We’re going to talk about Redback Boots, specifically their Easy Escape (UBBK), one of their most popular models for work. You might not have heard of Redback before (they’re not as well known as Australia’s other chelsea boot leader, Blundstone) but they’ve become popular because of their well-priced, durable workboots.
Founded in 1925, Redback Boots is a family-owned Australian footwear manufacturer specializing in lightweight work boots. They pride themselves on making 100% Australian-made and assembled boots — unlike Blundstone, incidentally, who make their Chelseas in Asia.
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, are Redback Easy Escape boots any good? We’ll help answer your question by looking at the specs, construction, fit, and how comfortable they are on the job. Hopefully, my twenty years of work boot experience will help you find a pair that works as hard as you do.
But first, a little about my work environment.
How I Tested My Redback Boots
I bought these gently used boots on Facebook Marketplace and have been wearing them for about four months as a Level III Water Plant Operator in Ohio performing light- to medium-duty work.
Redback Easy Escape UBBK Pros and Cons
Here’s a quick rundown of the positives and negatives of these boots to help you quickly decide if they’re right for you.
- Lightweight work boot
- High-quality leather
- Available in soft-toe, steel-toe, or rubber-capped steel-toe versions
- No break-in period
- Great for my flat feet
- EH rated to 1,500 volts
- Excellent shock absorption and comfort
- Double stitched for added durability
- Easy to pull on and off, no laces to get wet in snow or rain
- Not resoleable
- Must be worn regularly to keep midsole from crumbling
- Sole is squeaky on hard floors when wet
- More expensive than similar boots (as they’re made in a developed country)
- Lack of laces may give a less supportive feel in heel vs. laced boot
Redback Easy Escape UBBK Quick Specs
|Electric Hazard rated
|Country of Origin
Redback Easy Escape Construction
The Redback Easy Escape is a lightweight work boot that’s made with durable, thick leather, grippy outsoles, and snug heel counter.
- Unusually thick full-grain leather
- Chrome-tanned and oiled for extra water resistance
- Durable and scratch resistant
The Easy Escape features three panels of thick leather with tight grain, measuring 2.5 to 2.8 millimeters thick. The spec sheet Redback provided me states 2.4-2.6mm, and my boots measure within 2.5-2.8mm. This is thicker than you’ll find in many traditional, welted boots like Red Wing Heritage, and it’s unusually thick for an actual working man’s boot.
How a hide is tanned determines the quality, durability, and look of the material that makes up all the best boots. Check out how →
This leather is smooth, which is what Redback calls its “Black Oil Kip” color on this boot. The leather is fully chromed and oiled during the tanning process. Sometimes this is called “oil tanning,” and it makes the leather extra water resistant and hard wearing. I have found the leather to be fairly scratch-resistant.
Redback Easy Escape UBBK Sole
- Heat-bonded “direct attach” sole
- Air bubble-filled midsole with great shock absorption
- Abrasion-, oil- , and acid-resistant
- Heat-resistant up to approximately 392 F
The sole of the Redback Easy Escape is attached to the upper with direct attach construction. What does this mean?
It means molten or liquid thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) material is applied under pressure onto the upper leather fibers. The sole becomes bonded directly with the upper without the use of stitches, screws, or glue. It’s actually not dissimilar to the way Dr. Martens boots are “welted.”
Unfortunately, like Dr. Martens, method of construction makes this boot unable to be resoled. But it does make the sole much less likely to peel away from the upper than your typical glued (or “cemented”) work boots.
The midsole makes it very lightweight. Instead of heavy vegetable tanned leather (common, again, in more high-end casual boots) Redback uses a direct injection air cushion polyurethane midsole, packed with millions of air bubbles. This feature provides enhanced shock absorption and energy return properties.
The outsole is made from a thermoplastic polyurethane rubber. I would describe it as slightly squishy to the touch, and it is squeaky on hard floors while walking when the boots are wet. The traction on the soles could be described as mid-depth, providing sure footing without being overly aggressive.
There is a defined but not-too-tall heel at about 0.2”. It’s actually so slight that you might want to check with your work to see if it is allowed before purchase.
The sole is also abrasion-, oil-, acid-, and heat-resistant up to approximately 392 degrees Fahrenheit. The polyurethane midsole is susceptible to hydrolysis, and you’ll have to use these boots to keep them from breaking down and crumbling. You don’t want to keep these stored for long periods of time. These boots are meant to be worn.
Redback Easy Escape Heel Counter
- Hidden heel counter
- Stiff and supportive in the heel area
- Minimal rubbing and friction
The Redback Easy Escape UBBK has an unusual heel counter. Other boots have the heel counter inside the boot, and your heel may rub on it while slipping the boot on. Redback’s is a Rhenoflex thermoplastic stiffener with woven polymer, and it’s enclosed between the largest piece of leather and the smaller piece of leather at the heel. You can’t see it, but its presence adds stiffness and support to the heel area. I only knew about the heel counter from seeing the crosscut diagram of a Redback boot on their website.
Are the Redback Easy Escape Comfortable?
- Roomy and comfortable toe box
- Excellent arch support, even for the flat-footed
- Great shock absorption and energy rebound
The Redback Easy Escape UBBK is extremely comfortable, in my opinion. As mentioned previously, I wear these boots frequently at work. Sometimes, I even pick up a shift and work sixteen hours a night. These boots have provided me with nothing but comfort since I purchased them.
Toe Box Space
I’d consider the toe box for this model to be fairly decent in size as it measures in at about four inches. Let it be noted that the steel-toed versions (USBBKSC & USBBK) are said to have an even larger toe box area to help keep your feet from being crowded by the steel toe.
Redback refers to the arch support as their “Anatomic Support System.” The heel-to-toe drop is approximately 0.75”, with the heel measuring 1.5” in height and the toe box area about 0.75”.
The design of the footbed cradles the foot and helps to reduce sagging in the arch of the foot. This lessens chance of problems related to a bad arch, like fatigue and pain in the leg, back, and foot. I have a flat foot, and the arch of this boot provides me with great comfort at all times.
Redback Easy Escape UBBK Sizing and Fit
- Australian/UK sizing, but order your US size; their sizing is off
- Half sizes are in widths, not length
- Steel-toed models are wider than the toe version
All Redback Boots models are manufactured in the UK sizing. This means the sizing on the boot is one size larger than the US sizing equivalent. For example, if you wear a size US 12, in theory, your Redback size will be an 11.
Another thing you must know about Redback Boots sizing is in regards to their half sizes. In their sizing system, half sizes are up in width, not the length of the boot. This means a size 11 is the same length as a size 11.5.
My experience with this boot has been that sizing once converted to US sizing, is off by one full size. This means my 12 UK/13 US boots fit me like a 12 US. The fit of these boots on me is slightly loose with normal socks, and they fit perfectly with the added girth of thicker socks. Your results may vary. I’d read where some people on Reddit said the boots are true to size for them.
Redback recommends checking for a proper fit by kicking your foot to the front of the boot while wearing it. Then, check the gap between the back of your foot and the inside of the boot. According to them, it should be about the width of a pencil in this space for proper fit. I did this test when I bought my size 12 UK/13 US boots and found the gap to be proper.
How Much Do Redback Easy Escape UBBK Boots Weigh?
- 3 lbs / 48 oz. (size 12 UK/13 US)
According to the specs provided for these boots, this pair weighs 32 oz. As you can see, the actual weight is different, at 3 pounds or 48 oz. I would still consider these boots lightweight, especially if you’re used to wearing heavier boots weighing around five pounds like Red Wing or Thorogoods. With this being said, you shouldn’t have to worry about your legs being worn out by the end of your work day while wearing them.
Redback Easy Escape UBBK Safety Features
- No ASTM specs are mentioned
- Outsoles are certified to exceed OSHA requirements for oil and slip resistance
- No steel or safety toe for the UBBK (the USBBK and USBBKSC have steel toes)
- Electrical resistance rating of >1,500 volts
Since we have covered how the boots are made and talked about how they are comfortable to wear, let’s move on to something else of importance. Do these boots meet ASTM safety standards?
While this particular model does not have a safety toe, two other variations do: the Easy Escape Steel Toe (USBBK) and the Easy Escape HD Steel Toe (USBBKSC) both have a steel toe that meets or exceeds the ASTM F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH standards. These two models are essentially the same boot, with the HD model featuring the added exterior protection of an anti-scuff guard on the toe box area. The steel toe versions, naturally, are heavier: four pounds for the pair instead of two.
The website lists these boots as EH Certified. When I asked Redback Boots what the specifications were, they were kind enough to provide me with a copy of their manufacturer spec sheet. While no ASTM spec is mentioned, these boots have an electrical resistance rating of >1,500 volts.
While there is no ASTM standard mentioned on the provided spec sheet pertaining to the slip resistance of the outsole, they are, in fact, very slip-resistant. They provide excellent resistance to oil, acid, and slip. This is why these boots are especially great for mechanics and food service workers. I have been in the back of a restaurant for work since wearing these boots, and I can tell you first that they make a difference on the food-greased surface of the floor. For comparison purposes, I had walked on the same floor with my wedge sole Thorogoods, and it was like walking on ice.
How Much Does the Redback Easy Escape Cost?
- $185 for soft toe covered in this review
- $195 for steel toe USBBK
- $215 for steel toe USBBKSC
With all things considered, the $185 price tag found directly from the Redback Boots website for the soft-toe version of this boot is not bad. This price is a little higher than that of some competitors, but almost all their competitors are made in developing countries. For an Australian-made boot, especially since it had to be imported to the States, it’s fair.
Redback Easy Escape: The Downsides
Having worn work boots for over twenty years now, I always try to evaluate a boot to find things prone to wearing out quickly. For these boots, the first component to give way, in my estimation, is the elastic goring. It can wear out over time but should be able to be easily replaced by your local cobbler if needed. I have seen several pairs of Redback Boots and similar boots with obviously worn goring.
Another personal preference for me when I am purchasing boots is added toe protection for the boot’s exterior. For this reason, if I were to buy another pair of Redback Boots, I’d most likely purchase the Easy Escape HD, which features the exterior anti-scuff rubber toe box cover.
Who Should Buy the Redback Easy Escape UBBK?
I’d recommend these boots to almost anyone. They’re extremely comfortable and versatile. To me, these boots are not only great for work but stylish enough to wear outside of work as well. There are certain jobs these would be great for, including food service, mechanics, welders, carpenters, and factory work.
The emergency services field is another line of work for which these boots are especially nice. The ease of sliding these on or off makes these boots particularly nice for that type of work. I had actually spoken with two employees at a local EMS station who both wore this model of Redback Boots, and they said they absolutely love wearing them. One of the employees added they are the only boots they’ll wear to work, mentioning that this was his second pair in 12 years. The soles had minimal wear after six years on his second pair. I was impressed with this level of durability.
I would not necessarily recommend these boots for some construction workers. Some construction sites do not allow slip-on boots, so check to see if it is okay to wear them before buying.
To close things out, I feel the Redback Easy Escape are really great boots overall. They live up to the hype they receive in reviews online on Amazon and Reddit. I’ve never worn Blundstones, but there have been multiple times on Reddit where someone had mentioned they were debating on what boots to get, and more times than not, almost everyone suggests the Redback Boots over Blundstones. The quality and comfort of these boots are very nice, and after months of wearing them, the soles of these boots show minimal wear.
Remember, try buying from a place that offers free returns if purchasing online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Easy Escape UBBK waterproof?
No, but the leather is water resistant. Based on my experience with these, you can safely stand in water up to the level below the elastic goring without trouble. However, you might not want to do this for extended periods.
Can the Easy Escape UBBK be resoled?
No. Due to the direct attachment construction, these boots cannot be resoled.
Where is the Easy Escape UBBK Made?
All Redback Boots are made in Australia.