Work boots are an essential item for many tradespeople and laborers who spend long hours on their feet performing physically demanding jobs. When choosing work boots, factors like comfort, durability, safety features, and price come into play.
Another consideration for some buyers is where the boots are made, with a preference for American-made boots. In this article, we’ll take a look at Brunt Work Boots— discussing where they’re made, their key features, pros and cons, and how they compare to other popular work boot brands.
Background on Brunt Work Boots
Brunt Work Boots is a relative newcomer to the work boot scene, having launched their first boot models in 2020. Based in North Reading, Massachusetts, Brunt was founded by Eric Girouard after being inspired by friends in the trades.
Brunt’s goal is to provide high-quality, comfortable work boots at an affordable direct-to-consumer price point. They currently offer six boot models: The Marin, The Kasparian, The Bolduc, The Ryng, The Perkins, and The DiStasio.
Where Are Brunt Boots Made?
While Brunt is an American company, their boots are not made in the USA. Instead, Brunt work boots are manufactured in Jinjiang, China.
There are a few reasons Brunt chose overseas production:
- Cost savings – Labor and materials are less expensive in China, allowing Brunt to offer lower retail prices.
- Lack of US facilities – The specialized technology and equipment used to make Brunt boots is not readily available in US factories.
- Faster production – Large Chinese factories can churn out boots at a higher volume.
So in summary, Brunt boots are designed in America but made in China as a way to deliver affordable prices direct to consumers.
Features of Brunt Work Boots
Even though they’re not American-made, Brunt promotes their boots as high-quality and crafted with workers in mind. Here are some of the advertised features:
- Weatherproof full-grain leather
- Slip-resistant rubber outsoles
- Foam midsoles for shock absorption
- Triple-layer comfort insoles
- Reinforced stitching in high-wear areas
- Speed hooks and alternative lacing
- Width-adjustable inserts
Brunt states their boots meet ASTM safety standards and have a focus on comfort through long work days.
Also Read: An In-Depth Comparison of Amoji VS Crocs
Overview of the Popular Brunt Marin Boots
The Brunt Marin boot is one of their most popular styles, offered in six variations to suit different needs. The Marin is a 6-inch lace-up boot with a moccasin-toe design. It has a medium brown leather upper and a wedged white rubber outer sole.
Some key features found across all versions of the Marin include:
- Adjustable inserts to customize fit
- Slip-resistant outsoles
- Shock-absorbing midsoles
- Durable triple layer waterproofing
The Marin is available in safety toe and non-safety toe options, as well as insulated and non-insulated models depending on job conditions.
Pros of Brunt Work Boots
Based on customer reviews and product details, here are some of the notable upsides of Brunt work boots:
Comfortable right away – Require almost no break-in period. Reviewers say the boots feel broken-in and ready for long days on your feet as soon as you put them on, with no pain or blisters common in stiff new boots.
Supportive insoles – Multi-layered insoles provide cushioning and support. The triple-layer padded insoles give all-day comfort and impact absorption, with moisture-wicking tops to keep your feet dry.
Traction grip – Rubber outsoles grip well on slippery surfaces. The deep lugs and rubber compound of the outsoles provide stellar grip and traction on wet, oily, or muddy job sites.
Adjustable fit – Inserts allow you to tweak the width for a custom fit. Brunt’s unique width-adjusting inserts let you customize the boot’s fit. If it feels tight, remove an insert for a roomier fit.
Affordable pricing – Direct-to-consumer model offers lower prices. By selling directly to consumers online, Brunt avoids retailer markups and passes significant savings down to buyers.
Free shipping and returns – Order online risk-free. Brunt offers free shipping and returns in the continental US, making online ordering hassle-free. Try them at home at no cost.
30-day trial period – Test out the boots on the job. Brunt allows returns during a 30-day trial period with no questions asked. Put them through real job site conditions.
Cons of Brunt Work Boots
On the potential downside, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Not USA-made – Some buyers specifically want American manufacturing. For shoppers who only want USA-made boots, Brunt is not an option since their production is in China.
Cemented construction – Soles glued rather than stitched, less rebuildable. The glued soles may separate down the road and can’t be restitched like a Goodyear welt. Longevity is a concern.
Durability concerns – Being a new brand, long-term durability is unproven. There’s no long-term track record yet for Brunt since they launched in 2020. Quality and lifespan have not been vetted.
Must order online – No opportunity to try in store before buying. With no retailer presence, you have to order before trying them on. Fit may vary.
Limited styles – Only six boot models currently available. Brunt has a very limited selection with only 6 styles. Other brands offer more variety and silhouettes.
How Brunt Compares to Other Brands
Brunt boots offer noticeable advantages over cheaper brands in comfort and support, but don’t have the reputation of top-tier boot companies. Here’s how Brunt generally stacks up:
- More affordable than American-made brands like Red Wing and Thorogood.
- Comparable comfort and quality to Timberland Pro and Wolverine boots.
- Significantly more comfortable out of the box than entry-level brands like Dickies and Skechers.
- Not yet equal to the reputation and guaranteed durability of Red Wing, Danner, or Carolina boots.
Brunt fills a desirable space between budget boots and premium brands. The rapport with workers and jobsite testing are pluses, while made in China and glued construction are caveats.
What American Boot Brands Still Manufacture in the USA?
Several leading boot companies maintain some or all domestic manufacturing:
- Thorogood – Union-made in Wisconsin
- Danner – Production in Portland, Oregon
- Carolina – Many styles made in North Carolina
- Matterhorn – Factory in Big Rapids, Michigan
- Keen – Portland, Oregon based company
- Double H – Handcrafted in Pennsylvania
- Justin Brands – Texas heritage brand, some US production
However, even these brands outsource some boot production to China and other countries. Check tags to confirm.
When Did Brunt Boots First Hit the Market?
Brunt Work Boots made its debut in 2020, releasing their initial boot models that year. Founder Eric Girouard spent over two years designing and developing the boots prior to launch.
How Do Brunt Boots Compare to Red Wings?
Red Wing and Brunt both offer supportive, comfortable boots, but differ in their manufacturing:
- Red Wing has an established reputation for quality and durability, while Brunt is still proving itself.
- Some Red Wing boots are US-made while Brunt boots are imported.
- Brunt boots require almost no break-in compared to Red Wing’s longer break-in periods.
- Brunt boots are more budget-friendly, roughly $150+ cheaper than comparable Red Wing styles.
- Brunt offers more contemporary and casual boot styles versus Red Wing’s more classic workboot silhouettes.
Both are good mid-tier options, but Red Wing edges out in longevity while Brunt wins on affordability.
If you’re thinking about purchasing work boots from the new brand Brunt, there are a few important factors to weigh:
One great perk offered by Brunt is their generous return policy. You can return boots for any reason within 30 days, even if you’ve worn them to work sites.
They also provide free shipping and returns, taking the hassle out of the process if the boots don’t meet your needs. This policy makes taking a chance on the new brand less risky.
Since Brunt sells direct-to-consumer online, you can’t try the boots on in a store before buying. Be sure to carefully measure your feet and review sizing charts on their site for the best fit. Expect a brief break-in period.
New Brand Reputation
As a newcomer founded in 2020, Brunt doesn’t have a long-proven reputation like legacy brands. While reviews are positive so far, long-term durability and longevity remain unknown. Defects or quality issues can occur.
At $139-$179, Brunt hits an attractive price point between discount and premium boots. But corner-cutting materials or rushed construction could negatively impact performance. Quality control may not match veteran brands.