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Blundstone Thermal - Women's Review

A stylish and comfortable waterproof Chelsea boot that's easy to pull on and great for everyday wear
Blundstone Thermal - Women's
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $230 List | $229.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Waterproof, easy to pull on, stylish, great for all cool weather wear, comfortable
Cons:  Not breathable, poor traction
Manufacturer:   Blundstone
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 12, 2020
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 14
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Weather Protection - 25% 6
  • Comfort & Fit - 25% 9
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9
  • Traction - 10% 7

Our Verdict

Want to keep your feet warm without the look or bulk of a winter boot? The Blundstone Thermal looks just like any other Blundstone but with some key upgrades — think leather Australian work boot packed with warming features like Thinsulate lining and the coziest sheepskin-lined footbeds. And they are waterproof! They are easy to use with a pull-on design but are limited in deep puddles and wet weather due to their short stature. However, we love these toasty boots for everyday wear through the winter, spring, and fall. This is a favorite amongst our testers and friends, wearing them out almost every day, even during super cold weather.

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Pros Waterproof, easy to pull on, stylish, great for all cool weather wear, comfortableProtective and durable, very warm, breathable, excellent traction, great for hiking, high valueSuper cozy liner, completely waterproof, cute style options, comfortable, warmQuality leather construction, warm, waterproof up to the cuff, beefy traction, stylish for town or city wear, great trail performanceVery protective, warm, durable, excellent traction on icy surfaces
Cons Not breathable, poor tractionNot the most stylishExpensive, shaft lacks stabilitySmaller volume through the toe box requires a half size upExpensive, bulky and heavy, reported issues with leaking after long-term use
Bottom Line A shorter waterproof winter boot that offers a stylish appeal, but isn't as warm as burlier optionsA versatile winter hiking boot that boasts excellent traction and warmthWrap yourself in comfort and versatile functionality all winter longA winter hiking boot that boasts a city slicker style but also works for any adventure on the trailsProtective warmth built into a tall neoprene winter boot
Rating Categories Blundstone Thermal - Women's Keen Revel IV Polar - Women's UGG Adirondack III Mountain 600 Insulated Arctic Ice Tall
Warmth (25%)
6
9
9
8
9
Weather Protection (25%)
6
8
9
8
9
Comfort & Fit (25%)
9
9
9
9
4
Ease Of Use (15%)
9
7
6
7
10
Traction (10%)
7
9
8
9
9
Specs Blundstone Thermal... Keen Revel IV... UGG Adirondack III Mountain 600... Arctic Ice Tall
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 6 inches 7.5 inches 9 inches 6 inches 15 inches
Measured Weight (one boot, size 9) 1 lb. 1 oz 1 lb. 6.7 oz 1 lb. 5 oz 1 lb. 3.8 oz 2 lb. 5 oz
Type of Boot Casual winter wear All around winter All-around winter Casual winter wear Outdoor work and chores
Fit Details True to size True to size, wide True to size True to size True to size
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft, size 9) 6 inches 7.5 inches 10 inches 6 inches 17 inches
Lining/Insulation Thermal Thinsulate 200 grams KEEN.WARM Recycled PET UGGpure wool 200 grams PrimaLoft Fleece lined & 5mm of neoprene
Removable Liner? No No No No No
Footbed Removable sheepskin footbed EVA EVA OrthoLite Removable contured PU
Upper Material Waterproof leather Mesh and Leather Waterproof suede and leather Leather Neoprene 8mm & rubber
Toe Box Leather Leather Rubber Leather Rubber
Outsole Slip-resistant TPU KEEN.Polar Traction Molded Spider Rubber Vibram Nisqaully Arctic Grip Vibram Arctic Grip
Company-claimed cold-weather rating Not stated -25F -32C Not stated Not stated
Animal products used? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Sizes Available 6 - 11 5 - 12 5 - 12 5 - 11 5 - 11

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Blundstone Thermal is a favorite for its easy pull-on access, low profile, and super stylish look. Wear it with a pair of jeans or leggings, or don it with some work pants; you're sure to receive compliments either way. Built to accompany you from the city to the country, this versatile boot is one we found ourselves using well into the shoulder seasons. While it's waterproof and warm, the shorter cuff and less aggressive outsole are good for most winter weather, but one we'd leave at home for tall snowdrifts and very cold weather.

Performance Comparison


A super cute winter boot suitable for all-year use. Waterproof and...
A super cute winter boot suitable for all-year use. Waterproof and super cozy, they look great with a pair of jeans.
Photo: Amber King

Warmth


The Blundstone Thermal is lined with thermal Thinsulate inside a rugged leather upper. The soles are thick enough to keep out cold from the frozen ground, but the magic is in the removable sheepskin-lined footbeds. When walking to work and commuting via bike, this boot kept our feet warm throughout most of the winter. It's just not one we'd wear if you're standing around in single-digit weather or plan on a hiking adventure through the woods.


We tested this boot while commuting, working, and hiking on mellow trails around town. Worn in cold weather that sunk well below freezing, it did surprisingly well. The cozy footbed generates a lot of heat, while the fit provides ample room to move toes and maintain warmth.

On chilly days, this boot provides enough warmth, even when just...
On chilly days, this boot provides enough warmth, even when just hanging out around town.
Photo: Amber King

That said, the construction is a bit limited for the coldest days of the year. The shaft of the boot has a thin lining but isn't insulated. So while toes are kept warm, the rest of the boot can feel cold, especially when paired with skinny jeans or leggings. And while it breathes well from the top of the cuff, when under a pair of pants, we noticed our feet getting a little damp, which felt chilly after a few hours. Overall, while this boot is quite warm for most days of winter, it's just one we'd leave at home if the temperatures go well below freezing or if a super blustery and wet storm is in the forecast.

A look at the super warm and cozy removable liner. Pro-tip: in the...
A look at the super warm and cozy removable liner. Pro-tip: in the summer replace it for a less insulated insole and you've got a warm-weather boot too!
Photo: Amber King

Weather Protection


Quality is apparent on this stylish boot, especially if you find yourself tromping around in puddles or sleety weather. Not only does the full leather design ward off snow, but the stretchy material that attaches to the upper is also seam-sealed and completely waterproof. It protects up to 6 inches, which is the entire length of the cuff.


At first, we were skeptics about the level of waterproofness this boot would have, especially at the seams. However, when we tested it out in puddles, we were surprised and pleased to learn that water does not permeate the material and leak into our boot (even after marching in the water for a full two minutes)! While hiking and walking across town for a few hours during our field tests, we came to the same conclusion.

Testing the waterproof performance on a cold day in the winter. We...
Testing the waterproof performance on a cold day in the winter. We are happy to report this boot is completely seam-sealed up to the cuff!
Photo: Amber King

While we can appreciate the waterproofness of this material, this boot is best left at home when you need to conquer tall snowbanks or super deep puddles. The 6-inch height won't protect you in tall snowbanks, and the Chelsea-style not compatible with a snow gaiter to keep out the wet stuff. As a result, this is a wonderful wear-around town option after the plows have been out, and the storms have settled down.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Comfort & Fit


This boot is extremely comfortable and built for all-day wear. Our testers found themselves pulling them on regularly because of their lightweight appeal, easy use, and super cozy sheepskin footbed. The fit is true to size with plenty of wiggle room for toes with either thin or thick socks.


When hiking around town and performing chores around our property in the mountains of Colorado, we found ourselves reaching for this boot whenever we knew all-day wear was in store. We also chose them when working at our standing desk, knowing that the super cozy footbed would both generate warmth and provide enough support to stand all day long.

We enjoy a salty margarita while hanging out with friends in these...
We enjoy a salty margarita while hanging out with friends in these cute winter boots. They are comfortable, even after wearing them all day to work. This is largely attributed to the super cozy liners.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

While this boot doesn't have a ton of arch support, we appreciate the thinner outsole that allows you to really feel the ground underfoot. The leather around the shaft feels a little rigid at first, but with more wear, it loosens up and conforms to the foot.

The upper shaft is simple and is not insulated. We do like this...
The upper shaft is simple and is not insulated. We do like this stretchy component which makes for a versatile fit.
Photo: Amber King

The only thing we'd add to our wish list is a little extra fleece around the collar. When wearing the Thermal with ankle-high socks, we noticed the stretchy nylon material cutting into our ankle, just a touch. When hiking, we would typically wear a taller sock to avoid this slight irritation. Aside from that, we love the comfort and fit and awarded top marks in this category.

We like the look of these boots. They typically provide a "slimming...
We like the look of these boots. They typically provide a "slimming look" to the ankles, adding more curves and appeal to the legs overall.
Photo: Amber King

Ease of Use


It's no doubt that pulling this boot on and off is super easy. There's no zipper or laces to deal with, and the pull on tabs at the back of the boot and tongue make it easy to slip on. This is also a boot you can kick off if you're coming into the house with your hands full, at least after they are broken in a bit.


Typically when choosing a winter boot, our testers prefer options that don't require a lot of work to take on and off. This is one of the reasons the Blundstone got chosen day in and day out. Choosing a boot that's both comfortable and easy to put on typically trumped those that had laces or took more effort to wear when it came to our daily commute.

Easily slide your foot in with a pull of just one tab.
Easily slide your foot in with a pull of just one tab.
Photo: Amber King

Traction


The traction of this boot is average to below average but does surprisingly well in the mud. The lugs are sufficient for most snowy conditions, but on steep slopes can easily slide. The boot's rigid construction allows you to easily kick into a snowy slope, but the traction isn't super confidence-inspiring in more technical terrain.


We wore this boot while hiking through the woods, encountering a few snowy logs and rocks. We slipped off a few logs but stuck well to the rocks. Icy weather is a beast that can't be tamed with just any regular boot — and this is no exception. Luckily, you can strap on a pair of yak tracks or microspikes if you truly want to hike anywhere with this boot.

A decent level of traction, but nothing like that offered by the...
A decent level of traction, but nothing like that offered by the winter hiking boots we've tested.
Photo: Amber King

One surprising detail is how well the Thermal does in sticky clay-based mud — the ultimate test. Since it doesn't use super deep lugs, the mud will glomp and then shed easily. Other heavier hikers required stopping and picking the mud out of the lugs with a stick, but we could keep hiking in these. While there are pros and cons to its traction pattern, it'll do well on most flat surfaces sticking well to snow and doing well in mud.

A great level of traction for mellow trails and around-town use.
A great level of traction for mellow trails and around-town use.
Photo: Amber King

Value


The quality of these boots is evident in the stitching and materials, and they will likely last for 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. Those seeking a great casual and durable boot to last them for many years and throughout many seasons will find high value in this boot.

Conclusion


The popular Blundstone Thermal is built for anyone seeking the epitome of all-day wear versatility. The shape offers a slimming effect to the leg, and it can be worn through the winter and into the shoulder season. While it's not the most protective or warm, this high-quality contender will surely keep your feet dry so long as the puddles aren't higher than its 6-inch height. Enjoy this favorite throughout the year, and pair it with your favorite skirt or skinny jeans for a stylish, casual look.

The Blundstone boot is great for winter chores but isn't the warmest...
The Blundstone boot is great for winter chores but isn't the warmest option out there. You can get away with wearing it in temperate environments with moderate winters.
Photo: Laurel Hunter

Amber King