They were good, sturdy boots, but they’d reached the end of the line.
I got my first pair of Blundstones in 2008. (That’s them in the picture.) Never worn them before. I’d been alternating between deck shoes and sandals — started wearing the former while I was an undergrad at Queen’s (yes, the demographics people will have a field day) and the latter when I started doing adventure trips in environmental studies (see above). In fact, I’d wear deck shoes right through the winter.
Until I was persuaded to try these. It took a bit of doing because I’m a creature of habit and I’m not easily moved out of my comfort zone, but once I did, it was one of those “why did I wait so long” moments. Lightweight but durable. Simple but rugged. No laces means they’re easy to slide on and kick off in a heartbeat. And a design that’s basically unchanged since 1870.
They took almost no time to break in. Sturdy, supportive, versatile, light, comfortable, and adaptable. I’ve worn them in the office. I’ve slogged through mud in the summer. I’ve stumbled through slush puddles in the winter. I’ve worn them to meetings. I’ve walked to the water’s edge carrying 100 lbs of dive gear. I’ve wrestled with my 140-lb. dog in them. They’ve taken me along forest trails, rock climbing, and through 4-foot snowdrifts. And they’ve held up.
Some of the marketing copy for Blundstones says they’re worth it because they never seem to wear out. Well, I can tell you that’s not true. They do. But it took eight years. And even now I’m reluctant to replace them because they’re so comfortable.
So I’ll be getting another pair in the next few days. Same style, same features, most likely the same colour, because why mess with what works?
Well done, Blundstone.