The Exploding Blundstone, Part 2

4 Jun

Last week I went to two different cobblers before making a decision to have my Blundstone Style 550 re-soled. I opted for the second cobbler, who happened to be the one who fixed my first pair when the boots had this Hydrolysis issue too. Even after all these years, the cobbler still have the same sole choice but I chose not to go with it this time.

Instead I picked something more rugged but heavier. It’s okay, I like it.

Also, I did write to Blundstone Australia to inform them that my boots experienced Hydrolysis. This time via Messenger privately and not publicly as a post on their Facebook wall.

They responded pretty quick and nicely too (best customer service, remember?), and directed me to Customer Service for Claims. So I filled in the necessary information, submitted my claims and within a short time, an acknowledgement email came stating a file was opened on my case. Super efficient!

I kept telling myself not to expect anything – after all this was already a replacement pair. Can’t expect another replacement for the replacement pair, right? What they did for me – replacing the first pair was already above and beyond, and to expect the same this time just does not seem right. Realistically, from the business perspective it would be bad for them as they just can’t go replacing every pair of boots with this known Hydrolysis problem.

The sole is a rubber/PU/TPU compound and over time, the material will disintegrate whether the boots are used or hardly used because moisture from the air is absorbed by the compound. If the boots are worn more often, Hydrolysis will still occur but possibly reduced.

After some back and forth emails to understand the mishap, the investigation concluded and Customer Service deemed there won’t be any compensation or warranty in this instance. The soles of my boots disintegrated due to Hydrolysis, a known common occurrence in humid environments and not because it’s a product, design or manufacturing fault.

I guess this is something one has to be aware of when buying shoes from overseas to bring back to your country. That being said, the humidity level in Malaysia is very high, so shoes purchased from overseas depending on material, may be prone to the humidity and disintegrate or explode upon pressure from our weight.

My only regret from this experience is that I didn’t wear this pair of Blundstone enough before this mishap. Oh well… Anyway, my boots are now fitted with new soles that I like and are still comfy. I should wear them more often and not just keep in the shoe closet. And I will happily go stomping in puddles when it rains because I know my toes will be dry.


Brand new again and looking fierce but comfortable!

6 Responses to “The Exploding Blundstone, Part 2”

  1. Zarul May 15, 2021 at 4:05 pm #

    Hye im zarul and i also have a pair of bluntstone. Well mine now it on its way to lose it sole. Can i know where do you send your shoe to re sole?

    • angieneering101 May 15, 2021 at 4:08 pm #

      Hi. Thank you for reading my blog. Nice to know you have a pair too. Aren’t they great? Well, I sent mine to one of those professional cobblers in the mall. But be prepared to have a different looking sole and different feeling wearing it. It’s not the same but at least, you can salvage the top part of the great boots. Good luck!

      • simoninthepark January 16, 2022 at 10:29 pm #

        Hi angieneering, I came across your post after researching the crumbling sole issue with my Blundstone boots. I’m very disappointed to learn this is an acceptable manufacturing practice for the company. I too live in a humid environment in Texas USA. I bought my 2 pair in March 2015 and start noticing the crumbling in late 2021. So almost 6 years is not too bad but considering my Doc Marten’s are over 25 years old and still have the sole is saying something. This issue also happened to a pair of ballet training shoes but it was much worse. I’m going to message the company about my boots but will probably not be expecting much considering the store in Sydney is no longer there and I do not have my proof of purchase receipt anymore.

      • angieneering101 January 16, 2022 at 10:57 pm #

        Hi. Thank you for visiting my blog, appreciate it.

        It’s unfortunate that Blundstone owner living in humid environments face this problem. While I was fortunate enough to have a replacement pair sent to me without question, this may not be so for others. In fact, my second pair faced the same problem too but no more replacement.

        All the best to you in writing to them, no harm trying after all.

  2. Rudy Martinez July 15, 2022 at 3:15 am #

    To simoninthepark, the first generation of “exploding soles” came and went, early 2010s, and the explanation was that those boots were the first generation of boots produced in china. They used to make them in Tasmania. And they told us that the Chinese were very lax in the production, lots of issues with hydrolysis. They even explained to us that it wasn’t an acceptable manufacturing practice, that the Chinese tried several manufacturing process shortcuts that didnt pan out. And, that they send an OZ or Tasmanian rep to supervise the future production. I got my boots in 2012 but didnt wear them for 2 months. When I did, they exploded. Then I found Russell Crowes tweets and found it was a world-wide phenomenon. I got in touch with Blundstone USA, Aust. and Canada, and they all said I just missed the replacement deadline. USA asked me for a receipt. Seriously, who keeps receipts on boots? A toaster, a transmission job, but boots? The fact that I’m calling and that I bought $200 boots should be my “receipt”. And they knew it was a problem. I have to give credit to Canada Blundstone, when I told them that my puppy had chewed the pull tabs up on my new Blunnies, they sent me 8 new tabs. So I bought new 500s in 2015. Heavy use from 2015-2017, on and off from
    2018-2019, and 2019-2022 when I used them for garden and restoration of my rental cottages. Then last month, they began to shred up again. Ok, this time the boots lasted 7 years instead of 1 year, but they still shredded. I say, if they are going to produce boots whose soles fall apart instead of wearing out, then bring them down to $100. I uinderstand that they are made with no welt, would that be a big obstacle to re-soling? I was thinking just an old fashioned Vibram.

  3. Marc L. November 22, 2022 at 4:00 am #

    This (HYDROLYSIS) is totally due to faulty design… it’s my 3rd pair of Blundstone that is going through that problem. Meanwhile, I do have a pair of hiking boots… I bought them 13 years ago… I wore them in all kinds of conditions, all year round, and the soles never gave out… you tell me!

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