Blundstones are some of the most iconic boots on the market. These Tasmanian-designed boots are known for their durability and style, so it’s no surprise that they have a dedicated following of fans that stretches around the world. But are Blundstones good for hiking? Should you really wear them on the trail?
Blundstones are okay for casual hikes on flat ground, but they’re not ideal for strenuous hiking on steep, rocky terrain. They also don’t have laces, so they don’t provide much ankle support as you trek through the mountains. Plus, Blundstones aren’t very breathable, so your feet might get a bit sweaty as you hike.
That said, as is the case with most things hiking-related, there’s some debate over whether Blundstones are good for hiking. Up next, we’ll do a deeper dive into the pros and cons of wearing Blundstones on the trail so you can decide what’s best for your upcoming adventures.
Hiking in Blundstones
You can hike in Blundstones, but it’s generally not recommended except on short, mostly flat trails. Blundstones were originally designed as a work boot for farmers and factory workers in Australia—not as hiking boots. Although they were crafted to protect worker’s feet while on the job, they’re not necessarily the best at giving your feet and ankles the support they need as you move over tricky terrain.
However, we should point out that a team of Australian mountaineers wore Blundstones on a Mount Everest Expedition in the late 1970s. Apparently the porters and Sherpas who worked on the expedition loved their Blundstones so much that they requested (and received) them as gifts from the expedition team.
But despite their past exploits, Blundstones still fall far short of what most people would expect from a hiking boot in the twenty-first century. There are a number of reasons why hiking in Blundstones isn’t a great idea. These include:
- Minimal Ankle Support – Blundstones don’t have laces, so you’re not able to cinch them around your ankles or feet. This is probably fine if you’re walking on mostly flat ground, but it won’t cut it for most people when trekking up or downhill on challenging terrain.
- Lack of Traction – Most Blundstones are made with a rugged TPU outsole, but this outsole isn’t necessarily designed with steep trails in mind. Although Blundstones are nice for walking around on muddy farms or on relatively flat land, their outsoles lack the rugged lugs that you find on most modern hiking boots. Lug soles are particularly great at providing traction on varied, rocky terrain, like what you’d find on many hiking trails.
- Limited Breathability – One of the best features of Blundsotnes are their 2.5 mm water-resistant leather outers, which provide exceptional durability and style. But, this leather was designed more for ruggedness and less for breathability. As a result, trekking in Blundstones can lead to some particularly sweaty feet, which isn’t ideal if you’re out on a long hike.
To be fair to Blundstones, there are some reasons why you might want to wear these boots while hiking. In particular, Blundstones are fairly water-resistant and they are known for their durability. But in a world where there are hundreds of other purpose-built hiking boots and shoes out there, it’s hard to see the advantages of wearing a work boot on the trail.
Are Blundstones Good For Your Feet?
It’s difficult to give a blanket answer as to whether a certain type of footwear is good for your feet, and Blundstones are no exception. Evaluating the pros and cons of a given shoe for your foot health is tricky business, and there haven’t been many studies that look specifically at the advantages or disadvantages of wearing Blundstones.
Thankfully, we can often turn to the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) when we want to know if a shoe is podiatrist-approved as being good for foot health. The APMA runs a Seal of Acceptance program for shoes. According to the APMA “to earn the seal, each product is reviewed by a group of APMA podiatrists to ensure it promotes foot health.”
In the past, some Blundstones from the company’s now-defunct XFOOT line had the APMA Seal of Acceptance. However, no Blundstone boots currently make the organization’s approval list, so there’s no guarantee that they’re actually good for your feet.
If you’re looking for hiking boots that are APMA-approved, take a look at what Hoka One One and Chaco have to offer. Both companies have a range of hiking boots with the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance that are well worth checking out.
Using Blundstones For Winter Walking
Blundstones generally aren’t good for winter walking, especially in areas that get a lot of ice or snow. While Blundstones are water-resistant, they’re not fully waterproof. Additionally, Blundstones have minimal insulation, so they’re not great at keeping your feet warm in the mountains. We also have some concerns about the traction ability of Blundstones on icy ground.
Although Blundstones have better traction and they provide more water-resistance and warmth than your standard pair of running shoes, they don’t perform as well as a set of dedicated winter boots. As a result, they wouldn’t be our first choice if we were looking for hiking boots for winter use.
What Boots Are Best for Hiking?
The best boots for hiking are a pair of purpose-built hiking boots or shoes that fit your feet well. Everybody is different, so there’s no one set of boots or shoes that will work well for everyone in every hiking situation. The important thing here is that you find shoes that feel good on your feet and that provide the traction, durability, ankle support, and water resistance you need on the trail.
But while we can’t give you the names of specific boots that will be best for you, we can point you in the right direction.
If you’re in search of quality hiking boots, check out brands like Salomon, La Sportiva, Keen, Merrell, Asolo, Oboz, Vasque, Lowa, Hoka One One, and Scarpa. Each company makes boots that are designed for different hiking styles, so you’ll likely find one that meets your unique needs.
Should You Hike in Blundstones?
Blundstones are great boots, but they aren’t our first choice for use while hiking. We love that Blundstones are stylish, durable, and water-resistant, however, they lack the ankle support, traction, and breathability that we expect of a modern hiking boot.
Our advice? Skip the Blundstones on your next trek and opt for a pair of purpose-made hiking boots instead. Your feet will thank you later.
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David is an accomplished mountain endurance athlete who has completed over 25 ultra marathon races (follow on Strava). He is most proud of his finish at The Drift 100 – a high elevation, 100 mile winter foot race that zigzags along the Continental Divide in Wyoming. In the future he hopes to compete in the ITI 350 and ultimately the full 1,000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational that follows the same path as the historic dog sled race.