Blundstone is currently of the moment. Pay attention to the donned feet of the younger, hipper set, and many trade the blocky, lacy, and on-trend Doc Martens for the equally trendy and slick ease of Blundstone’s iconic line of numbered-rather-than-named boots.
A heritage brand with a long history, Blundstone got its start in the 1850s in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart. And since the 1960s, the #500 Chelsea boot has sold over 25 million pairs. That boot has since taken on many numbers and forms, and its most recent addition of the all-terrain sole partners with Vibram for the most durable, sticky sole the brand has used to date.
I’ve been wearing the All-Terrains almost daily on a working horse farm and about town for about 6 months, as I wanted to really put these workhorses to the test.
In short: Blundstone’s All-Terrain Boots ($245-280) are top of the line when it comes to comfort, tread, durability, and lived-in style. So I put them through their paces in the most rugged, dirty places I could find. Read on for my full take.
- Upper Water-resistant leather w/ GORE-TEX panels
- Insole Removable, washable Comfort Lite footbed
- Outsole Rubber, Vibram megagrip
- Closure Slip-on
- XRD Technology in the heel for shock absorption
- Acid, oil, and heat resistance to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
- Stable, durable, and sticky on tough terrain
- Easy to pull on
- Stylish enough to wear out
- Difficult to break in
- Not waterproof
- Could use better insoles
Blundstone All-Terrain #2057 Boot Review
About the Boots
I’m currently testing and wearing the uninsulated #2057 All-Terrain in smooth cocoa-brown leather. Each color option is designated a separate number, and four color options exist in the women’s line. The leather finishes are either smooth or “rustic,” with rustic translating to what western folks called roughed-out leather. I figured that, for daily work purposes, the smooth leather would be easier to take care of.
Besides the Vibram sole, this is a classic Blundstone Chelsea boot. Two branded pull tabs allow for pull-on ease. Stretchy panels create ease of motion and flexible grip above the ankle. XRD technology is incorporated into the boot structure to minimize shock, and a removable footbed acts as your insole.
The sole is touted to be self-cleaning, an interesting proposition to anyone (ahem, me) who tends to be in dirtier environments than the average city slicker. It’s also inherently sticky rather than slick, with a tread one comes to expect from a Vibram shoe sole.
The Blundstone All-Terrain Boot at Work
I’ve owned one pair of Blundstones prior to the #2057, the #1677 heeled boot. Frankly, I love this pair as a dress boot for casual nights out. But I was reluctant to put the #1677 through the paces of a workday. I really didn’t want to ruin the clean look while tending to horses or doing farm work.
The All-Terrains seemed to fill the gap, and when I received the pair this summer, I’ll admit the spendthrift in me did not want to ruin these boots either. They’re beautiful straight out of the box, shiny and perfect. But I resolved to put them to work.
After a longer break-in period than some, the #2057 became my daily driver. Working on a 50-acre horse farm, I typically log about 5 miles per day, which also translates into the lauded 10,000 steps of Fitbit fame. Conditions vary depending on the weather, but here in the upcountry of South Carolina, rain dominates the ground and wet sand is often underfoot.
The lack of laces means I can slip into these shoes in an instant, and these days they’re as soft as a leather slipper. I have not experienced any slip in these shoes, so Vibram’s sticky claim holds true on the slick tiles of grocery stores or hardwood.
So far, the leather is holding up with minimal care (and I mean minimal) and the tread isn’t showing any wear at all. The latter is almost remarkable considering the daily wear I’ve put on these puppies. There’s no show of separation along where the sole meets the leather — the ultimate song of death for a boot.
It should be noted these aren’t a replacement for rubber boots in truly wet conditions. Though decidedly water-resistant, prolonged exposure means the boots will soak through. I’ve worn these on rainy days with no issues — only once did that happen, my bad. I should have grabbed my rain boots, as I didn’t have the expectation that these boots are waterproof.
Debunking and Digging Deeper
Are the soles self-cleaning?
Before reading this claim from Blundstone, I’d never heard it before. I’ve worn a lot of Vibram-soled boots, from hiking to hunting to farmwear. Frankly, I’ve never thought of any boots as self-cleaning. In the #2057, mud certainly still comes with me, and currently, a few of the spaces between tread are filled with dried sand. Does it hold less dirt than other boots? Perhaps, but not enough for an aha moment. Had I not read this piece of marketing, I’d never have investigated it one way or another.
And to be honest, I don’t really care that the soles are or aren’t self-cleaning. I expect that my work boots will be muddier and dirtier than the rest of my footwear. More than anything, it’s a weird claim and I felt I had to address it here.
I was also surprised that the breaking-in period took a bit longer with these than with boots past. These days, even my horseback riding boots tend to come out of the box buttery and generally easy to wear. The heel leather on the #2057 proved to be stiff and reluctant to flex, resulting in a few blistered heels in the beginning. I split wearing the boots with other boots in this period, but after a few wetter, muddier days, the boots finally gave and I’ve had no problems since.
That said, a longer break-in period in the past has always meant a longer-lasting boot, hands down. And at price points of $245-280, the All-Terrains are an investment for most working people. It’s a toss-up. Do you buy a cheaper pair of boots with the expectation that you’ll likely buy another pair soon? Or do you double down with the expectation of a break-in period and the long haul?
That’s a choice for you to make.
Final Thoughts: A Perfect Daily Working Shoe
Regardless of the strange claims, I really, really love my Blundstone All-Terrain Boots.
The break-in period was worth the effort. I’d advise wearing these boots initially for a few hours at a time, with a backup available if you’re on your feet a ton.
At this point in the game, the buttery ease of slipping into these boots each morning carries no burden. I’ve put at least a few hundred miles on them with minimal issues. They’ve protected my toes from horse hooves, hiked through hilly trails, grocery shopped, and kept me comfy through it all.
Like many heritage looks, they also carry a classic look that belies an industrious and lived-in sense of style. They’re on trend not because of flash, but because of the sensible nature of a quality working boot.
Should you choose to invest in a pair for yourself, I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed. I’m definitely not.