Heroes Wear Haix
It didn’t take me long as a rookie firefighter to understand the importance of having good boots. The blocky rubber boots issued in the academy and made for men felt like chunks of concrete on my feet, and as soon as I graduated to the field I invested in a good pair of bunker boots. Boots I could actually move and climb and work in without feeling like I had a small anchor wrapped around each ankle. Since then, Pro Warrington has been my boot of choice. I’ve worn their station and their bunker boots (in a men’s size 5) for over a decade, but when Haix offered to let me try their new structural firefighting boot, Fire Hunter Xtreme Ladies, I was curious. My ten year-old bunker boots were looking worn out, and I was intrigued by a company that invests so seriously in women when we make up such a small percentage of their industry. (On a search through The Fire Store for women’s bunker boots, Haix leads the pack in number and variety.) Haix has ladies USAR boots, station boots, wildland and structural firefighting boots, and they regularly include women in their ads, which is pretty rare when it comes to advertising products for the fire service.
Haix had garnered my attention, but when I received my box in the mail and ripped into it like a five year-old on Christmas morning, I was a little nervous. What if I didn’t like them? I pulled them out of the box and was immediately struck by how pretty they were, but as we all know, fire don’t give a damn about pretty. But they looked tough too. Tight, clean seams. Smooth, solid leather. Rugged soles. I slipped them on and walked around the house. They fit like a dream, but walking through your living room hardly compares to working on the fire ground. However, in the few months I’ve had them, I’ve walked a mile doing hydrants, climbed ladders, fought fire from a roof, and bunkered out for fire alarms quite a few times, and I can honestly say they feel as good as they look.
Haix Fire Hunter Xtreme Ladies are the Mercedes Benz of bunker boots. Not only do they have style, but they embody the best of German engineering: waterproof quality leather (German/ Swiss), Gore-Tex lining, Cross Tech fabrics, a built in Arch Support System and an Ankle Flex System which means they’re comfortable, flexible, and have excellent support. These boots are built for comfort and performance and look like they’ll last an entire career, which is a good thing because they are not cheap. No high quality bunker boots ever are. But I’ve always known the investment is worth it. You wouldn’t run a marathon in cheap running shoes, so why fight a fire in cheap boots? As a woman firefighter, I want any edge I can get, and nothing can help or hinder our performance like the boots on our feet. Which leads me to another important factor: they’re light. This actually surprised me because they look so solid, but the size 6.5 pair weighed in at exactly five pounds.
The only downside isÂ they’re hard to take off. Because they’re pull on (with great straps) and not lace up, they slide on much easier than they slide off. They fit true to size, snug in a comfortable way like a running shoe, but take some work to climb out of. However, this seems like a small price to pay for such a durable and comfortable boot.
Boots are a personal matter. Everyone has their favorites and were it not for Haix’s generosity in giving me this pair, I would probably never have tried them. But now that I have, I’m going to stick with them. I like the quality and I love the fact that Haix supports and commits to women in the fire service. That takes courage and vision and, as far as I’m concerned, Haix is a company worth supporting in return.
Heroes Wear Haix and that includes Triple F
Stay Tough & Never Quit!