RockRooster Boots Review | The Best Cheap Chelsea Work Boots?

In this review we are going to be looking at RockRooster boots, more specifically, the AK229 model called the Bakken boot. Most of us looking for work boots have undoubtedly come across RockRooster and probably thought the price was too good to be true.

That’s the aim of this review: to determine whether or not they are worth your hard earned money. We are going to cover whether or not they are built with materials that lend themselves to durability, whether or not the boots are comfortable, if they are just cheap junk boots, what safety features they have, and where they are made.

But first, I’d like to mention a little about my work environment that I wore them in for this review.

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RockRooster Bakken Pull on Work Boots

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rockrooster bakken chelsea boot unboxed

Work Environment 

My day job is working as a sheet metal fabricator and welder. But I also have a fanatical passion for workwear and making sure folks can find the best work boots on the market — and for their budget. To make sure my reviews are as useful as possible, I wear every work boot I review to work. There’s nothing worse than a review of a work boot written by someone who never actually worked in them. That’s not a problem you’ll have here!

Where Are RockRooster Boots Made?

RockRooster is an Australian boot and shoe company, but the boots are made in China. Don’t let the fact they are made in China turn you off to them. Now this might be unpopular, but there are some pretty high quality boots coming out of China these days, such as Grant Stone boots. The only issue you can have is if you’d rather keep your money stateside, which is understandable.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot

Quick Specs 

Here are some quick facts for those of us that need to know up top how compliant the boot will be for our jobsites.

Safety ToeYes, Steel toe
Slip Resistant Yes
Electric Hazard Rated No
Waterproof No
Construction Injection Molded
OutsoleDual Layer PU Midsole with TPU Outsole
Leather Full Grain
Color Options Dark Brown(AK229), Black (AK227), Tan(AK222)
Country of Origin Made in China 

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot elastic

RockRooster Chelsea Work Boot Construction 

In this section of the review we are going to look at how the boot is made, what materials are used, and how it’s constructed. What a boot is made from and how it’s put together is critical to its performance as a work boot.

1.1 RockRooster Leather 

The leather the upper is made from is a very soft and supple leather that’s been slightly corrected for a smoother appearance. It measures at 1.8mm-2mm thick which is in line with other budget friendly work boots in the same price range such as the Brunt Marin and even some higher end expensive casual boots like the Wolverine 1000 mile boots, although they use pricier leather and have totally different construction.

The origin of RockRooster’s leather is unclear, so it’s probably Chinese.

1.2 Are RockRooster Boots Glued Or Welted?

This particular pair, the Bakken,  is neither welted nor glued. Instead it is injection molded to the upper, per the RockRooster rep I’ve been dealing with. 

Without going into a lot of technical stuff you don’t care about, injection molded boots are made by placing the upper into a mold and injecting the outsole material into the mold, bonding it to the upper. This means they are more durable than a cemented/glued boot. The downside is that they can’t be resoled like a Goodyear welted boot but at a purchase price of $109.99, that really doesn’t matter. 

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot outsole

1.3 Outsole Material

The outsole is a dual density PU/TPU combo. The midsole is a thick layer of PU (polyreuthane) foam and the other part of the outsole is a high density TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) outsole. This combo gives the outsole the durability needed for heavy use while giving the boot a soft under foot feel while walking.

1.4 Moisture Wicking Liner

The boot has a CoolMax liner inside of it. CoolMax is  a brand name polyester moisture wicking fabric. Because polyester is moderately hydrophobic, it absorbs very little fluid and dries quickly. Translation: Your feet will be less sweaty, you won’t  have socks that are sweat soaked at the end of the day, and your boots will be dry inside by the next morning which means your boots will  stink less.

[Further reading: How to Keep Your Feet Dry In Work Boots]

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot lining

1.5 Pull Loops & Elastic

The pull loops feel pretty sturdy and are sandwiched between two pieces of leather and stitched through both. The elastic, well, it’s elastic. It’s not overly tight and allows you to slide the boot on easily. The elastic on Chelseas does wear out with time, but it’s easy to get replaced and no boot is immune to this.

1.6 Rubber Toe cap

At the toe there is a rubber toe guard stitched in place. This will keep you from wearing through the leather at the toes of your work boots which results in a longer lasting work boot. Rubber toe guards are something I’m seeing  more and more on work boots these days.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot toebox

Are Rock Rooster Boots Comfortable?

In this section of the review we are going to look at what they offer in terms of comfort since all day comfort is right up there in importance next to durability.

rockrooster insole

2.1 Removable Insole/Lasting Board Cushion 

This is one area where the boots really shine! The removable insole is extremely comfortable and feels like a pillow for your foot. Seriously, it’s super thick. It’s made from a thick layer of Poron foam and topped with a layer of the Coolmax material that lines the boot to help wick moisture away from your foot.

Additionally, if you take the removable insole out of the boots, you’ll notice that the lasting board has a Poron foam cushion built into it at the heel.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot toe

2.2 Toe Box Space

Coming in at 4 inches wide, the toe box leaves plenty of space for your toes to move around freely. Between the width of the tox box and the liner acting as padding around the steel toe, you’ll barely know it’s there — at least, that was my experience. If you have wide feet, these boots will be a good option. The way the toe box is shaped is similar to many barefoot shoes and boots, meaning it’s fairly splayed out and wide, as opposed to more fashionable almond toes that sometimes put pressure on the pinkies.

2.3 Arch Support 

The arch support is  fairly decent. They have a heel drop of about an inch, and while the boot looks like it has better arch support than it does, it’s good enough for my moderately high arches.

2.4 Break in period

There isn’t really much of a break in period for the boots. They are comfortable enough to wear all day right out of the box. The leather does stretch just a bit and molds to your instep/forefoot area a little better after a few days, but like I said, you can wear them comfortably all day right out of the box

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot weight

2.5 Boot Weight 

Coming in at 1lbs 15.5oz,  RockRooster’s Bakken is light enough to wear all day without being so heavy they hurt your legs by the end of the day. I will say they do feel a little unbalanced weight wise: I feel like they don’t have a lot of weight at the back of the boot since they are Chelsea boots, and that combined with the steel toe makes them feel a little heavy in the front.

RockRooster Bakken Boot Safety Features

For those of us that care less about the weight than whether they’re ASTM compliant, here are the features you should know about.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot at work

3.1 Steel Toe

The Bakken does have an ASTM compliant steel toe cap. As I previously mentioned, the toe cap is pretty wide and I really didn’t notice it much.

3.2 ASTM EH Rating 

The Bakken is not rated for electrical hazards and does not meet ASTM standards for electrical hazard resistance. So if you’re an electrician or you are required to have EH rated work boots, these boots may not be for you.

3.3 Static Dissipative

The boots do have one ASTM rating that I don’t normally see on boots a whole lot: they meet ASTM F2413 SD standards. “SD” stands for static dissipative: SD boots reduce the risk of static shock to people and the product being worked on by regulating the build up of electrostatic charge in a person’s body.

3.4 Slip Resistant 

RockRooster does advertise them as oil and slip resistant, but it isn’t noted anywhere on the label or box that it meets ASTM standards for slip resistance.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot Size 11 insole
My 11.5 foot on a size 11 insole.

Do RockRooster Boots Run Big?| Sizing & Fit

  • Size down 0.5 from your true size

Yes! Yes they do! Well the Chelsea boots do anyway. They run long and wide which is great if you have wide feet! My feet are an 11.5 on a Brannock device — my true to size fit — and size 11.5 is what I was sent from RockRooster when I started the review. 

Ultimately, the 11.5 was too long for my foot and I had to email them and have them send a size 11. The size 11 fit my feet perfectly!

My advice is to size down a half size for the RockRooster Chelsea work boots, especially if you wear thinner socks.

[Further reading: How Tight Should Steel Toe Boots Fit?]

Are RockRooster Chelsea Boots Waterproof?

The AK229 and its variants(AK227 & AK222) are not waterproof. They will however provide excellent water resistance due to the nature of the injection molded outsole, so long as the water doesn’t go higher than the elastic. Water will leak through the elastic fairly quickly. They do however make a waterproof work chelsea, the AK323.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot heel counter

Weak Points

Normally in this part of the review I point out weak areas I’ve found in the boot that could affect its longevity.

This time, I found none, at least not for my work as a welder.

The closest thing I can find that could be a weak point is the elastic, but it’s normal for the elastic to wear out on a Chelsea boot after a lot of use, and it’s easily replaced by a cobbler.

It’s perhaps worth repeating that the boots are a little unbalanced because they’re Chelsea boots: lighter at the heel than at the steel toe. I didn’t find that to be problematic, though.

But if you’re an electrician, the Bakken does not meet ASTM standards for electrical hazard resistance. If you need EH rated work boots, these may not be for you.

Finally, the boots aren’t waterproof, if that’s what you need. But they’re extremely water resistant up to the elastic and should serve you fine unless you literally work ankle deep in water throughout the day.

How Much Do RockRooster Boots Cost?

RockRooster’s Bakken comes in at a very affordable and budget friendly price of $109.99 — and they were gracious enough to send us a 10%-off discount code (“STRIDEWISE” at checkout) to bring the price under $100.

10% OFF
RockRooster Bakken Pull on Work Boots

Steel toe, shock absorption, temperature control, and more are all bundled into this pull-on work boot that punches far above its weight class. Use the code STRIDEWISE for 10% off your order.

Get the Discount! Or Check Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

rockrooster bakken chelsea boot heel

Final Thoughts 

In closing, I fully believe that based on what I experienced wearing them and by looking at how they are made and what materials they are made with, the RockRooster Bakken Chelsea will definitely be durable enough for most jobs. From a comfort standpoint they are as good as many of the  more expensive boots I’ve worn.

This was my first rodeo with a Chelsea style work boot and I wasn’t totally sure if I would like them, especially one so cheap! I can honestly say I’m impressed with the Bakken, which isn’t something I ever thought I’d say about a boot that costs less than $120. I’m very interested to see how they perform against more expensive boots in this category, such as Redback boots and Blundstones. Just note that if you need a boot that’s ASTM rated for electric shock resistance or waterproofness, this particular model won’t fit the bill — but RockRooster sells plenty of other models that will.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where are RockRooster Boots Made?

RockRooster boots are made in China.

Do RockRooster Chelsea Boots Run Big?

Yes they do. I recommend sizing down a half size.

Can You Resole RockRooster Chelsea Boots?

Usually not. The only exception at the time of writing is their Trinidad Chelsea boot, which is made with a Goodyear welt and can be resoled once or twice.

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Adam is a sheet metal fabricator and welder who also moonlights as a boot reviewer. After years of wearing cheap boots and shoes that killed his feet, Adam decided he wanted the best work boot he could find. This led him to scouring the internet but little did he know, his deep dive into the world of boots would ignite a passion for writing about and reviewing boots.

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