Choosing a boot is not easy. Not if you’re like me and you choose a pair and wear them till they start walking themselves. When I’m looking to buy a new pair of boots, I don’t mind paying a bit extra if I know they’re going to last the distance. Because really, I’m buying a new pair of best mates. They’re going to go to work with me every day, out to the pub for a cold one after work, out fishing or to the ‘yards or to see a band or a rodeo. Like great mates, I want to know they won't let me down. 

I tend to have two pairs on the go – my good ones and my work ones.  My good ones become my work ones when the work ones are laid to rest. I always feel a bit sad when it comes time to bin the work boots. It feels like losing one of the family.

So buying new boots is a big purchase, and one I’ve given a lot of consideration over the years. Here’s my pros and cons for the three major Aussie boot brands.

 

Blundstone

When most people think of Aussie work boots, the Blundstone 500 style in Stout Brown comes to mind. They’re the boots made famous by another great Aussie export “Stomp”, a group of blokes tap-dancing in them. The slim ankle and slightly bulbous nose is recognisable anywhere, and I’ve been known to walk up to a bloke in the street overseas and say “G’day!” just because he’s wearing some Blunnies. Never been made a fool of either, well not yet at least.

They’re a slip-on so they’re easy as to get in and out of and they’re surprisingly lightweight for such a solid looking boot. They’re made out of one piece of leather that moulds to your foot perfectly over time, and it’s nice thin sole with good tread, so you don’t feel far from the ground.

 

A few pros they have over the competition:

  • Backed by 2-year manufacturing warranty
  • Light weight
  • Versatility- they’re stylish enough to wear going out & strong enough for work
  • Cushioned heel pad for increased shock protection
  • Moulds well to your feet and gets more comfortable with wear

 

And The Cons:

  • The Innersoles included are on the thin side, so if you prefer more support, you’d be best off buying some good quality innersoles to go along with your purchase.'
  • Manufacturated Overseas

 

The Fit:

  • Regular fitting
  • Half sizes are just wider not any longer

   Blundstone 500

               Pictured: Blundstone 500

 

Redback

While Blunnies may be the more famous brand, Redback is the choice of the locals, especially for a work boot. The Redback UBOK in Claret (Dark Brown) is the most famous round here. They’re made out of 3 pieces of leather instead of Blundstone’s one, which means they fit great from the first wear. Blundstones can be a little snug at first while the leather moulds to your foot, Redbacks hug your feet like a lover from the first go. 

They also have an air-cushioned sole which gives you that bouncy, lighter-than-air feel underfoot. Great for when you’re on your feet all day. They’re also very much the traditionalists down at Redback – they find the right formula and they stick with it. They are less fashion driven than the other two, so you know if you loved your first pair of Redbacks, chances are your next pair will be instant love as well.

 

The Pros:

  • 100% full-grain leather
  • Fully Australian Made
  • Light weight
  • Air cushioned sole is like walking on a cloud
  • The 3-piece leather formation makes these boots comfortable from first wear
  • Deep tread gives premium slip resistance

 

The Cons:

  • More suited for work than casual wear as the design looks more industrial

 

The Fit:

  • Regular fitting
  • Half sizes are just wider not any longer

  Redback UBOK Boot

 

Rossi Boots

The Rossi 303 Endura in Claret (Dark Brown) is probably the most underrated boot on the market. Not as well known as the other two, it has a lot of fine qualities that make it worth a look. Made with top materials  -- full grain natural kip leather, an Endura rubber sole which will last you for years, and even a leather tab at the back instead of the usual material ones that wear out over time – these boots will last and last. All Aussie made too, so there’s a lot of pride in the craftsmanship.

 

The Pros:

  • Air cushion mid-sole
  • Cushioned Innersoles as well
  • Strong leather rear pull tab
  • Minimal stitching means the leather moulds well to your feet and gets more comfortable with wear

 

The Cons:

  • Slightly heavier in weight due to the rubber in the sole

 

The Fit:

  • Regular fitting
  • Half sizes are a true half size as they are longer and wider

    Rossi 303 Endura Boot

For more on choosing boots:

Slip On vs Lace up

Are Blundstones Still Aussie?

The RM Williams Craftsman 

Safety Boot Roundup: Our Top 5

Top 5 Dress Boots