Forest Fashionable

No one would ever call me an outdoorsy type, but my husband is an avid hiker and I recognize the thigh-firming benefits of a good uphill climb. My problem: Even if I’m miles out in nature, I wouldn’t be caught dead in those drab, shapeless hiking boots that come off as more orthopedic than athletic.

So, I’ve been seeking an outdoors shoe flaunting both support and panache. The answer came to mind when I was looking over old photos from a trip I took to Ireland. While staying in hostels, I met lots of Australians on round-the-world tickets. Their all-purpose footwear?

Blundstone boots.

The rugged, pull-on ankle boots, despite unisex appeal, have sleek, one-piece construction and grow more charming with wear. They work well on the trail with the obvious jeans and fleecy parka, but look plenty cute après-hike with knee socks and a mini (as the younger Australian women back packers wore).

It’s been a decade since my Ireland trip, but I’ve found that Blundstones have only become more easily acquired, cropping up in high-end outdoors stores and through many online retailers. Running about $140 a pair, they’re a little spendy for my budget, but then again, the rugged soles are likely to last longer than the cartilage in my knees (okay, let’s hope not), the elastic side gores allow for all thickness of socks, and the urban-savvy black adds enough polish to transition from copse to cafe if need be.


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