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John Bull History

The story of New Zealand’s iconic footwear brand began in 1934 when the Daisley bootmaking family created boots for the booming industrial and farming markets.

They met the need for strong, safe boots – introducing steel toe caps and flexible moulded soles.

The quality of the boots was recognised when the Daisleys won the contract to supply the New Zealand armed forces in World War 2.

After the war, the Government opened up tracts of land for retired servicemen via a ballot system to clear it for farming or other purposes.

It was a busy time – towns were being built. Everyone pitched in to help. Timber mills were established to cater for the cleared trees. As the new settlers worked, the Daisley family business grew and, along with it, the popularity of the John Bull brand.

In the 70’s and 80’s The New Zealand Government was again embarking on major civil projects such as power station development, water reticulation, boring tunnels through mountainsides and the like. All of these projects needed people to work, and John Bull was there supplying the boots.

The military line continued, with John Bull winning a contract from the military for the supply of combat boots. This enabled the purchase of a dual density sole moulding machine, which was cutting-edge technology in its day. The new boots were soft, quiet, and pliable – a huge improvement over their old, heavy predecessors and a “big deal” in the evolution of the boot.

The brand was acquired by Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd in 2000. Blundstone brought further new technology to the brand, and developed a very successful new range.

Not only did John Bull keep up with technology and the global cut-and-thrust of the footwear world, but it thrived.

Today, John Bull is New Zealand’s leading and most respected boot brand, in a place where conditions demand the very best in protective footwear.

Decades of innovative design and production have meant Kiwi farmers, builders, engineers and many other tradesmen and women have worn footwear that is comfortable, tough and safe. John Bull’s ongoing research and development sees continual improvement in comfort, protection, performance and aesthetics while retaining the traditional robust work boot features that the brand is renowned for.

We are committed to making the highest quality boots for everyday work and comfort. We manufacture our leather footwear overseas with current sourcing from Vietnam, India and China.

We employ our own personnel at the overseas facilities to ensure the standard of manufacturing meets our stringent quality standards. Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd is a Quality Endorsed Company to ISO9001.

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