Most landscapers purchase the best quality tools available to ensure they do the job well and they last for prolonged periods, but many overlook one of the most important tools on the jobsite… the work boot.

Being both safe and comfortable on the job should not be compromised so a good quality boot can make the difference between a great workday and a very average day.

I have had my fair share of uncomfortable, ill-fitting and poor performing boots over the years but with modern technology and years of experience from quality boot makers work boots have changed significantly during my working life. Australia’s own Tasmanian based company Blundstone have been manufacturing boots for 150 years, so I was very keen to put their #992 work boot through some tough landscape tasks.

First impressions
A smart looking boot but most impressively I couldn’t believe how light they were compared to previous boots I have worn; being so hefty looking the light weight was a welcome surprise. Once I laced up the 992s to suit, zipped them up and secured the quick release Velcro zip fastener I was impressed by the feel and snug hugging support around my ankle. The support around your ankle is way more than elastic sided boots I have been used to and extremely comfortable thanks to the soft padding on the tongue and collar.

My first steps in these boots were also a pleasurable experience with a welcome soft, comfortable and cushioning feeling on each step, something often not experienced in a work boot, especially on the first wear. A combination of factors achieves this comfortable result. Firstly, Blundstones use XRD Technology, which sees the inclusion of increased impact protection in the heel and forepart of the boot where heaviest impacts are encountered. It is also worth noting that the footbed is removable for washing, is breathable and has anti-bacterial properties. Adding to the comfort is a slight support arch in the footbed and a breathable thermo regulating bamboo lining.

Aside from comfort these boots are packed with other excellent features. I like the moulded bump cap over the toe of the shoe. This protects the leadher over the steel cap, which always seems to wear through to the steel on my boots before the rest of the boots are worn out making them tatty looking and allowing moisture in. This problem is solved with the bump cap. The rubber sole has loads of grip on all the surfaces I wore the boots on including concrete and mud. The sole is also heat resistant to an incredible 300 degrees Celsius and resistant to oil, acid and electrical hazards. With the laces secured, removal of the boots is fairly easy by releasing the zip lock and lowering the zipper, not quite as easy as elastic sided boots but the other excellent features more than compensate for this. A lace lock eyelet on the upper third eyelet enables the wearer to release the lace from the top two eyelets to open the boot a little extra for removal without the lower laces loosening. This greatly reduces the timeneeded to refit the boots if the wearer needs to undo the laces; I found I didn’t need to undo the laces at allas the zip open gave adequate access.

The wrap-up
Overall, I would have to say that I have never had a pair of boots as comfortable as these from day one and never worn such a light pair of steel caps. These Blundstone #992s were comfortable to wear the entire day whilst performing landscape maintenance tasks as well as planting and barrowing multiple loads on varied surfaces whilst supplying all the protection needed. Blundstone back the #992 with a 30-day comfort guarantee and a 6-month warranty.

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