Whether you are new to the wildland firefighting profession or simply need a new pair of boots, it is important to choose your firefighting footwear wisely. Ultimately, the shoes you choose can have a substantial impact on your safety, as the wrong pair could impede your mobility in emergency situations.
To ensure the boots you buy are suitable for the harsh and demanding wildland firefighting conditions you may encounter, consult the standards laid out by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA wildland fire boot standards are specially designed to ensure wildland firefighters know how to choose proper footwear for the job. Below, we will go over these standards for your reference.
NFPA Wildland Fire Boot Standards Explained
NFPA fire boots must measure 8 inches from the bottom of the heel to the top of the boot.
On the job, wildland firefighters often have to traverse rugged terrain with uneven surfaces. To help prevent ankle or heel injuries as well as potentially deadly trips and falls, it is important to select boots that are at least 8 inches tall. The extra length will help provide the extra stability that wildland firefighters require.
The boot must be laced; Wellington and other pull-on boots do not meet requirements.
The same reason that wildland firefighter boots have to be tall is the reason why the boots must also be laced—stability. Laced boots have been found to offer optimum support in the heel and ankle, which, as previously stated, is essential to prevent falls or injuries that can be life-threatening when out on the fire line.
The sole must be a melt-resistant Vibram-type sole, though Alaskan wildland firefighters are exempt from this regulation.
Because wildland firefighters work in environments where fires and intense heat are present, it is essential that the boots they wear will not melt, soften, or become otherwise damaged while on the job. To provide ample traction when traversing rugged terrain, it is also important to choose boots with a Vibram-type sole, aka a pair that has a rubber lug sole.
The exterior must be leather.
Synthetic materials such as plastic and rubber typically liquify at higher temperatures. Understandably, this tendency makes them an unfit material for footwear that is to be worn in environments where fire and high heat are present. Because leather is more durable and holds its form despite high temperatures, it is an ideal material for wildland firefighter boots.
To find high-quality wildfire boots that meet the qualifications laid out by NFPA standards and will keep you comfortable and safe on the job, shop the Supply Cache today.