“Dedicated to the men and women who risk their lives to save others.”
Admittedly, it takes a unique and special person to become a firefighter. Risking one’s life to save others requires a deep commitment to serving the nation.
With a tenacity that is unparalleled to all others, firefighters face the challenges of being burns, smoke inhalation, and crush injuries from falling objects during a dangerous fire incident in their daily duty.
Firefighting boots are just as crucial as any other personal protective equipment such as specialized fire and heat retardant clothing, hazmat gear, breathing apparatus, gloves, and helmets.
The firefighting boots outlined throughout this review are symbolic of the uncompromising foot protection required to combat raging infernos. These product reviews are designed to inform the various features of these boots, not to sell or promote any specific product.
Be that as it may, for quality and performance, the Thorogood Men’s 8” Side Zip Jump Boot came out highly recommended by many firefighters. We uncovered the reasons behind this recommendation below.
Best Firefighter Station Boots
PS: Like firefighters, law enforcement personnel also require sturdy, lightweight, and weatherproof boots too. If you are getting into that line of work, hoping to keep folks safe from criminals and upholding the law, you might want to check out some of the best tactical boots recommended in this review.
1. Thorogood Men’s 8” Side Zip Jump Boot
When responding to an emergency call, the last thing you should have to worry about is your boots.
These boots come with soft landings and superior shock absorption qualities that would protect your feet regardless of the nature of the surface.
Natural tough leather exterior combined with a smooth operating YKK side zipper is an assurance that your feet will be adequately protected.
It is well known that slippery surfaces like wet and oily floors, as well as ladder rungs, remain the primary cause of first responder injuries.
To tackle this, the Genflex2 dual-density rubber outsole of these boots comes with multi-directional traction lugs that offer superior protection at all times.
The welted construction assures a responsive stance with tough and durable uppers offering additional protection over inhospitable terrain.
As a firefighter, your feet require boots that are not only comfortable but flexible enough to provide excellent cushioning to comfort your sore and tired feet all day long.
These premier boots offer the best in terms of comfort, cushioning, and durability.
A composite shank allows for good lateral arch support through your forefoot just as moisture-wicking lining keeps your feet cool and dry all day and well into the evening.
- Spacer mesh lining for breathability
- Leather and rubber sole makes it lightweight
- Removable polyurethane footbed featuring EVA cushion flex for supportive comfort
- No break-in period required
- Impact 300 gel heel insert
- Leather toe cap and heel counter
- This boot little wide for narrow feet
- Cheap glue all over the boots
- Decreasing quality
Consistently highly rated on Amazon with an affordability factor that will fit into any budget, it was initially released on Amazon in 2009 and has seen a remarkable increase in sales over time.
It is certainly a preferred boot for many first responders based on fit, durability, and comfort.
Read more about Thorogood boots and how they are stacked up against each other.
2. Thorogood Men’s 6″ Quick Release Station Boot
Thorogood Men’s 6-inch boots go above and beyond the traditional looking station boots.
In fact, they bring about a new era in station boots that have been forthcoming all the while, adding a look of sophistication and unique styling.
Venturing into a new world of the most trusted name in protective footwear, these boots continue to remain very popular amongst firefighters that want sturdy shoes with all the protective features of their regular boots without the usual look.
You will definitely get a quick release from all the stress of handling frequent calls when wearing these one-of-a-kind station boots.
These awesome shoes feature full-grain leather composition with a thermoplastic polyurethane mini-lug outsole for traction and flexibility.
The removable non-metallic insole allows for customization for that ideal, hard-to-find fit.
With less ankle support and open uppers, these 6-inch boots may be better suited for station work.
Extremely comfortable and easy to wear and remove, these boots are an improved version of the more traditional station design and look.
- Composite shank
- Direct inject construction
- Nylon lining
- Pull-on loops at front and back
- Leather toe and heel counter
- It has a soft toe
- Runs small
- Inconsistent quality
Well received by the majority of consumers and also selected as an “Amazon Choice,” which says a lot for the styling and quality.
It is a practical and affordable boot to be worn in and around the station or to and from work.
3. Danner Men’s Wildland Tactical Firefighter 8″ Boot
Fighting wildland fires requires specialized footwear, therefore, blending the features of an alpine hiker with the stringent requirements of an NFPA-certified boot produces a wildland firefighting boot that fills all essential protocols.
These boots continue to rack up accolades as one of the very best for battling raging fires from dawn to dusk.
The specific heel shape locks the heel in place, resulting in better fitting boots. Athletic and supportive fit with additional room for toes make these boots not only comfortable but very supportive too.
They are heat-resistant, keep out debris, and never punctures, keeping your feet safe on all terrains.
Considered to be one of the best structural boots for firefighting, they are designed using the lost art of hand-sewing.
The uppers, sock-liner, and outsole are threaded in a single process, which makes them rugged and dependable.
The thick outsoles assure increased walking traction in muddy conditions and when climbing over down trees.
- Rough-out leather uppers
- Opanka-stitch construction
- Broad, deep toe box
- Shock-resisting soles and heels
- Full-length polypropylene board with integrated steel shank
- Poor laces and eyelets
- The boots are very bulky
- Soft toe provides less protection
Although a durable and dependable boot, lacing on these boots appears to be an ongoing issue with many consumers.
For a tactical wildland firefighting boot, side zippers might have been a better alternative, which would have resolved many apparent problems.
4. Viking Footwear Firefighter Felt Lined Waterproof FR Boot
Dispatched to a building on fire, you will want to be wearing one of the best heat resistant and flame-retardant firefighting boots available today.
This pair features flame-retardant thick rubber uppers with grey felt lining for added heat protection.
They also offer the latest in outsole protection.
Safety reflective taping on the sides of these boots provides additional visibility in smoke-filled structures, ensuring that your colleagues see you all the time.
Reinforced backstay adds needed protection for the heel and sore tendons of your feet.
This pair is also ideal for auxiliary firefighters, forest fire workers, and all that rely on the extra foot protection required when encountering life-threatening situations.
These snug-fitting, lace-free pull-on boots provide superior ankle and heel support.
Built to reduce ankle roll-overs and other severe foot injuries, these dependable and reliable boots continue to remain a favorite for many first-responder firefighters.
The ultra-flexible and heavy-duty pull-on straps on both sides make these boots one of the best firefighting boots in the market, bar none.
Lastly, the unique abrasion, oil, and slip-resistant features combine to keep them steady as you march on through hot surfaces.
We cannot all be firefighters whose lives depend on nonslip boots, but sometimes even you too might require nonslip boots if you are always under the hood with oil splashed all over or boots for lineman fixing high voltage wires all day long.
- 16-inch tall fit
- Chemical resistant
- Extra ankle padding
- Ergonomic insole
- Steel toe for protecting feet
- Not comfortable
- Size runs large
Product reviewers could write a book on the features of these boots.
Initially designed for firefighters, these boots remain very versatile for fishing and even farm operations.
Where extra foot protection and style are needed, these boots step forward.
5. Bates Men’s Ultra-Lites 8 Inches Tactical Sport Side-Zip Boot
These boots have remained a valuable asset to first-responders for over ten years.
The high-quality leather and 1680 denier ballistic nylon they are manufactured with give these boots the rugged durability and dependability that they are known for.
The flexible athletic construction allows you to move swiftly when emergency situations come calling.
These premium eight-inch tall side-zipped boots are classic-styled in every aspect, and they perform with immediate responsiveness and agility. They are certainly one of the best side-zipped boots ever made.
They are sturdy, lightweight, and comfortable too.
Its non-metallic toe shield protects the toe from crushing injuries but does not add to the overall weight of thee boots.
It also comes with mesh lining that allows your feet to breathe, keeping your feet cool and dry.
As a durable firefighting boot, these boots are flame, chemical, and abrasion-resistant.
Best of all, the Orthotic insoles make these boots a good fit for other workplaces like construction or paramedics. You may like more discussion about work boot insole review to comfort your feet.
- Moisture wicking mesh lining
- Ultra-lightweight materials
- Multi-directional rubber outsole
- Velcro overlapping zipper closure
- Composite toe for safety your feet
- Break-in period required
- Lace will not stay tight
- Thin sole
It is a fact that there are far more consumers that appreciate the quality of these boots compared to those less satisfied.
The fact that it is rated highly on Amazon and selected as an “Amazon Choice” for quality and customer satisfaction should quickly negate all the criticisms out there.
One other good news is that it is very affordable and reasonably priced too.
6. Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS Side Zip Military and Tactical Boot
This is one of the longest-running tactical boots of all time that deliver durability and life-saving dependability that are expected.
Under Armour Men’s Valsetz RTS built with the cushioning of a training shoe, ClutchFit™ technology wraps around your ankles with a lightweight second skin for a performance level not found on similar competing models.
Longer length Micro G® foams turn landings into rapid acceleration when needed during life-threatening situations.
It’s also got a lightweight shank that offers just the right amount of rigidity without binding, pinching, or cramping the movement of your feet forward.
With partial mesh uppers, your feet would breathe easy, stay cool, and dry.
These boots still offer excellent ankle support with a relaxed feel even though they appear to be smaller in overall height when compared to other similar styles.
Weighing only 26-ounces per pair, you will remain comfortable all day no matter where or what your duties require of you.
The best firefighting shoes should not be too heavy, yet very strong and durable, two important features people with plantar fasciitis require in their boots. They’ve got to keep on working even with that ailment, don’t they?
- Synthetic leather and textile upper
- Low-profile rubber lug sole
- TPU shank for mid-foot support
- Durable YKK side zipper/Velcro overlap
- Gusseted tongue and collar
- Poor craftsmanship
- No toe support
- Sole separation
The ranking on Amazon is higher than should be given the numerous complaints from consumers about the general quality of these boots.
Perhaps importing them from a faraway country might be one of the leading causes of such poor quality.
7. Haix Missoula – The Hiking Boot for Wildland Fire Fighting
Thrust into thousands of acres of harsh wilderness, you will wish you had boots that have a history of being the best structural firefighting boots ever made.
Designed and manufactured in a country that is known for its superior quality and intricate detailing, these shoes rank among the very best, no doubt.
With thicker European leather and less seaming, the quality of these boots come highly recommended.
Its Nomex lacing and threads are heat resistant up to 573º F. No wonder it is used by over three-million wildland firefighters.
These boots are tough enough to take on all challenges given that the thicker outer sole is puncture-proof and provides superior traction on all slippery surfaces like it’s predecessor HAIX Airpower XR1.
The two-zone adjustable lacing system allows for easy tightening of the boot to the foot, leg, and ankle area separately.
Its built-in climate control with specialized “bellows” brings cooler air in and warmer air out with each step taken.
Whether it’s for wildland firefighting or hiking, this is surely one of the most comfortable boots you will ever wear.
Love to go hiking? These boots are specially designed for incredibly rough terrain, hill climbing, and rough mountains.
- Secura liner never wrinkles or pulls out
- Non-heat transferring composite midsoles
- Breathable leather with water-resistant
- Vibram heat-resistant sole
- New softly cushioned insole for long-wearing comfort
- Not waterproof
- No safety toe
- Little bit expensive
These wildland firefighting boots remain stagnant on Amazon with no movement since July of 2016.
With no customer reviews to support either the pros or cons of these boots, it remains to be seen if they continue to be listed at all.
Things to Consider Before Buying Firefighter Station Boots
From fighting blazing infernos to walking around the station, firefighters need adequate foot protection at all times.
No doubt, firefighters are susceptible to many other possible foot injuries around the station.
From climbing on and off firetrucks to additional training on mock-up homes with many stairs to climb, station boots must be good enough to offer protection 24/7.
OSHA regulation 1910.136 (a) requires that employers (state or local) must provide protective footwear for any and all employees engaged in hazardous employment positions where there is a danger of falling, rolling, or piercing object injuries to the feet.
Firefighting station boots need to be as though as the individuals that wear them. In other words, station boots must support those that wear them adequately.
Station boots need to be durable, dependable, and long-lasting.
The best fire station boots need to be sustainable with enough flexibility to bend with the foot, including all lateral movements; otherwise, injuries to the ankle may occur.
Station boots are often subjected to wet conditions too, so it must be able to withstand moisture.
Washing and maintaining a variety of vehicles mean that firefighting boots need to be durable while providing the highest level of protection possible.
On-call from sun-up to sun-down, station boots need to answer all calls.
When duty calls, your station boots need to fit correctly. On your feet for the majority of the day, if your station boots are uncomfortable, so are you.
Uncomfortable station boots that pinch or rub will distract your attention from the many duties at hand.
Also, with inadequate room for toes to move freely, even walking while at the station can be extremely uncomfortable.
Properly fitting station boots should have enough room for specialized socks or cushioning inserts if needed.
Often heavier than other traditional footwear, station boots should provide a higher level of comfort with cushioning insoles that directly relate to the overall desired fit.
Wearing heavier socks with station boots traps heat inside your boots.
Your boots should allow your feet to breathe, removing built-up heat and moisture continually.
Designed with the latest in technology, firefighting station boots manufactured today offer a better and more productive means to keep your feet cooler and drier.
Even in extreme temperatures of summer months, your feet will beat the heat.
Anyone familiar with boots that are 8-inches in height knows what it is like to drag around heavy boots all day long.
Boots designed for firefighter station use need to be lightweight, weighing less than 2-pounds each. Heavy boots can get uncomfortable and are non-supportive, which can distract one’s attention from incoming emergency calls.
Wearing heavy station boots makes even lifting your legs a challenge, causing additional discomfort in the legs, ankles, and lower back, making the simplest of station jobs harder.
Tips: How Do You Lace Firefighter Boots?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Are shoes sold as firefighting boots just for firefighters?
A. No. These boots are available to the general public as well. These boots are also excellent for hiking, fishing, and hunting too.
Although initially designed for firefighters, these boots are capable of withstanding the most extreme conditions. From wet, cold and muddy conditions – even in the snow or ice, these boots will get you there and back.
Q. What is the difference between firefighting station boots and other similar looking boots?
A. Boots worn at the station are manufactured with special requirements set for by OSHA, (Operational Safety and Health Administration).
This agency demands specific requirements for safety in footwear that are worn by those in high-risk employment positions.
Similar looking boots may have some of the same specifications but probably not all as listed above.
Q. Which is better for 8″ boots, front lace-up, or side zip?
A. It all depends on how fast you want to get them on or off.
Obviously, front lace-up boots will take longer to put on and take off than the same design with side zippers.
Side zipper boots are designed for professionals such as law enforcement or firefighters, where a few extra minutes often translates into a life or death situation.
Q. Do firefighters wear different boots when fighting fires?
A. Firefighters wear a different kind of boot than station boots when fighting fires.
Boots worn fighting fires are specially designed for heat resistance, are lightweight, puncture-proof, and are designed with a specialized outer sole for better traction on wet and other slippery surfaces.
Q. Do firefighters have to pay for their own boots?
A. Boots worn by firefighters when putting out fires are typically paid for either through the state or municipality funding. Boots worn at the station may also be paid for by the same entities.
Regardless of payment, boots worn by firefighters must meet a stringent set of safety codes to be worn while at work.
Q. Are there women’s sizes available?
A. Yes. There are sizes for women that will fit any specific size range.
If you are looking to buy new boots not paid for by the local or state governments, please refer to the sizing charts available when ordering to make sure you get the proper fit.
Yes! Women are great firefighters too, but how can they be that good and remain safe without putting on one of the best boots for women designed for tough women doing tough jobs?
Q. Are these firefighting station boots expensive?
A. Cost is not a factor to be considered for those that risk their lives in some of the most extreme and dangerous conditions known.
Sitting at the fire station is not the same as lounging during a vacation. With additional training to complete and vehicles that need to be cleaned, the job of a firefighter is never-ending.
According to the NFPA, of all the dangers that firefighters face, injuries to the feet remain one of the most widely reported.
To avoid trips, slips, and falls, wearing the best structural firefighting boots at the station is protection that is both needed and required.
When a call comes in, the time required to put on the right boots and other equipment is often a matter of life or death.