The most popular versions of Blundstones (the 500s and the 550s) aren’t great for ice and snow.
If you already own a pair and you’re just wondering if you should go outside with them, I’ll cover a few tips and tricks you can use to make sure your feet stay warm and dry.
And if you’re wondering which winter boots to buy, then I’ll show you the best Blundstone to get for winter and a few other options you might like instead.
Are Blundstones Good for Snow?
The short answer is: no.
The longer answer? Let’s look at my 500’s.
Original Blundstones are unlined, the leather is fairly thin, and they’re built with a cemented sole construction, meaning the sole is glued to the upper leather.
Not only does your foot get very little insulation from the leather (because it’s not lined), but it’s almost a certainty that water will creep into between the sole and the leather. This is trouble for two reasons: first, it can get your feet wet, which ranges from being sucky to actually being dangerous.
Second, it increases the chance that your sole will separate from the upper and look janky. Water is surprisingly corrosive and can quickly take a toll on industrial glues like those used for Blunnies.
But if you already have a pair of Blundstones and you’re wondering how you can wear them outside without getting frostbite, I have a few tips:
Wear Wool Socks
A thick pair of wool socks (merino wool is the best), will help your feet weather the storm better. Wool is fairly water resistant, and as long as you’re not standing in snow for hours, your feet should stay dry.
At the very least, a thick pair of wool socks will give you the much needed insulation that Blundstones lack.
Any pair with extra padding in the toes is a fantastic choice, and the higher the percentage of wool, the better.
My favorite heavy wool sock is the Camel City Mill Heavyweight Wool Work Sock. It’s got a ton of padding in the toe and heel so it’s very comfortable, plus it’s made with thick wool all the way through the calf so it’ll help keep your feet warm.
The Heavyweight from Camel City Mill is the best work sock you can get for a steel toe boot. The padding is heavy in the heel and toe, but since it's made with Merino wool, this sock is also very breathable and won't make your feet sweaty.
Treat the Leather
You can treat the leather of your Blundstones to increase their water resistance. Keep in mind though that using a water-repelling product on your boots will darken the leather significantly, and you’ll never get it back to the original color.
If your Blundstones are Stout Brown or Black (two of the most popular colors) I don’t think the color change is too bad: both are quite dark, so it’s not like it’s that much of a change.
But the Rustic Brown, Crazy Horse, or any suede/nubuck versions will be dramatically darker.
Still, if you live in a place that looks a little like Frozen, then treating the leather might be a good choice for you.
Mink oil is the easiest to apply and to find, so just start with that.
The biggest issue with treating the leather is that it still doesn’t address the lack of waterproofing in your Blundstones, so they’re still prone to water leaking in through the welt area.
Best Blundstones for the Snow
If you’re getting a pair of Blundstones for the winter, then I recommend the 584 Thermal series.
These boots are actually waterproof, so they’ve solved the big issue with the sole.
They also feature a shearling lining at the bottom and have a Thinsulate insulation layer between the upper leather and the lining. And even the elastic gore at the sides has Thinsulate, so it’s both waterproof and protected from the elements.
If you’ve never worn a pair of boots with a shearling footbed: they’re awesome. It’s comfortable and helps keep your feet toasty throughout a cold day. Plus, because it’s a natural fiber, they’re still breathable and don’t get stinky.
It’s basically like unrefined wool. Like with the wool socks I recommended above, it’s a fantastic temperature regulator: keeps your feet warm, but never hot and sweaty.
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And Thinsulate is a great material in terms of adding a lot of warmth without a lot of bulk.
3 Winter Blundstone Alternatives that Can Handle the Snow
There are a few things about this boot that I think make it a better year-round choice, and more suitable than Blundstones for the snow.
Now I’m assuming that you want a pair of boots to wear throughout the year. If I was caught in a winter storm, I’d probably want the Blundstone 584 with Thinsulate insulation, but that quickly becomes uncomfortable and hot in the spring and summer.
The Thursday Legend has 3mm of full grain leather, plus the Storm King outsole. They’re Goodyear welted, which is much more weather resistant than Blundstone’s cemented sole construction.
While Goodyear welt construction still isn’t 100% waterproof, it’s very water-resistant, and will keep your feet dry, even when trudging through the snow, for several hours.
The grip from the Storm King sole is better, so you’re pretty safe when crossing over icy sidewalks.
And, because they don’t have insulation, they’re still fine to wear during the spring and summer when things warm up.
Red Wing Classic Chelsea
The main style difference between Blundstones and the Red Wing Classic Chelsea is the wedge sole.
Some people like it, others don’t. From a style perspective, I don’t like wedge soles all that much. But they do really well in the snow.
Two years ago, I rode out a full winter with tons of snow and ice in the Red Wing Classic Chelsea and loved it. They’re easy to get on and off (which is big when your boots are covered in mud), and I had secure footing, even on the icy sidewalk.
These have 3mm of full grain leather and a Goodyear welt, similar to the Thursday Legend. The Red Wing Classic Chelsea is more expensive and less stylish, but it’s the most durable boot on this list for sure.
Jim Green Stockman
These have a similar look to Blundstones, but they’re cheaper and are built much better.
With 3.5mm of full grain leather between the upper and the lining, plus the heavy-toothed lug sole, these probably have the best weather resistance and grip from any boot on this list. And they’re the least expensive.
My main issue with the Jim Green Stockman is how wide the toe is. They’re absolutely fantastic for guys with wide feet. But if you don’t have wide feet, these can “duck bill” a little too much to be stylistically sensible.
Still, for a pure winter boot on a strict budget, the Jim Green Stockman is worthy of consideration.
To sum it up: regular Blundstones aren’t good for now. But you can wear thick wool socks and treat the leather to help make up for it. It’s not perfect, but if you don’t plan on being caught in the snow for a long time, wool socks might be all you need.
If you want to get a pair of winterized Blundstones, pick up the 584. With Thinsulate insulation and full waterproofing, these are the best Blundstones for winter. Trouble is: they become too hot in the spring and summer (in my opinion).
If you want a better year-round boot that can handle the snow, I recommend the Thursday Legend. It’s stylish, has thick rubber lugs that are ideal for ice and snow, and has fantastic construction that’ll keep cold water from leaking through.
Do Blundstones slip on ice?
Blundstones don’t have the best traction on ice. A boot with heavier lugs would be better. That said, if you’re careful, Blundstones should still be ok on small patches of ice.
Are Blundstones good for winter walking?
Blundstones aren’t great for winter walking, unless you get the Thermal series like the 584. Still, the sole doesn’t have excellent traction, and there are boots available that cost less and have better traction on snow, ice, and wet concrete.
How cold can you wear Blundstones?
I wouldn’t wear Blundstones below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature, you should definitely have a thick pair of wool socks on for insulation. Below that temperature, you’ll want an insulated boot, and you’ll still want a thick pair of wool socks.