Equipment and Machinery

Blundstone #8560 Rotoflex® Unisex safety boots

#8560

The #8560 is the pinnacle of the Blundstone Rotoflex range. The wheat, 6-inch unisex zip-sided safety boot offers new comfort systems and lightweight composite toe protection, all with legendary Blundstone durability and reliability.

The #8560 is the pinnacle of the Blundstone Rotoflex range. The wheat, 6-inch unisex zip-sided safety boot offers new comfort systems and lightweight composite toe protection, all with legendary Blundstone durability and reliability.

There’s a heap of new technologies and features, like SoftCell®, the overarching comfort system utilising a combination of specialist materials and the unique biomechanical foot-cradling design to increase stability, and AirCell®, a uniquely constructed, zoned-airflow footbed with specialised breathing channels to activate ventilation and moisture control, as well as provide full-body cushioned comfort. The footbed is anti-bacterial, washable and breathable.

For contractors slogging out long days in the sun, those features quickly add up to a very well-rounded and sophisticated safety boot.

Other new technologies and features include:

• Infinergy® from BASF – an E-TPU, super-elastic energy foam, soft but resilient, providing enhanced cushioning and impact reduction every step of the way

• GripTek® – a biomechanically designed TPU outsole for optimum grip and stability. It’s abrasion-resistant and heat-resistant to 140°C, as well as resistant to oil, acid, organic fat and highly resistant to hydrolysis and microbial attack

• Fortalite® – the broad-fitting, compression- resistant composite toe cap provides safety without weight. It’s airport-friendly and tested to handle a 200-joule impact.

It’s also great to see several components of the boot, including the new lining and laces, are made from recycled PET, with the lining providing moisture-wicking and long-lasting performance.

Graham Groeneveld from SCR, who specialises in all aspects of carpentry and building maintenance, agreed to put the Blundstones to the test for us. Graham’s been in the business for over 25 years and is a gun on the tools.

Test #1: Comfort, flexibility and stability

It’s clear looking at the RotoFlex #8560s that Blundstone has pulled out all the stops with these premium workboots. We caught up with Graham on several different worksites to get a broad feel for the boot’s performance in different environments, everything from scaffolding on 5-level apartment blocks to working at ground level with saws, nail guns and various other power tools.

“The boots feel surprisingly natural and comfortable from the very first wear,” laced Graham. “You need stability and sure- footedness climbing through the scaffold at heights. These boots had that in spades. The grip was excellent, and the 150mm boot provided impressive ankle support.

“On the ground, the flexibility of the boot when crouching, kneeling, and generally bending was impressive. A lot of boots I’ve worn just don’t provide this level of comfort and movement.”

Test #2: Safety

After getting familiar with the vast number of features that combine to offer unparalleled levels of safety in a lightweight workboot, there are simply too many features on the #8560 to list in any detail. But after testing and wearing the boots for several weeks, the key elements that jumped out were the reduced risk of ankle rolls, the impressive composite toe cap, the TPU toe covering, and the strength of the GripTek outer sole. Together those last three prevent pretty much anything from penetrating the boot.

From intense heat to impressive grip and control, the wearer’s protected from all angles, and the water-resistant nubuck leather upper makes for dry feet on wet jobs.

Bonus!

The good, the bad and the ugly

My feet haven’t felt this secure or comfortable in a work boot before, and a 30-day comfort guarantee, along with a six-month manufacturing warranty, shows the level of confidence Blundstone has in the RotoFlex #8560 workboot. It’s easy to be just a little overwhelmed by all the features, so I’d recommend trying them on next time you’re in the market for boots, and let the experience and comfort do the rest.

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