Are you starting out as a firefighter and are getting ready to buy your first pair of fire boots? Having the right gear is very important, but in no area is this more true than your feet!
While you may think of your feet only as an afterthought as you go out to our assignments, they’re actually your number one ally. Don’t believe me? Try carrying a victim out of a building when you have blisters on the backs of both ankles. Then you’ll want to do just about anything to take the pain away. Additionally, since you wear boots to work and your feet sweat, you’re at risk for Athlete’s Foot, Jungle Foot, Foot Fungus, ingrown toenails and other unpleasant and painful conditions.
Additionally, if you’re wearing improper gear, you can also be at risk for other injuries on the job. For example, if you’re wearing ill-fitting boots, you’re more at risk for a sprained ankle or even a broken bone. Not only will that get you taken off duty for recovery, but you could end up stuck in a burning building and unable to escape due to your injury. That is definitely a nightmare situation for any firefighter!
With all that in mind, one of your main priorities should be taking care of your feet by choosing the right brand for you. Read on to learn more about how to choose the perfect pair of boots to keep your feet safe and comfortable while you’re out, you know, saving lives.
Consider Going Custom
Since your fire boots are going to be your lifeline to better performance on your shift, you’ll want to make sure you get the best pair you can find. Brands vary by material, size and quality, and not all sizes fit all (pun intended!). If possible, you can consider going with a brand that lets you submit your foot measurements and material preferences and order the perfect pair of boots for your feet. While custom-made boots may cost a bit more, remember that if you invest in a perfect pair you’ll be able to keep them longer. Boots that fit better won’t need to be replaced as often.
Great Brands to Try On for Size
Most firefighters overwhelmingly recommend White’s Smokejumper boots. Running at $400, these boots are a worthy investment. However, don’t be afraid to check out other brands, like Under Armor, Magnum, Rocky and Smith and Wesson. Remember to make sure to try on your fire boots before actually settling on making a purchase.
Once you have your perfect pair of boots, keep them looking swell by polishing them regularly. This will also prevent against any damage or wear and tear that will diminish their quality.
Don’t Forget Socks!
After you have your ideal pair of fire boots, don’t forget to find the ideal pair of socks. Ill-fitting socks can give you painful blisters, even in the most comfortable custom-made boot.
Experts recommend wearing two pairs of socks made of natural fibers. One great brand is Smartwool, which is designed to keep your feet protected and warm while not being too scratchy. You can also layer them easily without having them bunch up or rub you the wrong way.