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Put your best foot forward during wildfire season

From fit and comfort to protection from the elements, here are key features to look for

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With wildland fires increasing and lasting longer, it’s important for wildland firefighters to have the necessary gear to keep them comforable and safe.

Rocky Boots

Content provided by Rocky Boots Military and Public Service Division

Wildfire season continues to occur earlier and the extent of area burned by wildfires each year has increased since the 1980s, with the largest increases occurring during the spring and summer months (according to the EPAs Climate Change Indicator). With wildfires increasing and longer timelines lasting nationwide almost throughout the entire year, it is important for wildland firefighters to have the necessary gear to keep them comfortable and safe while protecting our lands and lives.

Footwear is a foundation of safety and reliability while fighting fires. Being on your feet for long periods of time – walking, hiking, dragging hoses and digging trenches – can lead to tired, accident-prone feet. Protective footwear that can withstand tough terrain and difficult conditions should be a key element to the health and wellness of those on the job site, either managing wildfires or in the trenches. Following are important things to consider when choosing the proper footwear for the job.


As with any footwear, fit is the most important feature. No matter the quality of materials or excellence of design, a boot that does not match your foot’s particular shape and is not comfortable all day long will be unsatisfactory. Key factors to consider when looking for a boot – do your toes have room to move? Is there noticeable heel slippage? Does the insole have too much or too little structure or is the lining heavy or uncomfortable?


Finding the right boot should be based on the activity at hand and your occupation. Wildland firefighters are active on their feet, in tough terrain and dangerous conditions. Looking generically for a boot or shoe may set them down the wrong path. Even in a category like construction, the needs of a foreman are different from that of a roofer, which also differ from a mason. Things to consider include how active you are, what kind of terrain are you working in and what protection might you need. These are all very important questions to think through when finding the right boot for daily tasks.

Key protection and performance features that you should look for include:

  • Materials – Heat and conductive heat resistance.
  • Corrosion resistance – Metal parts, including aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel and zinc components, should remain functional and not show more than a light surface corrosion.
  • Attachment strength – The boot’s eyelets and hooks must be tested for attachment strength.
  • Flame resistant footwear should not ignite, melt or drip, and should not have an after flame longer than two seconds.
  • Label legibility and durability – Footwear labels should be legible and remain in place.
  • Resistance – Abrasion resistance, cut resistance, puncture resistance and slip resistance.



To a wildlands firefighter, Rocky Boots are provide all-day comfort and protection in the field.

Rocky Boots

We recently spoke with a customer who is a 59-year-old wildlands firefighter. He shared, “I need to be able to trust the gear that I put on every morning to keep me comfortable and protected while on the job. My day job is with the North Ridge Fire Equipment in Montana, and I assist others in fighting wildlands fires, which have increased over the past few years. Fighting wildfires specifically entails a lot of walking, climbing and hiking on tough terrain and long days of activity. Three years ago, I put on my first pair of Rocky Boots, and now depend on these boots daily for both walking on concrete and being out in the field during large wildfires. The boots broke in well and fit like a glove on my foot for all-day comfort and protection during the toughest of scenarios in the field. They are by far better than any other boots I have worn and I recommend them to my colleagues.”

What you put on your feet is a part of your entire safety net while on the job, so be sure to invest in boots that will keep you comfortable and protected in any terrain and situation. It is important to prepare for the unexpected and to make sure the gear you wear is also ready to tackle any situation.

Visit Rocky Boots for more information.