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The Best EMS Boots in 2024 – Complete Guide

Stock photo of a side view of a person wearing a blue jacket with a badge reading "Emergency Medical Technician."

EMS and EMT workers need shoes that are comfortable to wear and compliant with safety regulations. That’s why we’ve rounded up the 13 best EMS boots for every season and situation you might encounter. Whether it’s rough terrain or slippery surfaces, having the right boots will protect your feet against accidents and the elements. 

Not every boot will do the same job. Special high-quality materials like high-traction rubber outsoles and full-grain leather protect against hazardous materials and surfaces. Some boots may be chunky due to steel toe caps or thick outsoles. 

Other safety features such as reinforced toes, ankle support, and shock-absorbent midsoles can benefit workers by preventing foot fatigue and injuries gained from the workplace. All EMS boots must meet certified safety standards as well to be safe to wear.

Keep reading our guide to find the right pair of boots for you and the features you need to look out for!

How To Choose the Best EMS Boots 

Remember these key features when purchasing EMS boots, as they affect the performance and fit of the footwear.


You want boots that feel comfy and snug but not restrictive. Check what type of cushioning is offered in a shoe’s footbed insole, as this will help relieve pressure on your foot arch and ball pad. 

Also, lightweight outsoles and composite toes rather than steel are a must to prevent foot fatigue.

Protection and Support

All the boots in our guide are above ankle height, as this structural support prevents sprains and knocks.

We also include EMS boots with outsoles with excellent grip, ensuring anti-slip protection against oil, fluids, or chemical spills. Anti-puncture midsoles and toe cap protection are also ideal in case of accidents.


Many EMS boots have breathable linings or tongues to let air into the boot while keeping moisture out. We also recommend boots with uppers made from leather, which is a naturally breathable material and optimal for EMS footwear. Otherwise, sweat can’t wick away and feet get damp, leading to fungal infections and odor. 

Overall Best EMS Boots


Best Boots for Fire EMS– Viking Men’s Felt-Lined Firefighter and EMS Boot

Product photo of Viking Men’s Felt-Lined Firefighter and EMS Boot, black and yellow, pull-on straps.

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The Firefighter EMS Boot from Viking offers protection from heat, flames, and chemicals, and is certified as protective footwear for structural fire fighting. The material quality of the boot is impressive, featuring a flame retardant upper and felt lining for thermal insulation.

The boot has a solid lug sole made from chloroprene rubber that’s oil, chemical, slip, and heat resistant. It’s also fully compatible with ice studs. Additionally, the toe area features a steel toe cap to protect your feet against heavy falling objects.

Another great feature is a midsole protection plate to prevent sharp materials from penetrating your foot. Although the boot is quite solid in shape, it’s still flexible and comes with a snug insole for extra comfort. 


  • Easy to pull on and off with rubber straps
  • Flame, heat, and chemical retardant
  • Heavy-duty lug outsole
  • Steel toe 
  • Waterproof


  • Higher price point 

What People Are Saying

One fire EMS worker said that the “fire boots are one of the best pairs I have ever worn.”

A retired firefighter wrote in their review, “I needed another good pair of boots after retiring and these are it.”

Best Tactical Boots for EMS 5.11 Tactical Men’s A.T.A.C. 2.0 Shield Boot

Product photo of 5.11 Tactical Men’s A.T.A.C. 2.0 Shield Boot for EMS, all black with laces.

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EMTs and paramedics face daily risks, so these tactical boots from 5.11 offer excellent protection features. For instance, the boot comes with an oil- and slip-resistant outsole to protect against falls in hazardous areas. 

To boost comfort, the boots have layered foam insoles that absorb shocks from rebound movements. The top layer of the insole features Ortholite Lazy recovery foam, which molds to your foot and provides a customized fit. Additionally, the leather-and-nylon mix upper is water resistant, keeping your feet dry and cozy.

There’s also great ankle and heel support with its Achilles flex zone, allowing you to move your foot flexibly without losing stability. A composite safety toe, which is lighter in weight, offers great impact protection. You can find more lightweight work boots for a variety of professions here!


  • Slip- and oil-resistant outsole
  • Great ankle resistance
  • Ortholite foam insole
  • Composite toe 
  • Leather-and-nylon mix upper 


  • The logo’s bold color may not fit uniform policies

What People Are Saying

A satisfied buyer stated that “the boots are the most comfortable I have ever worn, with great construction and features.”

Another customer simply said, “They fit great and are very comfortable.”

Best Women’s EMS Boots 5.11 Women’s Tactical A.T.A.C 2.0 8” Boot

Product photo of 5.11 Women’s Tactical A.T.A.C 2.0 8” Boot for EMS, all black with laces.

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5.11 also offers a great full-protection EMS boot option for women. With an 8”  boot shaft height, your ankle will be well-supported, while the Achilles flex zone feature in the heel area allows flexibility.

The upper design is sleek and features a mix of leather and textile in black. Although it’s a lightweight boot, it’s very durable and tough.

For wet conditions, the boot features the brand’s waterproof SlipStream membrane, while the tongue on the boot is breathable and keeps the inside fresh and sweat-free. For extra comfort, there’s an Ortholite foam Achilles cuff and an Ortholite footbed that molds to your feet for support.


  • Waterproof SlipStream membrane
  • Slip- and oil-resistant outsole
  • Ortholite foam insole and Achilles cuff
  • Shock Mitigation System absorbs rebound shocks
  • Breathable tongue


  • No steel toe 

What People Are Saying

A user tested out the flexibility and mentioned that the boots “offer good protection with support up over my ankle, but are flexible enough to do what I need.”

Another buyer found the boots are “very comfortable, easy to zip and lightweight.”

Best EMS Boots for Summer– 5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 2.0 6” Side Zip

Product photo of 5.11 Tactical A.T.A.C. 2.0 6” Side Zip Boots for EMS, black with laces and side zipper.

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Although this may be the third product from 5.11 in our guide, we had to include their Tactical 6” boot, as it’s one of the best EMS boots for summer thanks to its lightweight design and breathable material. Perfect for keeping you cool in hot temperatures!

The upper is made from nylon and leather to keep it lightweight, while the tongue is designed for maximum airflow to keep your feet fresh and dry. Meanwhile, the boot’s Shock Mitigation System helps to keep your feet supported on long summer patrols. 

The outsole is oil- and slip-resistant, and like many of the 5.11 products, the Ortholite dual foam footbed is included for comfort and to ensure your feet stay dry in the heat.


  • Lightweight construction
  • Slip- and oil-resistant outsole
  • Breathable Air Flow tongue
  • Shock Mitigation System 
  • 6” topline height 


  • Not full leather

What People Are Saying

One recent buyer stated, “The boots provide very solid support and feel great.”

Regarding the fit and feel, another customer found that the boots offer “a great fit for day to day.”

Best EMS Boots for Comfort– Thorogood GEN-Flex2 8” Side-Zip Tactical Boots

Product photo of horogood GEN-Flex2 8” Side-Zip Tactical Boots for EMS, all black with laces.

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Comfort is an essential factor for EMS workers when selecting footwear. These Thorogood boots are up to the job, as they have cushioned EVA footbeds which help to protect the foot from severe pain. There’s also a midsole and a dual-density rubber outsole that absorbs impact and relieves pressure on joints.

The quality of the boots is impressive thanks to the Goodyear Storm Welted construction method, which creates a water-tight seal between the midsole and upper. This allows for great wear resistance and prevents moisture from getting into the boot.


  • Goodyear Storm Welted construction
  • Cushioned EVA footbed
  • Breathable, high-quality leather upper
  • Dual-density rubber outsole 
  • Lightweight
  • Outsole traction for grip on oily or wet surfaces


  • No composite or steel toe

What People Are Saying

Regarding the quality, one reviewer noted that the boots are “very well made.”

Another customer impressed by the design of the boots said that they’re “indeed very comfortable and beautiful.”

Best EMS Boots for Plantar Fasciitis– Bates Men’s GX-4 4” Ultra-Lites GTX

Product photo of Bates Men’s GX-4 4” Ultra-Lites GTX Boot for EMS, all black with laces, just at ankle height.

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Plantar fasciitis can cause stabbing-like pain in your heel, which radiates across the bottom of your feet. Anyone can experience plantar fasciitis but it’s more common if you have any foot arch problems. Standing or sitting for long periods also causes the pain to be more severe. 

Boots that relieve plantar fasciitis should allow for flexible movement and have great cushioning to soothe feet. The Bates Men’s GX-4 boots are ideal. Not only are they very lightweight to reduce fatigue, but they also come with a cushioned, removable insert, perfect for helping underfoot stability.

The boot shaft height stabilizes the ankle and the toe box allows for plenty of wriggle room. Material-wise, the upper is made from a solid nylon and leather mix, and comes with a moisture-wicking mesh lining—great for keeping feet dry from sweat. 


  • Lightweight design
  • Removable cushioned insole
  • Anti-slip outsole
  • Breathable lining 
  • Side zip for ease of access


  • Not fully waterproof

What People Are Saying

A customer who spends many hours walking said that “These boots hold up great and are very comfortable all day long.”

Another satisfied customer mentioned that the boots are “extremely lightweight, which makes them great for running and jumping around.”

Best EMS Boots for Sweaty Feet– Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9” Side Zip Safety Plus Tactical Boot

Product photo of Best EMS Boots for Sweaty Feet- Original S.W.A.T. Classic 9” Side Zip Safety Plus Tactical Boot for EMS, all black with laces and side zipper.

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The Original SWAT brand is well-known for developing footwear that is designed specifically for EMS workers. 

To combat sweat and prevent fungal infections, the SWAT boots are breathable and have an antimicrobial lining. The full-grain leather upper used on sections of the upper also increases breathability as leather is a naturally breathable material.

Safety-wise, the boots feature a non-marking outsole with certified slip resistance, great for skiddy surfaces. There’s also a non-metallic midsole board to prevent sharp objects from penetrating into your foot.


  • Breathable materials for dry feet
  • Antimicrobial lining to prevent fungal infections
  • Certified anti-slip outsole
  • Nylon shank supports feet
  • Good lateral support offers stability
  • Good choice for security due to all non-metallic materials


  • Water-resistant but not waterproof

What People Are Saying

A buyer stated that they “love the fit right out of the box.”

A previous customer of the brand also mentioned that they “wore those boots all of the time when in the military, and finally got them again.” 

Best EMS Boots for Wide Feet– Sureway Men’s Slip-On Work Boots

Product photo of Sureway Men’s Slip-On Work Boot for EMS, all black with no laces, front and back loop for slip-on at front and back of upper.

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When selecting wider-fit EMS boots, choose something that offers EE-wide sizing. Sureway’s Slip-On Work Boots’ standard fitting is a D(Medium) but you can get EE fitting by ordering the next half-size up.

For toe protection, you can choose between a soft non-safety toe or the composite toe. We recommend EMS workers go with the composite toe for extra safety.

This being a slip-on style, the two pull tabs are very handy for getting in and out of the boots in emergencies. It’s one of the best slip-on EMS boots that we’ve come across for ease of use.


  • Easy to put on with pull tabs
  • Wide fitting
  • Composite toe-cap available
  • Anti-shock outsole 
  • Padded tongue to prevent rubbing
  • 100% full-grain leather upper stretches to foot shape


  • Leather may take a while to stretch to your foot shape

What People Are Saying

One happier reviewer stated that the boots are “easy to get on and off and very comfortable for all day on your feet.”

Another buyer said that the boots “look great and are made very well to a high standard.”

Best EMS Boots for Winter– Haix Airpower XR2 Winter Work Boot

Product photo of Haix Airpower XR2 Winter Work Boot for EMS, all black with laces.

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One of the best EMS boots for winter is the Haix Airpower XR2 Winter Work Boot. These boots come with an EH-rated anti-slip outsole designed for icy surfaces and freezing temperatures. This reduces falls and slips, as the rubber outsole won’t harden in cold climates.

Additionally, Crosstech technology in its inner lining keeps them fully waterproof and offers protection against contact with chemicals and body fluids.

The Texon fleece cushioned footbed absorbs sweat, and the footbed can be removed for washing. To support your feet, there’s an in-built arch support in the outsole which helps to distribute your body weight evenly- relieving foot pain and fatigue. 


  • Anti-slip outsole designed for freezing temperatures
  • Removable cushioned footbed for easy washing
  • Built-in arch support
  • Waterproof membrane lining
  • Composite toe cap


  • May take longer to break into due to the leather thickness

What People Are Saying

One customer said that these are “good EMS or fire work boots.” 

Another reviewer found that the boots offer a “great fit for day-to-day, easily the best boots I’ve purchased.” 

Best Lightweight EMS Duty Boot– Reebok Work Men’s Rapid Response Safety Boot

Product photo of Reebok Work Men’s Rapid Response Safety Boot for EMS, all black with laces and small cutouts on sides.

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Reebok may be known more for their sports footwear, but they also have an impressive EMS lightweight boot available for EMS workers: the Reebok Work Men’s Rapid Response Safety Boot. Design-wise, they have a cool, athletic look unlike many standard EMS boots, fitting to the Reebok brand. Better yet, their lightweight design makes them suitable for all-day wear without getting foot fatigue.

For comfort, the boot comes with a removable PU cushioned insert that has a shock eliminator heel cushion to absorb rebound energy.

Because it’s a lightweight model, the boots have a composite toe made from non-metal materials such as plastic or Kevlar rather than steel. However, both types will keep your toes protected from impact injuries.


  • Very lightweight
  • Sleek, athletic design
  • Cushioned removable insert
  • Side zipper for easy on-and-off
  • Composite toe cap
  • Rubber outsole provides electrical hazard protection


  • Not waterproof, just water-resistant

What People Are Saying

A recent customer mentioned that the boots “are lightweight as well as comfortable to walk in. Because of the composite toe, I think it’ll be warmer in winter than a steel toe.”

An EMS worker also said that “These are great boots. They’re very comfortable even after a long, 14-hour shift.”

Best Waterproof EMS Boots Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Tactical Waterproof Boots

Product photo of Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Tactical Waterproof Boot for EMS, all black with laces and criss-cross cutout design on sides.

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If you’re looking to keep dry during wet weather, you’ll need good waterproof boots that can do the job. Merrell’s Men’s Moab boots are ideal for EMS workers caught in wet conditions, thanks to the boots having a waterproof leather and Ripstop textile upper. 

The boots also have a snug topline for a close fit to your leg, handy in keeping out moisture. To boost dryness, the lining is made from a water-tight membrane that lets moisture escape but seals out any water. Additionally, the padded tongue and collar prevent rubbing on the leg while also boosting joint support.


  • Waterproof leather and Ripstop textile upper
  • Side zipper for easy on-and-off
  • Vibram outsole for all-terrain traction and grip
  • Removable and washable cushioned insole


  • Lacing system could be a bit fiddly

What People Are Saying

One reviewer remarked that the boots “are very stylish as well as waterproof.”

Another customer said that the boots “offer great support and are made with high-quality materials.”

Best Value EMS EMT Boots Nortiv 8 Men’s Military Work Boots

Product photo of Nortiv 8 Men’s Military Work Boot for EMS, all black with laces.

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One of the best EMS EMT boots that are a great value for their price are the Nortiv 8 Men’s Military Work Boots.

With an ankle-high shaft height of 8 inches, the Nortiv 8 boots provide great support and ease of movement. We also liked that the boots’ upper features a mix of breathable fabric and abrasion-resistant leather to boost durability and keep feet dry. 

Currently, they’re available in a range of colors, so if you have uniform regulations you can get the color that fits. 

Another great feature is the rugged rubber outsole, which has a multi-directional tread design that provides good grip and improves traction. It’s also abrasion, oil, and slip resistant, perfect for emergency response situations. 


  • Great value price for quality
  • YKK side zipper and hook-loop strap closer for easy on-and-off
  • Shock-absorbing midsole with flexible EVA to absorb impact
  • Reinforced toe cap provides protection


  • Can take a while to break in

What People Are Saying

A customer said that they found the boots to be “very breathable and lightweight.”

Another customer mentioned that the boots “are a great price and are a very good fit.”


We recommend checking the details that matter most to you before making your purchase. This ensures you know what you’re getting, and you’re getting what you want! Consider factors such as the insole cushioning, how much support you’ll need, breathability, and airflow to keep your feet sweat-free.

It’s also a good idea to check the boots’ official certified ratings to ensure they meet your workplace standards. Remember, ratings can be applied to different areas such as outsoles, steel toes, and anti-penetration midsoles.

Lastly, never hurts to check out other kinds of boots, such as those suited for work environments with electrical hazards or boots that are best for rucking. Just as some of the best running shoes are perfect for nurses, the demands of your workplace might require thinking outside the box to find exactly what you need.

With these tips, we know that you’ll find the best EMS boots to suit you!


How do you maintain EMS boots?

It’s a good idea to regularly clean and treat your boots to maintain them. Use a soft cloth and mild water and soap to clean the upper gently. Then, spray a disinfectant spray—one suitable for children’s toys—onto the outsoles and the exterior upper. Let the boots air dry naturally, away from direct sunlight or heat.

What are the best composite-toe EMS boots?

Most EMS boots offer a steel or composite toe, but composite toes are more popular as they are lighter. This is because they’re made from a plastic-based material rather than metal. They offer great protection for your toes against crushing. Many of the boots in our guide feature composite toes, so have a look to see which one suits you.

Are EMS side-zip boots a good option?

Any EMS boot with a side zip is a good option to consider, mainly because it allows you to get in and out of the boot quickly, which is key in an emergency. If you prefer a boot without a zip, a slip-on boot is another good alternative.

If you have an EMS role that involves a lot of walking or patrolling, you may prefer a lace- and side-zip boot so that the fit is tighter to your leg.

What are the best socks for EMS boots?

100% lightweight wool or Merino wool-based hiking socks are best, as they’re suitable for both cold and warm weather and are great at keeping your feet dry. Wool absorbs water well, wicking sweat away and stopping your feet from feeling sweaty, suitable for long days on your feet.

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