Blundstone boot is a tradition and peeks onto the fashion stage for those wanting comfort in their style.
The headquarters is in Australia and originated in 1870 and arrived on the Canadian scene 25 years ago freeing Canadians from uncomfortable clunky boots and the hassle of laces. These boots are known for their ease of use from work boots to Avant-garde fashion.
In 1853, John and Eliza Blundstone walked off a ship named the ‘Conway’ and into the bustling town of Hobart, Tasmania. John and Eliza had spent ninety-three days aboard that vessel, coming all the way from Derbyshire, England. Hobart was established as a British colony in 1804, initially serving as a penal colony.
The Blundstone Beginning In 1870, John established a business in on Collins Street in Hobart. He started by importing boots from England. Soon, however, he built a business making boots for men, women, and children from local materials. From the start, the company was noted for the quality of its work. In 1894, the family’s boots were honored as being “second to none” and “exceedingly well made” at the International Exhibition in Hobart.
The Early Twentieth Century In 1902 John and his son built a shoe factory on Campbell street in Hobart, and to emphasize their pride in their new home, changed their trademark to include the word ‘Tasmania’. The factory began to produce 2000 pairs of shoes and boots per week. During World War I, they supplied boots to Australian troops. The Great Depression affected everyone and Hobart wasn’t immune. In 1932, the company was bought by the Cuthbertsons, another family dedicated to creating fine quality footwear. The Cuthbertsons had arrived in Hobart the same year as John and Eliza, although they had been bound for Melbourne. The Cuthbertson family still owns the business today. They have kept the original name because it was always associated with the best quality boots and shoes.
World War II The company developed a boot for the Australian Army with special cleats for marching through the jungles of the South Pacific. When the Japanese landed on the northern coast of Papua in July of 1942, Australian soldiers were wearing those boots with jungle cleats. The Aussie troops fought the Japanese every inch of the way from the coast to within 48 kilometers of Port Moresby. Had the enemy taken the capital, they would have had a naval base from which they could attack Austrailia. Aussie Troops fought and died to prevent that potential disaster. From those jungle boots came the design of work boots that could protect from extreme temperatures and hostile environments. Over 200 pairs of boots a day were being manufactured by the late 1950s.
The 1960s During the era of war and protest rallies, of miniskirts and the Beatles, the company developed an icon in footwear, the #500 series. The Chelsea boots with the pull-up tabs have been used for work, adventure and style ever since.
The 1970s Blundstone boots climbed Mt. Everest on the feet of an Australian expedition. The company expanded its market into the South Pacific, selling boots in Papua, Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Samoa. A partnership was formed with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, exploring new technology. At the end of the decade, the company was awarded an Australian Design Award, the first time the award was given to a footwear company.
The End of the Millennium With retail stores in 22 countries and a second factory in New Zealand, Blundstone footwear expanded to include gumboots, children’s boots, and safety work boots for women. An Australian Export Award showed Australia’s recognition of the company’s contribution to the nation’s industry. And the boots tapped their way across the stage on the feet of the Sydney Dance Company.
The Next Millennium The company’s footwear were on the feet of the Sydney Dance Company’s Tap Dogs at the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and Australian athletes wore the company’s thermal boots at the 2014 Winter Olympics. In 2015 the #980 mining boot won another Australian Design Award for changing the way mining boots are made.
The company has continued to expand globally through the first two decades of the twenty first century with five more factories besides the one in Hobart. The boots are now being worn on feet from Helsinki to Hollywood, where some of those feet belong to very famous people. Retail outlets can be found in over seventy countries on five continents.
You can buy “Blunnies” from Kelowna BC to Kalamazoo and on around the world. They have been touted as top safety boots by Everything Australian and as trendy by Fashion Journal and as “perfect for any adventurer” by Conde Nast Traveler. “Blunnies” are popular with college students, miners, factory workers, and adventurers of all ages, racking up miles of hiking through deserts and mountains, cities and back country roads. Built to endure through heat and cold, mud, rain, and rough terrain, these boots have been protecting feet and keeping people safe for 150 years and will continue that mission. These boots have become popular because they continue to be made with the best quality materials and to be comfortable, enduring and stylish.