Continuing with a periodic posting of boots that I like a lot, and also rank high in the number of searches for information about, today this blog’s boot feature is about Chippewa Firefighter boots.
Actually, the manufacturer calls these boots “Men’s 8″ black polishable engineer steel toe rugged outdoor boots.”
Engineer? And no mention of the station boot style?
Other than these boots having a round toe like engineer boots, I have no idea why the manufacturer labels these boots as engineer boots. These are engineer boots.
A station boot is a generic name for boots that:
* are very easy and quick to remove when the bell rings and firefighters have to remove their station footwear and put on protective gear used in firefighting.
* are protective against hazards around the station house — chemicals, water, tools, and other hazards in a semi-industrial setting.
* are comfortable. Most jobs around a firehouse require long periods of standing and walking.
I bought my first pair of Chippewa Firefighter boots in 2007 after seeing them on the hotboots website. Then I noticed over time that this “station boot” style of footwear was being worn more often by guys at the fire house where I volunteer.
I bought a pair, and after struggling like most guys do (who don’t read instructions), I finally got the center zip laced into each boot. (Later, I created a video demonstrating this technique with a pair of similarly-styled All American 401 boots.)
I pulled the boots on, closed the zipper, and was instantly amazed how comfortable these boots felt. I hopped on my Harley and went for a ride. I was immediately convinced, and have blogged about them for 10 years, just how good these boots are for motorcycle riding.
The boots are extremely sturdy and rugged. Steel toe and steel plate between outsole and insole makes these boots durable and highly protective of my feet. The lug sole provides superb traction, especially when “duck-walking” the heavy Harley into and out of parking spaces here in suburbia where I ride most often.
The boots look good, too. They are coated with a thin plastic top coat that is easily cleaned with a damp cloth and a wipe of a “leather wipe” which brings back the brilliant shine.
As the boots broke in, they naturally conformed to the structure of my feet, and I never had to readjust the lacing ever again.
A periodic swipe of a wax pencil on the metal zippers keeps them operating smoothly. (Note: never use WD-40 or oil on zippers. Wax pencils are made for this purpose and are available from luggage supply or good cobblers. I got mine from Langlitz leathers — because it works really well on the zippers on leather jackets, too.)
Now that I have worn these boots for almost 10 years, what do I think of them?
Easy question to answer: #1 in my motorcycle footwear stable. Solid. Rugged. Good-looking. Easy to put on and take off. As comfortable as a hiking boot to walk in at destinations — you feet never feel heavy like they feel when wearing tall boots like Wescos.
I now own 3 pairs of these boots:
1. Original 2007 pair, that I wear mostly when doing construction work and riding my Harley to get to the work site.
2. 2012 pair that I wear regularly and often.
3. smooth soled 20242 version. I received these boots as a gift from my local fire department when I was made a Life Member. This is the style of boot worn by most guys at the station. They say that they prefer the smooth sole better because it flexes more easily and is more comfortable.
I wear my lug-soled version of these boots when I ride my Harley more often than any other pair of boots in my motorcycle boots collection. And that’s saying something since I own (and wear) more than 75 pairs of motorcycle boots!
I wear my smooth-soled version of these boots when at meetings and duty at my local fire station, as well as when I escort my lovely LOLITS to the grocery store. Really, these boots are as or more comfortable to me than hikers.
So that’s today’s boot feature from boots in my collection. I am still quite a fan of Chippewa 27422 boots.
Life is short: wear good quality, good-looking boots (especially when operating a motorcycle!)