Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
Amazingly comfortable; THE shoe for long perios on your feet, but some minor caveats
on 14 June 2012
Redbacks are a rarity in the UK but a staple in Australia. They are amazingly, amazingly comfortable because they're pressure point free on the upper foot and the sole and because the micro-bubble sole seems to eat shock. If you need to be on your feet all day, these are these shoes to wear. They also provide a decent amount of ankle support in a comfortable and unobtrusive way - not as much as a hiking boot, but some. And they're hard-wearing, easy to clean, and provide excellent grip.
So what are the caveats? Well -
1. If you have narrow feet, you might not be able to wear them. The regular boot is somewhat wide and the half sizes are genuine extra wides (but otherwise the same size as a regular - i.e. an 11.5 is 11 Extra Wide.)
2. The safety boots versions have steel toe caps but I'm fairly sure they don't have the sole protection expected of real safety boots in the UK.
3. These are not, not, DEFINITELY NOT hiking boots for UK conditions. The soles are too flexible. Which isn't to say that you'll explode if you walk offroad in them - more so than trainers and perhaps even most "adventure sandals"; just don't buy them thinking they're ideal for doing the Munros in.
4. I might be wrong, but I think they can a little stinky when you take them off. Which is odd, because they're seem to have the usual breathability of leather boots - I might be fooling myself by wearing them longer and more often than other shoes. Anyway, this problem is easily with by dropping a shoe-ball type deodourizer into each boot.
Compared to other similar looking Australian boots, these are definitely the ones to get. The advanced sole technology (the bottom of the sole is covered in translucent faintly blue "micro-bubble" gel and this seems to be the stuff that provides the grip and much of the comfort) is the biggest reason. But the uppers are also excellent - double stitched out of extra-thick oiled leather. And unlike their main competitor, they still make their boots in Australia instead of pushing up profit margins by using Third World sweatshop labour.