The absolute begining.

Flummox

Forum Probie
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I'm also a BLS student and I haven't needed to buy any equipment. My mom is a veterinarian and at first I brought a scope I borrowed from her but the ones provided by my college work equally well and save me from worrying about sitting on it in my backpack. :p I really like using my old Iron Man watch from Walmart, it has a digital second counter which is fine if you multitask well plus the screen glows in the dark (not to mention the convenience of waterproof watches in general).
 

Mel319

Forum Ride Along
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I will be starting an EMT class in a couple months and something on their "supplies" we need to buy just says black shoes. I don't want to get just regular gym shoes if I will have to get other shoes later. Is it best to invest in better shoes right away than having to buy another pair later? Also, what are the best kind of shoes to buy?
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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I will be starting an EMT class in a couple months and something on their "supplies" we need to buy just says black shoes. I don't want to get just regular gym shoes if I will have to get other shoes later. Is it best to invest in better shoes right away than having to buy another pair later? Also, what are the best kind of shoes to buy?
I recommend buying a cheap pair of shoes/boots that meet your schools requirements. For a decent pair of EMS boots you are looking at a minimum of $100 and can easily go to $300.

You don’t want to spend a bunch of money on EMS boots and find out during the class that you no longer want to be involved in EMS.
 

hapacamp

Forum Ride Along
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I'm in favor of investing in the best shoes that you can afford. Think of the cost being spread over each day you wear them.
 

Mel319

Forum Ride Along
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I'm in favor of investing in the best shoes that you can afford. Think of the cost being spread over each day you wear them.
That is what I was thinking. The class only says "black shoes" no other indication of what to get. I've been looking online to see what EMTs actually wear and a lot of them wear boots. Is there a certain brand that is better over others? I'd rather spend more now than having to buy regular shoes and then spending more money later to get another pair.
 

Mel319

Forum Ride Along
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I recommend buying a cheap pair of shoes/boots that meet your schools requirements. For a decent pair of EMS boots you are looking at a minimum of $100 and can easily go to $300.

You don’t want to spend a bunch of money on EMS boots and find out during the class that you no longer want to be involved in EMS.
A decent pair of regular shoes cost about $50 anyways. So in the long run I'd be spending even more on a pair of shoes now that I probably won't be wearing again than on a pair of boots/shoes I'd actually be needing to wear later. Do you recommend any specific brand or a shoe vs boot?
 

DesertMedic66

Forum Troll
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A decent pair of regular shoes cost about $50 anyways. So in the long run I'd be spending even more on a pair of shoes now that I probably won't be wearing again than on a pair of boots/shoes I'd actually be needing to wear later. Do you recommend any specific brand or a shoe vs boot?
I have only worn one brand of boot for EMS so that is the only one that I can speak to. Every 2 years I get the Haix AirPower XR2 which are in the $300 range.

Another popular option are redback boots which are in the $100-$150 range. I have never worn them so I can not speak to how they are.

You can visit thefirestore.com or theemsstore.com to get an idea of the different brands of boots that specialize in EMS/Fire.
 

Mel319

Forum Ride Along
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I have only worn one brand of boot for EMS so that is the only one that I can speak to. Every 2 years I get the Haix AirPower XR2 which are in the $300 range.

Another popular option are redback boots which are in the $100-$150 range. I have never worn them so I can not speak to how they are.

You can visit thefirestore.com or theemsstore.com to get an idea of the different brands of boots that specialize in EMS/Fire.
Awesome thanks for the info!
 

jgmedic

Fire Truck Driver
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I have only worn one brand of boot for EMS so that is the only one that I can speak to. Every 2 years I get the Haix AirPower XR2 which are in the $300 range.

Another popular option are redback boots which are in the $100-$150 range. I have never worn them so I can not speak to how they are.

You can visit thefirestore.com or theemsstore.com to get an idea of the different brands of boots that specialize in EMS/Fire.
I own both XR2's and Redbacks, both amazing boots,keep in mind Redbacks are non certified for EMS or station use, so you may have issues if your agency is a stickler. There are Blue Tongues, made by Redback and are certified, not as comfy though.Haix last for freakin ever. I had my first pair of XR2's for five years before retiring them, 4 days a week of busy *** 911 work.
 

Gurby

Forum Asst. Chief
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Make sure to get something "polishable". Bonus points for having vibram soles and an aggressive+deep (>5mm) tread pattern for when you're walking backwards stair charing a 300lb patient down a slippery wooden staircase after a snowstorm.

I prefer something lower topped and light weight for comfort. People will say that this doesn't offer as much protection to debris and whatnot but meh.

I wore these and liked them:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HMY5LBK



If I was going to buy new footwear today, I'd probably buy something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Timberland-PRO-Military-Tactical-Leather/dp/B01MZ6SPNV/
 

Gurby

Forum Asst. Chief
810
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I own both XR2's and Redbacks, both amazing boots,keep in mind Redbacks are non certified for EMS or station use, so you may have issues if your agency is a stickler. There are Blue Tongues, made by Redback and are certified, not as comfy though.Haix last for freakin ever. I had my first pair of XR2's for five years before retiring them, 4 days a week of busy *** 911 work.
I've never heard of boots being "certified" for EMS - what does that mean?
 

Jim37F

Forum Deputy Chief
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The One problem with the Airpower XR2 is that those are $250-300 boots easy.

When I first signed up for EMT class, me and my dad went down to Red Wing Shoes and bought a pair of Worx boots.
Black, polishable, safety toe, side zipper slip on...only cost ~$100 or so.

THOSE suckers were so dang comfy that I caught myself wearing them for daily wear with my jeans instead of my tennis shoes. In a pinch, because they're polishable, if you shine them up, with dress pants, no one can tell they're not dress shoes (well not without paying an undue amount of attention to your feet at least lol).

It wasn't until I got hired my an FD (the first time as an Ambulance Operator a few years back) and got issued a pair of the Airpowers that I stopped wearing the Worx for work. I still found myself wearing them as daily wear shoes though. Got a good 4-5 years out of them before they really started to wear down too much (that and where I'm at now, everyone wears shorts, and those just dont mix well with the Worx lol....I'll still wear them on occasion like thru the airport, the side zipper makes them super easy to slip on and off going thru security haha).

BUT, on the other hand, as good as my Worx have been to me over the past 6 years I've had them, once I got my first pIr of the Airpower XR2....I never wore a different brand for work. Even after I left that first FD, I kept those boots, and will not wear a different pair for work (especially since my current FD issued the same Airpowers...now I just have a backup pair :) ) Although...unlike the Worx, I'll never wear the Airpowers outside of work uniforms.

So of you're just starting out, I'd say start with a cheaper, but still good quality (like the Worx) before dropping $300 on a top of the line boot (like the Airpowers) that you may find yourself never wearing again if you end up deciding EMS isn't for you.
 

jgmedic

Fire Truck Driver
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I've never heard of boots being "certified" for EMS - what does that mean?
NFPA approved for station wear and EMS. If you're affiliated with an FD and even some non fire based agencies use it, it's not a huge deal, both FD's I've worked with didn't care at all unless it was for structure or wildland boots, but depending on where you work, it could be.
 

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,156
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For class, I would get the cheapest type of shoes you get away with. If they specify boots, get the cheapest boots you can.

When you get a job in EMS, invest in a good pair of boots.

I currently have a pair of HAIX airpowers (issued by my former agency) that I wear on the engine in the city, and a different brand of side zips that I wear in the sticks (issued by another former agency that I just have had for years, both stay in my locker at the respective stations). But I know people that simply wear black sneakers on the ambulance (and on the fire engine).

When I team or am in class, I'm usually in black loafers. no need to be in boot in classroom. your clinicals are a different story, and I would make sure i showed up in clean polished safety toed boots.
 

ThadeusJ

Forum Lieutenant
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If I may speak about boots...as my most current life involves standing on concrete trade show floors, decent shoes are a must (I have a colleague who wears custom made Italian shoes solely for this purpose). I was at EMS World one year and was discussing this with one of my colleagues and when I looked around and all of them were wearing their "service" boots as they were far better than any regular footwear they had. I bought a pair just for wearing around the yard and hiking and I was amazed at the difference (and I have a pretty good collection of hiking/construction/everyday footwear). I won't mention the brand to avoid any conflict of interest.
Anyway, if anyone suggests that "any" boot is good, I would strongly suggest one made for EMS services as they would stand up to other uses if the career doesn't work out. I think they're great investments against future pain.
 

Seirende

Forum Asst. Chief
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The first service that I worked at required steel toe boots for protection and ankle support. I got boots at Walmart for $40. Worked fine, I ended up using them for everyday wear and it took a couple of years before they wore out. They weren't totally leather, but enough so that you could shine them up to look professional.
 

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