Farming

Farmer whose $318 boots fell apart told to take better care

A Gisborne farmer is continuing his campaign for longer-lasting, hard-wearing boots for Kiwis, after getting a free pair from Blundstone having raised the issue on Fair Go.

Brett Loffler was fed up that the sole of his boots had disintegrated on two pairs of Blundstone boots after wearing them in the sheep paddocks. Blundstone agreed to send his old boots to his team of assessors.

Loffler was hoping the company would see that a redesign was needed or a change of materials so the boots would be hardy enough for New Zealand farming conditions. Instead, Blundstone sent him a complimentary pair and explained that his problem was due to a “microbiological attack” that might be prevented with better care of the soles.

Loffler says he’s not the only one fed up with the state of footwear for farmers, within hours of his story appearing on Fair Go, there were lots of Facebook responses from others all complaining of the same problem, both with Blundstone boots and other brands.

READ MORE: Farmer told not to wear $318 boots in sheep yard after they fell apart

So, he was disappointed the company didn’t see this as an opportunity to improve its product. “Giving me a new pair of boots, it’s going to be the same old problem, they’re not improving things.”

According to Blundstone, the disintegration was caused by frequent exposure to moisture, manure and potential chemicals which allowed bacteria to eat through the treads on the out-sole, and that then led to the breakdown of the mid-sole.

However, Loffler says there’s no way of avoiding such exposure when working on a farm. Blundstone advised that regular cleaning and waterproofing could help, but Loffler says cleaning requires water which the company is saying is part of the problem.

He’s of the firm opinion that “the boots aren’t suitable for farming, that’s the truth of the matter” and believes they shouldn’t be sold in farming retail stores.

After the story went to air, Loffler was also sent complimentary boots from the manufacturers Turtle, Olivers and Bata. “I’m overwhelmed with all these,” he told Fair Go.

He’s keen to see if any of them fare better than Blundstone’s, so will be putting them to the test in his sheep paddock. “I’m going to be wearing all these boots for the rest of my life.”

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