The Best Boots For Men In 2023
Traversing various situations and terrains with ease, every man needs a good pair of boots (or two).
Although every man’s wardrobe should include a good pair of loafers, oxfords, and derbies—and perhaps even a monk strap or two—the annual lowering of temperatures signals a shift away from ankle-baring styles towards something a little more practical and tactical: boots.
Exuding a sense of stylish insouciance, the best boots for men possess the ability to elevate an outfit while being able to traverse various situations (and terrain).
However, not all boots are created equal. The best boots for men are held together with a Goodyear welt, which extends the lifespan of your boots and allows them to be resoled after certain wear.
From classic Chelsea and ankle boots to hiking and combat styles, these are the best boots for men.
The best boot styles for men
Originating in England in the mid-19th century, Queen Victoria’s shoemaker is widely credited with having invented the Chelsea boot. The style is characterised by its slim silhouette and ankle height, as well as its signature elasticised gusset side panels and pull tabs. Despite their aristocratic origins, Chelsea boots were co-opted by the British mod movement of the 1960s, with their style credentials extending into the modern day.
A quintessential style, ankle boots have a relatively similar silhouette to Chelsea boots, however they swap the gusset straps and pull tabs for zip, lace-up, or strap closures.
Designed to be worn with a suit, dress boots have become a viable alternative to dress shoes for formal occasions. Many boot styles are bestowed with the moniker, however the most common types of dress boots are Balmoral and Oxford boots. Similar to dress shoes but extending above the ankle, dress boots typically have a streamlined silhouette and feature lace-up closure.
Also known as desert boots, the Chukka boot was designed by Nathan Clark in 1949, with the shoemaker drawing inspiration from the rough, crepe-soled boots sold in Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Typically made from leather or suede, they’re a low-cut style with open laced construction and two to three eyelets. The boots quickly became the shoe of choice for off-duty British army officers during WWII and are intrinsically lined with the history of British shoemaker Clarks, who still sells the most popular iteration of the Chukka boot today.
As the name suggests, these have their origins in the military, originally designed to be worn by soldiers during combat or combat training. Crafted from leather, they feature a chunky rubber sole and lace-up closure.
The rise of ‘gorpcore’ has resulted in designer takes on technical hiking boots, with these fashion-oriented styles boasting the same rugged construction, sturdy soles, foot support, and lace-up closures as their all-terrain inspirations.
Formerly reserved for construction sites, hard labour has gone mainstream—sartorially, at least—with work boots now the footwear of choice for art directors and tech execs alike. Joining the heavy-duty styles geared towards (actual) blue collar workers are designer iterations that are best reserved for pounding the pavement of the concrete jungle.
Wingtips see brouged details applied to lace-up ankle boots, resulting in footwear that’s formal enough to be worn with a suit yet doesn’t look out of place dressed down with jeans.
The Best Boots For Men In 2023
Whether you’re looking for boardroom-friendly styles or more robust stompers these are the best boots for men in 2023.
R.M. Williams Burnished Comfort Macquarie Boot
With a narrow round toe and low-heeled profile, the R.M. Williams Burnished Comfort Macquarie Boot has all the makings of a classic Chelsea boot. Differentiating it from the rest is its mahogany hand-burnished leather construction, with the rich patina unique to each pair of boots.
Alexander McQueen Punk Boots
Exuding British rocker energy, this model takes on a streamlined appearance, with a low heel and an exaggerated pointed-toe finished with a statement silver-toned metal cap.
Carmina Cordovan Boots
Spanish shoemaker Carmina can always be counted on to create an exceptional pair of dress boots. Handcrafted from burgundy cordovan leather with Goodyear welt construction, the Carmina Cordovan Boots feature an elongated round toe with a double line stitch toe cap, bronze-toned hooked eyelets, and lace-up closure.
Common Projects Lace-Up Boots
Sitting firmly within the ‘hiking-inspired’ category, these Common Projects Lace-Up Boots translate the design codes of mountaineering boots onto a sleek, streamlined silhouette that’s at home in casual and semi-formal occasions alike. These boots for men feature lace-up closure with black D-eyelet hardware and tonal deep brown laces.
Diemme Roccia Vet Mogano
For stompers that can actually traverse a mountainside—and look good while doing it—Diemme is the way to go. Suitable for city wear and alpine environments alike, the Diemme Roccia Vet is modelled off classic Italian hiking boots, but updated with a lightweight sole. Contrast red laces and silver D-eyelets reference traditional hiking aesthetics while the full grain leather construction lends an elevated feel.
George Cleverley Jason Suede Chelsea Boots
A sophisticated take on the Chelsea, these suede boots by heritage British shoemaker are crafted to last a lifetime. Constructed from beige velvety soft supple suede, they feature a low heel and tonal gusset straps in camel brown.
Manolo Blahnik Calaurio Leather-Trimmed Velvet Lace-Up Boots
For men who aren’t afraid to let their feet do the talking. Fusing utilitarianism with opulence, these Blahniks draw inspiration from traditional hiking styles—giving them a velvet adorned makeover. Sturdy rubber roles ensure they’re built to last, while red stitching contrasts the deep blue hue.
Maison Margiela Tabi Chelsea Boots
Classic Chelsea boots in brushed leather get the Tabi split-toe treatment courtesy of Maison Margiela. The design signature is inspired by the traditional 15th century Japanese sock of the same name, and has been a mainstay in the French luxury fashion house since its debut in 1989. An avant-garde twist on a staple style, it’s the ideal choice for those who want to make a statement on the daily.
Drake’s Crosby Suede Chukka Boots
The same style worn by Daniel Craig in No Time To Die, these chukka boots courtesy of heritage British menswear label Drake’s are crafted in Italy from supple suede and set on hardwearing rubber soles. While desert boots are an inherently casual footwear style, the moc toe stitching on this iteration makes them suitable for smart causal offices and off-duty wear alike.
Officine Creative Anatomia 013
Created from supple leather, these lace-up ankle boots feature a dark brown airbrushed finish, adding a unique touch to each pair. Their slightly worn-in appearance precludes these boots from feeling too stuffy, making them a good fit for casual outfits.
Grenson Brady Boots
Fusing function with style, the Grenson Brady Boots are able to traverse from the trails to the concrete jungle with ease. With a durable, leather sole‑constructed with a Goodyear welt—and hiking laces that add a sense of toughness to any outfit.
Prada Brushed Leather & Nylon Boots
While not quite fit for purpose, Prada’s take on the humble combat boot remains true to the Italian fashion house. The leather uppers are complemented by nylon inserts, a design signature of the maison, and an enamelled triangular metal logo. Equipped with a lug sole, they’re more than up to the task of daily wear.