Over the holidays, I promised myself that this would be the year I would buy some real sturdy rain boots. Sure, I had lived in New York City for 10 years without them, and sure, I hadn’t learned anything from days spent at my desk with wet socks, but now that I was moving to Southern California, where it famously never rains, I was determined to buy good rain boots because I make great choices.
I surveyed my friends for the best options. Many gave me the same recommendation over and over again: Blundstones. They were mentioned more than L.L.Bean's Bean Boots, more than the inexpensive J.Crew Chelsea Rain Boots and more than the famous Hunter Boots. Blundstones, they told me. “You have to get Blundstones.”
Priced at a not-so-cheap $175, the Blundstone waterproof work boot with its steel enforced toe is a shoe not to be messed with. Maybe a little over the top for my needs, but they’re both fashionable and resourceful so I decided to make the investment. Reviewers said that wearers should buy a half size up. I ordered a full size up because I knew I'd want to wear them with thick socks and found them to be only a smidge too big. Ordering a little bigger also negated the need to break the shoes in; a task that other reviewers found to be tedious.
Blundstones have been trending upwards for a while now, but they made their way into the mainstream last fall when New York Magazine hailed the workwear-turned-streetwear item as the go-to winter boot for four of its editors. Rolling Stone took it one step further and named it the perfect “concert-going boot” since it stands up to muddy fields and people stepping on your feet — which is really all I picture when I think about outdoor concerts and music festivals like Coachella.
When I got my pair, I paired them with skinny jeans and an oversized sweater on the first chilly, rainy day in California (OK, so it does happen sometimes), and then again with overalls and a tank top when I was gardening out in my backyard (they are great for gardening!).
The one con? I dislike that so many people seem to refer to Blundstones as men’s boots when they are clearly unisex. I've found them to be perfect with any sort of outfit, including a floral dress. I hope the perception that they're more masculine doesn't deter any women from purchasing them because they really are the most perfect boots.
The price may also be a turn off to some, but they do last a really long time and are versatile enough that they’ll transcend years of fashion ins and outs.