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Leather Fire Boots Good or Bad?

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  • Leather Fire Boots Good or Bad?

    My department is considering switching to leather fire boots. I am looking for both good and bad points to consider also the type ( brand and style) of boot you are using. Some of the comments we have been told so far is the are light and comftorable but can be very slippery on some surfaces? Any and all comments are welcome

  • #2
    I wear Ranger 14" leathers. Never had a problem with slipping, but I feel much safer in my leathers. I have a better feel for my feet since the boots fit more like shoes. I feel more comfortable on ladders, etc with the better fit.

    The only issue I have is the toe wearing out from crawling, but it's repairable

    I recommend the switch.


    • #3
      I have to disagree with FFTrainer we use leather and rubber. Our leathers are American Eagle and Red Wing and GT. They are great for
      wildland stuff and offer great protection for the toes from falling objects. But in a structure type setting they become water soaked and very heavy. It has also been my expierence that when you happen to step in a hot spot the leather doesnt' cool down as quickly and you cant get the boot off as fast.
      Nope I'll just stick with my trusty ol'Ranger Fire Walkers
      Good luck


      • #4
        I've been wearing Warrington Pro's Leathers for over 9 years now (I'm on my 3rd pair). They have NEVER gotten waterlogged. They are a bit slippery on snow and ice.
        The only time I wear my rubbers is for flooded basements.


        • #5
          Definitely never had a waterlogged problem with the Rangers. With regards to slipping on ice and snow, I really have had no increased slipping then with the rubbers. Actually I feel I have had less since I have a better feel for what my feet are doing than with the clumsy rubber ones I used to wear.

          My recommedation if you're seriously considering is to get a test group of guys and give each guy a different brand and see what they like the best and least about each one and go from there.


          • #6
            Waterlogged? Never heard of such a thing....How often does that happen? in fact, I've never heard a negative word about leathers until snowball's post. I'm using Black Diamnond's and know several using the Warrington Pro's. I love mine...much surer footing than the less supportive rubbers...and my feet don't get as tired if you're on your feet for extended periods.

            Just my 2 cents worth. Leather Forever! (yeah...on your feet as well as your head!)


            • #7
              I've been wearing Pros for about 8 years, and they are the most comfortable things I've ever worn. There are a few problems with leather boots, so weigh them before you decide.

              1. If you don't keep a good coat of polish on them, they can absorb water and take a little while to dry the outer leather of the boot.

              2. If you step in water deeper than 10 or so inches, well... you get wet feet. Pull- on leather boots can prevent this.

              3 The leather can absorb hazardous products, so they are not much good on hazmat calls, including hydrocarbon fuels.

              4. In cold weather, as pointed out in an earlier post, the soles can become stiff, and they do lose a little traction on ice, and I've found that standing on cold pavement for a long period of time produces some really cold feet.

              If leather boots are the solution for you, I'm sure that you'll be pleased with their overall performance. The decreased weight and increased comfort will definitely keep you satisfied. One tip- make sure you are correctly sized for them... I wore a pair that was a little too large for a while, and my feet definitely let me know they weren't happy.


              • #8
                My 2 cents.

                We switched from rubbers to leathers about a year ago. I will never wear rubber boots again. Warrington Pros are outstanding. They are so comfortable. Yeah, if water rolls down your leg they will become waterlogged. This is because they are totally waterproof, nothing gets in unless you happen to step in knee deep water. Get them, and while your at it get a Cairns N5A also.

                Leather Forever.

                Mike DeVuono

                "There are few atheists inside a burning building."

                These are my opinions and not those of my department.


                • #9
                  If these leather boots are to replace the standard rubber fire boots consideration might be given to what your potential exposures might be. If there is the chance that you might encounter accidental exposure to hazardous materials of any kind you may have to write off the boots because leather can't be decontaminated. This doesn't just include methylethyl bad stuff. It can be common gasoline or oils. This is why we spec out turnout gear to have no leather trim on it.

                  Just a thought to consider.


                  • #10
                    For What It's Worth:

                    My wife bought me a pair of Ranger leather pull-ons for my birthday last October and they are AWESOME!! So much lighter than my old trusty Ranger rubber Firewalkers and I agree, I feel much less clumsy in them. Haven't had a problem with slippery surfaces so far and Lord knows we have has enough snow here in NE PA this winter to have some slippery surfaces. Is it spring yet??


                    • #11
                      I am wearing my Black Diamond 10" leather boots now. I love them. I can wear them all day and not have a problem. I do have to agree that if you are standing out on cold pavement all day your feet will start to get cold. This can be put off for a while if you wear good warm boot socks. I havent found them to be slippery at all in the winter time and we have had some good snow and ice in western NY this year. The only problem with Black Diamond boots is that their parent company Sorel was sold to Columbia Outdoor wear, so they wont be making them anymore. Has anyone heard anything about LaCrosse fire boots?

                      Shawn M. Cecula
                      Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2


                      • #12
                        Went to 10" zipper leathers last summer. Had to wear rubbers the other day. What a reminder of how nice the leathers are! Lighter weight, better fit. Hate rubbers now, save 'em for waders. Just remember that if you go to the 10" boots you can't keep your bunkers stacked over your boots and just jump in - you have to pull on pants, then boots. Takes some getting used to, and can be annoying. Also, they will absorb hydrocarbons and other methyl ethyl bad stuff, so keep that in mind.


                        • #13
                          Been wearing leathers for almost 4 yrs now and love them. In my daprtment, if we want leather, we have to buy them ourselves. There are a whole lot of us that have decided that the comfort was well worth the money.

                          As far as the contamination issue goes, we have found a solution. We were able to obtain some pull on rubber overboots that will fit over the leather boots. We carry 20 sets with our haz-mat gear. These are for situations where there is no rescue operation and we are able to take the extra few minutes and put on the overboots. If we need to make an immediate rescue, then we just do it, and chuck the boots afterward. The dept will replace leather boots lost due to hazmat contamination.

                          Since ice and snow aren't very common down here, I can't give an opinion on that!


                          • #14
                            I wear LaCrosse leather boots. I bought them 2 years ago and they are great! I don't think I could ever go back to rubber.
                            As for ice, snow and mud they work great.

                            Stay Safe


                            • #15
                              I also wear Warrington pros, and since I switched to leather boots I will never wear rubber boots again as long as I do this job. They are much lighter and more form fit for comfort. I do have one complaint about the leather boots, during very cold and icy conditions they are very slick and you really have to be carefull with your footing. But like I said I personally feel leather is much more comfortable than rubber and our my personal choice.


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