I'm hoping someone can help. Right now I've got a pair of Ranger Shoefit boots and I'd really like to buy leather boots. I'd like to know what you would suggest, and how different is the sizing compared to the rubber boots? Any info would be great!
I have the ranger leather pull ons i really like them, i also have a pair of ranger structure zip up boots that are very comfertble. I would not suggest the globe Magnums my asst chief has apair and he doesnt really care for them. as far as sizes i think they are the same.
I'd like to add a comment here about leather boots as a cautionary tale....keep in mind that leather conducts electricity...and rubber does not....which is all well and good if you're dealing with a power line that you can see sparking on the ground, but how about doing an extrication on a hybrid vehicle? Is the vehicle powered down? Do you know how? Are you sure? Are those comfy leather boots serving as a conduit for the electricity from then engine you just cut into?
Mary Ellen: believe me, you don't have to mention it. You're preaching to the choir. However, I disagree with your implication that rubber is better, and I certainly do not want to foster any ideas that it's OK to handle live electrical circuits when wearing rubber boots.
First - I could not get the link to work last night but with a little finagling this morning I accessed the article. (For others having a similar problem, just leave off the "---read" at the end in your browser bar and it will come up.) This article is an excellent review of how to deal with emergencies involving hybrid cars and is a must read for all fire and EMS personnel.
Reading this article over, I did not see any reference to rubber vs. leather fire boots regarding electrical safety, as you implied in your earlier posts; it did however point out that leather gloves and boots are unacceptable for hazardous material work. This is well known and has to be taken into account for those wishing to switch to leather. I even think this point was touched upon in my previous discussion on leather boots.
Regarding electrical safety, there are no excuses for not following safe electrical practices. In a nutshell, this involves not touching any live or potentially live conductors unless the circuit is KNOWN to be de-energized. (Even so, I like to apply a shorting bar - halligan or axe head - between conductors just to make sure.) As stated, the article has a good outline of "do's and don'ts" relating to hybrid and electric autos.
Now, as to my statement "I would not trust a rubber boot to insulate me from ground any more or less than leather" let me explain.
According to 29 CFR Part 1900.137(b), insulating equipment must be inspected for damage before each days' use, and immediately following any incident that can reasonably be suspected of having caused damage. The equipment may not be used if there are punctures, tears, checking, or foreign substances on the equipment. There are other "shall nots" but you can read them for yourself. 1900.137(b) refers us to ASTM standard F496-97 which mandates that insulating equipment be tested at least every six months. This involves actually subjecting the insulating equipment to the rated voltage for a specified period of time.
Even with the assumption that rubber firefighting boots are good insulators at voltages up to say 5,000 volts when new, what then? Do we inspect our boots before putting them on for each run? Do we clean off the soot (carbon black, a conductor) off of our boots after each run? How about the pin holes in the soles from nails, staples, wires or glass that we get just as a matter of routine - do we discard our boots afterwards? How about the scuffing on the toes of the boots, which exposes the steel toe cup? Our department has no apparatus for testing the electrical integrity of fire boots. I doubt that any fire department in the US has it. My boots are visually inspected once a year, and that's it. Unless my feet get soaked when standing in a puddle, they're replaced every five years. There are members of this forum who probably get new boots every year.
And so I say: You CANNOT assume that because you are wearing rubber boots, you are automatically insulated from ground and therefore immune from electrical shock hazard.
And I repeat my statement: "I thought about this before I went to leather. I don't think it matters; I would not trust a rubber boot to insulate me from ground any more or less than leather."
Not on my life.
Questions? Hardly, I think you covered it and then some. Thanks for the detailed explanation, which clarifies things nicely...and I think I'm going to copy that article out for a blog post so that everyone DOES read it.
We have the Throughgood Pro's...think they are more kevlar than leather...but as far as performance goes they are great.....much more comfortable and a lot less weight....sizing is the same as street shoes...and they are great right out of the box....Stay safe.........Paul
I'm really happy with my Throgoods. I was standing in slush and snow all afternoon yesterday and my tootsies stayed nice and warm. If I stood for a while in my old rubber boots my back would start to hurt (cuz I'm old) but not with these leather ones. Make sure you can pull them off with relitive ease, they may be a little snug but you shouldn't have to fight with them.
They are worth the money. Good luck.