Blundstone 500 vs. 550 Boots Comparison

Blundstone is a popular Australian brand that is also popular in America.

Arguably, two of its most famous models are the Blundstone 500 and 550. So what is the difference between Blundstone 500 and 550?

The biggest difference between the Blundstone 500 and 550 is that the 550 has a full interior leather lining at the heel and synthetic lining at the forefoot. Because of this, the Blundstone 550 fits more tightly and helps your foot to stay warmer.

However, both boots are very similar and very hard to tell apart. In this post, let’s examine all of their differences and compare Blundstone 500 vs. 550.

How to Break in Blundstone Boots Qu...
How to Break in Blundstone Boots Quickly
Blundstone 500 vs. 550 Comparison

Blundstone 500 (buy on Amazon):

  • Built-in toe spring
  • Memory foam insert
  • No interior leather lining

Blundstone 550 (buy on Amazon):

  • Built-in toe spring
  • Memory foam insert
  • Full interior leather lining

Blundstone 500 (Original) and 550 (Classic) Similarities

Let’s start with the similarities first. Like the Blundstone 550, the Blundstone 500 boot is formed using one piece of continuous leather that wraps around under the foot.

The structure of both boots is glued directly to the midsole. Additionally, both Blundstone 500 and 550 have a built-in toe spring for forefoot comfort and a steel shank that gives the boots better stability over uneven surfaces.

Instead of laces, strong and elastic Gore-tex material holds both boots on your feet.

Similarly, both the midsole of the Blundstone 500 and 550 are made of polyurethane with a memory foam insert in the heel. The heel cups are well-formed to prevent slippage, and that is very important when you are wearing a boot with no laces.

Blundstone 500 (Original) and 550 (Classic) Differences

After comparing both the Blundstone 500 and 550 side by side, I’ve managed to find no less than 5 key differences. Here are the differences explained in greater detail.

1. Blundstone 550 has a wider fit than Blundstone 500.

The first difference, which many Blundstone wearers may not notice is the fit.

The Blundstone 550, which is part of the Classics series, has a wider fit compared to the Blundstone 500, which is part of the Originals series. Therefore, the Blundstone 550 is more ideal for those with bigger feet who could use more room.

Looking at both boots closer, I’ve noticed that the Blundstone 550 has a more rounded nose with a more loose-fitting instep. The nose of the Blundstone 500, however, is less rounded and the instep sits a little snugger.

Personally, I like the rounded nose of the Blundstone 550 because it gives me more room for my toes, but it can be different for you.

2. Blundstone 500 has no arch stitch.

Stitching is a big differentiator between the 500 and 550. The Blundstone 500 lacks an extra line of stitching at the inside arch. It is also single-stitched throughout the heel. 

Contrast the stitching to the Blundstone 550 and you will notice that not only is there a line of stitching at the inside arch, but it is also double-stitched at the heel. 

Blundstone 500 has no line of stitching, with single-stitched heels.
Blundstone 550 has an extra line of stitching, with double-stitched heels.

Some people say that the Blundstone 550 is stouter (stronger and heavier build) because of its stitched structure. However, others say that they prefer to not have that arch stitch because it is one less seam to rub against.

Sure, the extra line of stitching is a minor difference, but in my opinion, the Blundstone 550 provides better foot security due to the extra line of stitching. 

The double stitches at the heel add more strength and durability too.

3. Blundstone 550 has a full leather interior lining.

The biggest difference between the Blundstone 500 and 550 is that the 550 has a fully-lined tan leather lining at the heel and synthetic lining at the forefoot. Because of this, the Blundstone 550 runs hotter, fits more tightly, and helps your foot to stay warmer.

On the other hand, the Blundstone 500 has a touch of black leather lining at the heel and on the tongue, however, the rest of the boot is exposed soft leather.

Because of this, the Blundstone 500 flexes much better since there’s nothing between your foot and the leather, however, moisture and warmth can escape more easily.

Personally, I prefer the fully-lined leather lining of the Blundstone 550 because it fits snugger and provides more warmth since I typically wear boots only when it’s cold.

However, compared to the 550, the Blundstone 500 is more wearable all year round because they don’t get clammy in cold weather and they don’t get swampy in warmer weather. 

4. Blundstone 500 and 550 outsoles both use thermoplastic polyurethane, but have different patterns.

Around 2008, Blundstone decided to change the material of their boots’ outsoles. They used to be polyurethane, also known as PU, but it is a material that has the tendency to crumble when unused or stored for a very long time.

Now, Blundstone 500 and 550 boots’ outsoles are made of thermoplastic polyurethane or TPU for short. Outsoles made of TPU are tougher and harder to break down.

Blundstone 500 outsole pattern:

Blundstone 550 outsole pattern:

Aside from the slight difference between the outsole pattern of the Blundstone 500 and 550, and the designation “SPS extra” on the 550, the outsoles feel very similar.

5. Blundstone 550’s footbed is thicker than Blundstone 500’s footbed.

The 550’s footbed is thicker than the 500’s footbed and is covered in soft, velvety fabric. On the other hand, the 500’s footbed is thin and is covered in Cambrelle, a non-woven synthetic material that dries fast and can absorb several times its volume in moisture.

If you flip both footbeds over, you will see a memory foam disc attached to the heel of the Blundstone’s 550 footbed, which adds extra comfort.

The thickness and softness of the Blundstone 550’s footbed show that the boots are made for colder weather, while the Blundstone 500 is more suitable for everyday wear.

However, there is virtually zero difference in the sole thickness between the two. From a few feet away the Blundstone 550 and 500 are pretty much indistinguishable.

My Recommendation

Now that you know their differences, it’s important to note that the Blundstone 500 is also known as the Original, whereas the 550 is also known as the Classic.

So, to recap: the Original 500 series boots are un-lined and the sole is slightly less cushioned than the Classic series. They do not come with an additional spare insole.

On the other hand, the Classic 550 boots are lined with leather, equipped with softer and even more durable soles. They also come with an additional thin insole which can be placed under the footbed for a more snug fit, or used without the footbed to provide a looser fit.

Both the Blundstone 500 and 550, however, are nicely designed Chelsea boots, and as you break them in, the differences will become even tougher to spot.

Whether they are good for the wintertime depends on the climate in your area. When combined with thick wool socks, they’re perfect for the winters here in California because temperatures on the West Coast rarely hit freezing.

However, if you live in an extremely cold part of the world, the Blundstone Thermal series might be better for you because they have Thinsulate linings.

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Final verdict

WINNER: Blundstone 550

Blundstone 500 (buy on Amazon):

  • Built-in toe spring
  • Memory foam insert
  • No interior leather lining

Blundstone 550 (buy on Amazon):

  • Built-in toe spring
  • Memory foam insert
  • Full interior leather lining

I would say that both the Blundstone 500 and 550 are aesthetically the same, except for the additional stitching and different outsole patterns. 

The Blundstone 500 is great for daily wear because it is an amazing pair of Chelsea boots. However, I think that the Blundstone 550 is slightly more comfortable than the 500 because of the interior leather lining and more cushioned footbed.

And there you have it, the Blundstone 500 vs. 550 comparisons. Because both Chelsea boots are very hard to tell apart, I hope my comparison review has been helpful for you.

Reviewed by: Robert Martin