If you love boots, then you’ve probably heard of Redback and Blundstone. Both are giant Australian footwear manufacturers with decades in operation.
The two are famed for the production of durable, fashionable, and comfortable boots for people from all walks of life. A mention of one brand will almost always invoke the discussion of the other.
Anyone who is into boots will tell you how challenging it is to choose one brand over another. Everyone’s opinion varies, and many people have a favorite. For others, they’d rather have both brands in their shoe collection because they just can’t choose one!
In this article, we take an in-depth look at each brand, including the history and materials used in manufacturing.
We’ll also give our two cents on the Blundstone vs Redback comparison, but the ultimate decision on which is best for you lies with, well, you!
1. Redback: History of the Brand
Redback boots are heavy-duty footwear trusted by the Australian Defence Force for over two decades. The Cloros-owned family business has been the sole supplier of the famous Redback’s Terra Combat Boots for the Australian Army since 2000.
The company majors in the production of lightweight, tough boots designed for intensive applications in high-risk zones and manufacturing industries.
Redback Boots Website: redbackboots.com
However, despite the great reputation of Redback boots, the footwear received some tough criticism during its test years with the army.
Australian soldiers complained about the limited number of sizes available. Others cited the soles that were not appropriate for tropical climates.
Redback reviewed these flaws and took over as the official supplier of Redback boots to the Australian defense force in 2000.
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2. Redback Technology and Manufacturing
Redback boots feature top-notch technology, with keen attention to body construction and a well-thought sole design, making them highly comfortable.
The body construction sports full-grain leather, which is 30% thicker than ordinary leather used on regular boots.
The TPU construction technology on the sole makes Redback highly resistant to tough objects and other harsh chemicals. The shock-absorbent heel on the midsole makes the boot more stable and comfortable.
The TPU soles are highly slide-resistant, thanks to the multi-directional lug design that makes them suited for use on many surfaces.
The anatomic sole support minimizes arch sagging, which may cause foot strain and fatigue.
Redback also features footbed insulation for added comfort. Getting the boots on and off is effortless thanks to the pull-on-loops, although Redback also manufactures great lace-up boots.
3. Frequently Asked Questions About Redback Boots
Redback boots are very popular, yet some still have so many unanswered questions about the design, applications, and place of manufacture. Here, we address common questions about Redback boots.
Where are Redback Boots Made?
Redback boots are 100% Australian-made footwear. The company has its headquarters in Alexandria, New South Wales, Australia.
How Do Redback Boots Fit? Are They True to Size?
Redback boots are made with a keen eye for comfort and stability over long working hours. The boots feature a detailed sole technology and lightweight design, making them extremely comfortable.
Redback boots are made in U.K. sizing, which is one size smaller than U.S. shoe sizing (source). Unlike the earlier concerns over limited available sizes, you’ll now be able to find what fits you among their wide selection.
Are Redback Boots Waterproof?
Redback boots’ body construction features a tough, supple leather that’s about 30% thicker than regular leather. The outer premium full-grain leather is reinforced by another soft inner leather lining in some products, making the boots highly resistant to water penetration.
Generally, Redback boots are water-resistant, not fully waterproof. You can improve their water resistance by applying water repellent products to your boots’ leather.
Are Redback Boots Good for Walking?
Everyone wants a boot that feels comfortable when walking regardless of the distance covered. Redback boots feature an Anatomic wedge sole profile that reduces arch flexion and foot fatigue, making them highly suitable for walking. (source)
Are Redback Boots Good for Hiking?
Redback boots have a slide-resistant sole and a moderate sole arching. You can hike on them casually, but generally, they’re not designed for hiking. So, in this case, we’d go with a brand that is specialized in hiking footwear.
Are Redback Boots Good for Snow and Winter?
The brand has boots with footbed insulation for thermal comfort, so they can be used in winter. But we’d not use them in snow or in extremely wet environments for extended periods of time as their leather is not fully waterproof.
Are Redback Boots Good for Wide Feet?
In 1999, during Redback boots testing by the Australian army, many complained about the limited available sizes. The sizing was later reviewed, including wider sizes and designs that fit medium-to-larger feet size in the U.S.
Today, Redback boots are available in size 16 for American men and size 11.5 for women. However, you may need to check with them when placing an order, considering Redback boots are made in U.K. sizing, which is one size smaller than the U.S. boot size.
4. Redback Designs: Our Top Picks
Below are two of our favorite Redback boot designs for men and women.
Redback Easy Escape Boots
Check them out at Redbackboots.com
The Easy Escape boots feature a full-grain leather upper, a slip-resistant sole, an air-cushion midsole, and an anatomic support system that reduces arch sagging and foot fatigue. The boots also feature a Thermo-Plastic Polyurethane (TPU) outsole and are EH Certified.
Redback Outback Lace Up Boots
Check them out at Redbackboots.com
The Outback Lace Up boots feature a speed lace-up system for optimal adjustment. The boots have a TPU outsole and a padded collar for added comfort around the ankle. The upper construction is full-grain leather and the boots are EH Certified.
5. Are Redback Boots Worth the Price?
Boots are common among tough workers or people looking to sport a stylish, rugged look. Redback boots offer both in almost equal measure. The high durability and wide size selection make Redback boots worth every penny spent.
6. Blundstone: History of the Brand
A pair of Blundstone Chelsea Boots
The Blundstone boots, or the “Blunnies”, as referred to by many natives, are legendary Australian footwear founded in the 1870s. In the 1850s, a couple – John and Eliza Blundstone – moved to Hobart, Tasmania in Australia from England.
John Blundstone, a seasoned coachbuilder, started to import footwear from England, his mother country, to sell in Australia. The business picked up well, and he began to manufacture custom footwear from scratch to sell them to his established customer base.
John set up the manufacturing firm in Hobart in 1870 before his eldest son, Sylvanus Blundstone, joined him in 1892 to form a single company, J. Blundstone & Son.
John’s other son, William Blundstone, ran the importation side of the business under the name W.H. Blundstone & Co, which unfortunately went bankrupt in 1909.
The two companies thrived within a short time and moved their operations to a two-story factory along Campbell street from Collins street.
Unfortunately, the two Blundstone boots manufacturing companies faced serious financial turmoil at the beginning of the 20th century, forcing them to sell the company to the Cane family.
The Canes sold the company to the Cuthbertson family in 1932. The Cuthbertsons, who also owned a shoe company in Hobart, Australia, merged the two companies and continued to operate under the Blundstone name.
Unfortunately, because of high production costs in Australia, the Cuthbertsons moved their major operations overseas in 2007. However, Blundstone vowed to continue producing at least 200,000 pairs per year in their Hobart, Tasmania, Australian headquarters.
7. Blundstone’s Technology and Manufacturing
Blundstone boots are carefully engineered to offer maximum safety and comfort. The steel toe cap on many of its designs guarantees complete protection against cuts and other intense impacts on the boot.
Many Blundstone work boots have a heat resistance of up to 284°F (140°C). The boots will withstand many strenuous industrial applications, including harsh chemicals.
The XRD technology used in Blundstone boots construction is a thin, lightweight, and highly breathable material for enhanced comfort and shock absorption.
The acid/oil-resistant soles make Blundstone boots more durable in industrial situations. The sole meets the AS 2210.3:2019 slip-resistance standards, making them suited for application on slippery surfaces.
There are also many Blundstone designs that can be worn in other situations, not just for work. There are options for walking, hiking, traveling, etc.
These are lightweight and breathable boots that share the brand’s focus on comfort, stability, and cushioning. And they also have in common Blundstone’s main material which is quality leather.
8. Frequently Asked Questions About Blundstone Boots
Blundstone has a long story to tell, including ownership transfers, multiple manufacturing locations, and more. Here are some of the most common questions people ask about Blundstone boots.
Where are Blundstone Boots Made?
Partial Blundstone boots manufacturing occurs at its headquarters in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. They make their gumboots here. Otherwise, major overseas production locations since 2007 include Mexico, Vietnam, China, India, and Thailand.
How Do Blundstone Boots Fit? Are They True to Size?
Blundstone boots are designed with leather that stretches slightly after repeated use to conform to the size and shape of your feet.
According to the Blundstone size guide, those who prefer a little wider fit should choose a half size up from the wide range of sizes they offer.
However, the boots are designed in U.K. sizing, which means they’re one size smaller than the men’s U.S. sizes.
Are Blundstone Boots Waterproof?
Most Blundstone boots provide high water-resistant protection as they are made of leather which is not fully waterproof.
However, the brand has also fully waterproof designs: the Thermal and Gumboot series. Be sure to check the specifications of the design you choose and the intended application.
Blundstone Chelsea Boots
Are Blundstones Good for Walking?
Blundstone boots are designed using advanced technology that features thin, lightweight, and highly breathable material, making them very comfortable and suited for walking without feeling a strain on the feet.
Are Blundstones Good for Hiking?
Blundstone outdoor boots have a great shock-absorbing sole design and are well suited for casual/short hiking.
Are Blundstones Good for Snow and Winter?
Yes, they are good for snow and winter, especially the Thermal series which is also waterproof and insulated with Thinsulate insulation to keep you warm in cold weather.
Their other boots can be used in winter depending on the type of weather, but being water-resistant and not completely waterproof, it’s not recommended to wear them in extremely wet environments.
Are Blundstones Good for Wide Feet?
Blundstone boots may not fit well on the first wear. It takes a few rounds of use to allow them to conform and feel comfortable on your feet.
Anyway, thanks to the half sizes offered by the brand, they are good for wide feet.
9. Blundstone Designs: Our Top Picks
Blundstone boots come in a wide variety. However, here, we look at some of our favorite designs from men’s and women’s categories.
Blundstone Men’s Originals Lace-Up Boots #1930
Check them out at Blundstone.com
The men’s #1930 original rustic brown lace-up boots are constructed from rustic, water-resistant leather. The TPU outsole offers enhanced traction and keeps you stable all day. The boot heel has leather support for added durability.
Blundstone Women’s Dress Chelsea Boots #062
Check them out at Blundstone.com
The stout brown women’s #062 dress chelsea boots are constructed from premium water-resistant leather. They feature a TPU outsole for enhanced traction. The double stitching around the elastic offers added strength and durability.
The ergonomically engineered toe spring is also combined with XRD® technology in the heel to minimize foot fatigue.
10. Are Blundstone Boots Worth the Price?
You’ll always find what works for you when it comes to Blunnies. The brand offers a wide range of men’s and women’s boots to choose from that are all comfortable and last a long time.
Blundstone boots are well worth spending your money on if you love boots.
A pair of Blundstone Chelsea Boots
11. Which Brand is Better: Redback or Blundstone?
You may not tell the difference between Redback and Blundstone boots at a glance in most of their designs. Other outstanding qualities shared by these two giant Australian brands include:
- Quality leather construction;
- Lightweight footwear;
- Focus on comfort;
- Great sole design with outstanding ankle support;
- Water-resistant / waterproof capabilities.
While the two boot brands share almost all the top qualities that make a great boot, each brand has its particular technologies that you may need in specific work or everyday life situations.
In our opinion, each brand works just fine depending on the intended key application.
For instance, Blundstone offers a steel-toe cap and high heat resistance in some boots. On the other hand, Redback puts its focus on the sole design for enhanced comfort, making the boots the best for a long day of work.
Blundstone offers a wider range of designs including lifestyle / casual footwear, while Redback is more focused on work boots.
In the end, whatever your choice, your feet will feel great!