Blundstone 980 Underground Mining Boot

  • 2015

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

Commissioned By:

Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd

Designed In:


The Blundstone 980 Underground Mining Boot encompasses a suite of innovative technologies offering a range of world-leading features not used before in the mining environment. The boot is designed to overcome longstanding issues with mining boots such as lack of ankle support and stability control, excessive heat, and poor level of comfort. Other leather mining boots on the market were reported not to remain watertight and once sodden had a long drying time. This affected longevity, with leakage and material failures often providing only 8-12 weeks of wear before full replacement was required. The fit-for-purpose 980 boot improves foot health and safety, and boosts overall footwear performance and longevity.

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  • Underground miners are exposed to arguably the harshest conditions of any work environment, yet the shortcomings of footwear available for their use have long been known. In addition to wet feet and the problems mentioned above, wearer comfort suffered due to the material used, with long “break in” periods and the leather becoming stiff after repeated drying cycles. With a strong consumer focus, Blundstone embarked on direct and close consultation with underground miners and management at several sites throughout Australia. Focus groups, underground visits by members of the Blundstone design team and lengthy wear trials were used to determine footwear requirements and design a product to meet all needs.

  • The Blundstone 980 Mining Boot is a new generation product that provides high levels of ankle support and stability while being extremely comfortable, light and fully waterproof. Its PORON® XRD comfort system absorbs up to 90% of the energy impacted upon it, surpassing the performance of competitive materials and boosting underfoot comfort. Wearers who participated in the trial noted a reduction in existing ailments, such as knee and back pain/strain. The boot is expected to reduce absenteeism and associated costs relating to foot health issues and injuries caused by underperforming footwear. Lack of ankle support and stability control is a contributor to musculoskeletal disorders and slip trip fall injuries.

  • As part of the design, research and development process, Blundstone sourced new and innovative materials not previously used in mining boots. Blundstone representatives attended various trial sites to ensure correct fitting. Technologies and designs not previously considered in the field were successfully combined to design a product that addresses the traditional failing of underground boots and the end users' requirements.Trial phase findings indicate a lifespan of up to three times longer than other products used in the same environment. Given the decline in the resource industry, there's increasing pressure for cost savings which this boot delivers in terms of health and safety, and product longevity.

  • Waterproof Leather: The boot is made from a unique high-quality patented leather that's soft and pliable yet offers superior waterproofing, and abrasion, puncture and tear resistance to that of other leather while maintaining flexibility and support. A waterproof membrane is used in the lining, making the boot completely waterproof and breathable. Perspiration can easily escape through the fabric to ensure miners' feet stay dry. Instead of laces which can tear after getting wet, or zips that can break after accumulating mud, the 980 features the Boa® closure system - fully adjustable for a customised fit, free of the stretch, weight and pressure points of traditional closure systems.

    In addition to sustainability benefits arising from longevity and quality of the product, Blundstone is committed to sustainable development policies. We maximise our use of recycled and recyclable materials in our manufacture and packaging and minimise the use of raw material, chemicals and fossil fuels. In 2011, we became signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant and regularly review the sustainability of packaging design. The Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd APC Action Plan 2012-15 may be viewed at:

    The 980 has fundamentally changed the way a mining boot is made. Working directly with miners, experiencing their working environment, enabled our designers to create a purpose-built boot that stands up to the harshest of conditions, while addressing age-old health and safety problems.Centennial Coal says: “This boot is definitely the most innovative boot for underground use." "In my 18+ years in mining, I've never had that immediate comfort factor (including surface boots). My feet remained dry and comfortable. Amazing." "Working in procurement, I've seen the ailments and injuries caused by footwear. This product is incredible." "They didn't sag around my ankle and kept their shape."

    The 980 boot has won several awards, increasing the brand value of the company and likely to result in a significant return on the investment made on design. The product represents good value for money, as employers realise the benefits of reduced costs associated with personnel illness and injury, improved productivity and reduced cost and wastage of PPE. The boot was introduced to market in April 2014 amid strong competition. The mining sector in Australia currently employs around 2.2% of the total labour force - around 129,000 people. Health and safety is of critical importance to the industry. This new generation boot is a pioneering product that will serve the industry well for decades to come.