Blundstone Thermal - Women's Review
Cons: Not breathable, poor traction, short height
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Blundstone Thermal is a heater in disguise. Much warmer than you would think by looking at the sleek black leather, this boot kept us warm on very chilly days. Its style is basic, which suits this workhorse of a boot— always up for chores and everyday wear. Due to it's short upper and less than optimal traction, however, we don't recommend it for super snowy or slippery days.
We were surprised when the Blundstone did incredibly well in our ice bath tests, losing only 12.3 degrees after 20 minutes of being submerged in freezing water. And our experience in the field backed up the finding that these rather plain leather boots do a great job of keeping feet warm. The Blundstones are lined with thermal Thinsulate inside the rugged leather upper. Additionally, the soles are thick enough to keep out cold from the frozen ground. But the magic here is in the removable sheepskin-lined footbeds, which feel like mini heaters under the feet, and are oh-so-cozy.
While its an incredibly warm boot, the insulation is fairly thin and the open cuff does not hold in heat. In the coldest temperatures, over the course of a day, they may not have the firepower to keep your feet comfortable. They are warmer than one would expect from a boot that only comes up over the ankle but definitely not as warm as a pac boot. In fact, because the boots aren't very breathable, we found our feet were too warm in temperatures over about 40 degrees.
The Blundstone's quality was apparent during the waterproofness tests, where skeptics may have expressed concern about the stretchy fabric on the sides. We found the boots to be completely waterproof to the top of the cuff, in 7 inches of water.
While that may not seem like much, several taller boots are waterproof to roughly the same level since water creeps in at the tongue gusset. Puddles aside, the boots' modest height may leave you wanting in terms of protection from the elements. Drifted snow, for example, easily enters the top of the boot. So while this boot is excellent for wet and cold conditions, for super gnarly or deep pow days, there are better options.
Comfort & Fit
Because there are no laces or adjustments on the Blundstone it is important to get the right size. It does run true to size and is a good fit for narrow to medium width feet. The heel doesn't slip much, but depending on the sock and shape of your foot, it may not be as secure as a boot that can be adjusted.
Those amazing sheepskin footbeds are very comfortable underfoot, and the entire inside of the boot is soft to the touch. We found the leather extra stiff, however, making the boot feel bulkier than it is. Also, testers with high-volume feet found that the leather doesn't give, creating pressure on top of the foot, even with a thin sock. Women with a higher-volume foot may want to size up to have more space in the shoe.
Ease of Use
With no laces, zippers or anything else to slow you down, the Blundstone is one of the easiest boots we tested to get in and out of. Two fabric tabs help you yank it on and off and the flexible fabric on the sides allows the opening of the shaft to stretch to accommodate a foot. However, the boots have a precise fit, and the leather is fairly stiff, so it takes more than a kick to get them off.
With below-average performance in our traction tests, the Blundstone is not our boot of choice for slippery conditions. With street-style soles, it lacks the shape and depth of lugs that make other boots more successful on icy patches. On frosty trails and stickier snow, however, they perform well, and they are certainly a great choice for everyday wear in cold weather.
The quality of these boots is evident in the stitching and materials and they will likely last many years of use, making the high price tag a little easier to manage. The price may seem steep, but the timeless style and incredible functionality make them a good value. The ladies that'd find value are those seeking a great casual and durable boot that'll last them for many years.
The unassuming Blundstone boot surprised us with its warmth and waterproofness, and we love the footbeds!! Its style is very basic, and the traction leaves something to be desired, but if you need a high-quality, durable boot for everyday use in cold weather, this pair will be there for you for many winters to come.
— Laurel Hunter