Best EMS Boots for EMTs and Paramedics

Medical emergencies demand you make immediate first response, but without the best ems boots for EMTs and Paramedics, rescuers might put themselves between saving a life while risking their own.

Your boots help your feet provide support and protection while reducing fatigue and improving endurance in any environment, so that you can work efficiently without having to worry about the terrain.

Let me put it this way:

EMS workers put themselves in a precarious position. You are always on the move, and your footwear must be able to handle that stress. A strong pair of shoes will help you get through the day without injury or pain.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through some of the best EMS work boots in the market right now. You’ll learn about the important features of each – as well as their pros and cons.

Features of Good EMS Boots

  • Waterproof
  • Breathable
  • Side Zip
  • Blood Borne Pathogen Proof
  • Fit and Comfort

When evaluating a pair of boots, it is important to consider that an EMS provider’s boots are one of the most important pieces of equipment they will own. It’s important that work boots are waterproof and breathable but they also need to be pathogen proof. Gore-Tex or some other advanced waterproofing is preferable to leather. This type of boot is more comfortable and has less odor than the traditional style.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose the perfect pair of EMTs and paramedics boots for hot weather.

1. Danner Men’s Acadia EMS Boots

Danner Acadia boots are tough and sturdy. They’re the kind you can use to log hours of rescue mission, especially in the days when you expect to be too busy to stop. Breathable and waterproof, this pair will keep your feet cool and dry and, at the same time, provide a proper shield against water. Click here to see today’s on Amazon.

Acadia 8-inch features a decent stitching, which makes the leather build more than ideal for all seasons. Its padding feels cushion-like and comfortable straight out of the box. You can be sure it’ll make walking and/or running to and from your rescue mission easy – you don’t even have to worry about foot strains.

Even better, these perform really well in environments with slippery floors. The non-slip design allows you to move easily on wet and soft tiled floors, so you can focus on being more productive and worry less about tripping and failing.

Add the vibram outsole with a uniform lug profile to the slip-resistant design, and what you get is the best ems work boots that provide better traction in almost all conditions.

Pros

  • These are lightweight ems shoes.
  • They are breathable and also provide better traction in different environments.
  • These are waterproof work boots.

Cons

  • They’re stiff, so they’ll take time to break in.

2. Thorogood Men’s 8” EMS Boots with Zipper

Thorogood understands that feet comfort is important to a paramedic like you. After all, you don’t want to engage in saving lives while endangering your own. Which means that coziness, even that of the shoes your wear for EMT job, is a number one thing to consider. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon. 

The Gen Flex Jump Boots with side zip are the best Thorogood has ever built. Promising in terms of performance, this model is a perfect pair for the price.

To begin with, these boots feature a polyurethane footbed with a good cushioning. Not only does the padding deliver maximum comfort that your feet needs for extended work period, but also offers additional feet support.

The zippers on the side make the boots easy to wear and take off. The lacing system is very easy to adjust, so you get the right fit. These shouldn’t feel too loose or snugged.

As you run and walk around, your feet absorb a lot of impact. The faster you move the more the impact there is for your feet to handle. To do this without subjecting your feet to injury, Thorogood adds an Eva midsole with a 300g heel insert to the boot. This ensures Gen Flex absorbs as much impact as possible even from rough terrains.

Pros

  • The rubber outsole features solid treads for slip resistance and better traction.
  • Goodyear storm welded construction for strength and durability.
  • These paramedic work boots are made of genuine leather.

Cons

  • Not the most durable EMS boots in the market.
  • These can take up to 14 days to break in.

3. 5.11 Tactical Men’s ATAC 1.0 Waterproof Military Storm Boots

5.11 Tactical is a California–based brand of clothing consisting of uniforms and tactical equipment for military, law enforcement and public safety personnel. It’s good to see a not so old brand making high quality military boots that you can buy and use for rescue mission. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.

To be clear upfront, 5.11 tactical boots have the looks. They’re comfortable. And they’re inexpensive. It’s plain black, the not so colorful option to consider sleek. But the design and better performance overshadows the looks.

They’re flexible and strong, good option to consider if you’re in a very demanding EMS job. The upper is a combination of leather and breathable fabric. The synthetic rubber outsole provides better grip and traction in different conditions and the lug patterns make the sole unit sufficiently slip resistant.

On the interior part of the shoes, what you get is a smooth and cozy feel, which gives your feet the comfort you need to walk and work for extended period. The opening is big. The lacing looks really simple. And there’s even a side zipper that makes the boots easy to put on and take off.

We love how serious the 5.11 brand is about breathability. They’ve combined a blood borne pathogen resistant and waterproof membrane to not only make these breathable but also waterproof enough to keep your feet cool and dry all day.

Then there’s the durometer Ortholite footbed, which contributes to the same, giving you the comfort, you need to be in these shoes the whole day.

Pros

  • The interior is well padded, feels smooth and cozy hence comfortable.
  • Waterproof and breathable.
  • Easy to wear and remove.
  • Strong and durable build.

Cons

  • Not so thick rubber sole.

4. Haix Airpower XR2 EMS/Station Boots 

Haix Airpower XR boots are for the first responders who are interested in high quality ems work shoes regardless of the price. These aren’t low cost boots, so they may not be the best pick for you if you’re on a very tight budget. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon. 

These boots compete head to head with the Acadia from Danner, with the quality and thought out build being almost on the same level. Which is to say that if you’re interested in boots that are just as good as the Acadia, then the Airpower XR2 are for you.

We love how Haix has optimized these work shoes for performance. In our eyes, these looks and feel like the kind of paramedic boots that you can wear and use in just about any environment.

Airpower XR2 sports a genuine leather upper that can stand up to daily use and abuse and keep logging hours of work for days. There’s a crosstech line that ensures maximum breathability. And with good airflow in and out of the boots, your feet remain cool and dry throughout the day.

While XR2’s composite toe isn’t as tough as steel toe, it still offers decent protection from falling objects, while keeping the overall weight of the boots to a minimum.

The lacing system of these black boots may be hard to figure out at first. But the 8-inch zipper, which runs all the way from the arch, should make the XR2 easy to wear and take off.

Pros

  • Durable rubber outsole for better grip and traction.
  • Include the brand’s climate system for outstanding temperature balance.
  • The zippers make the boots easy to wear and take off.
  • The leather upper is not only breathable but also hydrophobic and waterproof.

Cons

  • These work boots are expensive.
  • They’re somewhat heavy.

5. Bates GX-8 Gore-Tex Under Armour Waterproof Boot

Bates GX-8 boots may not be the cheapest work shoes in the market. But they’re the best alternative to Haix Airpower XR2 for any paramedic on a tight budget. Click here to see today’s price on Amazon.

The GX-8 feature a waterproof leather upper with a ballistic nylon. And it includes a Gore-Tex lining to keep the inner parts dry. The slip-resistant rubber out sole is tough and durable, able to stand up against harsh work environment and keep working perfectly. The lugs beneath aren’t that deep per se, but they offer better traction even in wet conditions.

If you’re a keen observer, like we always are, you may have noticed just how complex the lacing system of first responded boots can be. And that means tying and untying laces can be more tedious than planning a rescue mission.

Fortunately, though, Bates makes the GX-8’s lacing as simple as possible. Once you tie the shoes to a good fit, you can just use the zipper on the side to put them on and take them off.

GX-8’s insoles feel soft and cushy, not to mention that they easily align to the structure of your feet so that every step you take is more natural than the first. The added EVA midsole not only offer an additional foot support, but also absorb and distributes impact step after step.

Pros

  • Has a non-metallic shank and athletic cement construction that make walking for extended period easy.
  • These work shoes are lightweight.
  • They’re easy to put on and take off.

Cons

  • The pair takes a lot of time to break in.

6. RedbacK Bobcat UBOK EMS Work Boots 

RedbacK Bobcat UBOK is the kind of work shoes that you can wear with your casual outfit for night dining and everyday use. Given its solid build, from proper selection of material to the thorough stitching, these boots are tough and solid for just about any kind of paramedic assignment. Click to see today’s price on Amazon.

For the first respondents who are on a very tight budget, these work boots should definitely make the difference.

Bobcat UBOK may be cheap. But you should be happy to know that they’re a solid build. The upper is made of a three-piece leather, which comfortably holds your feet as you walk and run around. The toe room is just about the right size, so your fit should fit well.

RedbacK gives the sole unit a better build, making it as intuitive as that of the Acadia work boots from Danner. The air-cushioned mid soles help with shock absorption and distribution as you walk. And the synthetic rubber out sole sports good lugs that provide versatile traction and good grip in all conditions.

Because Bobcat UBOK boots are oil and slip resistant, you can wear and use them in any condition. And if you ever need work boots that offer additional arch support when walking or running to a crime or accident scene, you’ll love these ones for certain.

Pros

  • Impressive design.
  • Good pair of work boots that offer sufficient arch support.
  • Well built, yet inexpensive.

Cons

  • These don’t have steel toes.

A Buying Guide: Here’s how to choose Best Work Boots for First Responders

Selecting the best ems boots for EMTs and paramedics isn’t always easy because as soon as you know what to look for, it becomes simple to identify a good pair. Before choosing a pair of shoes, consider these things.

1. Waterproof

When you’re starting out on a career or need to wear non-waterproof work boots, it’s all right to do so for your first job. But they won’t last long in wet and rainy conditions.

Smells Aside, I’ve Been Forced To Wear Boots That Are Wearing Out

It is often difficult for paramedics to know what their next day will bring as they are constantly required to work in different locations and environments. Most people don’t know how to handle water, but when you have to work outside in the rain all day long (like I do) waterproof boots are essential.

Typically, waterproof leather boots are made of the one that is suited for wet weather.

To ensure your comfort along the way, choose boots that are lined with Gore-tex. This layer is water resistant from the get-go, and provides a cool and dry environment inside of it so you can remain comfortable even when working below capacity.

 2. Breathability

One of the worst mistakes you can make when purchasing boots is to buy those that are not breathable. Stinky feet and smelly shoes are among no one’s favorites.

There is a big risk with wearing non-breathable work boots. You put your feet at extreme risk of sweating profusely and eventually developing painful blisters.

For an EMT worker, hot weather can be torture on the feet. The boots we wear are often tough to keep cool and durable enough to put up with heavy activity in various types of additional pressure for our feet.

To avoid blisters alive your shoes, choose a breathable summer work boot.

When you’re choosing boots for hot weather, make sure your summer shoe has a mesh fabric lining on the upper. This will help your feet maintain enough air circulation and stay dry by wicking away moisture whenever you need to keep going even after long work hours.

 3. Flame and Cut Resistant Upper – Where Necessary

You never know what type of emergency services your next assignment may require. Because emergencies can happen at anytime, and heighten considerably when the weather is hot.

As a first responder, you must always be ready to assist in any environment, even if it means subjecting yourself in dangerous regions prone to fires and cuts.

In a way, it seems more of making a sacrifice to save another person’s life while keep your own in check. In the real sense, however, you do have to protect yourself first before moving to this kind of a job. And what’s a better way to do that than with flame and cut resistant boots?

And get this:

You aren’t likely going to run into flames and you may even cut your feet in the rescue mission. But if there are boots with these features, go with them. You don’t know when they may come to your rescue.

 

4. Side Zip

There is a reason why ems workers have shoes with side zippers.

When called to an assignment, they don’t have the time to lace up their shoes and get to the emergency scene. They have to respond, and they must do it fast – or people die.

While it might sound quite vague a reason, the inclusion of the side zipper is the difference between saving a life and losing one.
The bottom line is this:
If you must be a reliable first respond-er, then you must be ready to respond fast. And that means you should go for work shoes that are easy to put on and take off.

In other words, choose ems work boots that feature side zippers. You’ll put them on in seconds and respond to emergencies effectively.

5. Slip and Oil Resistant

Imagine this:
You get a call to go out to a rescue mission and you respond fast. You and the team head out nearly as fast as you can.
But in your walking and running binge, you come to a slippery or oily floor. You step on a smooth object, and you fall.
And the reason?

You didn’t wear slip-resistant work boots to your first responder job.

Look:

You simply don’t know where your next assignment will lead. You might be required to work in an extremely slippery condition and you don’t want to hurt yourself in the process.
Which brings me to this next point:

If you want to work easily without worrying too much about slipping and falling, then you must wear slip and oil resistant shoes.

You should look for work boots that have strong lugs on the rubber or vibram outsole. The thicker the thread pattern, the better. These help a lot in giving your feet a better grip while enhancing traction on the go.
With the best non-slip work boots, you’ll not only be an active paramedic, but also keep yourself safe in the rescue mission.

 6. Fit and Comfort

This is a no brainer, right?
But many entry-level first responders still make the mistake of choosing boots that are neither fitting nor comfortable.
Let me say this:

If you want to walk and run around for long hours and save lives without putting your feet at risk, the boots you choose must fit and they must be as comfortable as possible.

You simply can’t afford to settle for less.

Talking of comfort, the boots you choose should:

  • Feature a breathable upper for efficient airflow. This will keep your feet cool and dry throughout the day.
  • Be waterproof and feature a Gore-Tex lining. This will ensure water doesn’t get into the boots.
  • Have toe box that isn’t too big or too small. Make sure it’s just roomy enough to accommodate your feet.
  • Have a good padding. This will ensure your feet stays comfortable throughout the day.
  • Feature Eva midsole if possible. This will go a long way to manage shock, especially on the days when have to be on your feet for extended period.

When it comes to fit, make sure the boots are easy to lace up. All the boots in this guide are the kind you lace up once and forget. They include a zipper on the side, which you can use to put and take them off in the twinkle of an eye.

7. Blood Borne Pathogen Proof

Sometimes being a first responder means sacrificing your time to save another person’ life while risking your own.

And if you’ve heard about blood borne pathogen, then you probably already know what we’re talking about here.
In a paramedic job, you’ll more than likely get into contact with human blood. In such a case, you had better make sure you have the right work wear on or you risk getting sick.
When it comes to picking work boots, you need to choose boots that are blood borne pathogen proof. This will protect you from the microorganisms in human blood, which often cause human diseases like HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B.