Blundstone is a big name in the outdoors world. This Tasmanian boot brand is to be seen donning the feet of rugged, adventurous types all over the place, and with good reason. A tougher boot you couldn't hope to find. But they're made of leather, which means those who like to avoid animal products have had to look elsewhere for their footwear.
Until now, that is, because Blundstone has recently joined forces with in Finisterre to create its first ever fully certified vegan boot. But they're limited edition, so if you fancy a pair, best get on it quickly.
There are those out there who'd say that a synthetic material can't complete with leather when it comes to toughness, but I've been testing a pair out over the past few weeks and would respectfully disagree. I've basically been living in mine since they arrived, and they've happily seen off the worst that British weather has to offer, including two storms that were so good they had official names. The leather-substitute upper is breathable, water resistant and has withstood plenty of bashing about.
Style-wise, these don't look exactly like leather – there's a slight sheen – but it's close enough, and they're wearing nicely. For everyday outdoorsy stuff on tricky terrain and in unpredictable weather, the Chelsea boot style is ideal. Front and back loops that make getting them on and off a breeze, while the stretchy side panels keep them firmly on your feet while you're out and about. (If you want something for trekking up and down mountains in, you should consult our best men's hiking boots or best women's hiking boots guides instead.)
If you haven't worn Blundstone boots before, you should know that they're incredibly comfortable, and that goes for the vegan pair as well. They feel light yet sturdy, the sole is bouncy and comfy underfoot, and I've had no rubbing to speak of. And the footbed is removable, for airing / drying out, too. The collab keeps that identifiably Blundstone silhouette, but adds of a cool, debossed Finisterre logo on the heel.
Cornish brand Finisterre is known for its focus on sustainability, which has led to some impressive innovation in materials. It has form when it comes to making tough-yet-eco friendly clothing that's ready to take on the elements – it's the brand behind one of the best waterproof jackets around.
“We've dreamt of working with Blundstone for years. The durability is second to none and they look great on everyone, so it’s no wonder the majority of our community own a pair," says lead menswear designer at Finisterre, who just goes by 'Todd'. "For us we needed a boot that passed the same quality and toughness test but maintained our pioneering approach of innovation and seeking alternates to what has gone before. Something just as durable, breathable, water-repellent and with no animal derived ingredients and all packaged into that famous boot silhouette? Consider it done."
The Blundstone x Finisterre Originals Vegan are available to buy now, exclusively online at Finisterre. Choose between brown and black/olive colourways, and the unisex design runs from UK3 to UK13.