Justin Stampede Work Boots Review: Are They up to the Job?

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

So you’re looking for a pull-on work boot, ideally at a low cost, and maybe with just a hint of pizzazz. Since Justin Boots has been making real footwear for real working cowboys since the 1880s, you might be compelled by their Stampede work boot range.

As Justin’s “value line” though, you might also be concerned that these are just cheaply-built boots riding on the brand’s name. Is the comfort technology sophisticated enough, or are these just heavy tanks on your feet?

We examine every component of this boot so you can decide if it’s right for you.

The budget western workhorse
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Justin Original Work Boots Stampede

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Bottom line: Sporting a charming and fashionably Western look, the Justin Stampede Work Boot is a simple and effective workhorse. It's ideal if you’re on a budget but still need protection on the jobsite. Though heavy, the steel square toe serves as a safeguard, and a tool in and of itself.

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At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Design At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Quality of Materials At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Craftsmanship At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Fit & Sizing At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon
At a Glance Feature Image/Icon  Value for Money At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon At a Glance Feature Image/Icon

Pros:

  • Once broken in, the cowhide leather is tough and secure enough for heavy activity, from barn groundwork to motorcycle riding
  • The triple density insole board is springy and supportive
  • From the decorative stitching to convenient scalloped collar, the cowboy-inspired design is stylish and practical
  • The square steel toe is roomy, breathable, and protective
  • The rubber and EVA outsole is strong, stable, and provides excellent grip

Cons:

  • Prior to break-in, the leather shaft is stiff and uncomfortable, and the insole is flat and unsupportive
  • This boot can run up to a full size too big, and getting the right fit may require finessing via socks and new inserts

As someone who’s done a lot of ranch hand duties and groundwork, I’ve worked my fair share of boots to the ground.

If there’s something I’ll never pass up, it’s the opportunity to try and beat up a new pull-on.

If you’re looking for a pull-on work boot, the favorable reviews and attractive prices of the Justin Original Work Boots Stampede line has probably caught your attention.

After testing a pair of these work boots out, I’ve learned a lot about them. Read on for my thoughts and opinions.

Justin Stampede Work Boots Overview

Justin Boots Stampede outside 1

As a provider of real cowboy boots since 1879, Justin Boots are one of the standard bearers for Western footwear.

That being the case, the Stampede line, Justin’s “value line” of cowboy-style work boots gets the same audience treatment as the diffusion lines from high fashion houses (think Ralph Lauren’s Polo and Chaps lines, or Armanis’ AX).

With shoes as low-cost as $70, pieces in the Stampede line can be as affordable as the cheapest boots on the market. But are they as cheaply built? The quick answer is no, and we’ll dig deep into every construction component of one of the line’s models. 

Stampedes aren’t as high-quality as Justin’s $500 boots of course, but one good thing about any diffusion line is that even their lower-priced options benefit from the resources of the company as a whole.

At the time of this writing, the line features 53 models. For this review, I tried the Steel/Square Toe variation in Rugged Tan.

Things to Consider Before Buying Work Boots from Justin

Justin Boots Stampede outside bench 3

The Justin Stampede Work Boot is an effective shoe for its price, especially on the protection front. 

On the topic of price though, it’s inevitable that there will be some handicaps that may or may not be relevant to you. The upper is sewn into the sole, but not through the sole like with a Goodyear constructed shoe. The rest of the connection is glue-based.

This isn’t the boot for you if you constantly work in wet or muddy conditions. Sure you can waterproof the upper, but a boot that isn’t Goodyear welted can only take so much muck. I would 100% find a different boot if you work around hazardous materials.

When it comes to dry protection, moderate rain, or just wet floors, you’re golden with the Stampede line. The square shape of the toe box combined with the steel toe provides a good balance of safeguarding and roomy comfort.

Justin Original Work Boots Stampede

Sporting a charming and fashionably Western look, the Justin Stampede Work Boot is a simple and effective workhorse. It's ideal if you’re on a budget but still need protection on the jobsite. Though heavy, the steel square toe serves as a safeguard, and a tool in and of itself.

Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Justin Stampede Work Boots Review 

First Impression

Justin Boots Stampede inside 1

Style-wise, the Justin Stampede looks like a standard square-toe work boot. If you like a traditional Western style, you’ll definitely like the look of it. At 10.5 inches, it’s slightly shorter than most authentic cowboy boots and taller than the average work boot.

It sports a beautiful decorative stitching on the shaft. For the most part it’s an abstract design, but looks like a combination of a phoenix wing motif and a cross motif, clearly inspired by authentic cowboy footwear.

The collar features a scallop dip to leave room for your shins, especially when you’re kneeling.

I’m going to be very candid about this next quality: This boot is heavy.

Justin Boots Stampede inside 6

When I first put it on, it was so bulky, stiff, and cumbersome that stepping in it felt immediately uncomfortable. The foot bed felt like a flat stiff board with zero contouring. It bends fine in the area above the toe though, so I wasn’t completely immobile—but I was in pain.

Within two minutes of walking around the house in this boot, the balls of my feet were sore.

The optimist in me took this as a sign that once it’s broken in, the Justin Stampede would be a strong heavy-duty shoe. Fortunately, I was mostly right.

Leather Quality and Care

Justin Boots Stampede outside bench 4

The best quality about this leather is that it’s strong. It’s a standard cowhide, not especially rich, and it didn’t have that new-leather aroma that comes with higher-end material.  

For a budget work boot though, it doesn’t disappoint. It looks more “leather-like” with the bend lines. As such, it looks better today than when I took it out of the box.

As a test, I created a long pile of heavy firewood in my backyard, put my boots on, and walked through the pile—not on it, through it. The leather came out scuffed up but intact. I came out without as much of a splinter. Both the material and the steel toe helped the boot pass this test.

The upper is easy to clean. Use a soft brush to remove dirt, then take a damp cloth with a drop of solution to the boot. Just make sure you’re using a white cloth, not a dyed one that can rub off on the upper.

With a little mink oil or leather oil, the scuffs blend into the leather and give the shoe character.

The boot itself is electrical hazard rated and will protect you from open electrical currents up to 18,000 volts.

Sole

Justin Boots Stampede inside 7

It takes a good week to break this boot in. After that, the sole system is actually okay.

For the perfect comfort and fit though, I add the Timberland PRO Anti-Fatigue Insole. The removable comfort insole that the Stampede comes with and Justin’s J-Flex System definitely conformed to my foot after a week. They provide excellent support, but not enough cushion in my opinion.

In fact, I’m able to work long days without the Timberland insole added because of this support. According to Justin Boots, the J-Flex System is designed to return energy to your feet. 

Justin Boots Stampede outside leaves 3

By the end of the day though, my feet are pretty sore. This isn’t the case when I team Justin’s layers up with that extra cushioning.

This might get better the more I wear this boot, but for now, I have a good system going.

The rubber sole is thick and strong, and it’s part of the reason the break-in process can be so painful. Once it’s broken in though, you’ve got a durable and slip-resistant base for that hard leather upper.

Fit and Sizing

Justin Boots Stampede back 3

This boot runs a full size too big, and there’s a lot of vertical room inside of it. I ordered my regular size 8, and at first, my foot slipped around inside the boot as I walked.

I fixed this problem by adding my extra insole on top of the removable Justin insole, instead of in place of it. Regardless, I recommend sizing down at least a half size and up to a full size, depending on how thick your socks and replacement insoles are.

The square toe is roomy and gives you a lot of ventilation. 

Break-in Period

Justin Boots Stampede outside leaves 4

As mentioned earlier, this boot is stiff and painful prior to getting broken in. Some hotspots for me included the balls of my feet and the bones on the side of my ankles.

It took me a week to break my boots in. I took a 30 minute walk in them every morning, and wore them around the house for an hour or two every other day. I made sure I went up and down the stairs too.

What do Other Reviews Say?

Justin Boots Stampede outside 3

Ranging from farm workers to construction folks, reviewers praise the Justin Stampede for their durability and effective steel toe. This boot also attracts fashion fans who love the low price and Western-style. Both parties enjoy how easy it is to take on and off.

Because of the strong leather and the hard heel, there’s even a substantial biker audience for the Driller.

Reviewers also like the extra room in the toe box, which makes the shoe an excellent option if you have wide feet. Relatedly, most reviewers wear one size smaller than their regular size, pointing out that it will start out tight but eventually fit true to size.

Justin Boots Stampede outside stepping on tree 3

There are a few complaints about the break-in period, similar to my own complaints. Some reviewers find the extra vertical room in the toe problematic, but an extra insole can fix this right up.

Justin Work Boots Alternatives

Ariat WorkHog 

Ariat workhog work boot western on wood work bench

At first glance, the Ariat WorkHog has a lot in common with the Justin Stampede Work Boot. They’re both Western-style work shoes with safety toes. They even have similar decorative stitching on the shaft.

The WorkHog, however, is a lot more levelled up. It’s 100% waterproof, not least of which is thanks to its Goodyear welt. 

Its shock absorbing EVA midsole and its composite safety toe also make this boot much more comfortable and a lot lighter.

The WorkHog is around 30% more expensive though, but you get what you pay for. 

Ariat WorkHog

Ariat gave these an apt name. These waterproof work boots are tough. Combine that with Ariat's ATS comfort system, and suddenly working on your feet for 10-12 hours straight is much easier.

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Ariat Groundbreaker

Ariat Groundbreaker fit demonstration

Since Ariat and Justin are the two most trusted Western work boot makers, it’s no surprise that our second entry also comes from Ariat.

Unlike the WorkHog though, the Groundbreaker is Ariat’s entry-level work boot, putting it at the same level (and around the same price) as the Stampede Driller.

The Ariat Groundbreaker comes as a steel-toe and a plain-toe, and offers solid value for money. The sole is cemented to the upper, but unlike the Stampede Driller, is much lighter and immediately more comfortable. I can work in this boot for a good eight hours straight.

On the style front, the shaft is more understated. Some might prefer this, and others might think it’s a less exciting-looking shoe.

My Thoughts Overall on the Justin Stampede Work Boot

What I like

  • Hard and durable, the leather upper provides excellent protection in dry work environments. It can handle moderately rainy days and can get you across the occasional shallow puddle.

  • This boot features a Western style design, which is practical and stylish.

  • The comfort system provides sufficient support and energy return.

  • The outsole is strong and gives effective traction.

What I Don’t Like

  • The break-in period is painful, as if nothing in the boot is in place. The insole is unsupportive, the lower shaft bumps into the sides of my ankles, and there’s too much room in the toe box.

  • It takes a lot of experimenting with boot sizes, insoles, and socks to get your perfect fit.

  • Even after it’s broken in, the boot is still pretty heavy.

Who is the Justin Stampede Work Boot For

The Stampede line, and the Steel/Square toe variation in particular, is for the budget buyer who still needs substantial protection at work. The hard leather and steel toe form a great partnership to keep your feet protected from falling tools or logs.

Because of the extra room in the toe box, you should also consider this boot if you have wide feet.

The Verdict

While it doesn’t offer the most sophisticated of protection and comfort technologies, the Justin Stampede Work Boot is a tough and protective jobsite shoe.

Meant to be beat up, the hard leather looks better with creases, and is easy to take care of.

Think of this boot as the simple workhorse on the team. It’s not innovative, but it’ll get the job done on a budget. Just pair it with the right insole.

Justin Original Work Boots Stampede

Sporting a charming and fashionably Western look, the Justin Stampede Work Boot is a simple and effective workhorse. It's ideal if you’re on a budget but still need protection on the jobsite. Though heavy, the steel square toe serves as a safeguard, and a tool in and of itself.

Buy Now at Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

FAQs

Are Justin boots quality?

Yes, Justin boots are a trusted brand when it comes to Western riding and work boots. Their catalog ranges in price and quality, with the premium boots obviously coming with higher price tags than their value lines.

Who makes Justin Work boots?

The Justin brand is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, with most boots made in factories around the world, for example, those in China. A small percentage of their premium boots, around 20 to 25% are made in the US.

Are Justin work boots waterproof

Justin work boots are given waterproofing treatment, though the Goodyear welted versions are more waterproof than the cemented models.

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