Why I Wear HAIX Boots as a First Responder
As a First Responder and firefighter, the comfort and safety of my feet are really important. Our #1 selling boots, the HAIX Airpower Series, are also one of the boots I own and wear. I purchased a pair about 8 years ago. The X1 was later replaced by the R1 then later the XR2.
My HAIX boots have been in service since 2010 and I have worn my boots in parades, duty nights, and though multiple drills. They are durable and comfortable. It’s also good to know that if I have any problems with my boots, HAIX will stand behind their products with a notable Repair Program.
The Importance of Quality Footwear
If you’re a First Responder then you know the importance of reliable footwear. We can spend a lot of our day on our feet and the job can take our feet to unexpected places.
High-quality boots can keep your feet safe and comfortable regardless of where the job may take you. Boots are put through a lot with the daily duties of a First Responder. As a Firefighter, I know my boots have been through many shifts, drills, and even parades with me. My boots are an essential tool of my job.
It’s difficult to have everything you need in one boot. It’s not uncommon for First Responders to have different boots for different seasons, conditions and situations. It’s also not uncommon for First Responders to need a new pair of boots every couple of years.
What to Consider When Purchasing Boots
When the time comes for a new pair of work boots, there’s a lot to consider. Durability, safety, slip prevention, support and flexibility, comfort and waterproofing are among my top considerations. As such an important tool of the job, a good boot is worth the investment. In addition to saving lives, a good boot can help with yard work, hiking or simply walking around town.
If you’re looking for a new boot, whether it’s a HAIX, Under Armour, 5.11, or Blauer, there are some basic characteristics you’ll want to consider. Duty boots come in a variety of styles and build qualities. It’s important to examine boots and their many features to ensure that they’re suitable to wear on the job. Here are some important things to think about when choosing a good pair of boots.
Laws and regulations are in place to help keep First Responders safe. As a First Responder, your job has numerous hazards and at times, unpredictable conditions; we have all experienced broken glass, spills, and slippery surfaces that all have the potential to cause injury.
The National Fire Protection Association is one of the standards and certifications you can look for in a good boot. For example, the NFPA 1999 Safety Certification is a “Standard on Protective Clothing and Ensembles for Emergency Medical Operations. This standard specifies requirements for EMS protective clothing to protect personnel performing patient care during emergency medical operations from contact with blood and body fluid-borne pathogens. It also includes additional requirements that provide limited protection from specified CBRN terrorism agents.” -NFPA.org
Slippery surfaces, fluids and even biohazards are all obstacles that can make us slip. Having a boot with slip prevention features is another safety feature to consider. Boot traction is also important. Slipping or falling when responding to a person in need is not an option. Most EMS boots include soles that are made to prevent slipping. The soles of an EMS boot are typically thicker and designed to disburse liquids. This decreases the surface area that makes direct contact with liquids and provides better traction. Thick soles also help protect against sharp objects and rough terrain.
Support and Flexibility
A stiff boot might be good for other professions, but as a First Responder, you need the ability to move fast; a boot with the proper flexibility is extremely important. Stiff boots can limit your movement and become a hindrance on the job.
While flexibility is necessary, so is ankle support. There’s nothing worse that making a quick turn and spraining an ankle. Boots should cover and support the ankles during quick maneuvers.
Because First Responders can be on our feet for hours on end, comfort is also important to consider. The fit and material has a lot to do with the comfort of a good boot. You want your boots to fit snug but you still need to be able to move in them. Make sure you have the right sized boot. Some boots have more padding and cushioning than other boots. Additional features like a zipper and quick-release fasteners make it possible to get a customized fit without having to spend a ton of time with laces, making it a lot easier to get your boots on and off.
It’s good to go with a boot that is waterproof when you’re in extreme conditions and around hazardous materials. Waterproof boots will prevent water and dangerous liquids from entering your shoe. This will also help prevent bacteria from growing, which will improve comfort, durability and extend the life of your boot.
When your on an duty and saving people’s lives, the last thing you want to worry about is the quality of your boots. Make the investment into a good work boot.
If you’re looking to save some money without losing the features you need, investing in the previous generation of a boot is a way to do it. For example the new HAIX XR2 EMS Boots are selling for $259.99 but you can pick up a previous generation like the HAIX R1 EMS Boots for $199.99.
Previous generation HAIX boots are still a great buy, and my HAIX X1 boots have stood the test of time. The HAIX XR2 version is 2 generations after my X1 boots, so buying a previous generation of boot still gives you a great boot and it saves money.
Selecting the Boot that’s Right for You
It’s really up to you what kind of boot works best for you. For me, the HAIX boots have met all of the considerations I’ve mentioned and have been a real asset and the perfect tool for the job.
If you have any questions about how to select a boot contact me at Code-2 and I’ll be happy to help. I don’t just sell boots, I am a First Responder too.
First Responder, Firefighter & Co-Owner at Code-2