Founded just two years ago by entrepreneur Eric Girouard, Brunt Workwear is an up-and-coming workwear brand making big waves in the world of footwear and apparel for men who spend their entire working days beating the crap out of said footwear and clothing on the job site. And while I can’t claim to be a blue-collar worker, I definitely grew up in a blue-collar family, watching my father go from coal miner to construction worker and back to a coal miner in the span of about 15 years.
Back in his day, work boots were cheap, mostly leather, steel-toed if you were lucky, but almost no attention was paid to comfort, warmth or versatility. Todays’ work boots are, of course, a whole other ball game. Many leading companies have taken up the mantle of producing incredibly comfortable, capable and, in many cases, stylish work boots. That’s exactly the case we have in front of us with Brunt Workwear’s The Perkins boots.
I’ve been testing these boots in various light work scenarios over the past month and have to admit that, while they are only my third pair of work boots I’ve ever owned, they are by far the best pair of work boots my feet have settled into.
But before I tell you all about The Perkins boots, let’s first explore the company’s offering. As a result of only being around for about two years, the company’s lineup of products isn’t overly extensive, though they offer a decent selection of work boots on the footwear side. Brunt currently sells nine models of boots varying from unlined boots for warmer climates to super-lightweight and light-duty work shoes to Women’s work boots (The Marin) and heavier-duty boots for men like The Perkins are the main topic of this review.
On the apparel side, the company sells a work-focused hoodie/jacket combo. Also, it sells some branded hats, beanies, t-shirts, a hi-visibility safety vest and a few other accessories.
The Perkins Review
The Perkins is an excellent all-around work boot with a high level of versatility and a very reasonable retail price of $155. What you get for that money is a comfortable and feature-laden work boot that you can use on nearly any job. Features include:
- Available in sizes 7-14
- It is made of full-grain leather construction with double-stitching in a lot of spots from what I could see.
- Six-inch height
- Can convert from regular width to wide (EE) width with the removal of a built-in insert
- Electric hazard rated
- Includes a composite nano-toe that is both stronger and lighter than steel
- Slip and oil-resistant, though I can’t say that I could test this in particularly slippery conditions. I’ll come back and update this review once I’ve put these boots through a season of Ottawa’s icy and slippery winters.
- A durable toe cap and heel guard
- Pass through or wrap-around lace hooks with heavy-duty eyelets
- Meets ASTM F2413-18 standards.
The insole of this work boot is where a lot of the magic happens. It’s a three-layer insole with a non-stick top layer designed to serve as a non-stick surface for your foot to rest on. The middle layer is made of memory foam to allow your foot to become moulded with comfort, while the bottom layer of the insole is made of a cushy material for added bounce. Another excellent feature of The Perkins is a composite shank that prevents you from feeling ladders or ruts during the course of your workday, surely a feature designed to provide more comfort and keep your feet from being too sore at the end of a long day.
My Experience with The Perkins Work Boots
I’ve readily admitted that I’m one of those people who have incredibly dainty feet on more than one occasion. Seriously, I’m one of those people that wears water shoes on even sandy beaches. So it should probably carry some weight with you when I say that I found these work boots very comfortable. But more importantly than that, I found them to be far less abrasive than any other boots I’ve purchased, including hiking boots.
While I don’t agree with many of the online commentaries that these boots required no break-in period, the break-in period for me was about four days, wearing them most of the day each day. Since then, slipping into these boots has been like slipping into a comfortable well-trodden pair of sneakers, but with a lot more protection all around. Some very nice padded collars around the ankle are part of the comfort, which provide extra support and cushion around that part of your foot.
Most work boots are unfortunately bestowed with the attribute of making them heavy. In part, this is understandable as the boots require some level of layering to protect from kinetic damage, water and, of course, electric shock. I’m happy to report that the Perkins boots are quite light for what they offer the wearer. Coming in at only 1.96 lbs for a single size nine boot, these boots compare quite favourably against some of their top competitors on the market.
Some of the testing that I’ve included during my time with The Perkins has included:
- Submerging them in 3 inches of water with my feet in them – passed with flying colours – no water intrusion after 15 minutes of standing in that puddle.
- Dropped a framing hammer from about five feet onto the toe – no damage or ingress into the foot.
- Dragged them through the heavy mud and puddles with no water ingress to report of.
- Wearing them during re-building parts of my backyard deck that had rotted away.
It’s safe to say that while I can’t say that I’m an experienced handyman, construction worker or blue-collar worker, I have now experienced enough of these boots, along with reading hundreds of online reviews to conclude that The Perkins from Brunt Workwear makes for an excellent all-around work boot. They’re comfortable, look good, and frankly should probably retail for about $100 more than they currently sell for.