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5 Blundstone Alternatives: Testing Out Boots to Buy Instead

William Barton
Expertise:

Boots, Leather, Heritage Fashion, Denim, Workwear

William founded BootSpy in 2020 with a simple mission: test and review popular men’s boots and give a real, honest opinion. Since then, we've welcomed over 5 million readers on our boot reviews and boot care guides. Reach out to him for your own personalized boot recommendation at william@bootspy.com. Or join 50,000+ subscribers on the BootSpy YouTube channel, or send him a message on the BootSpy Instagram. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 10, 2024
10 min read

Are Blundstones really worth it? If you ask me: no.

That’s why I put together this list of the best Blundstone alternatives available right now. These are boots like Blundstones, but better.

Blundstone are like the Levis red tab jeans of the boot market. One of the most well-known brands in a sea of brands all competing for your hard-earned cash. 

But does brand popularity mean that it’s the best product on the market and more importantly, is it the best product for you?

I’ve put together a list of Blundstone alternatives that cover a range of styles and uses so you can decide with confidence what the best boots are to adorn your feet with. 

Blundstone 500 boot water resistance detail 1

Blundstone is an Australian company that began its journey in 1870 and is based in the small island city of Hobart, Tasmania. They made their name in the early 1900s by supplying the Australian military with boots during World Wars I and II. 

Over the decades, Blundstone boots became staples in many different industries further propelling the brand into the hearts and minds of everyone who wore them.

In the 1960s, Blundstone released its iconic #500 line, which would cement its legendary status, similar to the way Levis and its iconic red tab jeans did in 1936.

Blundstone 500

The Blundstone 500 is the brand’s original boot: it’s what put them on the map. If you want the classic, well this is the only way to go.

Check Price Check Price on Blundstone

Brand recognition is one thing, but are Blundstones worth the hype and price tag they demand in 2022? Some boot enthusiasts would say no. 

The Blundstone Chelsea boots are an all-rounder that comes in genuine leather, an inferior material that is more prone to creasing and cracking under harsher conditions. The sole is also a cemented sole construction which means they are glued on, making it less resilient to water and more likely to separate sooner rather than later. 

model using Blundstone 500 dual pull tabs 1

However, they have a style that sets them apart from other boot brands, most notably their signature double pull tabs. 

How Did I Come Up With My List? 

model wearing Blundstone 500 boots 1
Wearing a pair of Blundstone 500 boots

I’m very particular about what I wear on my feet because, to me, visual gratification is the most important part of choosing any footwear. 

All the shoes I own are chosen from a fashion perspective because they have a form and aesthetic I personally find appealing. I feel the same way about boots. I know footwear, for most people, is about function, but I admit, I choose fashion over function ten times out of ten. 

With that in mind, I’ve chosen the following boots because they cover a range of functions and features but also remain aesthetically pleasing, and stack up as genuine alternatives.

Here are some alternatives I recommend if you’re thinking about purchasing a pair of Blundstones, particularly the Chelsea series.

My Recommendations

Best Overall: Thursday Legend

Thursday Legend shape demonstration

The Thursday Legend Chelsea boot does it all. Stylish, practical and superb value for money. Thursday makes some of the best quality boots for its price range and the Thursday Legend Chelsea boot is no exception. 

william barton wearing Thursday Legend

Sporting all the good stuff like matte rugged and resilient leather, Goodyear Welt Construction, Poron Antimicrobial shock-absorbing insoles for superior comfort and hygiene and Thursday’s patented StormKing rubber lug outsoles, all handcrafted for a tidy package under $200. It’s hard to beat. 

What I Like

  • The quality of the materials, the construction and stylish design make these the best bang for buck boots on the market.

  • Increased water resistance thanks to the solid Goodyear Welt construction.

  • Functional and stylish making these the most versatile boots on this list.

What I Don’t Like

  • Not enough colour options leaves me wanting more variety with this line.

What Other Reviewers Say

Out of over 300 reviews the Thursday Legends currently hold a score of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Enough said.

The Verdict

Thursday is one of my favorite boot brands. Their price to quality ratio is off the charts and just about everything they release is a hit. 

The separation they have from Blundstones in every way is clear when you’re holding these side by side. From the design, quality of construction, materials and price point, the Thursday Legend is a clear winner amongst its peers.

Best Overall
Thursday Boots Legend

If you’re looking for a Chelsea boot that can stand up to a tough, snowy, rainy winter, then you should check out the Legend.

Check Price Read Our Review
My YouTube review of the Thursday Legend.

Most Durable: Red Wing Classic Chelsea

Red Wing Classic Chelsea ebony harness leather on foot

Red Wing Classic Chelsea boots are comfortable and come in a Chelsea design that suits most occasions, but really excels in casual situations.

Made with full-grain, oiled leather with a Goodyear leather welt, all features the Blundstones doesn’t have, the Red Wings beats it on both style and substance.

model wearing Red Wing Classic Chelsea boots

While they’re more expensive, you’ll also get a lot more use out of them.

What I Like

  • All Red Wing boots are handcrafted giving them a personal touch that adds to their character.

  • The Red Wings come with a comfortable fit right out of the box with minimal break-in time needed.

  • The Red Wing Classic Chelseas come with a bump toe feature that allows toes to move more naturally.

  • A 360 degree Goodyear Welt ensures maximum protection from water and sole separation. 

What I Don’t Like

  • Synthetic insoles in a heritage boot can often cause a bad odor and diminishes overall quality. 

  • For a Chelsea boot, the Red Wings feel a little too plump and thick set.

What Other Reviewers Say

The general consensus is that the Red Wings are comfortable right out of the box with little to no break-in period. This is good news if you are using these for work and you need them to hit the ground running.

The Verdict

If you like the Blundstones but are looking for something that is an upgrade and don’t mind paying more, then you can’t go wrong with the Red Wing Classic Chelsea. For an everyday boot that lasts, they deliver a noticeable improvement from the Blundstones.

My YouTube review of the Red Wing Chelsea.

Most Comfortable: Redback Easy Escape

Most Comfortable
Redback Easy Escape

Built for work, and more comfortable than Blundstones, too.

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Redback Easy Escape are the workhorse boot of choice for many. Also an Australian brand, Redbacks are made with high-quality full-grain leather and Thermo-Plastic Polyurethane (TPU) soles that apparently exceed Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OSHA) requirements for oil and slip resistance. 

The Redbacks also come with an air cushion midsole to increase shock absorption making the overall experience more comfortable and they have double pull tabs, like the Blundstones. This makes the Redbacks a better alternative to Blundstones in my opinion, especially if the majority of your boot time is for work. 

Redbacks deliver a higher quality product at a very comparable price.

What I Like

  • The Anatomic Support System provides superior comfort and helps to eliminate foot fatigue.

  • The air cushion midsoles provide excellent shock absorption for further comfort and longer wear.

  • The slip resistant soles provide much needed peace of mind in hazardous situations.

What I Don’t Like

  • Lack of versatility. The boot looks purely like a work boot and would look out of place in any other situation.

What Other Reviewers Say

Redbacks are a popular work boot and the majority of the reviews mention the comfort and reliability that Redbacks provide. Testimonials for this boot also praise how long the boots have lasted the wearers under extreme conditions.

The Verdict

Redbacks are popular boots for mechanics and engineers who swear by their durability. For people in the know, these are a far superior alternative to Blundstones. If you are looking strictly for a work boot, because you wouldn’t really wear these anywhere else, then Redbacks are the boot of choice.

Most Comfortable
Redback Easy Escape

Built for work, and more comfortable than Blundstones, too.

Check Price

Best on a Budget: Jim Green Stockman

Best on a Budget
Jim Green Stockman

Made with a beefy rubber lug sole and a thick 3mm full grain leather upper, these boots are tank. And they're very affordable, too. It's kind of shocking, actually.

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Jim Green Stockman Slip-On boots are probably closest to the aesthetics of the Blundstones. Both have the signature double pull tabs that Blundstones are famous for, but the Stockmans can be significantly cheaper depending on the style and color you choose. 

The sole is made from genuine rubber and the Stockmans have a wider toe box if you have a broader foot than most. 

The Stockmans are an active all-rounder ideal for daily use in farm-like environments and in rural conditions.

What I Like

  • The Stockmans are very affordable, depending on the colour and style you choose, you will be paying less than other boots in it’s class.

  • These boots are built with a Goodyear welt that provides much needed protection from water and muddy environments.

  • The Stockmans are designed for a wider foot with a roomy toe box improving comfort for those of us with flat feet.

  • The build has a durable feel that gives you a sense of confidence with each step.

What I Don’t Like

  • Limited colour selection makes the Stockmans less appropriate for dressier situations.

  • The Stockmans can look a little rough around the edges giving it a less refined look than it’s peers.

  • Sizing isn’t always accurate so care needs to be taken when ordering these boots online. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Most reviews comment that the Jim Green Stockman Slip-Ons are a very good boot, however, sizing can be a problem as the boots are generally half a size smaller than what they claim to be. 

Some comments have been made about the quality of the build in some of the boots not being up to standard but the general consensus is that this is a solid boot.

The Verdict

The Stockman is a great every day boot for people with an active lifestyle. Whether you work in a warehouse or on a farm, the Stockman offers a rugged and robust boot that is ideal for a… stockman. Well, it’s in the name. 

Best on a Budget
Jim Green Stockman

Made with a beefy rubber lug sole and a thick 3mm full grain leather upper, these boots are tank. And they're very affordable, too. It's kind of shocking, actually.

Check Price

Best Vegan: Dr. Martens Felix Vegan Leather

5.
Dr. Martens Felix Vegan Leather Chelsea Boot

True to the style of the original 1970's Doc Martens Chelsea boot, but updated with black vegan leather, the Felix is a fantastic sustainable option.

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The Dr. Martens Felix are some of the best looking vegan boots I’ve seen. 

Vegan leather is often called faux leather or “pleather” due to a majority of leather alternatives being made from polyurethane and is a much cheaper alternative to real leather. The upper used in the Dr. Martens Felix Vegan Leather however, is all plant based. 

Ethically produced, the leather on these vegan boots looks just like the real thing. So, if sustainable shopping is important to you, these boots check all the boxes and they look fantastic too.

What I Like

  • The materials used are all ethically sourced, enough to satisfy the most devoted vegan.

  • Goodyear welted construction makes for a decently weather resistant boot.

  • Very well priced for the quality making this vegan option even more appealing.

What I Don’t Like

  • As with any leather alternatives, durability is always an issue as vegan boots will not last as long as full grain leather boots.

What Other Reviewers Say

A lot is said about the great customer service and ethics behind the manufacturing of these boots,  however, the common concern is the longevity of vegan footwear. Sustainable products like these come with a price and that is usually the boot’s lifespan. But if eco-friendly shopping is what you’re about, then you won’t find a better vegan boot for this price.

The Verdict

If sustainable fashion is important to you, then the vegan leather Dr. Martens Felix is one of the best looking ethically sourced boots you can buy. The hand painted “natural leather” midsole effect and the attention to detail put into the crafting of these boots won’t leave anyone thinking these boots are not the real deal.

Best Vegan Alternative
Dr. Martens Felix Vegan Leather Chelsea Boot

True to the style of the original 1970's Doc Martens Chelsea boot, but updated with black vegan leather, the Felix is a fantastic sustainable option.

Check Price

2 Key Considerations When Choosing Between Blundstones or an Alternative Brand

Blundstone 550 profile view 1
Blundstone 550

Everyone has a different reason for buying boots. As I mentioned earlier, some people like myself prefer form over function, probably because I don’t do a lot of physical work. So to myself and many others, how a boot looks is first and foremost. 

Those who are more active may require something that suits their lifestyle with more practicality. Depending on what purpose you need your boots to serve will no doubt influence the type of boots you purchase. 

Regardless, there are two key considerations to keep in mind that’ll hopefully help ou decide whether to opt for BLundstones or an equivalent alternative brand.

Red Wing Classic Chelsea profile view
Red Wing Classic Chelsea

1. Look for Boots With Full Grain Leather

As you may have gathered throughout this article, there are a few important things to look out for when assessing the quality of the boots you are considering purchasing. 

The type of leather used on your boot is important to know, particularly when you’re purchasing boots in the mid to higher price ranges. Genuine leather, whether it’s used for jackets, boots or anything else, is an inferior form of leather.

Blundstone 500 boots on foot 1
Blundstone boots are made with “genuine,” not “full grain” leather.

Genuine leather is generally less durable, prone to creasing and scratches which doesn’t allow the leather to age with character. This is most evident when over time genuine leather tends to fade more unattractively and develop more unsightly blemishes than full grain leather. 

Genuine leather is usually put together with various offcuts of leftover leather and blended to make a pair of boots or jackets that are of inferior quality to ‘real’ leather or full-grain leather. 

It’s always a good idea to check what type of leather is being used before deciding on your purchase.

2. Watch Out for a Goodyear Welt

Make sure that if you’re paying a premium for your boots, they are constructed with a Goodyear welt, or at the very least a Blake stitch.

A Goodyear welt is when the sole is stitched onto a welt and the upper part of the shoe is also stitched to the welt, which not only gives the boot a higher quality construction but makes it far more water-resistant. This is a time-consuming process for the manufacturers and also a very old school method, but it’s one of the key indicators that your boot is of superior quality. 

Kodiak Boots rover 2 chelsea boot
Typically, Goodyear welted boots last longer and are more water resistant

A Blake stitch is when the upper part of the boot and the sole are stitched together without the welt in between. This is not as good as a Goodyear welt but it is better than a cemented sole construction, which basically has the upper part of the boot glued onto the sole leading to the sole separating from the boot more often than not.

It’s typically a cheap and unreliable shoe construction method and should be avoided whenever possible. 

Blunnies Be Gone

It’s easy to go with the familiar choice such as Blundstones because of popularity and brand recognition, but when you break down the features and benefits through genuine comparison, the result may not be what you first imagined.

Personally, the clear winner for me is the Thursday Legend with a price to quality ratio that’s hard to beat and Thursday’s signature style that is always so visually appealing. 

My Top Pick
Thursday Boots Legend

If you’re looking for a Chelsea boot that can stand up to a tough, snowy, rainy winter, then you should check out the Legend.

Check Price Read Our Review

If I had to choose a runner up it would be the Jim Green Stockmans as the build and durability give it a confident appeal as a functional boot and the wider toe box gives it an added comfort benefit.

Best on a Budget
Jim Green Stockman

Made with a beefy rubber lug sole and a thick 3mm full grain leather upper, these boots are tank. And they're very affordable, too. It's kind of shocking, actually.

Check Price

FAQs

Blundstones have been around for over 150 years. Any brand that has been around for that long carries with it a sense of value due to its longevity. Additionally, many celebrities have been seen wearing Blundstones which automatically gives the brand an endorsement of quality that makes it globally recognisable.

Do Redbacks fit the same as Blundstones?

Redbacks are also an Australian brand, therefore the sizing for both brands are the same under Australian and UK sizing guidelines.

Are Blundstones in style?

Yes, Blundstone boots are some of the most popular boots in the world right now. A lot of people go for the brand name, but there are many chunkier Chelsea boots with dual pull tabs made with higher quality leather and more overall comfort and durability.

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