For many years, I have been a fan of Chippewa Firefighter Boots (model 27422 aka “Ruttman”) as my favorite “go-to” boots to wear when riding my Harley.
These boots are very comfortable, durable, and have a “big lug” Vibram 100 sole that provides terrific traction while operating a heavyweight motorcycle.
They are lightweight, flexible, and look great with whatever I choose to wear (denim, leather, or BDUs.) What I like most about these boots (besides safety) is that the boots are great for riding, but also great for walking.
Often on a motorcycle ride, I would arrive at a destination that required walking around. Big heavy boots (such as Wescos) made walking hard because the boot soles were not very flexible, and the boots were really heavy. These 9-inch boots solved the problem.
I was sorely disappointed when…
…Justin Brands, the owner of the Chippewa label, discontinued production of the model 27422 Firefighter boots. The company lost a lawsuit (well, settled without admitting fault/same thing) brought against them in California for claiming their boots were “made in the USA” when technically, the parts for the boots came from non-U.S. sources and were “assembled” in the USA.
Anyway, those boots have not been available since 2019. But now I have on my feet a clone, or exact replacement with more comfort enhancements. What are these boots?
I found Southwest Boot Company boots several years ago, and bought a pair of their non-steel toed firefighter boots. I liked them, but with softer leather that was somewhat dull, these boots were not a duplicate of the Chippewas, but would do.
Southwest Boot Company offered a Labor Day sale in 2022. Intrigued, I used the discount code and bought myself a pair of their “FFB100 Structural Firefighter/Station Boots.”
It took about two weeks to get them, but man, what great boots!
I followed my own directions on lacing in boot zippers in each boot, pulled the boots on, adjusted the lacing several times until “just right” and took them for a ride on my Harley. (Lacing demo also on one of my old videos, here).
I love ’em! Comfortable as hell. Shiny top coat like the Chips. Vibram 100 non-marring lug sole. Not a cousin, but a brother-from-another-mother. See mine here.
If you are looking for boots as I have been recommending for years, these USA-made boots are the real deal.
I seldom advertise or direct-link to a company and I am not being paid for this, but if you are interested in getting yourself a pair of very comfortable, safe, and good-looking motorcycle boots, visit Southwest Boot Company’s website and look for model FFB100.
Life is short: ride in comfort, style, and with safe boots on your feet!