Blundstone is known for making ultra-rugged, utilitarian boots for hardy outdoors types. While I'm a big fan of this brand's classic boots (and especially the new vegan version), they can be a bit much for casual wear. It seems that Blundstone has been thinking the same thing, because it has just launched a new range that aims to deliver the utility you'd expect from this brand, but with the flexibility and comfort you'd find in a pair of trainers.
Launched for AW 21/22, the Blundstone Active Series is one new boot in eight different colourways (although only three are available in the UK). The shape is similar to the Chelsea boot design that's immediately recognisable as Blundstone – the iconic angular detailing on the upper front of the boot is still there – but a little shorter and more streamlined. I've been trying out a pair for the past couple of weeks and they really are super comfortable.
While for tackling tricky terrain in horrible weather, you'll still want to pop on a pair of the best men's hiking boots or the best women's hiking boots, but these are an excellent versatile option for long days on your feet, or, for instance, leaping nimbly around a city like the models in the press photos.
One main difference is the sole – the rubber sole on the Active series is fairly chunky but still lightweight, much more flexible than those you'll find on the classic boots and with an active, curved shape. An antibacterial PU footbed provides plenty of comfy cushioning, while a built-in heel stabiliser offers some extra support.
The elastic inserts and pull-loops on the front and back mean you can slip them on and off with absolutely minimal effort. It's worth noting that because it's a unisex design, these boots seem to fit on the wider side, so if you have narrow feet (as I do) you might not benefit from the 'glove-like' fit that Blundstone promises.
The range includes designs with suede or leather uppers in a variety of earthy tones (although mine have a pop of orange detailing that I'm quite a fan of), all designed to be water-resistant. The suede pair I've been wearing is nice and breathable, and has kept out a number of rain showers very effectively.