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on November 6, 2010
I have always liked these boots and used them for years. My last pair finally wore out so it was time to order some new ones. Let me tell you it's unfortunate that Blundstone has decided to move their manufacturing operations to Thailand. From the time you open up the box there's a cheap feeling to the boot. The leather doesn't seem quite right, feels kind of dry. After a few days wearing them you figure out that they don't dye the leather anymore, they paint it on and it starts to chip off when you scuff it or bump it showing a gray leather color underneath. This has been a true disappointment.
55 comments125 of 135 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 18, 2012
I've been wearing Blundstones 500's for five years, on my third pair. The soles on mine did not crumble as many have mentioned but the soles get hard as nails, like walking on concrete. The sole is only half worn out when this occurs making the boot non wearable due to discomfort. It is a shame as this type of boot is great for doing so many things in life.

I have just ordered a pair of Redbacks. Unlike Blundstones the Redback is made in Australia. It costs another thirty dollars. It darn will better be worth it.

Attention! I got my Redbacks Barriers two weeks ago. The first time I put them on...Bam! comfortable. The quality is many times better than Blundstone. A wee bit heavier......but worth it. Made in Australia....the whole thing.

ATTENTION !!! I have owned the Redbacks for eight months and I wear them everyday and hike the hills in SoCal. I don't think I can wear these darn things out. They are as comfortable as the first day I put them on.
Trust me....spend the extra money. They are imported by a company in Escondido California. I have no affiliation with that company. I like them so much I am going to buy a pair for my 43 year old son.
11 comment48 of 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 12, 2009
Hey,
I bought a pair of Blundstone 500's last season and I went to put them on and the soles were literally crumbling. Clearly a defect in manufacturing. I went online and contacted Blundstone directly via email and they forwarded my issue to a U.S. rep. The US rep contacted me the next day and asked that I send them back which I did the same day. I am anxious to see how the situation is resolved. My first impression is that Blundstone and their reps take their customers seriously as well as any issues one may have with their product which is why I like to buy from a reputable company who stands by their brand. I'll keep you posted....so far....so good......I am pleased.

Monday, November 16, 2009 Spoke with the Blundstone distributor from Libonati this morning after he emailed me again over the weekend and asked that I call him. He is sending me a pair of replacement boots of which I am extremely delighted. So far, customer service is outstanding, even far better than the store from which I purchased them. The whole experience speaks well of the company. Good Job!

Friday, November 20, 2009....Just opened my front door and found my replacement boots from the Blundstone USA distributor....Tim Engel.....Can't say enough good stuff about the customer service and integrity of these companies. I will be back that is for sure.....Thanks for such a great experience, what a rare thing in this day and age.
1212 comments61 of 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 30, 2012
YES A VERY SAD LOWERING OF STANDARDS AT BLUNDSTONE. PLEASE REPAIR YOUR REPUTATION...AND MY BOOTS!!!
ANOTHER WORLD CLASS PRODUCT DESTROYED BY CORPORATE SHORT SIGHTED GREED.
0Comment47 of 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 18, 2011
Blundstone 500s use Polyurethane (PU) soles, which are meant to be used. They grow brittle when not worn for a while, causing cracking, and humidity causes them to crumble. The only way to avoid this is to wear them often (once a week or so) and they'll last a long time. Otherwise, pay a $20-$30 more, and buy the 550s, which use a TPU sole and resist this problem much better. But you still have to wear them at least a couple of times a month. If you expect to keep them in your closet for months at a time, there is a good chance one day within a year you'll find the soles have turned to crumbly soft clay. If you wear them often, this problem probably won't affect you.

10 years ago they used a different kind of rubber for their soles, tough as nails and no problem with cracking/crumbling. Someone in the company decided to save some money, I guess, and started using these cheaper soles - a bad decision, I reckon, but they haven't gone back.

If you like this style of boot but don't want to gamble with this problem, consider a pair of Rossi boots - very similar look, more expensive, but no problem with deterioration of the soles.
22 comments54 of 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 6, 2015
I grew up with "Blundies" in Australia.
Bought a pair n the U.S. about 2-years ago.
Wore them a couple of times and then put them in storage.
Took them out this weekend to do some gardening and noticed chunks of black stuff on the ground.
Turns out it was the soles coming apart.
I've attached pics ... as you can see the leather is virtually brand new ... which it is ... but the soles are shot.

Spoke with a Customer Service rep from Blundstones U.S.A. and they've sent me a form to ship back the boots "to be reviewed".
I'm assuming they are well aware of the disintegrating soles issue as they address it in the form ... see below.

--------------------------
Letter from Blundstone U.S.A.

"Dear Blundstone Consumer,

Sorry to hear about the problem with your Blundstone boots. Please be aware that Blundstone boots carry a 2-year warranty against defects.

Blundstone boots are very durable; but will eventually wear out over time.

The boots cannot be re-soled due to the method of construction.

“Hydrolysis” is the breakdown of Poly Urethane, which can occur when boots are stored away for a long time. It is rare, but it does happen. When it does occur the outsole will start to deteriorate. If you feel your boots have succumbed to this, please send them back to the address below for quality inspection. If the boots are found defective we will replace them.

Please allow 2 weeks from receipt of boots to process your replacement.

Please fill out the following information to help us to assist you: ...

---------------------------

I really hope:

1. They REPLACE my boots;

2. They've IMPROVED their quality control.

I'll let you folks know of the outome.

========== UPDATE July 17, 2015 ===========

Today I received a new pair to replace my old/ defective ones from the U.S. distributors.

Kudos to them for recognizing there is a MAJOR DEFECT in these shoes and willing to replace them ... overall an awful business model.

Reading the WARNING (see attached) ... it states ..." ...If stored for extended periods, footwear should be stored in AIR CONDITIONED PREMISES. Failure to observe these precautions can lead to premature deterioration ..."

Ummm, while they're at it, they might as well have included ... "Only wear on premium, cashmere carpet ensuring the fibres are handpicked by virgins from nubile goats feasting on pristine pastures from the Kush mountain region above an altitude of 20,000 feet."

What a crock ... I though I bought a pair of Blundstones ... the type of shoes my mates and I grew up with back in the day ... which took a heap of punishment & lasted for years ... not something work gear needs to be kept in air conditioned comfort.

Based on that, and the fact that I also had to pay another $12 to ship back the shoes, not to mention the inconvenience & wasted time, I will definitely NOT RECOMMEND you purchase these shoes.

I just hope the new pair don't "deteriorate" as the last ones did ... in which case I don't hold any hope of them being replaced again.

Come on Blundstone ... STOP cutting corners and bring back the quality if you want to stay in business.
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0Comment16 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 21, 2010
These shoes are crumbling as I write this. I had not wore them for a year and put them on this year. They felt great but my teaching assistant notices chunks of rubber in our classroom. I flipped over my shoes and the sole is crumbling into pieces. Obviously a defect in manufacturing but the company will not stand behind these. Do not bother to buy these, you will be gravely disappointed!
22 comments37 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 4, 2010
Like many others here, my new pair of Blunies are useless because of the deteriorating soles. My local cobbler said he can't help as the rubber used by Blundstone is so soft--he can't resole these perfectly usable and expensive boots. What's going on???
33 comments41 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 12, 2015
HYDROLYSIS & CRUMBLING: no longer a problem
You will read a lot of complaints in the reviews about crumbling soles. This is the result of hydrolysis, and it mainly affected boots which were stored for long periods and used only occasionally. As other reviewers have said, it is a problem linked to PU (polyurethane) outsoles. The good news is that Blundstone no longer uses PU outsoles on the 500 and 510 boots (or on any of their products): they use TPU, which is much less susceptible to hydrolysis.

SIZING: half sizes are for width, not length
Most Australian boots reserve the half sizes for width, not length, and Blundstone is no different. Half sizes are simply wider versions of the regular sizes. And because the sizing is Australian, they run one size large. So, if you take a US 9, order a Blundstone 8. If you take a US 9 wide, order a Blundstone 8.5. But don't take my word for it— check at the Blundstone website: us.blundstone.com/size-guides.

WATERPROOF? Not really.
The Amazon description talks about how the uppers are made from waterproof leather. While they certainly offer some water resistance (especially if you maintain them with waterproof conditioners) and you can splash through puddles without trouble, they aren't waterproof. Walking through a field of dewy grass will get your feet damp. Interestingly, if you go to the Australian website, you'll notice that the 500s are not sold as waterproof, but the 200s (not sold in the US) are.

QUALITY PROBLEMS?
Despite hydrolysis no longer being a problem, I have had a problem with my last two pairs of Blundstones, which may or may not be related to the outsourcing to Asia. The problem was that the leather was lightly scored in the place where the uppers meet the lowers, as though someone had tried to trim excess sole material/TPU and had ended up slightly cutting into the leather as well. This doesn't present a problem at the start, but it does weaken the leather, and I had two pairs of boots the eventually ended up tearing/ripping at this weak point. The fact that I have wide feet that stretch and stress the leather doesn't help, but without that initial scoring of the leather nothing would have happened. Thankfully, I was able to get warranty replacements for both pairs.

WARRANTY SERVICE IN THE US? Not so much.
So, after my boots tore, I tried to get warranty service. At the time, Blundstone USA advertised a lifetime warranty (they now make you register with them and receive marketing in order to get a lifetime warranty), and since I didn't have my original purchase receipt for the place in NYC I bought them, I had to go through the US distributor. Unfortunately, they didn't respond to my emails. The contact was the same as it apparently is today (tim@libonatico.com), but based on the other reviews here it seems Tim has really gotten much more responsive recently. I hadn't heard anything from him for a couple of weeks, so I reached out to Blundstone Australia, and they responded to me immediately and air-mailed me a pair of replacements within a couple of days. When my second pair also failed, I again reached out to Blundstone Australia, and they again mailed me a replacement, this time to Kyrgyzstan, where I was at the time. Crappy US service, but amazing Australian service.

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVES, made in Australia
Blundstones kind of have the market cornered in the USA, but there are a few types of similar boots in Australia. Rossi and Redback are the main alternatives there, and both are still made in Australia. Rossis fit narrower and have true half sizes (i.e., half sizes for length, and not only width), while Redbacks are wider. Rossi 303 Enduras are a similar style, while with Redbacks the UNPU Nevada/Great Barrier is a similar style. They are difficult to find in the US, but you can order them from Australian shops like everythingaustralian dot com dot au for pretty darn cheap, even after counting for shipping.

COMPARED TO THE BLUNDSTONE 550
I ended up buying a pair of 550s as my latest pair of Blundstones, which were surprisingly cheaper than the 500s (Amazon seems to apply promotional discounts to the 550s, but not the 500s, so for me the 550s were $15 cheaper than a pair of 500s). The 550s are a bit more luxurious, as they are lined and have better leather that is dyed better. If you can get the 550s for the same price or $5-10 more, I would go with the 550s (they are tighter and warmer/hotter than the 500s, though).
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on September 9, 2014
I've always wanted a pair of Blundstones. Finally bought these (from a retail store) and had them in the closet for about a month before I pulled them out to wear them for the first time. Within 3 days the soles looked like I had been wearing them for 20 years. Huge chunks of rubber had fallen off to the point where you could see the lining in the sole of the boot. I was pretty shocked and I took them back to the retail store and showed them what happened. They were a bit skeptical when I told them I'd only worn them for 3 days since I'd purchased them over a month ago, but regardless, the sole of a shoe shouldn't look like that after a month's wear anyway.

I waited about 2 months for them to get a replacement pair. I wore this new pair for FOUR HOURS when the soles started to do their disappearing act again. I brought them back the very next day and this time there was no question that something was seriously wrong. The store gave me a full refund, no questions asked.

I'm sorry I never got a pair of these when they were still manufactured in Australia and were a really well made shoe. I'm surprised Blundstone is taking this hit to their reputation in such stride. It was a huge disappointment for me.

UPDATE: I just had to try one more time. I bought my third pair online and found out that the date of manufacture is actually listed on the box where they show the style, size, etc. This new pair was made 7 months ago and so far no problems. I took a photo of the first box of the shoes I returned just so I knew my correct size and saw that the first pair I bought at a retail store was manufactured in 2002! Who sells a 12 year old "new" pair of shoes?! Be really careful when you buy a pair of these and don't get a set that was made more than a year ago. They truly have an expiration date, and If they're not stored correctly they'll start to unravel very quickly.
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