AK227 Versus VAP2303 (Bakken VS Trinidad): Rockrooster slip-on work boots comparison

Hey, Jeff here. If you’ve been looking into getting a new pair of slip-on work boots and you have decided to get a pair of Rockrooster boots but you can’t decide which one to get: the AK227 or the VAP2303, welcome.

Today we’ll be looking at Rockrooster Footwear and comparing two of their best slip-on work boots. We’ll be comparing the AK227 Bakken Vs. the VAP2303 Trinidad Wedge.

I own both work boots and I can talk about them firsthand. You can read both of my in-depth work boots reviews here:

Who’s working on this page

Jeff Harmon, author, researcher and boots tester for bestformyfeet.com
Jeff Harmon
Victor Adrian
Researcher & Editor

In this comparison, you will find many similarities the boots share. I will be pointing out some of the differences between them as well. I’ll tell you my personal favorite of the two models at the conclusion of this article.

The work environment I’ve been wearing these boots in at a water plant. I not only wear my boots at work every day, but I also use them at home for outdoor work around the house.

I’m not just a reviewer/tester, I am also a Level III water plant operator in the state of Ohio. That’s a quick word for me. Now, let’s get on to the comparison of these boots!

Let’s start with some quick and easy-to-digest data like features comparison and pros and cons of both boots based on my experience.

Rockrooster VAP2303 vs AK227: Features comparison

FeatureRockrooster AK227Rockrooster VAP2303
Electrical Hazard ratedNOYES
Safety toe capYES- Steel toe capYES – Steel toe cap
WaterproofNO – Water ResistantNO – Water Resistant
LiningYES- CoolMax Moisture WickingYES- CoolMax Moisture Wicking
Upper materialFull Grain LeatherFull Grain Leather
Upper styleSlip-onSlip-on
Boot cosntructionDirect attach-injection moldedGoodyear welt
Oil and slip resistantYESYES
Non-Marking solesYESYES
Sole materialTPUBlown rubber
Static dissipativeYES – ASTM F2413 SDNO
Anti scuff toe bumperYESNO

Rockrooster AK227 VS VAP2303: Pros and cons

Here are the pros and cons of each boot in my opinion.

Rockrooster AK227 Bakken slip-on work boots


  • Anti-scuff toe box cover
  • Feels like a wedge while walking
  • Easy to clean upper
  • Defined heel has less job limitations than wedge
  • Very comfortable
  • Stylish enough to wear outside of work


  • Lug tread can trap dirt, mud, or snow
  • Static Dissipative, Not Electrical Hazard Rated
  • Steel Toe box is less roomy

Rockrooster VAP2303 Trinidad slip on work boots


  • Wedge sole
  • Shallow tread-easy cleaning
  • EH rated
  • Very roomy toe box
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish enough to wear outside of work


  • Goodyear welt design makes cleaning difficult
  • No anti-scuff toe box cover

Alright, now let’s dig in and talk more in detail about some of the most important features of these two Rockrooster work boots.

Bakken vs Trinidad: Upper’s material

Both of these boots have a full-grain premium leather upper material. The leather is durable and water-resistant.

While the leather description on the Rockrooster Footwear site is the same for both the AK227 and the VAP2303, there is actually a difference between the two.

The material of the AK227 is what I would describe as a slightly stiffer leather with a waxy finish. There are a total of 4 pieces of leather that come together to make the upper.

The upper of the VAP2303 could be described as a slightly softer, more traditional-feeling leather. The upper of this boot is made from a total of two panels of leather.

It is an extremely simple yet effective design. I really appreciate the simplicity of the design and the look it achieves.

The way each boot is built can affect its durability. For example, the more stitches you have on the upper, the more liabilities.

So based on this fact alone, I can say the Rockrooster Trinidad will last longer than the AK227 Bakken.

AK227 vs VAP2303: The sole

The sole is a place where these two boots are definitely different. The AK227 has a defined heel sole, whereas the VAP2303 has a wedge sole.

You can read more in-depth about the difference between these sole types in my separate article on the subject if you would like: Wedge Soles VS Heeled Soles In Work Boots.

The sole of the Rockrooster AK227 is a directly attached sole made of PU/TPU material.

This is molded with heat to bond directly to the upper of the boot. The sole has a defined heel, and is a rubber with anti-slip and chemical resistance properties.

The material of the sole is soft enough on my feet to make the boots feel like I’m walking on a wedge.

When I take a step with these boots, the steps are soft enough that it feels like a singular motion, rather than the heel then the ball of the foot.

The tread pattern of the sole has lugs, which can trap dirt, mud, or snow and add weight to the sole while wearing them.

The tread provides sure footing on every surface I’ve worn them on, including the greasy tile floor in the back of a restaurant.

The Rock Rooster AK227 sole also meets ASTM F2413 SD standards. “SD” stands for static dissipative, meaning, the boots help regulate the build-up of electrostatic charge in a person’s body by conducting it to the ground.

Electrostatic dissipative boots are generally required for those who work in manufacturing computer components, solvent-based paints, explosives, and plastics. These soles are also heat resistant.

The sole of the VAP2303 is a Vibram Brand blown rubber compound wedge. The sole is attached by way of the Goodyear welt.

It means these boots could be resoled, but for the price point at which these are sold, it makes more sense just to buy a brand new boot.

The material is soft and light with anti-slip and chemical resistance properties. The steps with these soles are also very smooth and soft.

The small tread is enough to provide good traction in every situation I’ve worn it for so far.

When I asked Rockrooster for information on heat resistance for the soles, they had said they have not been tested for that. One definite positive of this sole is it helps to give the VAP2303 its EH rating.

Another thing you need to consider with the wedge sole is its limitations. Be sure to check with your job to see if wedge soles are allowed.

Some construction jobs consider wedge soles to be a hazard. This statement is especially true pertaining to jobs requiring climbing of ladders.

Bakken vs Trinidad: Boot construction type

The construction type of the AK227 Bakken is direct attach construction. This means the upper is put into a mold and the liquid hot thermo polyurethane (TPU) material is injected around the upper.

This method uses no adhesives or stitches. The way the connection is made between the upper and the sole makes it very unlikely water would get between the two parts.

The construction of the VAP2303 Trinidad is a Goodyear welt.

When someone reads about a boot having this type of construction, their mind jumps to thinking, “Hey, I can get new soles put on these if I want.”

Think twice about this, because the only way a re-sole will be cheaper than buying a whole new boot is if you are a cobbler and can do it yourself.

I’ve read that basically unless a boot costs more than $200 when you bought it to begin with, it is not worth it to put a new sole on said boots.

These boots are only $120, so you can wear them and just buy a brand new pair to replace them for less than the cost of a new sole.

VAP2303 vs AK227: Boots weight

The difference in weight between these two models of boots quite a noticeable one, At least on the scale anyway. The AK227 weighs about double than the VAP2303.

The AK227 weighs in at about 2 lbs. 2 oz. per boot, or 4.4 lbs. for the pair.

The Trinidad has a slight upper hand and weighs about 1 lb. 14 oz. for one boot, and about 3.75 lbs. for the pair.

To me, the difference in weight between the two models is not even noticeable. Then again, I am a larger man.

I’ve been wearing Red Wing boots for the last 15 years weighing in at around 5 lbs. per pair. Maybe I’m just used to the weight?

Trinidad vs Bakken: Boots width

As you can tell from the pictures, the boot width is the same for both models tested. The toe box width measures in at 4.17 inches on the AK227 and the VAP2303.

The actual footprint width at the widest point is the same on both of these boots at about 4.75 inches.

Only wide width is offered in every size of both models.

As I’ve mentioned previously, the VAP2303 Trinidad has a more roomy feel overall when compared to the AK227. If you have wide feet here’s a round-up with some of the best work boots for wide feet.

AK227 vs VAP2303: How do they fit?

In this category, the Trinidad boots come out on top, but only slightly. The reason for this was mentioned in detail in the reviews for both boots.

I’ll quickly cover my issue, just in case you have not read the individual reviews yet. About fifteen years ago or so, I’d broken the toe next to my big toe on my right foot.

This didn’t heal properly, making the toe not set as low as it should.

In this section of the review we're talking about weather the Rockrooster AK227 slip on safety boots are comfortable or not.

The design of the steel toe on the AK227 has a dip at the back of the toe box. This made for a rub on the mentioned toe, and it eventually became okay with wear.

Now, it’s more of a gentle rest against the toe, and it doesn’t bug me at all. In comparison though, the Trinidad Toe box is very roomy.

If someone had just handed me these boots to try on, I would not have even known these boots have a steel toe. They are just that roomy in the toe box area. Both boots fit well for me at a 12 wide.

For comparison with other companies, I wear a 12D in Red Wing, and a 12EE in Thorogood. If you want to compare my size in sneakers to try to relate, I wear 12 in Skechers and 13 in Nike.

Bakken versus Trinidad slip on: Comfort

I would say the only thing really keeping the comfort of these boots from being on equal footing would be the steel toe of the AK227 mentioned in the previous section.

Otherwise, these boots are extremely comfortable. The Trinidad might be only slightly more comfortable overall if the steel toe of the Bakken was taken out of the equation.

My whole point of this section is to tell you this. Whichever boot you end up going with between these two models, you’re probably going to find your choice to be comfortable.

I will caution you with one thing when it comes to both of these boots. If you are uninitiated in the world of slip-on boots, these might take some getting used to.

The fit of a slip-on has a looser feel in the ankle area than their laced counterpart.

When it comes to me wearing either one of these pairs of boots, one word of the great Zach de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine comes to mind. “FREEDOM!”

The reason I say this is because I received my new replacement Thorogood 804-3600s. You can read more about these 1957 series wedge boots in my review of them, and also about my experience with the return that led to the second pair.

I began wearing them after having worn the AK227 Bakken slip-on for about a month.

The best way I can try to describe the feeling of wearing the lace-up boots is to call them my “Forrest Gump Leg Braces”. Don’t get me wrong.

The Thorogoods are great boots. They’re comfortable, but feel restrictive due to the laces in comparison to the feeling a slip-on gives you.

If you’ve worn slip-on before, I have a feeling you know exactly what I’m talking about.

AK227 vs VAP2303: Break in period

When comparing these boots, the break-in period was definitely better in my experience with the VAP2303 Trinidad boots.

I’d taken pictures and made videos of the unboxing and such before I’d put them on. What I felt at this point was immediate comfort for my feet.

I walked around in the basement a little bit in amazement at the comfort level I found. The zero break-in period surprised me a little, to say the least.

I say this because the Rockrooster Bakken boots were not so easy. Although they were fairly comfortable out of the box, I had to wear thick socks to get me past the steel toe rub previously mentioned.

In addition to this, I had a heel rub in the right boot. There was something about the way the heel counter was sitting.

My way of correcting this after being in some pain was to put the boot on its side, and literally stood on the sole with my other boot to smash the heel area.

After doing this both ways a couple of times, I put the boots on and have had no issues with the heel rub since.

If you do need to break in your boots check out my colleague’s Adrian blog post on how to break in new, stiff work boots.

VAP2303 versus AK227: Price

The price of these is nearly equal, with the AK227 costing $110 and the Trinidad costing $120. Both prices are when directly purchased from Rockrooster on their website. You can get a nice 15% discount if you use our Coupon Code at the checkout: BEST

With such a close price difference between the two models, it truly comes down to which boot has the features you want to sway your purchase.

By the way, since I don’t know when you’re going to read this comparison, I can’t promise the price are going to be the same as mentioned above.

For this reason, the best way to find out the most up-to-date prices is by clicking on the links in the table below. I leave two stores so you can even compare prices.

ModelRockrooster StoreAmazon
AK227 (steel toe/ black)See In-StoreSee In-Store
AK222 (steel toe/ wheat)See In-StoreSee In-Store
AK227NT (soft/ black)See In-StoreSee In-Store
VAP2303 (steel toe/ black)See In-StoreSee In-Store
VAP2304 (steel toe/ brown)See In-StoreSee In-Store

Models available

The AK227 Bakken I reviewed comes in 2 colors, with 3 variations.

  • AK227 Bakken with steel toe
  • AK227NT Bakken Soft Toe
  • AK222 in Wheat Nubuck steel toe

The Trinidad Slip-on I reviewed comes in 2 colors.

  • VAP2303 Black with steel toe
  • VAP2304 Brown with steel toe

Who do I recommend these Rockrooster slip-on boots to

Both of these models of boots are great for the following list of jobs in my opinion. A wedge sole is technically better for working on concrete floors for extended periods of time.

I’m here to tell you the AK227 is on a level playing field in the ability to provide you with comfort on concrete equal to that of the wedge VAP2303.

The AK227 actually has the upper hand in the jobs you are able to use the boot for. I say this because the defined heel makes it a more versatile boot. Wedge soles are not allowed to be worn for some jobs.

I haven’t had the chance to test the VAP2303s on greasy floors yet.

I can tell you the AK227 would work well for food service in addition to the list of jobs both boots are suitable for. Here are some other good slip-resistant work boots you can check out if that’s what you’re after.

My last notes on this Rockrooster Trinidad vs Bakken slip-on boots comparison

As I promised you at the beginning of this article, I’ll now tell which model I would pick if given the option between the two.

It’s very close, but overall I would have to go with the AK227 Bakken as my overall winner. Now I’ll tell you why.

I am a huge fan of the anti-scuff toe box cover. The moment the leather of a toe box gets scraped and damaged, a piece of me dies.

As I had mentioned earlier, I have tested a $300 pair of moc toe Thorogood boots. I am an absolute klutz, and I had a toe box scrape with these boots.

As you can imagine, I was wishing I had been wearing something with an anti-scuff toe cap cover.

Another reason I’ve chosen the AK227 as my winner is the sole. I say this for two reasons. As I’ve mentioned, the defined heel is versatile and you can wear these things for many jobs.

You can wear them and not have the limitation of the wedge when it comes to safety concerns. Also, the construction of the sole makes these boots much easier to clean.

This is unlike the Goodyear welt of the VAP2023, which has what I could best describe as what looks like a Dovetail cut pattern (think handmade dresser drawers) running the whole perimeter of the boot.

Not only that, the slip resistance has worked for me literally everywhere I’ve worn these things. On top of everything I’ve already mentioned as good things about this boot, there’s one more.

The kicker pads at the back of the boot give it a stiffness that allows you to put the boots on by just sliding your feet in from a standing position. I love the fact they go on so easily.

The Rockrooster Trinidad VAP2303 is an excellent boot in my opinion.

The fact that it has an electrical hazard rating is a definite plus and might be enough to sway you to buy them.

Perhaps wedge soles are just your thing and the fact this boot has one might be enough to make you want to buy them.

It’s a great option if you work on flat concrete surfaces all day but for my line of work, it’s safer to wear the AK227 due to better slip resistance sole.

As I said previously, these slip-on boots share several great qualities. The Rockrooster AK227 just happens to check the right boxes for me.

Your choice of which boot to go with really comes down to what your preferences and work environment are. I hope this comparison helps you to find which one you would like the most.

Happy boot hunting!

Team Members Working On This Page

Jeff Harmon – Boots Tester & Reviewer

Hello, I’m Jeff. I’m a Level III water plant operator in Ohio. I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years now, and the jobs I’ve had all required boots. I’d previously viewed them as something that didn’t matter just so long as my feet were covered. Lately, I’ve come to appreciate the features and craftsmanship that go into quality footwear. When I’m not at work, I’m at home spending time with my wife and 2 kids. My current obsession other than boots is hot sauce. I absolutely love it!

Victor Adrian – Editor And Webmaster

Construction Professional, driver, crane operator, cleaner, head chef … these are just some of the jobs I did in the past. Working in all these different environments taught me that having good footwear to protect your feet from different dangers at work IS PARAMOUNT for any worker! On this website, I aim to share all my knowledge and personal experience in dealing with different footwear and foot care issues, and hopefully, you can get something out of it. Enjoy!

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