Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Wildland Firefighter Foundation

Home / WLF TheySaid / New boots!

  • 09/15/2014
  • Riley

Hello to all of you wildland firefighters out there. I have taken particular interest into your career field and have started to do a research project involving your line of work. My question to all of you out there is if there are any improvements you would like to see be made in your firefighting boots. I have been doing some research on the equipment that you wear and would love to know everyone’s opinion on the boots that you wear in particular! Thanks for  all the info that you provide me!!

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  1. Your name...
    September 19, 2014 Reply

    Whites or nicks. Everything else sucks and is a waste of money

  2. Your name...
    September 20, 2014 Reply

    Is there anything in particular you like about those brands of boots? I have yet to try a pair on but have been told that they can weigh up to 3 lbs a boot.

  3. Your name...
    September 20, 2014 Reply

    I like whites. The arch and the heel are what I like about the boot. I also like the durability. Although they seem to wear out quicker that they use to. I have worn other brands but they seem to tear up my feet more.

    I also wear Scarpa’s around the station and during the shoulder seasons. The pavement eats the vibram and scarpa’s are half the price. I wear them on the shoulder season’s because it seems to be a warmer boot. Not great for the hot days.

  4. Your name...
    September 21, 2014 Reply

    In the 1980’s cheaper alternatives to Whites were Hawthorne and Chippewa. Some people could not handle the high arch of Whites (like me). I have no idea what good boots are like now.

    I worked a lot in volcanic soils around Siskiyou County and Modoc County. Abrasion resistance was important; thicker leather, extra strong stitching, replaceable soles. Kevlar stitching and laces might be good. Replaceable toe and heel caps, and reinforcement along the outer sides would be nice. All this assumes the boot can be rebuilt, like Whites and Hawthornes couold back inthe 1980’s.

  5. Mike
    September 22, 2014 Reply

    The lighter weight Scarpa’s and other “Hybrid” style boots are great for early/late season. They’re lighter and a little easier on the feet/knees. As the folks before mentioned they are warmer than all leather boots. Nicks does make a boot they call the “Forester” which is essentially the same as whites original smokejumper so it is lighter than nicks hotshot but manufactured by nicks.

  6. Your name...
    September 22, 2014 Reply

    Your message…

  7. Your name...
    September 22, 2014 Reply

    The whites & nicks r a thing of the past. The mountaineering boots are becoming the newest fad. They are much lighter, more comfortable and affordable. The problem lying with the mountaineering boots is delamination. Cost of whites nicks ex. Cost $500 or more mountaineering boots scarpa lowa sportivas $230-$250 both last around a season or two unless delamination occurs.

    September 23, 2014 Reply

    This is kind of like asking “which brand of pickup is best” or “which football team”. Everyone has their preference, and it is largely that – preference. What works best on your feet, where you usually work, for the jobs you usually do, may be different than my feet, doing my job in the terrain I work in. Common factors though are durability, comfort, weight, heat resistance (i.e. NOT delaminating in hot ash pits), rebuildability, traction, ankle support, cost…all are factors in making the decision which boot is best for a given individual.

  9. Ben
    September 24, 2014 Reply

    I would love to see a boot that is as light and easy on the knees/back as the mountaineering style (Sportiva, Scarpa, etc) but as durable and cool (non-insulated) as the Nick’s/White’s logger style.

  10. Olive
    September 25, 2014 Reply

    I spent three years in the back country of Alaska with the BLM. My first season up there I took my Whites. After that season I used La Sportiva Mountaineering boots. The Whites could not give me the ankle support I needed while walking up steep terrain with my heavy pack. After I made the switch hiking the hills were not an issue.

  11. Your name...
    October 5, 2014 Reply

    I wore whites smokejumpers for 13 years, have been in Lowas Baffin pro for 2 years. I switched over because of knee issues.

    I would love to see a short mountaineering boot, made in different widths, (D,E,EE, ext.). With a single, un-insulated, thick layer of leather with a lightweight durable sole that is stitched on so when you heat up the glue they stay in place until it all cools down.

  12. David
    October 22, 2014 Reply

    Any thoughts on tactical boots designed for the military for Afghanistan? belleville 340 des is a nomex upper with leather all around and a vibram lug sole these boots are designed for protection from aircraft or tank fires. being in the militay my feet are accustomed to this style of boot. If the redbook allowed i would seriously consider this style

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