I love doing product reviews…For better or worse, I get to give my readers a first hand account of new products which might help them in purchasing gear. You can read more of my product reviews here and my policy on product reviews here.
Edited: The boots that were reviewed were the X boot. The review for the X2 boot will be forthcoming.
I am currently doing a review of Black Diamonds X Boot. This is a brand new bunker boot that Black Diamond rolled out at FDIC. I actually got my pair just before heading to FDIC and only had the chance to stick them on my feet once before leaving.
I will give you my first impression here and some technical data, then follow up with a more detailed review in the next couple of weeks once I get to wear them in good!
This is part 1 of 2
These boots are comfortable! When I joined my career department 11 years ago I was introduced to leather fire boots. It was one of those moments of zen when I wondered why in the world I wore rubber boots as in my volunteer department prior. Upon graduation, we were allowed to wear any certified leather boots we wanted…after we bought them ourselves. Let me just say that I will never wear rubber boots again. I cringe when I see firefighters wearing rubber boots. It is unfortunate that so many departments invest in rubber boots only to see them sit on the tops of gear lockers…take care of your firefighters and purchase leather boots!
My first impression of the X Boot…
The look – Let us just say that if they make another batman movie, they could use these boots for his outfit! These things are slick looking!
The feel – Out of the box, they are a little stiff from top to bottom. This is good and bad. Good that they stand up and don’t fold over when you take off your bunker pants and get ready for the next call. Bad that they will need to work in a little so that I can bend them at the ankle to press the floor switch for the federal Q without as much effort.
The toe – These boots offer great protection as you will read below in the specifications. One thing I did notice is that the top cap seems as though it will stand up over time. My current boots (different brand) don’t have the best protection and the toe cap is all but crumbling off through normal wear and tear.
Best feature – The best feature so far is the integrated and reinforced pull on system. You simply do not have to worry about leather straps breaking over time.
Worst feature – Made in China. This may not be a huge deal for some, but for others it is. Firefighters are Patriotic. I am not a stickler for “Union Made”, but I do like to look in the boot and see that little tag with the American Flag on it. Being made outside of the USA might have a lot to do with the price tag of around $250 as some other boots are more expensive.
- The Calf-Fit System: allows for maximum comfort and fit
- Integrated Pull-On System: integrated and reinforced loop pull on system
- Shin Guard Protection: maximum protection that conforms to the shape of your shin
- Leather Upper: fire retardant, genuine heavyweight FireTuff leather
- Fusion Upper: a powerful alloy of solution dye Nomex / Kevlar and Teflon F.P.P.E. Combines the durability of Nomex, the strength and abrasion resistance of Kevlar and water resistance of patented Teflon F.P.P.E.
- 3-Point Heel Lock System: exclusive 3-point heel lock system for comfort and fit. Ankle guard for maximum protection
- Lining: CROSSTECH membrane with Omaha lining is a high performance, wicking fabric originally developed for aggressive military applications
- Lining Construction: stitch-down ‘Stroble’ lining construction ensures non liner pullout and maximum fit
- 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material: flame-resistant, fluorescent, and reflective material for added viability
- Ortholite Footbed: Tri-density, multi-fit, removable footbed with TPU heel cradle for comfort, anti-odor, anti-fungal, breathable, and shock absorption
- Toe Cap Protection: rubber top cap protection for high-abrasion and a steel toe, HI 500 Oblique Comfort Toe meets or exceeds ASTM Standards
- Lenzi Puncture Protection Midsole: high performance composite, penetration-resistant
About Black Diamond Group, Inc.
Black Diamond is a leading brand of performance protective footwear. The company’s highly acclaimed fire boots are used by fire departments around the world and are developed with the finest, most durable materials and components to endure the extraordinary demands placed on firefighters. Black Diamond is the only brand in the industry to combine the latest technologies for superior comfort and performance in harsh conditions. They are the only boots to be certified by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and receive the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Approval.
For further information, please visit www.blackdiamondfootwear.com.
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