Drew’s Fire Boots are always Forest Service and/or NFPA Approved. Read on to learn about why that matters for you.
When you’re out on the fireline, the last thing you need to worry about is the performance of your footwear. The right boots should work with you, remain durable, and provide comfort to get you through a long fire season. In short, your boots should be working as hard as you do.
When picking out a new pair, it’s important to be aware of the standards for protective firefighting footwear, set forth by both the Forest Service and the NFPA. Fire-approved footwear requires special components, design, and reinforcements in the build that allow the boot to perform to its fullest in extreme conditions. At Drew’s, our fire boots are either Forest Service or National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) approved. However, the requirements for each agency differ slightly. Here’s how.
Forest Service Standards
The Forest Service requirements for fire-safe boots are:
- Minimum 8” boot height
- Leather composition
- Vibram sole
At Drew’s, our most popular Wildland firefighting boots, the Drew’s All Brown Roughout and Drew’s Original Rough Shots, are 10” tall, all leather, and come equipped with fire-rated Vibram soles and high arch support. We chose to make our boots 10” tall because we know the importance of stability when you’re out on the fireline–and a taller boot means a lower likelihood of losing your balance. These boots are ideal for midland firefighters looking for boots with non-slip soles and heat/melt-resistant components. Plus, the supportive heel on our FS-approved boots makes it easier to get traction in tough terrain, reducing strain on the feet and legs after long hours spent working.
NFPA requirements for wildland firefighters differ from those of the Forest Service. [Also note that the NFPA requirements are different for structural firefighters.] Here’s how.
- Minimum 8” height from the top of the heel to the top of the boot
- Lace up footwear only, no pull-on or Wellington style boots
- All thread exposed on the exterior of the footwear must be made of inherently flame-resistant fiber and must be tested through the Thread Heat Resistance Test. To pass, it must not ignite, melt, or char.
- Exterior Uppers must be made entirely of leather
- Vibram-like soles that utilize a compound that passes melt resistance testing. Alaskan Wildland firefighters may be exempt.
- A true NFPA approved wildland fire boot must have an approval label on the inside of the boot stating that it meets or exceeds testing for a wildland firefighting boot 1977-2016
A great entry-level, NFPA-approved boot is the Drew’s Wildlander, a resoleable model that will take you through 1-3 seasons. However, our most popular, ultra-durable, and NFPA-approved model, the Drew’s Linecutter II, is a go-to for a reason. These are fully rebuildable and will last many seasons on the fireline.
Serving Firefighters Since 1918
Drew’s Boots has been proudly serving firefighters since 1918, when N.B. Drew began selling fire and western boots to logging and firefighting camps in the PNW region. For three generations, we’ve invested in building the most durable work and fire boots for our customers. Our firefighting boots are based on years of experience, feedback, and expertise, but we also make it a point to keep improving. Drew’s is committed to equipping our customers with the best fire boots in the business for each successive season.Hopefully we’ve answered your questions regarding NFPA and Forest Service Standards, and feel free to reach out to us with any questions about boot care, rebuilds, or our line of firefighting boots.