Five Companies Introduce New Firefighting Boots

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Fire-Dex developed its new leather fire boot after consultation with athletic footwear industry experts
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The Fire Hunter Xtreme is one of two boots introduced by Haix at FDIC that are certified for structural firefighting.
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Honeywell’s Pro 4200 structural firefighting boot has an athletic Vibram Racer sole, a Nomex shaft and a resin-impregnated Wearforce toe protector.

Boots jumped to the forefront of new gear introduced at the Fire Department Instructors Conference trade show this spring, with five companies showing new or updated models of firefighter footwear.

Lion Apparel of Dayton, Ohio, launched a new line of structural firefighting boots in two designs – pull-on and zip-lace.

The pull-on model is called the Marshall, a 14-inch boot using a Crosstech fabric membrane, Cambrelle lining and a Lenzi puncture resistant midsole.

Hayley Fudge, Lion’s director of product and relationship marketing, said the Marshall features a Lock-Fit Ankle Support system that provides anatomical ankle padding to ensure the foot is securely positioned within the boot. “It also has a removable shock absorbing foam footbed that’s anti-odor, anti-fungal and breathable,” she said.

Superior Traction

The Marshall has a double-ridged ladder shank to reduce arch compression, a Vibram Fire & Ice sole for durability and superior traction and 1-inch Nomex webbing boot straps with reinforced stitching. Silver 3M Scotchlite reflective material provides added visibility, according to Fudge, while the toe area is covered with Vibram nitrile rubber for scuff protection.

The zip-lace Commander has full Crosstech bootie construction, a Cambrelle lining, Lion’s Lock-Fit Ankle Support system, a pierce-protect arch protection system, an Ortholite dual density removable footbed, a heavy duty side brass zipper and a Lenzi puncture resistant midsole.

Fudge said the Commander’s side zip opening offers minimal resistance on frontal flexion and enhances mobility when climbing and running.
“The Commander’s leather tongue and side gusset allow for a wide entry area and provide an exceptionally comfortable fit,” she added.

Lion teamed with Shoe Technology Company (STC), a global supplier of technical safety, military and tactical footwear, to develop the boots. STC makes the Marshall and Commander exclusively for Lion.

Black Diamond Protective Equipment of Woburn, Mass., launched the X2 Boot, a new version of its successful X Boot that incorporates improvements developed from firefighter feedback, according to company President Rob Mills.

One unique feature of the X2 Boot, he said, is a three-point heel locking system “with a rubber molded heel lock that cradles the foot and keeps the heel positioned correctly, which gives added protection against ankle roll and protection from side impact.”

Durability

The X2 Boot has a Lensi puncture protection midsole, both a leather upper and Fusion upper that is an alloy of Nomex, Kevlar and Teflon FPPE, giving durability, strength, abrasion resistance and water resistance.

The boot also has shin guard protection, is lined by a Crosstech membrane and Omaha lining developed for military applications and has 3M Scotchlite reflective material for added visibility.

Honeywell Safety Products of Portsmouth, N.H., introduced two new boots – the Pro 4200, a pull-on structural firefighting boot, and an air rescue and fire boot.

“The Pro 4200 is the lightest firefighting boot available, weighing only 4.9 pounds in a size 9,” said Tony Wyman, vice president of marketing for Honeywell First Responder Products.

Wyman said the Pro 4200 gives the comfort of a sneaker type boot, the durability of a military style boot and the chemical protection of a rubber boot.

Diane Bible, Honeywell’s vice president of protective footwear, said the Pro 4200 is designed on an athletic Vibram Racer sole with Fire & Ice compound. The boot is made with Vibram sheet rubber on the foot area and Nomex on the shaft, has a resin impregnated Wearforce toe protector, a Bulldog steel toe and a full steel protective bottom plate and ladder shank.

The Pro 4200 uses a full Crosstech moisture barrier, she said, as well as a thermoplastic heel counter and a removable cushioned insert.

The air rescue and fire boot just introduced by Honeywell is a leather proximity boot that Bible said is the first on the market.

“It will be certified to [the National Fire Protection Association 1971 standard] for structural and proximity use, as well as to NFPA 1992 for woodland firefighting,” she said.

Comfort

Honeywell also displayed an NFPA 1999 certified Model 6010 4-inch EMS shoe made of waterproof leather with an Athletic Vibram Racer sole, Crosstech moisture barrier, Cambrelle fabric liner, Bulldog steel toe, composite protective bottom plate, fiberglass shank and thermoplastic heel counter.

Fire-Dex of Medina, Ohio, introduced its new FDLX100 leather fire boot, which is certified to NFPA 1971, according to Marketing Coordinator Chrissy Foster.

“We consulted with athletic footwear industry experts and incorporated some of the comfort and outsole features of those shoes into our new boot,” she said. “For instance, the outsole has articulating mover lines to give added traction when pushing off on the medial side of the boot, which helps the wearer any time he is on an angle.”

Promoting Circulation

The boot has a diamond plate design on the outsole to help prevent slips on ladders. “The outsole isn’t completely flat,” Foster noted, “so it helps reduce fatigue because you hit the ground with more of a rolling motion.”

In addition, the boot’s insole has a three-layer, multi-density foot bed. “The first layer has nano printing technology that promotes circulation in the legs and helps reduce the development of blisters,” Foster said. “The second is an EVA foam layer that takes the shape of the foot through memory foam. The third layer is a polyurethane cushion that helps dissipate energy across the entire foot and has performance gel drops incorporated into it that help cushion the foot.”

Because the new boot is more flexible, Foster said it feels like a tennis shoe, yet is rugged and durable. The boot also carries 3M reflective material for greater visibility.

Units already are being presold and the first shipment is expected to be available in August, according to Foster, who said Fire-Dex will produce a rubber boot version that will mimic the new boot’s outsole.

Haix of Lexington, Ky., displayed a quick-cinch leather structural firefighting boot in three versions – Fire Hunter Xtreme, Fire Flash Xtreme and Special Fighter Xtreme.

The Fire Hunter Xtreme boot uses a flexible insert in the shaft and instep area that stabilizes the foot at the ankle, said Northeast Sales Manager Jim Messana. The boot has a Crosstech waterproof and breathable leather upper, a protective toe cap, puncture protection in the heat-resistant Nitrile rubber sole, shin protection, a profiled rubber toe cap and large boot straps.

The Fire Flash Xtreme is NFPA certified for structural, USAR, hazmat and wildland use, Messana noted. It is made with all the Fire Hunter’s attributes, he said, but with a zipper and lacing system and having Kevlar chainsaw protection.

The Special Fighter Xtreme is a USAR, hazmat, wildland and EMS boot similar to the Fire Flash Xtreme, but not rated for structural

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