[Review] Blundstone Original 500 Boots
My dad wore Blundstones first. I remember in middle school telling my mom how ugly I found their large, clunky shape to be. However, the next time I saw them, they were being worn effortlessly by all the instructors and staff at the NOLS base camp in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, before I set off on my semester backpacking and kayaking with the wilderness school. I wanted so much to be as confident as they seemed in their surroundings, having seemingly conquered the wilds of the world. When I returned to the front country and the shoes I had packed with me were shredded, I picked up my own pair of Blundstones at the outfitter in Whitehorse, completing my transformation from a suburban 19-year-old to a (newly) seasoned wilderness explorer.
Those boots quickly became my favorite shoes, giving a stylish but utilitarian edge to my outfits, forming comfortably to my feet, and taking any terrain or activity I could throw at them. With the perfect combination of east of entry, outsole grip, stability, and style, the Original 500 Boot by Blundstone is by far the greatest workhorse in my closet.
I work at a nonprofit goat ranch, and these are the boots I choose to slip on each morning I head out. They hold up to being stepped on by hooves and scraping against the rough edges of farm equipment. At the end of a long day when I trade my reinforced work pants for a sleeker pair of jeans, I’m stilling wearing my Blundstones.
The greatest thing is that I never think twice about doing so. No matter what I take them through, they somehow come out looking and performing better on the other side. While there are things you can do to make sure that the leather is taken care of over time, I haven’t bothered doing more than brushing off large clumps of dirt, and voila, good as new! This is my third pair, but not because I’ve destroyed them. My first pair got lost on a trip in a friends car, the second pair got chewed to bits by a neighbors dog, and the third pair I will happily replace when some unfortunate incident befalls them, which I hope never happens.
Out of the box, the boots require about a week breaking-in period. However, if the proper sized was ordered, they shouldn’t be extremely painful. They have thermoplastic, urethane/polyurethane midsoles that are comfortable, lightweight and durable. While they aren’t the hiking boot that will help you bag peaks next summer or come with you on a week through the Wind Rivers, they are the boot that you will wear everywhere in between.
The rubber outsole grips on the slickest of surfaces, and isn’t found in a lot of women’s shoes, so I also enjoy wearing them when I am scrambling up short approaches to local crags or shoveling snow. While they are not waterproof, they are weather resistant, and have kept my feet dry through all seasons.
For those of you looking for the boot that can take you anywhere for years to come, check out the Blundstone Original 500.