The protection that the boots provide did not seem to interfere with comfort or use.
Structural Supreme 14 inch Pull On
The Structural Supreme 14 inch Pull On boots are NFPA 1971 (Structural Fire Fighting) and 1992 (Liquid Splash). They come in various sizes for men and women, including half sizes, wide and extra wide versions. These boots are made from Firestorm leather. The boots come with an additional set of support inserts to provide a custom fit if needed.
These boots arrived well packaged and with plenty of information that included an explanation of use and care of the boots. Other information was included on the custom inserts.
To break in these boots, I decided to wear them for a few minutes here and there around the house. Doing this allowed the boots to become a little stretched, thus making them more flexible for use.
Looking at the boots, they appear somewhat heavy due to the additional padding inside. However, it was my experience that in usage, the boots were not heavy. They weighed in at 6.8 pounds. I did not experience any problems during drills and runs where the boots became too heavy or burdensome.
The best experience with the boots came during a drill at my firehouse where we set up an obstacle course. The course started with a “sled drive” type exercise, then to a hose setup relay, and finishing in scaling a 24 foot ladder, including locking out at the upper part of the ladder. During the several revolutions I did in this drill, I found that the boots were comfortable throughout all aspects of the drill as well as down time. When it came to locking out on the ladder, I did not have any problems in doing so and coming out of such action. Overall it felt as if I were wearing a tennis shoe while performing in this drill and I did not feel like my feet were hot or sweaty while doing so.
There were several components of the boots that I liked. First, the protected toe of the boot was nice where it would take the blunt of scuffs without showing it very much. The additional inserts were nice as now that it is colder, I can remove those inserts and wear thicker socks without any issues with the boots. Finally, the protection that the boots provide did not seem to interfere with comfort or use.
The only aspect that I did not like as much revolved around the 3M Scotchlite reflective material. I do like this material on the boot; however, when wearing bunker pants this material is not seen. I would prefer that they use less on the upper part of the boot and divide it on the lower sides of the boots.
Overall, this Supreme boot was extremely comfortable, supportive, and user friendly. I would recommend this pair of boots.
Technical 10 inch Zipper/Speed Lace
The next boot that I used was the Technical 10 inch Zipper/Speed Lace boot. These boots are NFPA 1951 (Technical Rescue), 1977 (Wildland), 1992 (Liquid Splash), and 1999 (Emergency Medical) compliant. Just like the Supreme Pull On above, these boots also come in various men and women’s sizes including half sizes, wide, and extra wide options. These boots also come with the comfort fit inserts.
The construction of these boots is very similar to the Supreme Pull On boots. The main differences are the lack of the 3M Scotchlite reflective material on the sides of the boot as that is not included on the 10 inch. Also the 10 inch include the speed lace/zipper add on. The 10 inch included similar information as above.
These boots also appear heavy when looking at the padding and size of them. However, these boots weigh in at 6.2 pounds.
I decided to use these boots while working EMS one weekend. I liked the comfort of the boot that the padding included. It was comfortable while walking in between calls and while doing station duties. The slightly higher side of the boot made them more supportive, in my opinion, while working.
I also used this boot as a station boot at my firehouse. I wore these boots while performing various tasks. The results resemble those while working EMS.
Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to use these boots in a technical rescue environment, but can imagine the benefits, especially of having the 10 inch sides for support.
There were several issues with this boot. First, I think this boot needs the addition of some of the 3M Scotchlite reflective material. This would provide for additional safety while operating on scenes, especially while on roadways at night. The second issue is the speed lace/zipper add-on. The add-on did not seem to fit very well on the boots themselves. I did work on this issue and after some configuring I was able to find a way for the boots to be usable.
I was impressed by both of these boots, especially in terms of the comfort while wearing them. There were aspects of these boots that I would like to see upgraded, but overall these did the job well.
For more information on the boots that Globe produces or to find a dealer near you go to http://www.globefiresuits.com/footgear/ or call 800-232-8323.