We can trace our
beginnings back to the 1850s,
on a small island south of the
called Tasmania –
the island we still call home
I’ve been wearing Blundstone boots since my first adventure into the outback decades ago.
Recently one pair showed a deterioration on the heels. I shot some photos and sent it to the Customer Service office. Two weeks later I received a brand new pair courtesy of Blundstone.
It doesn’t get better than that!!
Founded in 1870 in Tasmania, Australia, Blundstone is easily one of the most well-regarded footwear brands in the Southern Hemisphere. At its start, the brand was a boot supplier for Aussie troops in World Wars I and II, but it wasn’t until 1969 when the brand introduced its most iconic silhouette, the 500 series Chelsea boot.
John and Eliza Blundstone arrived in Hobart Town from Derbyshire, England on October 14, 1855. John Blundstone worked as a coachbuilder until 1870, when he began importing footwear from England later manufacturing boots in Hobart’s Liverpool Street.
By 1892, Blundstone’s eldest son, Sylvanus, had joined him in business, and the pair formed J. Blundstone & Son, manufacturing boots in two outlets on Collins Street, later buying a purpose-built two-storey factory on Campbell Street. The company’s importation arm was run by John’s other son, William, as W.H. Blundstone & Co.
Review from Insider Magazine.
Chelsea boots were typically known as sleek and even a little dressy, but Blundstone’s version was a bit different. It combined the simple look of its early casual footwear with the ruggedness of its workboots, resulting in a laceless design that was easy to put on and wear under any conditions. These are the boots known and loved around the world today.
How to tell the difference between Blundstone boot models and how to pick the right one
Picking out the perfect pair of Blundstones can be a bit confusing since each pair has a specific model number, and each of those model numbers falls within a design series. To avoid making your head spin, let me break down the brand’s two main and most popular design series — the Original 500 and the Classic 550. Most Blundstones fall within these series.
The biggest difference between them is that the Classic 550 series uses more luxurious, heavy-duty materials and offers a bit more comfort. Boots in the Original 500 series use unlined leather, while the beefed-up Classic 550 styles use a thicker leather exterior and a leather-lined interior. The 550s also have removable insoles compared to the 500’s standard integrated footbed. Lastly, the 550 series also includes a few extra-rugged thermal pairs that are waterproof and come with a removable shearling insole.
In sum, the differences aren’t huge, but they tend to mean that the Classic 550 series are more durable and structured.
Blundstone also has a Dress Series, an Active Series, and a Thermal Series, and several other styles with slight variations in construction or style. We reviewed the Dress Series here and have had good experiences with them, but they’re not nearly as rugged as the classic 500 and 550 styles the brand is known for.
Regardless of which pair you choose, your Blundstones Chelsea Boots will come with the same pull tabs and high-traction TPU outsoles.
A man of habit, I wear my classic Birkenstock Boston slip-on shoe up until a friend will inevitably say, “Bro, it’s 35 degrees out, put on real shoes.” At that point, I put on my Blundstones. The comfort, the reliability, and the fact that they go with most of my wardrobe really does it for me.
I highly recommend these to anyone who just wants a versatile, laid-back, fun boot that works for all occasions.
Blundstone boot sizing can be a bit confusing since they technically come in AUS/UK sizes. Most websites have a US conversion so you can just select your usual size, but this chart from Blundstone should help you decide the right AUS/UK size if there is no conversion where you’re ordering them.
If for some reason, you decide to go up from your true size (to accommodate heavy socks or maybe a wide foot), it’s best to figure out your US size first, and then convert it to the AUS/UK size to avoid confusion. Blundstone also offers half sizes.
Blundstones have ballooned in popularity in recent years, and for good reason: They’re well-made, comfortable boots that are built to last. The leather uppers are really high quality for a sub-$250 boot, and the non-slip outsoles provide excellent traction in icy conditions. The shoes are also comfortable enough to wear around all day, which is part of the reason these shoes are so popular among service industry workers. Finally, the shoes are water-resistant and warm, meaning they’re just as useful in the winter months as they are in fall and spring.
For all their advantages, Blundstones still aren’t perfect boots. For one, they can take a while to break in, and until that happens, they can be difficult to take on and off. The sizing is also confusing — half sizes refer to width rather than length, and they’re marked with Aussie sizing, which is a full size bigger than standard US sizing. Sorting this out may take a few tries, which is why we recommend trying a pair on in person before you buy.
Are Blundstones worth it?
Blundstones are a great example of a form-meets-function shoe. As a work shoe, they’re comfortable and durable as can be, made with excellent materials that will wear and age beautifully. The shoes are also having something of a moment in the fashion world right now, and you wouldn’t look out of place wearing them in the trendier parts of Brooklyn. For around $200, you can hardly find a better, more versatile shoe.
We recommend this boot for those who are looking for a comfy yet stylish all-season shoe to round out their wardrobe.
Landon Groves is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.