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Blundstones are everywhere—The New York Times even crowned these rugged, do-it-all Chelsea boots as the shoe of the 2020s. If you haven’t yet hopped onto the trend, now’s your chance to snag a pair that no one else has: The new Blundstone x L.L.Bean Chelsea Boot. It’s based on the Blundstone Original #500, the brand’s most iconic model, and it’s dressed up with new details that nod to L.L.Bean’s New England roots.
The Blundstone x L.L.Bean Chelsea Boot combines style cues and details from both brands. It’s a new twist on the 500, a slip-on boot that Blundstone introduced in 1969 and hasn’t changed much since. Like other Blundstone models, it’s made with a premium leather upper to resist water, dirt, and scrapes, it features dual pull tabs at the top, and it rides on a durable and comfortable sole made from thermoplastic polyurethane. Any fan of L.L.Bean will instantly recognize the brand’s hallmark buffalo plaid, featured prominently on the boot’s elastic gores and on the insole. The upper also features an embossed L.L.Bean logo at the heel.
Blundstone and L.L.Bean are separated by oceans and thousands of miles, but the brands actually have a lot in common. Both companies have been in business for a very long time: L.L.Bean was founded in Maine in 1912, and Blundstone got its start in Hobart, Tasmania way back in 1870. On top of that, both brands are family-owned, and their product lines fill similar niches—durable gear that combines traditional style with serious outdoor performance.
I was able to try a pair, and I can see why people fall in love with Blundstones. The boots are roomy and comfortable (just pay attention to the sizing—my test pair ran large), and they’re surprisingly flexible, so they don’t feel clunky when walking. Aesthetically, they nail the balance between rugged and refined. I definitely prefer the traditional 500 over this collab, as the loud buffalo plaid makes these a little less versatile and a bit harder to style. But if you want to try something different or work another pair of boots into your rotation, the Blundstone x L.L.Bean Chelsea Boot is a great pick.