Sarah got me a pair of rustic black Blundstone Chelsea-style boots for Christmas. They are the #587 style, which is in the Men’s Classics group.
I have a pair of the Classic antique brown boots (#1609), which were a major surprise after starting with a pair of the Men’s Original Blundstones in black.
For my foot, the Classics are far more comfortable. It’s not to say that the Originals are a bad boot. Far from it. But for me, the more relaxed fit feels like I have more comfort in the width and over the midfoot. Also, the Classics feel like a super-charged pair compared to the Originals.
So, I decided to test out five days in the boots to see how they would really break in.
Right out of the box, I could tell that these would be an excellent pair. What you’re seeing in the picture above are the rustic black Classics unboxed and ready to be sprayed down with weather-treatment. I find these to be extremely comfortable, straight out of the box, with a medium hiking sock on. I sprayed the boots down, and let the waterproofing settle. After a bit, I tried them back on and they still felt ready to go.
The first day in the rustic black boots was a travel day. It started around 5am, as I woke up, got ready, and slid into the boots. The weather outside was cold, and there was plenty of slush and ice on the ground. Yep, Des Moines was on a warm-up after a real cold streak, but at this hour, it was still about 8 degrees F outside. Flew from Des Moines to Phoenix to Las Vegas, with a quick sprint through the airport to catch a quick connect. At this point, the boots had already been on for about six hours and still felt good.
I’m a bigger guy, and throughout the day, my feet will swell a bit. The mark of a good boot for me, is that they don’t seize up on my feet throughout the course of a day. Upon arriving in Las Vegas, we spent a while checking into the hotel, gathering ourselves up and walking to one of our favorite restaurants (Brera osteria) to grab a late lunch. After a bit of lunch, we wandered around between the Venetian and the Palazzo for a few hours, shopping and seeing some sights. The place was packed with visitors and foot traffic was slow moving. I tend to find that on days where I’m walking at very slow paces, my feet will hurt more than others (thinking about state fairs, waiting in long lines, etc).
By the time we got back to our room, I’d been in the boots for well-over 12 hours. I kicked them off for a little while, then pulled them back on to run a few errands in the hotel. They were just as comfortable to put back on as they were initially. I consider Day 1 to have been a success.
I woke up early to return some emails and headed out to find some coffee. Ok, maybe just some iced chai tea, but still, within the coffee family. Does the trick, am I right? Boots are comfortable, regardless if I’m on concrete, tile or carpet.
After getting cleaned up, it was time to put some miles on the boots. More shopping, some dining, some gambling, more shopping, a bit more food, and back to the room after another 12 hour day. Even as I’m sitting at the desk in the room, typing Day 2’s experience, I pulled the boots on to see how my feet would react, and it feels like putting on a broken-in glove.
I’m really impressed. When I picked up the other two pairs, I would work them in sparingly, switching between other shoes. Also, even though I’d have those pairs on for hours at a time, most of the “break in” period was during office hours, and many of those days were spent sitting at my desk, working on the computer. In this test, I have multiple days lined up for nothing more than walking, stopping, walking, hopefully not running, and more walking.
Ok, the third day was a little more rough and tumble, but I don’t blame the boots. I made a critical mistake of wearing some relatively thin socks on a day that consisted of a lot of walking.
The boots feel broken in, and I think a third day of trotting around the Vegas Strip says more about me than it does the boots. Feet feel more swollen.
It strikes me as a bit interesting that the foot beds that come with the Blundstone boots aren’t more substantial. If I were doing significant trail hiking in these, I’d likely be swapping out the foot beds for something a bit more supportive. As is, the foot bed pad is relatively thin and doesn’t really have much in the way for curvature to fit your foot. This is something that I notice with a lot of high-end boots, my old Frye boots included. So, I may consider something along those lines at some point.
I’ve worn Merrell hiking boots and shoes for years. It started with a pair of Jungle Mocs and then moved into the Moab line of high and low ankle boots. Merrell’s out-of-the-box comfort is what I judge all other shoes upon.
If there is an Achilles’s Heel with the rustic black Blundstone boots, it may be that you should think about alternative foot beds to conform the boot experience to your liking. Again, it’s not bad, but it might be the area that falls most flat after multiple days of constant wear.
The fourth day of wear felt back to the experience of the first two days. Admittedly, it was a lighter day for walking, as most of it was spent in the airport or on an airplane. Regardless, pulling the boots back on gave that broken-in-glove feel and you almost forget that it is only a few days into their wear.
The fifth day of the test was a day of errands. In and out of the Subaru. Blundstone boots are really the do-anything boot. Still super comfortable for all-day wear.
Can’t wait to pull them back on tomorrow.