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Biomechanical and Physiological Study of Firefighter Boots – FY10

NOTE: This page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated.


  • The primary objective of this study is to determine the effect of boot weight and design on firefighters’ biomechanical and physiological responses. 3rd phase testing will focus on trips and falls. Firefighters will wear four different boot models while stepping over obstacles and climbing a ladder.
Photos of 2 types of fire fighter boot testing

Applicable Standards

  • NFPA 1971

Key Partners

  • NFPA
  • IAFF



  • Fire departments and firefighters
  • Firefighter Boot manufacturers

Project Scope

  • To evaluate the effect of boot weight and design on men and women firefighters’ oxygen consumption, peak flows, joint loading, dynamic balance, and gait characteristics
  • To provide much needed scientific data to the NFPA 1971 standards committee (Protective Ensemble for Structural Fire Fighting) to revise and update standards


  • Q1 Manuscript of 1st phase results submitted to Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
  • Q3 Present results of 3rd phase testing at ACSM in Baltimore
  • Q4 Complete draft of Phase 2 results


  • Presentations at conferences (approx. 5)
  • Standards committee presentations and public meetings (3)
  • Published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals (2)


  • Encourage standards organizations to make improvements in firefighter boot standards
Page last updated: April 05, 2010
Page last reviewed: April 05, 2010
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory