Blundstone 500 vs. 550: Everything You Need To Know
If you know the Australian brand Blundstone then you know about “The Original” Blundstone 500 boot that is as versatile as it is aesthetically pleasing. For over 50 years not much has changed when it comes to this boot because the initial design and technology continues to prove itself over and over to be a cornerstone for the brand.
Originally the 500 Chelsea boot’s appearance and durability appealed to farmers, builders, and manual laborers who worked on their feet all day. Over time, the 500 started to become a staple for adventurers, creatives, and fashionistas all over the world.
The universal style of the Blundstone boot makes it perfect to go hiking and explore the topography of the mountains but to also wear with slacks or jeans as you make your way around the terrain of the concrete jungle below.
What makes the Blundstone boot different from other brands on the market?
Natural Foot Shape
Blundstone boots are not only shaped like a human foot but they also mold to the wearer’s foot over time, making them custom and unique to you.
The front and back pull tabs make getting this boot on and off easy because who wants to spend half their time dealing with laces that are too tight? I’ll tell you who. No one. That’s who.
Blundstone leather is treated with oil for maximum water resistance making it A-ok to splash through a few puddles while on your next adventure. The Thermal Series of Blundstone boots are 100% waterproof in case those puddles turn into ponds.
The SPS (Shock Protection System) Max Comfort has been designed to provide the wearer with ultimate foot protection and support. With the inclusion of XRD® Extreme Impact Protection Technology, 90% of the impact is absorbed when you move so your bones and joints don’t have to, making these boots one of the most comfortable ones on the market.
These boots are made to fit snugly around your ankle but over time, will loosen a bit over your instep but never lengthwise, making for a fit that continues to mold to your foot for years to come.
Using one piece of leather for the upper guarantees minimal seams and helps prevent breakage and leaks ensuring that you can carry on with all your activities with no worries.
Blundstone Black Premium Leather V-Cut Boots #510
The Difference Between the 500 and 550
Now that we’ve covered what makes the Blundstone brand stand out from the others and established that the 500 is their best-selling boot, it’s time to introduce the latest and greatest, the Blundstone 550, and what the differences are between the two.
The 550 is the 500 but with a few improvements and new technology. For some of you, these will be worth the new price point and for others, you will be just fine continuing to wear the original style. Honestly, both versions are great, it will just be up to your individual needs and preferences.
The 550 boots have a better shock absorption system and strategically placed foam making for more comfortable wear. The leather upper on the 550 has also been treated with a water-repellent coating making it slightly more waterproof than the 500.
Both styles of boot use dual layering in the outsoles to provide durability and support combined with comfort and cushioning. However, the 550 has the addition of steel shanks, which dig into the ground while walking and help to prevent sliding.
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Which Is Better?
So how do you decide which style is better for you? Visually, they are incredibly similar. Made from leathers with various finishes in suede, nubuck, and canvas with double tabs, they’re both high-quality boots that combine the holy trinity of durability, style, and comfort.
Choosing the 500 is never the wrong answer. It’s a classic for a reason and with little changes made to it over the duration of its lifetime, you’ll not regret this purchase. They’re versatile enough for use for almost any occasion, casual or dressy and they can also be worn for athletic purposes. If you’re a more casual shoe wearer or shopping on a budget, the 500 is the perfect option for you.
With the upgrades that are new for the 550, these might be the better choice for you if you plan on wearing your boots for hiking, mountaineering, and other outdoor adventures. The added traction, stability, and water resistance are essential for any outdoorsman.
Blundstone Redwood Leather Pull-On Boots #1440
Looking After Your Blundstones
Once you’ve made your decision on whether you are going to rock the 500s or the 550s, next up is taking care of your new boots. These boots are built to last but with extra love and care, you can extend the life of your latest purchase.
Blundstone boots are made with various materials and each one requires a different level of care.
- First, remove any caked dirt on your boots with a soft-bristled brush or damp cloth, and allow your boots to air dry. Keep your boots away from direct sunlight or heaters because they will dry out the leather.
- Apply leather polish, spray, or cream to the leather. If you are using the polish for the first time, try it on an inconspicuous area of the boot to check for colorfastness. Apply a small amount of leather cleaner to a polishing cloth or brush and rub it onto the shoe in circular motions. Wipe away the residue and leave it to air dry, again avoiding direct sunlight or heaters.
- Use a dry suede brush to scrub off any surface stains or dirt (if you have any scuff marks, you can remove them with a standard gum eraser).
- Dampen a suede brush with water and put a small amount of suede and leather cleaner on it and clean the shoe, as detailed above in the ‘Cleaning Leather’ section.
- Dab the shoes with a clean towel to remove any excess moisture and leave it to air dry, avoiding direct sunlight or heaters. Once dry, apply a water and stain repellent spray on the shoe.
- Use a dry nubuck cloth to remove any dirt from the surface then brush gently and quickly in a circular motion (if you have any scuffs remove them with a gum eraser).
- Take a dry clean towel and dab the shoes to remove any excess moisture and let air dry (keeping away from direct sunlight or heaters).
- It’s never a bad idea to apply a nubuck water and stain repellent regularly.
- Use a soft-bristled brush (an old toothbrush will work) to scrub away dirt.
- Next, use the same brush or cloth and some warm water and clean the entire surface of the boot.
- In order for the canvas to keep its shape during the air-drying process, put tissue paper, socks or shoe trees inside your boots. DO NOT dry your boots in a tumble dryer, direct sunlight, or near heaters.
- First, remove any large pieces of dirt from the soles of your boots. Then, using a stiff nylon brush, clean between the tread to remove any more excess dirt. If you are having trouble getting rid of all of the dirt, soak your book in a shallow container of warm water for about two hours, and then use your nylon brush to remove the dirt.
- Allow boots to air dry, keeping away from direct sunlight or heaters.
There you have it! From the history of the Blundstone company to what makes a Blundstone boot stand out from the crowd to the differences between the 500 and 550 to proper care and cleaning in order to prolong the life of your boots, whichever pair you decide to purchase is the right decision. I trust you.
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