The 7 Best Wildland Firefighting Boots Review (With 2018 Buyer’s Guide)
“Dedicated to the men and women firefighters all around the world. Your courage, bravery, and commitment to saving the lives of our families near and far shall never be forgotten. We shall remain eternally grateful.”
Firefighters have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. They face exposure to superheated gases and toxic fumes in their work.
From raging forest fires to burning buildings, firefighters go to the extreme in protecting the lives of the people they serve. At risk for injuries from falling debris and possible building collapse, to loss of traction from climbing ladders and slippery surfaces, firefighters lay their lives on the line to save others.
Needless to say, fires are extremely hot, going up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. And even without the above dangers, poor foot protection with a rapid increase in body heat can lead to loss of bodily fluids.
With all these risks, firefighters need specialized equipment for proper safety and protection. Helmets, masks, special heat-resistant clothing, and boots are a part of their protective gear.
In particular, boots are an important gear that protects the firefighter’s feet, ankles, and lower legs from injury. Specialized fire boots are lightweight for better mobility and traction. They protect feet from flaming and sharp debris and keep feet comfortable. Designed for firefighters, these boots have proven to offer superior protection for those who have made it their duty to fight fires.
Best Wildland Firefighting Boots of 2018
It is the intent of this product review to focus on the 7 best rated wildland fire boots for 2108. Through hours of research and comparisons, these boots outweigh any similar or competing styles.
White's Boots Men's 400VLTT
Oil tanned all leather construction
Danner Men's Wildland Tactical Firefighter Work Boot
Fire resistant, durable rough-out leather
Scarpa Fuego Wildland Fire Boot
Leather for wildland firefighters
Adtec Men's 1964 10" Fireman Logger Black Work Boot
Oiled heat resistant
La Sportiva Wildland Fire Boot
White's Boots Men's 400V Smoke Jumper Boot
Oil tanned all leather
Thorogood Men's 10" Wildland Fire Boots
Cut-resisting logger leather
1. White’s Boots Men’s 400VLTT Smoke Jumper Lace-To-Toe Boot
Designed for forest fire jumpers, the ten-inch height of these boots gives added ankle support without reducing mobility. This is without a doubt, the best smokejumper wildland firefighting boots on the market today. Vibram sole provides better traction on slippery forest surfaces. Lace-to-toe design gives these boots an aggressive appearance. White’s Boots arch follows the contour of the foot to perfection.
This footwear uses full grain, oil-tanned leather for long-lasting wear. It meets all clothing and equipment requirements for wildland firefighting. Worn by some of the bravest firefighting professionals in the world, the boots are available in sizes ranging from 7 to 13, with custom orders accepted. Hand-sewn welt construction is used with three rows of lock stitching. The features of these wildland boots on the market include:
The boots have a high rating on Amazon with 4.6 stars out of a possible 5-star total rating. Negative reviews are limited and focus mainly on one aspect:
The White’s Boots Men’s 400VLTT Smoke Jumper is the best wildland boots for front-line firefighting. Proudly made in the USA by skilled craftsmen and women, it provides firefighters with the mobility and safety needed facing raging fires.
Protection of the feet is extremely important in this kind of job. More firefighters are injured annually due to faulty boots. Falls and slips remain the leading cause of injuries to firefighters. Proper boots from White’s reduces these risks.
Hot glowing embers often retain heat up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, burning through the sole of a poor firefighting boot quickly. Putting your life on the line fighting fires is serious enough. Don’t take chances of serious injury with poor, non-rated boots.
When you jump or walk into a burning building or forest, your feet will feel the intense heat of the fire first. Poor, non-rated boots will raise your body heat quickly. The White’s 400VLTT firefighting boots protect the feet from overheating.
Firefighting requires a high level of focus. If you can’t focus because you feel the heat through your feet, you run the risk of getting injured. Thus, boots are very important for survival in a raging fire.
White’s 400VLTT firefighting boots are expensive. The company has a proven track record already of protecting the lives of firefighters for years. When you put your life on the line to save others, you deserve the best possible means of protection.
Look no further than the superior quality of White’s boots. This is the best boots for you when it comes to firefighting.
2. Danner Men’s Wildland Tactical Firefighter Work Boot
The NFPA-certified Danner wildland fire boots rank second in our top seven firefighting boots review. It has a fire-resistant outer leather exterior with comfortable inner mesh lining. Durable Vibram outsole is designed for slip-resistant traction over rough land.
The boot’s reinforced stitch construction provides superior comfort from upper to the outer sole. Specialized heel shape locks the heel in place for a better overall fit. There is also more room in the toe area with less pinching or binding.
This Danner boot is lightweight but has the additional supportive benefits of an alpine hiker boot. Interestingly, this pair of the boot also works well as daily work boots. Additional features of Danner wildland tactical firefighting work boot include:
The boot has a rank of 4.1 stars out of a possible 5 stars in Amazon. It is one of the top selling boots for firefighters offered by Danner. Negative reviews by firefighters have indicated:
Negative rankings on Amazon do not tell the entire story. Boots are used in harsh conditions and need daily care after use. Proper cleaning makes boots last longer. The outer leather exterior should be properly cleaned daily.
The leather exterior also requires sealing on a frequent basis. These boots are only as good as the person that is wearing them. No firefighting boot will last when not properly cared for.
Made in the USA, the Danner Men’s Wildland Tactical Firefighter Work Boots are made by craftsmen.
Since its introduction on Amazon in 2015, it has already sold hundreds of pairs. Danner ranks high in quality and provides a supportive fit with less break-in period reported by firefighters when worn.
This rugged boot has great flexibility with strong ankle support. Crossover lacing is durable and remains tight all day. It is also lightweight, weighing less than 3 pounds combined. Hikers and extreme outdoor enthusiasts remain impressed with the quality of these work boots. It is the perfect boot for climbing over rough unforgiving land.
Boots for fighting fires vary greatly in quality. Professional firefighters demand the best boot for safety and comfort. Facing forest fires or three-alarm blazes, firefighters need equipment that protects on every call. Look past the price.
Choose a pair of boots that meet all your needs. These Danner boots can be used every day or when fighting fires, this boot remains the perfect fit second to none.
3. SCARPA Fuego Wildland Fire Boot
Imported from Italy, the Scarpa Fuego Mountaineering boots are made to perfection. It is rated as the best boots for climbing and hiking. A multi-generational family owned business since 1938, this is the best performing boots for mountaineering, trail-running, and other outdoor adventures. It is a no-frills boot that does the job of protecting your feet.
The boot has a striking bronze color with a leather exterior. Double tongue provides excellent fit and comfort. Rugged leather uppers take on the roughest trail hikes. It has the ideal tall cuff for firefighters and wildland firefighters. Vibram sole also provides superior gripping on all surfaces.
The Scarpa Fuego Mountaineering boots are recommended for firefighting or mountaineering use. Known for superior wear, it also has the following features:
The Scarpa Fuego mountaineering boot has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon out of possible 5-star total rating. Negative customer feedback from the over 50 consumer reviews are based on one flaw:
The manufacturer of the Scarpa Fuego boot is already aware of the noted defect. They have increased the thickness to the shank to avoid cracking. Boots are NFPA approved and also great for hiking, climbing, or trail riding. It has lower overall height with no rubber to burn off when firefighting.
The Scarpa mountaineering boots are popular for outdoor enthusiasts. It is perfect for people who enjoy skiing. Warm, comfortable fit provides flexibility down steep covered slopes. Rugged exterior provides support and protection from hidden hazards.
Gusseted tongue provides strength, freedom of movement, and comfort. Full padded, thick collar prevents pinching and rubbing.
This is a “blue-collar” boots for work or pleasure. Aside from outdoor activities, it is equally suited as well for heavy work. Cross lacing keeps laces tight. Half lacing allows for easy on/off. Competitively priced when compared to similar models, the Scarpa Fuego mountaineering boots can be used as outdoor, work, and firefighting boots. You can have three uses for the price of one boot.
Ranked third in our best wildland firefighting boots review, this pair is a good deal. It was launched on Amazon in 2012 with growing sales every year.
Scarpa Fuego mountaineering boots are the “working man’s” boot. Attractive in design and style, these boots perform well under extreme conditions, from hiking to firefighting. It is a great boot for anyone for long outdoor adventures. The exceptional gripping ability of outer soles grip trail riding bike pedals firmly. It is the ideal boot for anyone seeking quality from a company known for excellence.
From firefighting to hiking, Scarpa mountaineering boots have it covered perfectly. Experience the best all-purpose boots for yourself. Results will be rewarding and satisfying.
4. Adtec Men’s 1964 10” Fireman Logger Black Work Boot
Adtec produces a long line of high-quality footwear. Their design and distribution of boots for firefighters brought forth a new era for the company. Produced in 1964, the creative styling of this new line of boots provides advanced comfort. Style #1964 is a 10” wildland firefighting boot also used by loggers.
Having one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, loggers appreciated the superior quality of the #1964 boots. Durable leather construction is perfect for wet/muddy conditions. Cleans easily with a damp cloth. High two-and-a-half inch heel offers better comfort.
Known for high-quality footwear, all Adtec boots are inspected before shipping. Adtec strives for no-tolerance zero defect policy.
The other features of the Adtec Men’s #1964 10” Fireman Loggers Work Boot include:
Presently rated on Amazon at 4.0 stars out of a possible 5 stars, the over 40 feedback from consumers appreciated the overall quality of these boots. Ordering correct sizing appears to be an issue. Other consumers report:
Sizing is the responsibility of the consumer. Check sizing charts accurately before ordering. It is one of the cheap wildland fire boots on Amazon, with prices ranging from $102.11 - $139.95. The boot is rated for 500-degree heat resistance.
The 10” shaft height keeps ankles in place with limited side movement. One-piece lug sole for increased wear in all environments. Adtec Men’s 1964 10” Fireman Logger Work Boots are cheap wildland firefighting boots with a higher degree of quality.
Price is not a factor to be taken into consideration when purchasing boots that can save your life. When looking for boots, look for quality and a track record. Actual use in wildland firefighting situations often tells the complete story.
The Adtec 1964 fireman logger boot continues to receive positive reviews. Available on Amazon since 2011, thousands of these high-quality boots have been sold. Firefighters and loggers depend on adequate footwear protection.
Consumers of Adtec’s #1964 10” fireman logger work boots have become repeat customers. Adtec remains a premier supplier of boots for firefighters. Dedicated to superiority at a very affordable price, Adtec is poised to start a competitive fire that will be hard to extinguish.
5. La Sportiva Glacier WLF Wildland Firefighting Boot
La Sportiva boots are crafted in Italy. It is a great pair of boots for firefighters and avid backpackers. Lightweight compared to other similar boots for firefighters, its synthetic sole provides adequate comfort levels. Vibram ice sole provides good traction crossing muddy and rocky terrain. It is a popular boot for forestry, BLM, and hotshot crews.
Wildland firefighters rely on La Sportiva boots for high ankle stability without restricting movement. Firefighters walk miles to reach a stronghold position fighting fires. When you need to cross tough terrain, La Sportiva boots provide the comfort and traction to safely reach a designated starting point. It also provides heat resistance of temperatures up to 572 degrees. Other features include:
The boot has mixed reviews on Amazon, currently rated at 4.0 stars out of a possible 5-star total rating. The low number of reviews on the La Sportiva Men’s Glacier WLF hiking boot is insufficient to arrive at either a negative or positive decision.
The La Sportiva is a multi-purpose use boot. It is good as a firefighting, hiking, or electrical hazard lineman boot. However, based on the information gathered, the La Sportiva is not a front-line firefighting boot. It provides superior comfort for hiking and trail discovery, though.
It would appear that these boots lack the durability required to be considered as one of the best wildland firefighting boots. Priced below other competing styles, the La Sportiva glacier hiking boot is an excellent fit for outdoor adventures. Great stability and a non-slip outsole provide really good traction on glaciers and rugged mountain trails.
Introduced on Amazon in July 2011, the La Sportiva glacier hiking boots remain a popular choice for hiking enthusiasts. It is the premier leader in the production of high-quality hiking boots. It is rated for wildland firefighting but not recommended.
Issues with outsole separation appear to be an on-going concern. Cross-fed laces remain tight all day. Great work boots for construction, steelworkers, or any employment position outdoors.
Wildland firefighting is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Proper equipment to withstand extreme heat conditions is crucial. The intended use of the La Sportiva men’s glacier WLF hiking boot remains the choice of the individual consumer based on need.
6. White’s Boots Men’s 400V Smoke Jumper Boot
Smokejumpers are a unique breed unto their own. Smokejumpers are frontline firefighters, first to establish boundaries. Dedicated to the preservation of natural resources, smokejumpers encounter hardships beyond explanation.
Hovering thousands of feet above a burning inferno, smokejumpers need reliable boots to absorb the initial impact of landing in a burning forest. The White’s Men’s 400V Smoke Jumper boots fit this need perfectly.
The boot’s ten-inch height provides superior ankle support with increased shock absorption. It also meets and exceeds NFPA requirements for wildland firefighting equipment. Black Vibram lugs provide sure footing in very poor conditions.
Flexible and comfortable, these rugged wildland firefighting boots endure. Rated as the best leather boots for firefighters available, these no-nonsense boots include:
The current rating on Amazon is 4.3 stars out of five stars total rating. Very limited negative reviews advise:
Proudly made in the USA by skilled craftsmen and women, White’s patented arch design provides complete arch support. Its hand-sewn stitching has true craftsmanship quality. It is lightweight, as well, weighing less than two pounds combined to deliver comfort all day.
The boot’s full grain leather exterior allows for movement and flexibility. These leather boots are repairable for extended use. Lace in tongue keeps debris out. Strong leather laces keep laces tight and provide foot support. Premium full grain oil tanned leather exterior offers comfort and freedom for immediate movement when needed.
Introduced on Amazon in May 2104, this is one of the first choices of boots by smokejumpers. White’s remains trusted for high-quality, durable boots. Chosen by wildland firefighters for years, White’s 400V Smoke Jumper boots excel from the competition. First-in, last-out, smokejumpers remain on site for days and need boots that endure.
Indeed, wearing the best boots for firefighters is important when one is a smokejumper. Emphasis placed on comfort and protection, White’s Men’s 400V Smoke Jumper boots affords these brave souls a moment of peace.
This White’s boot is part of a long and growing line of best-constructed boots on the market today. Priced equal to or slightly above other similar styles, White’s Men’s 400V SmokeJumper boots are worth every dollar spent and more.
Disappearing natural resources during fires are a major concern, so smokejumpers perform a very important role in fighting to protect the natural beauty of all wildlands. Through dedication and a strong-willed determination, smokejumpers deserve the recognition earned in fighting raging forest fires for us all.
7. Thorogood Men’s 10” Wildland Fire Boots
American-made by a company with a long, outstanding reputation for high-quality boots, the Thorogood Men’s 10” Wildland Fire Boots is a single-piece composition. Goodyear welt construction for tight seams, flame- and cut-resistant with removable kiltie, removable felt soles for comfort in all weather conditions are just a few of the many features this boot has.
Dri-lex tongue with moisture wicking keeps feet dryer. Composite Vibram heat-resistant sole shank provides superior stability and ankle support. Flexible outer leather exterior promotes mobility and comfort.
This boot meets all NFPA protective equipment standards for wildland firefighters and is designed for the extreme conditions that all wildland firefighters face.
The Thorogood Men’s 10” Wildland Fire Boots are puncture-resistant since cuts and punctures to the feet are a common injury for firefighters. Its deep cross tread pattern allows greater traction climbing large debris-filled hills. Specialized construction of these Thorogood fire boots include:
The boot has a respectable rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 stars total on Amazon. Some reported issues with the Thorogood wildland fire boots include:
Twelve pairs of fasteners keep laces tight throughout the day. The extra depth of Vibram rubber heel keeps feet well-aligned and in place. More room in the toe area reduces pinching. These boots are non-insulated. Boots are sometimes used in twenty below zero temperatures although not recommended.
Wildland firefighters require specialized equipment. Battling all raging fires is dangerous enough without having to worry about failing equipment. Fighting forest fires in elements that are unforgiving presents further problems. When faced with falling debris and windblown heat, for example, wildland firefighters must be able to move quickly and efficiently. Greater ankle support provides a higher degree of flexibility.
The Thorogood Men’s 10” Wildland Fire Boots remain a favorite of all wildland firefighters. Its 10” height wraps feet in extreme comfort. When walking long distances, these Thorogood boots keep feet comfortable with no burning of soles or aching arches.
Somewhat heavy, these boots still allow rapid movement with changing winds. These durable boots keep feet sweat-free and active when clearing front line fire breaks.
Large firefighting machinery operation is not a problem wearing these boots. Climbing ladders or trees isn’t a problem as well, as these boots provide support for such activities at all times. One of the most affordable boots for firefighters on the market today, it is backed by a 100 percent money-back guarantee. Indeed, when it comes to boots, Thorogood is a name to remember.
Best Firefighting Boots - Buyer's Guide
NFPA Wildland Firefighting Boots Requirements: Do your Boots Meet the Standards?
Firefighting boots are different from regular work boots. Standards set by the NFPA, (National Fire Protection Agency) for boots are clear. Boots failing to meet certain standards are not permitted for firefighting. These standards set the protection for all workers fighting raging fires. The requirements for boots for firefighters include:
- Minimum of 8” height measured from the bottom of the heel to the top of the boot
- Lace-type exterior leather work boots with non-slip, melt-resistant Vibram soles
These features meet the NFPA standards for boots and are mandatory. A boot must be tall enough to support, cover, and protect the ankle and lower leg. Firefighting boots don’t have to be waterproof or made of leather.
NFPA requires boots used by firefighters to meet standards for punctures, cuts, and heat. Being flame-resistant is a good idea given the work. The makers of firefighting boots must be approved by the NFPA. Suppliers must also submit samples for testing.
An annual fee for this service is commonplace. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) has a strict guideline for firefighter boots. You must understand all government restrictions prior to purchasing a pair of boots for firefighting so you can save time and money and make sure to have enough protection for your feet when you’re at work.
The NFPA 1977-certified firefighting boots must include FR (fire-resistant) materials. It is wise to check for the NFPA label on the interior of the boots prior to purchasing. Cheap boots look like real firefighting boots but don’t provide as much protection.
Cheap boots, for example, may fall apart when exposed to high heat levels. It is never a good idea to buy boots based on price. Fake leather boots may break down in extreme heat conditions and lead to severe burns on your feet.
You only have two feet. Protect them. Experienced firefighters do not take chances. Cheap firefighting boots is an invitation to a disaster with life-changing injuries. Firefighting is not child’s play. Treat fire with respect at all times by being equipped properly.
Things You Can’t Ignore While Buying Firefighting Boots:
Safety Features: Firefighters are on their feet for hours. Safety is a major concern when it comes to this job. Firefighters need proper safety equipment in order to fight intense fires. All fires reach very high heat levels in minutes and only authentic firefighting boots can protect the feet. As such, these boots remain one of the most important pieces of firefighting equipment.
Firefighting boots must be able to adequately protect the feet walking on burning embers. Wearing boots not rated by the NFPA increases the dangers that are present. Your boots must withstand extreme temperatures and life-threatening conditions. These boots are one the most important safety features that must not be taken for granted.
Durability and Heat Resistance: Firefighters fight fires from rocky mountain terrains and hillsides to collapsing buildings. Life-threatening dangers are ever present. Your boots must be able to withstand these harsh conditions. Boots that don't provide high heat resistance increase the overall danger level ten-fold.
Rugged and dependable boots offer stability and mobility. Many firefighters suffer injuries wearing inadequate boots, resulting in severe burns to the feet. Don't compromise on toughness and heat-resistant properties when selecting a pair of boots. The boots in this review are tough, durable, and heat-resistant. They could save your life when you are out fighting fires.
Support: Climbing steep hills and fighting forest fires requires boots that support the ankle. Forest terrain is dangerous, requiring increased mobility. Battling three-alarm fires in buildings, firefighters require the proper support for support and stability. Sprained ankles are the most reported injury in fighting fires.
Hidden dangers are a major concern for firefighters. Firefighting boots must allow the flexibility to walk on/over these hidden obstacles as well as support to the ankles to twist and turn at sharp angles. High water pressure also puts additional strain on the ankles. Proper ankle support ensures safety in answering calls of duty.
Traction: Slipping on wet surfaces causes severe injuries to firefighters. Traction and the ability to gain proper footing is mandatory for firefighters. They also work at extreme heights, and slipping on wet surfaces can result in serious falls.
Forest firefighters face another challenge. Leaves on the forest floor are slippery, similar to walking on ice. Climbing over dead trees, hidden by leaves, may result in injury if boots don’t have proper traction.
Firefighting boots must be equipped with Vibram outsoles for increased traction. Deep and intertwining thread of Vibram outsoles provides the traction needed and greatly reduce slips. Lugs on outsoles are another way to increase traction. Not all boots for firefighters offer this feature.
Why Don’t We Recommend Steel Toe Boots for Firefighters?
Firefighting is a dangerous job. Falling trees and sharp objects injure hundreds of firefighters per year. They also face extreme heat conditions with temperatures rising up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Thus, firefighters look for boots offering the most heat protection to feet. While steel-toe footwear is used in most of the tactical boots, certainly it is not a choice for firefighters.
Because, steel is a conductor of heat and steel-toe boots have a tendency to trap heat inside boots. The trapped heat inside boots with steel toes raise heat to painful levels. This trapped heat may lead to blisters and more serious injuries.
Firefighters must have boots that are heat-resistent, comfortable and lightweight with a superior fit. Toe protection is not a major concern. Comfort, safety, and mobility are more important, while protection from excessive heat remains a top priority. Look for boots that offer this protection.
This review of the seven best wildland firefighting boots is for those who sacrifice their lives so others may live. The boots described throughout this review are the best boots for firefighters available on the market today. It is the intent of this review to highlight the features of these superior boots.
While there are no guarantees of protection when faced with roaring fires, these firefighting boots reduce the chances of possible serious injury. Designed and crafted by some of the best boot manufacturers in the world, the seven best firefighting boots reviewed here offer you protection with comfort.
From raging forest fires to burning city buildings, you deserve the best in protection with increased comfort when it comes to firefighting boots. The boots presented in this review offer you all that you need in order to fulfill your duty.