About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the heating and manufacturing industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
As the family’s “shoe guy,” I routinely get hit up with questions and requests for shoe advice. Recently, my sister let me know that her Frye boots are finally beginning to fall apart after almost a decade and she’s starting to shop around for their replacement. She lives up in the Northeast and has worn those boots through what seems like hundreds of miles of concrete sidewalks, bone-chilling winter winds, sock-soaking rain, and enough nor’easters to make Herman Melville seasick. So, she’s looking for something that’s both comfortable and durable. She wants something that’s a little rugged but needs something versatile enough to be worn year-round with a ton of different outfits. Instead of her favorite Fryes, I suggested the women’s version of these Blundstones instead. After recently trying them out for myself, I think they might fit the bill (for both of us). Let’s dig in and see if these meet all of the requirements. (Side Note – the men’s and women’s versions of the #585 Blundstone boots look to be identical in every way but sizing. I can’t speak to any difference in last shape, but they look very similar.)
An injection molded outsole makes these boots lighter-weight,
so we can assume no fingers were strained in the taking of this photo.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Outstanding! Very nice and well worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.
- 4 – Very satisfactory. Above average, may have very minor issues but still worth it.
- 3 – Satisfactory. Average at best. May have notable issues, may be OK for some.
- 2 – Unsatisfactory. Below average due to defects, flaws, or other imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price. Avoid!
- Brand: Blundstone
- Style: Chelsea boots
- Size: 10.5 US / 9.5 AUS
- Last: N/A
- Construction: Glued and Thermomolded
- Upper: Leather
- Sole: Molded “thermo urethane” rubber
- Details: Removable insoles, partial leather lining
- Extras: Set of “comfort” insoles to take up spare room.
- Country of Origin: Made in Vietnam
- Price: $220 USD
Casual boots perfect for fall activities… like collecting candy.
My pair of boots was purchased through Huckberry on a Thursday afternoon. They shipped out on Friday morning via UPS SurePost and were delivered on Saturday morning. Huckberry has always been a great retailer to buy from; they’re easy to do business with, their warehouse team ships things out the next business day (usually), and issues/returns are promptly handled.
FYI: Huckberry has a great 30 day return policy that’s based off of the delivery date, not the order date. Best of all, returns are free and exchanges for other sizes are just as simple.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Huckberry excels at customer service; quick shipping, easy returns.
Nothing that special in the unboxing process, but the inclusion of extra insoles is a nice addition.
This pair arrived in Blundstone’s boot box. It’s not a box that I would typically keep around because it looks pretty or anything, but it’s definitely a step above the ones from J.Crew. Inside, the boots were nestled underneath a single sheet of brown tissue paper that had just enough coverage so that the boots didn’t knock against themselves too much during transit. I understand that these are casual, rugged boots, but when you’re spending over $200 on them, I’d like to see the brand do a slightly better packing job inside the box. Also included is a set of “comfort” insoles that can be used to take up extra space if you find that the boots are too roomy for your liking. That’s a nice bonus from Blundstone and adds back a star to this score.
Score: 4/5 Stars – Unboxing experience was OK; packing is average, but extras are nice.
Fresh out of the box, these boots look pretty great. I am happy to report that these boots are not quite as chunky as they appear online. I was worried that the overall shape would be too bulbous or blobby; however, they’re more refined than I had imagined and that’s a good thing.
Don’t get it muddled, these are definitely casual boots and are squarely in that camp with other rugged, super casual boots like Doc Martens, Red Wing moc toes, and L.L. Bean boots. There’s certainly a time and place for your polished cap toe brogues, but most of us could also use a pair of knockaround boots in their closet for weekends. Doing yard work around the house? Popping out for a pint and bites with your pals? Taking the toddler to the pumpkin patch? All of those style scenarios call for a relaxed, rugged pair of boots like the Blundstones.
From this angle you can see these boots aren’t as bulbous as they look in most pictures online.
Style wise, I think rugged boots like these are best paired with casual outfits that invoke an outdoorsy, masculine aesthetic. Imagine a well-loved leather jacket, flannel button-down shirt, dark selvedge denim, and a pair of chunky wool socks. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you could pair these with a rain shell jacket and well-worn jeans. You might be able to dress them up a touch for casual Fridays at the office in the Fall with a heavily textured knit sweater or cardigan, button-down collar Oxford shirt, and flat front chinos or five-pocket pants.
All leather panels included in these boots (and there are several) are double stitched for durability.
And the heels include a thermo-molded plastic heel stiffener.
Design wise, these are essentially dressed down pull-on Chelsea boots. The upper on this pair is made from a heavily corrected grain, water-resistant “premium” leather in a mottled brown shade that they call rustic brown. If I had to guess, this stuff is from the Lefarc tannery in Mexico; it’s really similar to the leather on Huckberry’s Rhodes Jackson Chelsea boots I looked at last year. It’s a great neutral color in that it pairs well with all of those casual outfits and won’t stand out against anything you’re likely to wear. Unlike dressier Chelsea boots that use a wholecut upper, fine calf leather, and single needle stitching, these Blundstones feature a unique multi-piece design with each seam double stitched for durability.
One of the highlights of these chelseas are the elastic gores, which rival the likes of spendy, R.M. Williams boots.
The elastic gores are a slightly warmer, redder shade of brown that resembles milk chocolate or bourbon. Speaking of elastic gores, these are fantastic and on par with those found on higher quality boots like my R.M. Williams. It’s a much nicer grade of elastic material that has a stronger rebound, helping keep the boots secured to your feet. These boots also feature the classic fabric pull tabs at the front and back that help you slip them on and off easily. I once worked with a boiler technician that wore Blundstone boots to job sites because he routinely saw flooded basements and buildings that were really nasty. He said he liked how easily they slipped on and off; he could toss them in the back of his service van and hose them off later.
The inside of the boot is a mixed bag of materials including leather, resin coated fabric,
and a fuzzier fabric lining the front half.
The interior of the boots is made from a mixture of a few different materials that range from leather around the shaft to fabric lining the toe box. While I’d love to see a full leather lining or more natural materials in a boot like this, I understand that each component has a specific function and the overall package has to meet a certain price point. Starting at the heel, the heel stiffener between the leather layers is some sort of thermo-molded plastic. This feels like a brace that’s hugging your heels as you walk, but it’s not uncomfortable (or notably comfortable either). The heel cup is lined with a resin-coated fabric that attempts to prevent heel slip; I’d much prefer suede here, but this unit does its job well and doesn’t get in the way. The shaft is lined with calf/cowhide. The front half of the boot is lined in a fuzzy fabric that I assume is for a bit of insulation. Finally, the removable insoles are made of a “comfort” EVA foam with a section of Poron XRD foam in the heel strike zone for added cushioning and shock absorption. Underneath all of that is some polyurethane magic that acts as a cushioning midsole layer.
The sole is an oil and acid resistant injection molded sole that has lugs for traction.
The process creates better out of the box cushioning, but it also means they’re not recraftable.
Flipping the boots over unveils the lugged TPU outsole. These boots are not Goodyear welted or stitched in any way; the injection molded outsole is simply molded over the boot assembly through a special injection molding machine process. If you look closely, you can see a bit of extra flashing from the mold lines at the front and back of the boots. While most of us do prefer a stitched sole for its longevity and ability to be replaced by a local cobbler, these boots are significantly lighter and have better out of the box cushioning and shock absorption than heavy duty welted boots full of leather and cork. There’s something to be said for being light on your feet. Whatever magic Blundstone has baked into this SPS X-TRA comfort system, it works. Plus, this outsole is oil and acid resistant for those of you who work in kitchens and factories.
Score: 4/5 Stars – For rugged, casual boots, the Blundstone 585s are pretty nice overall.
In terms of fit and sizing, I recommend trying a half-size up from your true-to-size Brannock measurement. I tried this pair in a 10.5 US (9.5 AUS/UK) and, with my typical lightweight merino wool socks from Darn Tough, the boots fit notably tight out of the box. With my heel firmly to the back of the heel cup and the widest part of my foot attempting to match the widest part of the boot, I can feel a little bit of pressure on the back of my heel and a lot of pressure on top of my instep. While I do have a small bit of space in front of my toes, I think sizing up a half size would work best overall for my particular situation. If you size up to start, but find the larger size to be slightly too roomy for you, consider adding the included comfort insoles underneath the regular foam insoles to consume some of that excess volume. If that doesn’t work, you can always go with thicker socks or try sizing down.
For size reference, I am a 10.5 D on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in most roomy boots and shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I prefer a 10.5 in Converse/Vans and an 11 in most athletic sneakers from Adidas or Nike. Have a size question? Email us!
Extra insoles are included that can be placed under the footbed to take up extra space in the boot.
Comfort is always subjective, but given the proper size, I do believe these boots would be fairly comfortable out of the box and would require a minimal amount of break-in time. This boot features that three piece band full of semi-talented acts – the thin and removable comfort insole, the firm and supportive fiberboard base unit, and the dual layer TPU/PU outsole unit. All of those characters are doing their job to some degree, but like a lot of burnt out and frustrated workers out there who are “quiet quitting” and desperately need a change, each of these could be doing more for your overall comfort. The basic blown foam insoles are the worst offenders. If you switched them out for a truly supportive and cushioned insole from brands like Superfeet, Sole, Sof, or Pedag, you’d have an exponential increase in overall felt comfort.
Score: 3/5 Stars – Boots fit small, size up a half-size. Overall comfort is OK but not great.
Overall, I think these Blundstones are a great purchase. They’re a simple and effective pair of boots for a casual, everyday “Average Joe” vibe and will look great on everyone. Whether you’re out running errands and grabbing groceries, headed to the farm to pick some pumpkins, or you’re getting some work done at the office on a relaxed Friday in the Fall, you simply cannot go wrong with a pair of Blunnies. Given a neutral color/tone, they can easily be worn with a ton of different casual styles from flannel shirts and dark denim to casual linen shirts and chinos. Rugged, yet refined. Easy on, easy off. Dress them up a little, hose them down if they get nasty. I’m a big fan of these boots and you will be too. My only real knock is that I’m disappointed that they’re not actually made in Australia, but you can’t have everything. Cheers!
Avg. Score: 4/5 – Recommended. Overall, these boots are great for a casual Fall style.