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  1. #1
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    Forestry/Fire boots?

    So I have been seaching for a pair of boots. I am not opposed to buying expensive well made boots if they are really worth it, but my question is why the heal. Its seems that most forestry and fire workers wear boots that have almost a western style heel on them. I have never worn a boot with a heal like that and don't want to spend the money just to find out I hate the heel.

    Looking White's, and Westco but would love to go a little cheaper.
    Any other good made in the USA boot companies out there?
    Thanks
    whatever I feel like i what to do!

  2. #2
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    I fought fire fresh out of the Army in the 80's. I just used my leg boots and they worked perfectly fine. I could never justify the cost for White's. Check the low heeled logger from Georgia Boots, about $130 and resoleable.
    More cowbell!!!

  3. #3
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    Because the tassels would make them look like loafers without a saddle insole, duh!
    StokePimpin' ain't easy

  4. #4
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    Chippewa logger boots are sweet and made in the U.S.A.. Not particularly cheap though.

  5. #5
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    I rock Danner Rain Forest boots. I get 2-3 seasons out of them. They come in wide widths which I need. They cost around $350, but I can take them out of the box and do my pack test. In 9 seasons I have never had a blister and I was always on a hand crew.
    Last edited by Powder Ho; 04-21-2012 at 02:48 PM.

  6. #6
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    I've actually always been a bit curious about the heel too. Is it to hook well on ladders and the like?

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the responces. THose low heels by georgia look a little more like what I was looking for.

    I guess I am not really all that sure why they are styled the way they are, but comfort, toughness and waterproofness are the key ingredients. Not planning to fight fire this summer, but my understanding is no steeltoes for fire. Makes sense. I really don't think I would need a steel toe, but may be useful with hand tools and chainsaws.
    whatever I feel like i what to do!

  8. #8
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    Just found this place by accident, they have all Gorilla boots on sale for $100./pr., which is a stone cold bargain. Gorilla boots are sweet, the leather they use is great, and they're made in the USA. I don't know if there's a model you like but they have a bunch. I alreaady have 2 pairs or I'd buy some myself. Maybe I still will.

    this one looks like it might work. $100. is a steal.

  9. #9
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    Why the heel?

    Because this is America. Boots are supposed to have a heel on them. Any questions, ask John Wayne.
    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke
    Cell phones are great in the backcountry. If you're injured, you can use them to play Tetris, which helps pass the time while waiting for cold embrace of Death to envelop you.

  10. #10
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    The La Sportiva Glacier WLF boots are only about $230. Don't know how well they perform....but they're La Sportiva so should they should be alright.

  11. #11
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    Jesus, people. The heel is to dig into the ground and help you hang on when working on a hill and to hold your foot on branches and logs when you're walking/working on/over them in the woods.

    I loved the heel working on fire lines over 32 years (<-shameless cred pitch). Some people hate them - my feeling is they weren't working hard enough.

    Get White's or Nick's, accept no substitutes, they're cheaper in the long run and fit better (for most people). The soles peel off of La Sportivas the first time you land in a good ash pit. Steel toes will fuck your feet up.

    Iconic:
    And I guess that I just don't know

  12. #12
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    Meadow skipper right as always.

    Georgia boots are one step above prison boots in quality. La sportivas aren't fire boots. Danners are okay, but my whites will outlast three pair of those.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using TGR Forums
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  13. #13
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    ^^^ This regarding the heels. Haven't worked fires but set chokers from SE AK to Humboldt County to work my way through college.

    I've always been partial to WESCOs. Their rebuild program is outstanding. Whites are also good. Never wore Nicks or Chippewas.

    A guy I knew that worked Hotshots decided one season to buy a set of Georgias. The soles melted

    And Harry Carey, you've obviously never spent time working in the woods. La Sportiva- Bwahahaha!!! Will be a toss up as to whether you break an ankle before your shoes catch fire.

    Edit - Grrr beat me to it

    The only other advice is to not get a boot taller than 10". The top of the boot will ride down your calf, causing wrinkles at the bottom of the heel counter and beat the living shit out of your achilles tendon.
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  14. #14
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    Both Redwing and Thoroghgood are US-made and both make wildland firefighting style boots. I believe that both can be purchased for significantly less than White's/Westco's, but I can tell you with certainty that the Thorogoods aren't up to the standards of those two manufacturers. Redwing, however, may be a reasonable compromise, just look into their US-made line and not the Chink stuff. Danner also has both US and Chink boots; their US stuff may last you a season or two.

    Anywho, there are experts here. Heed their wisdom. PM them with copious questions and allow their substantive responses to set you free....
    ¡Órale, vato!

  15. #15
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    VC is offline Calmer then you are Dude
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    I've been using Drew's 10" Elkskin roughouts for about ten years on my 4th pair. In a good season I walk through a sole, usually resole and then toss them. Haven't been sold on a rebuild yet. I like roughouts better and drews are $100 less than white/nicks.

    If you're working on flat ground I wouldn't worry about heels, if you're not get heels. I like heels on my boots and l like risers on my AT setup, same shit.

  16. #16
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    +1 for redwing. When I bought mine 12 years ago they were all made in USA

  17. #17
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    Some good boots here, I have used and would rate: Husquvarna, Elten (German), or Oregon.
    http://www.abbeygardensales.co.uk/su...s-0000547.aspx

  18. #18
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    Not US but Viberg in Victoria (BC) makes damn fine boots
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cat in january View Post
    +1 for redwing. When I bought mine 12 years ago they were all made in USA
    i read somewhere that they closed a factory in China, reopened one in I think WI and put a third shift on at their mainplant in MN, they decided that it made more sense to make their stuff here (they had always produced here but had shifted some to China a few years back).

    edit: here's an article about it if you care. I had some of the stuff right at least. http://www.outdoorindustry.org/news....action=display

  20. #20
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    I'm enjoying my redwings..took a while to break in but my feet come home happy now.
    water is the driving force of all nature

  21. #21
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    It's tough to beat Whites. If you want to save a few bucks check out Hawthorns. Same boot with thinner leather. I've also heard there is less hands on and more machine for Hawthorn but have never taken the time to confirm. The heel:

    -good for hiking/working in the woods
    -gives a hook when you don't want to slip
    -check out White's website-there's an anatomical reason

    Go try on a pair. If the fit is correct, it will be tight from just behind your toes over you instep and through the heel. I wish I could get my ski boots to fit like my Whites. I have had mine for about 13-14 years. I bought mine new for $300...just saw current pricing the other day. Wow, they've gone up but totally worth it.

    I wore mine initially in a metal shop for five summers in high school through college. They are now my hunting boots. I've looked at and tried on more specific "hunting" boots but nothing has ever had the same fit as these.

    I don't have any fire or forestry experience but these definitely work in other applications. This thread just reminded me I owe my boots a good leather treatment.

  22. #22
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    If you are working in a moist climate you might check out Danner Rainforests. I know a few people that love them. I could never get a good fit.

    How many days a year do you spend in your ski boots? Probably dropped over $400 for those yeah?

    I wear my White smokejumpers 150 days a year or more. I tried Danner, West Coast and Georgia before seeing the light. (Not in that order) West Coast makes a great boot, just didn't fit my foot.

    I can wear off the shelf Whites, but need a custom West Coast. Whites, Hawthorn, Drews and Nicks make comparable boots from what I understand.

    Please ignore the redwings and georgia comments and spend some coin if you are going to be in them every day.
    "These are crazy times Mr Hatter, crazy times. Crazy like Buddha! Muwahaha!"

  23. #23
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    Hathorn are made by whites as are we wesco. Less material, cheaper boot. Nick used to work for whites, he was the master boot maker. Drew's are a cheaper knock off.

    Those are the boots for firefighters who are going to live in them. All those others boys are okay for people who don't expect to spend48 hours straight in a pair of boots.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using TGR Forums
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  24. #24
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    Unless something changes, Wesco is not made by Whites. I used to drive to the wesco factory to get rebuilds.
    "These are crazy times Mr Hatter, crazy times. Crazy like Buddha! Muwahaha!"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by grrrr View Post
    La sportivas aren't fire boots.
    Quote Originally Posted by telebobski View Post
    And Harry Carey, you've obviously never spent time working in the woods. La Sportiva- Bwahahaha!!! Will be a toss up as to whether you break an ankle before your shoes catch fire.
    http://www.sportiva.com/products/foo...in/glacier-wlf

    Didn't say I use them or will use them. I just know that they've been gaining in popularity and they're fairly cheap. OP never said he was looking for a hardcore fire boot, which the Sportiva is not.

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