worry about needing too much time for break in or for suffering from painful rubbing, squeezing an blistering.