Contents - Blundstone Vs Redback
Introduction – Blundstone Vs Redback Boots
Whether you’re hitting the open trail, or simply walking to the nearest corner store, you want a pair of boots that are going to last. Hiking enthusiasts and blue collar workers all know that having a sturdy pair of boots is essential to everyday comfort and protection–but a little style never hurts either.
Buying the right pair of boots is really a personal matter. Many boot lovers have their own preference for style, design, material and comfort. This makes it even more tricky to buy a new pair when yours are all worn down. Luckily, there are a few brands out there that make the purchase of a new pair of boots a breeze.
Blundstone and Redback are two Australian brands known for exceptional quality, durability, and aesthetic. They make high-end boots that are designed to withstand countless miles of hiking, climbing, working, and traveling. These two competing brands rise above much of their competition in many cases.
As Australian manufacturers, they both know what it takes to make a boot that can withstand the harsh climate of the Australian outback. But, which one is going to make the best boot for you and your needs? That is what we aim to find out today.
Our team here at Sky Liners have taken the time to put these two ‘Titans of Tough’ head-to-head in this best boot review. We examined what makes each boot stand out, and where they fall short. This way, you can get a comprehensive understanding of what you are getting when you buy Blundstone or Redback boots.
So, let’s just go ahead and dive right into the head-to-head comparison so that we can begin dissecting what exactly you should be looking for in a boot and whether Blundstone or RedBack fit the bill.
Blundstone boots are far and away the most recognizable and popular boot manufacturer in Australia. They are much like Levi’s in the USA–they are simply ubiquitous. Affectionately known as ‘Blunnies’ by the locals, these hearty boots have been gracing the feet of Australians since 1870. Yeah, these boots have been around for a while.
The most iconic model of Blunnies is the Blundstone #500 series. These slip on leather boots are sleek, attractive, and made from an exceptionally well crafted leather and high quality rubber. They are ergonomically designed with a proprietary sole technology to provide extra comfort and spring when wearing them.
The major selling point of Blundstone boots is their durability. Each boot is crafted out of a single piece of unlined leather and double stitched to hold it all together. This makes them extremely tough as well as resistant to water and damage. The leather itself also forms to your foot over time, which makes them almost custom in how they fit.
Blundstone boots practically invented the concept of the ‘pull on’ boot. Their laceless design makes it easier for workers and adventurers to simply slide them on and get going. Since the release of the original #500 series Blunnies, thousands of outdoor shoe manufacturers have taken to trying to recreate the design that these boots feature.
One of the great selling points of Blundstone boots is their incredible versatility. They are very lightweight, which makes them easy to wear in any condition. They are tough enough for the rugged outdoors, but also stylish enough to simply wear out on the town with your friends. Much like the iconic Dr. Martens are to the UK, Bundstones are to Australia. They can be seen on the feet of people from all different backgrounds, styles, and professions!
One thing to note about Blundstones is that they have outsourced manufacturing to overseas locations. They are still Australian owned, but they are not technically Australian made anymore. This has led to some quality concerns from loyal customers. However, it is our opinion that Blundstone still maintains a very high-quality product.
So, in short, Blundstones are a cornerstone of footwear in the Australian community. However, they are becoming increasingly popular worldwide in recent years. These boots are designed for comfort, durability, and versatility. They are the ‘original’ Australian boot, and continue to hold on to their crown in many respects.
Standout Features – Blundstone
- 2-year manufacturers warranty guaranteeing quality.
- Very lightweight which increases comfort.
- Very comfortable heel cushion that absorbs shock brilliantly.
- Versatile enough for any purpose or occasion.
Redback may not be as old as Blundstone, but they are just as ingrained into Australian work culture in every way. These are a similar style work boot with their full-grain leather construction and a slip on styling. However, the composition itself is slightly different.
To start, the Redback Easy Escape is their most basic style of boot on the market. They look very similar to the classic Blundstone #500’s, but are made with a 3-piece leather construction instead of the single piece unit of the Blundies. However, this doesn’t come at the cost of quality at all. The Redbacks are still stitched extremely well and are resistant to moisture and other elements.
Inside the Redback boots you’ll find a light cushioned heel that provides extra support and comfort for those who are on their feet day-in and day-out. They also come with an extra thick rubber sole for superior ‘abuse’ resistance. The soles themselves are made from a proprietary Thermo-Plastic Polyurethane blend that provides OSHA leading oil and slip resistance.
The main use for Redbacks is hard labor. They are designed for those working in harsh conditions who need a tough and reliable boot. While they can be worn casually, they really shine for blue-collar labor conditions. This shows in the design as well.
While the design of the Redbacks may seem similar to the Blundstones, they do differ in some key ways. The thicker and bulkier sole and outsole provides them a more industrial appearance. This is why they are less favored in daily wear by australians. However, they are a fan favorite among outdoor lovers for hiking and camping as well as on the worksite.
Redback has been a staple in the labor wear community since 1989. They have solidified their place among the best in the business for long-lasting, comfortable, and tough footwear all around. Where they lack in ‘fashionability’, they more than make up for it in toughness. These are a boot that you will buy and buy again for the rest of your working life.
One final thing to note about Redbacks is that they are fully Australian owned and fully Australian made. They do not outsource their materials or labor, and can proudly claim their 100% domestic product status.
Standout Features – Redback
- Fully Australian made.
- 100% full-grain leather.
- Comfortable out of the box–no need to ‘break’ them in.
- Extremely lightweight.
Buyers Guide – Blundstone Vs Redback Boots
Now that we have a basic understanding of what each different boot manufacturer has to offer, we need to talk about what to look for. This will help you to better understand which boot is best for you and your needs. Each boot will offer a slightly different experience, so it’s important to make the right choice to get the most bang for your buck.
Now, let’s take a quick moment to go over some key features to keep in mind when shopping for a new pair of boots.
Materials are always going to be the most important factor when it comes to buying a pair of hiking or work boots. This is because they need to be able to withstand a fair amount of use and abuse. You don’t want a pair of boots that are going to fall apart the first time you take them for a hike or out to the worksite.
Now, with both Redback and Blundstone you are getting a 100% leather construction. This may not be ‘vegan’ friendly, but it is an incredibly durable and reliable material. Although Blundstone has announced a vegan leather option to be launching in September, 2021.
The materials are going to determine how long your boot is going to last. So, choose carefully. Luckily, both companies use industry leading leather to produce a long lasting and durable product. So you can rest easy here. However, Redback uses a top-rated full-grain leather which is slightly different to the Blundstone Greasy Kip leather.
The primary difference is that Blundstones are treated with special oils to make them more waterproof and water resistant. However, the full-grain leather is slightly more durable in practice.
Weatherproof Vs. Waterproof
Now it’s important to know that not all boots are fully waterproof. This is a major misunderstanding that a lot of buyers run into when choosing a boot. There is a difference between weatherproof and waterproof.
Both Blundstones and Redbacks are weatherproof. This means that they will resist most walks through the snow and puddles, as well as rain and dust/rocks. However, they will not keep out moisture indefinitely. This is simply due to the fact that leather itself is porous and will eventually soak in water and get wet.
However, it’s important to note that weatherproof is just about as close to waterproof as you can get with a full leather composition. This also helps them to be more breathable and light than a waterproof synthetic material. In this regard you are getting the same amount of weather protection from both. Although, the Greasy Kip leather of the Blundstones is slightly better at keeping out moisture. This is simply due to the extensive oil treating that they are given before assembly.
If you are going hiking or working in industrial areas, you need to know that your boots are safe to walk in without issue. This means that the actual grip of the shoe is extremely important and should be considered when purchasing.
Both the Blundstone and Redback boots come with Thermo-Plastic Polyurethane sole construction. However, the Blundstones also implement a Poron XRD midsole for more shock absorption. This makes them a bit more comfortable when out hiking and walking across rough terrain.
In the end, both boots have great slip resistance. However, the Redbacks take the edge slightly here with their specially designed slip-resistant soles. Blundstone soles are not fully designed to be oil resistant, and thus do not handle slippery surfaces quite as well. While both are great for grip, the Redbacks are a hair better.
Comfort can never be overlooked when it comes to buying a boot that you will be wearing often. This is especially true for those who wear their work boots to… Well… Work. So, you need to consider how these boots actually fit when making a final purchase.
With leather, you often hear that you need to ‘break’ them in. This is to help get the leather to mold to your foot and get a more comfortable wear overall. Leather is malleable and will change shape over time, and eventually will conform to the curves of your foot. But, this can take a while.
The single piece construction of the Blundstone boots allows them to more accurately shape to your foot after some weeks of use. This allows them to become very custom in how they fit your foot uniquely. However, out of the box, they can be a bit stiff. Compare this to the 3-piece construction of the Redbacks. Using three pieces of leather allows the Redbacks to be more comfortable straight away. However, they will not mold to your foot quite as well as a single piece would.
One thing to note is that both shoes have slightly different fits in the width. With both manufactures, half sizes are simply wider, not longer. However, the Blundstones tend to have a more snug fit than the Redbacks in general. This is a preference thing, and will ultimately come down to how you like your boots to feel personally.
Overall, both Redbacks and Blundstones are very comfortable shoes and fit very well. But the long term use of the Blundstones will prove to be a bit more comfortable than the Redbacks. Just bear in mind that if being perfectly comfortable straight away is your top priority, then the Redbacks will be your best bet.
Cost is never a factor to be overlooked when making any large purchase. You want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your purchase, right? Well, both Redbacks and Blundstones are considered to be an excellent value overall. Their construction, fit, durability, and aesthetic make them more than worth the cost.
However, it is important to remember that both companies are considered premium. You are not getting a cheap shoe when you buy either. This is that you are going to be paying at least $150-250 when you buy a pair of either. Of course the price is dependent on the model you are purchasing.
It is important to point out that Redbacks are generally a bit cheaper than Blundstones on average. Although, this is generally a very slight difference in cost (usually around $10-20 for competing models). Either way you are paying a premium price for a premium product. But if price is the most important factor, then Redbacks nudge out the Blundstones by a notch.
Conclusion – Redback Vs Blundstone Boots
So we’ve taken the time to go over each brand in detail and what they have to offer. We have looked at what these brands are, what they do, and how you can expect them to fit and perform over time. But, which is the best boot in the end?
Well, that’s a tricky question. Both Blundstone and Redback make an excellent pair of boots. However, our team at Sky Liners wants to make sure you get a definitive answer. So here is our opinion…
After testing and examining each brand, we believe that the Redback boots are the overall best buy for your money. They are more versatile in function, and provide a more comfortable fit long-term. With Redback boots you are getting a shoe that will form to your foot like none other, and provides a cloud-like ultra soft walking experience for years to come. This makes Redback the best value for your money in our opinion.
However, this does not mean that Blundstone does not make a great boot. The Blundstone range offers much greater versatility alongside how fashionable they can be even outside of rough environments.
In the end, the choice is yours. You should always buy the boot that best fits your needs, budget and taste. You really can’t go wrong with either brand of boots. Our team at Sky Liners believe both brands offer an excellent list of options for you no matter what.
At Sky Liners we take pride in our love and knowledge of all things outdoors and fitness. We love being able to review and examine differing products such as these two ‘Titans of Tough’ in the boot industry. We thank you for trusting us to be your resident boot experts!
FAQ's - Thing A VS Thing B
Redbacks are made from 100% leather. This means that they are relatively malleable and will stretch over time if you buy them a little snug. However, they are not as elastic as other shoe materials–particularly when compared to canvas shoes. Leather will stretch and form to your foot, but it will take some time. It’s important to get the right fit on the first try for optimal comfort long term.
Blundstone is an Australian company that is based in Hobart, Australia. However the boots are manufactured largely overseas, and are not a 100% domestic product anymore.
Redbacks are 100% made, assembled, and distributed in Australia from start to finish.
Blundstone boots are not technically waterproof. They are weatherproof. However, they are as close to being waterproof as you can get with a natural and organic leather. This is of course while still remaining breathable.
Redback manufactures a wide range of work boots and shoes. Their Easy Escape boots are by far their most popular and versatile. They are attractive, comfortable, and will last you for years to come. Just remember that there are tons of other varieties that you can choose from if you want something a bit different.
Blundstone boots are among the most popular for hikers and outdoors lovers in the world. From the Americas to Australia they are regarded as some of the best hiking boots around. You won’t be disappointed by how they handle harsh terrain and keep you protected from the elements on the trail.
On the surface both brands are very similar in a lot of ways. They both offer a similar build with their leather construction and slip-on style. However, they are made in slightly different ways. Redbacks are made from three pieces of leather, and Blundstones are made from a single piece. In addition, Blundstones are made with an oiled Greasy Kip Leather versus the full-grain leather of the redbacks.
Redback does not currently offer any vegan leather options. That’s not to say that they won’t ever offer them, but as of now they are only made with 100% full-grain leather.