The late Ewald Haimerl, son of HAIX® founder Xaver Haimerl, had the heart of a first responder and the hands of a cobbler. He didn’t just make boots. He made boots for his brothers and sisters in the fire service. HAIX® structural fire boots were born out of his desire to get all firefighters out of rubber boots and into safer, more durable leather boots.
His legacy lives on in our new Fire Hunter® Pro.
Meet the budget-friendly boot that is loaded with features. It’s a boot that makes switching from rubber to leather an easy choice—designed for professional and volunteer departments alike.
Studies have shown that leather is superior to rubber. But how? For those focused on the bottom line when purchasing rubber fire boots, consider boot weight, fit and protection.
Leather boots are, on average, 2-3 pounds lighter than their rubber counterparts. Increased exertion on the fireground means more fatigue and increased air consumption. A famous study out of Delaware compared rubber to leather and noted the increased exertion of the firefighter when wearing rubber boots depleted the air in the SCBA faster and led to a firefighter’s legs having to work about 35.5% harder.
Leather boots are also designed to fit the foot better than rubber boots. A more anatomical fit means less chance for movement within the boot, which can contribute to slips and falls on the fireground. A better fit can also increase response times and ladder safety.
Lastly, in a study done by W.L. Gore, both leather and rubber fire boots were put through a standard decontamination procedure. They found that rubber boots retained more residual contaminants than leather boots. Clean boots with less residuals present after decontamination can help reduce firefighters’ potential exposure to hazardous materials encountered in the line of duty.
A Valuable Upgrade
The Fire Hunter® Pro is equipped with many of the same features found in our other structural fire boots. Our durable bullhide leather is breathable, but fully waterproof and protected from hazardous fluids thanks to a GORE-TEX® CROSSTECH® liner. We added our popular athletic sole and composite safety toe, also found on the Fire Eagle® Air and Fire Eagle® Xtreme, to keep the boot light and responsive. It’s also EH rated up to 18,000v for added protection.
Inside, we equipped the Fire Hunter® Pro with our ankle flex feature for a more secure fit and a washable comfort insole for a great feel right out of the box. Other thoughtful features include large pull straps, integrated boot jack and a durable profiled rubber toe cap.
The Fire Hunter® Pro embodies the HAIX® mission to create and outfit our hard-working first responders in the industry’s best boots. Quality, Craftsmanship and Care have always been the hallmarks of a HAIX® boot.