Upcoming: gear review! Plus, bonus eye-candy.

Editor’s note: Yes, I know I’m behind the times. Several other members of the FireEMSBlogs network have beat me to their own reviews of the latest line of Black Diamond fire boot, the X-Boot. However, I would be remiss if I did not take advantage of their extreme generosity in offering me gear to review, and thus I shall shortly be submitting my own writeup for consideration.

I’ve always had trouble with shoes (unrelated: also, talking to women who look like this). I have tremendously flat feet, which are additionally difficult to size due to the fact that they’re also quite wide. For the most part, boots fall into the same tricky category, and have been that way since I first bought a pair of (Galls, I think?) at age 15.

My expectations run high for these boots, as they’re credited to be a lightweight, comfortable, “all-day” sort of boot for the demanding needs of firefighters. Granted, that’s just manufacturer’s marketing copy—but then again, so is this:

These are the BlackDiamond Boot Girls. If you look very closely at these screencaps taken from their promotional video page, you may in fact see a fire boot. Here, I’ll help you out:


Black Diamond seems to have put a good deal of R&D into the comfort and fit of these boots—above and beyond the necessary NFPA requirements for structural firefighting boots. Finally, a sight for sore feet! I’m excited to see if this new technology can live up to its reputation, and there’s only one way to find out. Starting next week, I’ll be switching these out with my department-issue boots—a different but very well-known brand—for one month. Eight shifts in good ol’ Southeast. We’ll see how they hold up to the myriad of situations that we can subject them to, in both comfort and durability.

(click the image for a larger, more-readable version)

I’ll get back to you in about a month. In the meantime, enjoy more of the Boot Girls/Black Diamond on Facebook, and check out their full line of gear on their website.


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Alex Capece

Washington, D.C. Firefighter and Paramedic

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Phil Hayes
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Boa doesn't make the boots, they designed and license the lacing system. The Boa system has been around for a while now, it's pretty common on snowboard boots and some other sporting footwear. The boots are from Blauer, which is based in Boston.
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Interesting that BOA is from my home town of Steamboat Springs, and they didn't approach our Fire Department to do a field test or even let us know that they were working on a duty boot. Small towns are funny sometimes. Captain Scott Hetrick Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue
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Great job, brethren ... be bald (bold) even off the fire ground.
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St. Baldrick’ Support a Fellow Brother Fighting Pediatric Cancer!
As I read all the above I wondered "How does it work?" Are fire personnel asking for pledges from the public to be paid to this charity when the personnel have their heads shaved? The ad above was not clear to me. I will read it again. The charity is certainly a very worthwhile cause.…
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"For anyone who ever wanted to grow up and become a firefighter... from someone who did just that."
September 2010
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