When it comes to fall and winter clothing, most of us think of outerwear.
Sure, the coat we wear is incredibly important, but accessories can complete a look.
That doesn’t just mean leather belts or a nice watch – you’ll also need a great pair of boots.
Not only do they protect your feet from the cold, but they’re also the perfect complement to your winter wardrobe.
- TOP 5 Best Chelsea Boots (summary)
- What Are Chelsea Boots and What Are the Benefits?
- Types of Chelsea Boots by Material
- Types of Chelsea Boots by Style
- Elastic Side Panels vs Zipper
- 13 Best Chelsea Boots Tested
- How to Fit and Wear Chelsea Boots
- How to Clean and Maintain Chelsea Boots
- Chelsea Boots vs Chukka Boots
TOP 5 Best Chelsea Boots (summary)
[intense_icon type=”star-empty” size=”2″ color=”primary”]206 Collective (Check out on Amazon) (Our Pick[intense_icon type=”star” size=”2″ color=”#2ea3f2″]) (Most Comfortable)
[intense_icon type=”star-empty” size=”2″ color=”primary”]Crevo (Check out on Amazon) (Non-Slip)
[intense_icon type=”star-empty” size=”2″ color=”primary”]GM GOLAIMAN (Check out on Amazon) (Most Breathable)
[intense_icon type=”star-empty” size=”2″ color=”primary”]Steve Madden (Check out on Amazon) (Cheapest)
[intense_icon type=”star-empty” size=”2″ color=”primary”]Metrocharm MC130 (Check out on Amazon) (For All Type of Feet)
Some choose equestrian-inspired riding boots, while others go for a lace-up combat or hiking style.
But the most useful and stylish boots for men are Chelsea boots.
Finding the best boots is like finding the best silk pajamas: comfort is always the key like the quality, a quality pair can last for years.
Chelsea boots are the best option for quality, usefulness, and longtime wear, but how do you choose a pair? What material and color is best?
Find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about men’s Chelsea boots in our definitive guide.
What Are Chelsea Boots and What Are the Benefits?
Chelsea boots are crafted in an ankle-high profile with a slight heel. The shape is usually finished with a curved toe.
They were originally invented by Queen Victoria’s shoemaker, but they really became popular in the United Kingdom in the 1950s and 1960s.
The name “Chelsea” comes from an area of southwest London with the same name.
Though they’re traditionally closure-free and made with elastic on the sides, some Chelsea boots will also include zippers.
They have a close, streamlined fit. Most will feature a pull-tab at the top of the shaft, making it easy to slip them on and off.
Most pairs have a long-lasting leather sole, but you’ll also find options with a crepe rubber sole or a lug sole (the grooves create added traction on slippery surfaces).
To go along with comfort and ease, there’s another huge advantage to Chelsea boots: like a good scotch whiskey or a well-trimmed beard, they never go out of style.
Types of Chelsea Boots by Material
To choose the right material, think about your wants, needs, and of course, your wardrobe.
Should your boots be long-wearing? Is affordability the most important factor? Or at the end of the day, do you want what’s most practical?
Here are your options when it comes to materials:
A traditional pebbled leather is a solid bet for long-lasting, wear-anywhere Chelsea boots.
This lightly textured leather feels classic, refined, and always right. Plus, it’s the easiest material to dress up or dress down, getting the job done for any occasion.
Everyday wear is easy with all types of jeans, but if you have an important meeting coming up, they’ll do just fine with your new suit, too.
A patent-leather Chelsea boot offers similar durability to pebbled leather, but the glossy sheen can feel a bit dressier (and they’re more water-friendly, too).
As an added perk, this material adds a noticeable statement factor without getting too over the top (sometimes the best statements are the subtle ones).
But if you do want some extra edge, it’s easy: wear them with your favorite biker jacket.
Suede Chelsea boots provide comparable longevity to classic leather.
The material offers a more sophisticated look and feel, and its lighter weight can improve the overall comfort of the boot.
For a businesslike look, wear suede boots with a peacoat.
When selecting your material, look for short-pile suede, as long-pile suede is more likely to get scruffy.
For those who avoid animal-sourced products or don’t want to tackle the care and upkeep of leather and suede, faux leather is a great option.
While they may not be as resilient as genuine leather, they are still useful and often the most cost-effective option.
Plus, they’re the easiest to maintain and don’t require any specialized leather cleaners.
Chelsea boots can tackle the rain, too. Many shoe manufacturers offer ankle-high rain boots made from ultra-sturdy rubber.
It’s the perfect blend of practicality and style. On these styles, look for a stacked heel, a resilient lug sole, and an ultra-comfortable canvas lining.
Types of Chelsea Boots by Style
Once you’ve selected the right material, the next step is deciding on the perfect color and style.
Whether you’re wearing your boots to the office or heading out for a drink on the weekend, you can’t go wrong with a sleek black boot.
If you’re into neutrals but you’re sick of black, there are other alternatives that are still incredibly functional.
Dark brown or a medium cognac are tried-and-true choices. And to branch out a bit, give gray a try.
It’s another useful neutral, yet there’s something unexpectedly sophisticated and a bit edgy about gray boots.
If you want something that’s a little outside the box but still incredibly handsome, try saturated jewel tones like burgundy, navy, or hunter green.
Your style is just that – yours.
When it comes to selecting the perfect pair, it’s all about deciding exactly how you want to look.
With so many options to choose from, you can pick the style that best speaks to your personality and wardrobe.
Sometimes the most valuable aspect of a pair of boots is their simplicity.
Classic pairs are tried and true—and sure to coordinate with all beard styles.
A day-to-night, no-frills Chelsea boot does just that. And for added style and sophistication, wear with silk socks.
Since they go with nearly everything, classic Chelsea boots are actually as versatile as natural hair clay (Messy beard and laid-back outfit? Neat beard and pinstriped suit? You’re still covered.)
Western-inspired Chelsea boots offer comparable appeal to classic styles, but they also bring in a rugged quality.
When it comes to Western-style accessories, distressing adds to the appeal.
It’s the Chelsea boot with a twist; studs, buckles, and intentional fading take simple footwear on a little adventure.
With lumbersexual style comes the need for Chelsea work boots. Think super-sturdy leather, a welted sole, and an outdoor-ready look.
For styling, pair the best suspenders for men with a set of work boots, and all that’s left is the buffalo-check shirt!
Don’t be afraid to get them muddy, too.
Elastic Side Panels vs Zipper
Traditional Chelsea boots tend to feature elastic side panels instead of a zipper.
Also known as a gusset, the elastic panels ensure a snug yet comfortable fit.
These elastic gussets also assist with longevity, as a zipper is often the first part of a shoe to break down.
Are you looking to make an even stronger statement? Select a pair with elastic in a contrast hue, like a medium brown with a bold black gusset.
These two-tone styles work particularly well with denim (try a dark-wash selvedge – it’s always a win).
13 Best Chelsea Boots Tested
Elegant boots, such as 206 collective, are ideal for modern man. Made in Italy, out of premium materials, these boots are as comfortable as stylish.
There are five earth tone colors to choose from and all are made out of leather and oiled suede. Heal measures about 1 inch and platform about 0.25 inches.
For a non-slippery base, the sole is made of rubber. Thanks to the supple leather lining and elegant stitching you will always leave a fashionable impression.
In case they feel a bit narrow, try breaking them in for a while.
- Comfortable and non-slippery
- Made of premium materials
- Sole rubber prevents slipping
- Narrow in the foot area
With memory foam sock, Crevo Chelsea Boots provide ultimate walking pleasure. More than that, these stylish boots are perfect for every occasion.
They are made out of beautiful, quality leather. The design is classic, double-gore and functional back pull-tab.
You can even walk safely in them on a rainy day, as the outsole is non-slip. The sole itself is synthetic.
Although it may be hard on the outside, the inner sole is soft. Classy look is completed with burnished toe and goring side panels.
- Soft, memory foam sock feels very comfortable
- Non-slip outsole
- Just enough space for the foot
- Somewhat hard sole
La Milano Chelsea Boots are recognizable for its popular twin buckle design, easy on and off side zipper closure and flexible and durable outsole.
They are made of exquisite leather and available in dark rich colors.
On top of that, these boots feature a three-layer insole. Layer one is a memory foam sock, layer two is latex insole and layer three is latex heel cushion.
Because of all its features, it’s suitable for formal and casual events. Lastly, for a classy, yet stylish finish, this item has a nice shine.
- Flexible, durable outsole and twin buckle design
- Innovative, three-layer insole for extra comfortability
- Versatile and can be worn on all occasions
- Not for rainy days
Deer Stags Chelsea Boots come in two favored colors, black and dark brown. Platform measures roughly 0.5 inches, and the heel height is about 1 inch.
For a comfortable fit, there is an easy slip-on construction with dual goring. Memory foam insole is removable, in case you want to insert a new one.
The sole is crafted from rubber and the upper part is a smooth synthetic that works exceptionally well for the rain.
More than that, special soft fabric linings help absorb moisture, so your feet are dry at all times. They are suitable for wide feet, although the measurements may vary by size.
- Removable and comfortable memory foam
- Absorbs all the moisture
- Suitable for men with wide feet
- Not a genuine leather
GM GOLAIMAN Boots are made out of animal-friendly leather, in a variety of brown and black colors and styles.
Leather and suede leather are polished a few times for a smooth touch. Memory foam insole contains arc support.
Together with the skid-proof soft outsole, they provide maximum comfort and stability for your feet. Other features are slip-on closure and elastic fabric splice.
Since the may run a bit long, it’s recommended you go down half a size. In the case of inconvenience, you can replace them for free within 30 days.
- Arch support and memory foam insole for maximum comfort
- Breathable and soft
- Manufactured from the animal-friendly leather
- Run a bit big
Featuring a plain round toe design, Metrocharm is a classic ankle chelsea boots. They are entirely made out of synthetic, including the sole.
Inside is a cushioned insole and on the outside a non-skid outsole. The platform is relatively small, approximately about 0.5 inches.
They come in three typical colors, black, brown and tan, so they’re great for bringing together any outfit.
These boots are very lightweight, which may be the reason why the soles are too thin. Additionally, they are very reasonably priced.
- Cushioned, comfortable insole
- Very lightweight
- Easy to combine with any outfit
- Outsole is too thin
For significant comfort, durability and water resistance, Ferro Aldo Boots are made with handcrafted synthetic leather.
What’s exceptional about these boots is their added heel spine that serves as reinforcement. Along with 3 cm heel, the platform is approximately 1 cm tall.
Besides their stylish look, these boots are ideal for any activity. They feature a padded interior, double stitched exterior and three-layer synthetic sole that provides comfort with every step you take.
Finally, the seller gives a 90-day warranty, so you have plenty of time to determine if they’re the right choice for you.
- Padded insole with three layers to enhance comfortability
- Durable and water resistant
- Added heel spine as reinforcement
- Slightly narrow at the toes
Famous and trendy, Steve Madden Chelsea Boots will always leave you with an impression of a fashionable man.
Broque design smooth leather surface separates these boots from the others, more classically looking ones.
Clear cut stitches are followed by a burnished cap toe. On top of that, they come in few colors and all are made out of leather.
The sole is synthetic and is made out of fine tread pattern. Lastly, they are fit as expected and are pretty comfortable.
- Fit as anticipated
- Pretty cheap
- Durable and long lasting
- Feel a bit tight and narrow
Calvin Klein Chelsea Boots are made out of 100% leather. Although they only come in black, this classic design can be combined with most of the outfits.
Also, zipper on both sides is a great fashion detail. The sole is made out of synthetic material.
Despite the fact they are meant to be worn as a fashion dress boots, they are wearable all day long.
They can be a bit stiff for the first few days, but very comfortable once you break them in.
In conclusion, these boots are stylish, comfortable and versatile.
- Comfortable for all day walking
- Made of high-quality leather
- Classic design that can be combined with all of your outfits
- Lightweight design for easier handling
- More on the expensive side
A representative example of classic, simple chelsea boots is this Guess model. They’re convenient for both more casual look and formal occasions.
On each side, there is a zipper closure detail, that makes this otherwise classic boots more up-to-the-minute.
Except for the rubber sole, the boots are made out of synthetic. They’re not to narrow, so they’re suitable for wider feet.
In addition to the quality, the price is pretty reasonable for this sort of brand and boot type. Unfortunately, they only come in black.
- Durable and extremely comfortable
- Not too narrow and suitable for men who have wider feet
- Reasonable price
- Only in black color
With a cheerful blue-white sole, Metrocharm Boots MC130 are for those who are seeking for something different.
They come in six colors and except for the traditional brown and black shades, you can even get them in blue.
The platform is taller than usual, 0.75 inches. It features plain round toe design, so they’re suitable for any feet.
Also, together with a non-skid outsole, there is a cushioned footbed insole to provide the ultimate comfort. It’s recommended to take a half of size down since they’re a bit on the wide side.
- Cushioned footbed insole
- Fit well and as expected
- Round toe design is suitable for any type of feet
- Wider than expected
Leather material and flexible non-slip outsole are the main features of Crevo Brown Boots.
Along with a classic double-gore silhouette and functional back pull-tab, these boots are the perfect statement piece.
Their other features are burnished toe and a synthetic sole. Sadly, they don’t have a finish that repels water, but you can always apply a water repellant spray on your own.
Also, they run a bit large, so be careful when choosing a size. Most importantly, these boots come with a memory foam sock and 10.25 inches opening for maximum comfort.
- Flexible, non-slip outsole
- Memory foam sock for extra comfort
- Pretty affordable price
- Not water resistant
If you are looking for a sophisticated look, Bruno Marc Boots will provide you exactly that.
Suede leather finished with smooth fabric lining in a variety of colors can complete your every outfit. Regarding the measurements, the platform is roughly 0.5 inches and the heel is 1 inch tall.
They are a bit big, so when ordering, choose a smaller size than usual. The rubber sole is flexible and the heel is stacked to support your feet.
Also, the sole is durable, and the outsole is a non-skid. This product features round toe design, elastic side panel and a rear pull tab.
- Suede leather finish and flexible rubber sole
- Heel supports your feet when walking
- Durable sole
- Too big
How to Fit and Wear Chelsea Boots
Ideally, your boots should feel snug, but not overly tight.
Boots that are too loose or too tight could result in blisters, so it’s important to take the time to get it right.
The side panels should have some flexibility, and getting the correct size is crucial to ensure that you feel comfortable in your boots.
When it comes to the soles, you’ll find options in leather, rubber, or synthetic materials.
All options have their perks and can last for many years – or footsteps.
A leather sole is not only the most popular option but also the one that is most likely to stick around for the long run.
Wearing Chelsea boots is easy because they truly work with any look.
Sporting khakis? Donning a tailored suit? Kicking back in shorts?
The boots still work – especially if they’re a lightweight suede, which somehow still feels right even when the temperature warms up.
Even with jeans and undershirts for men, Chelsea boots can go the casual route and look right at home.
Brand-wise, the choice is yours. With the ongoing popularity of this type of boot, the options can seem endless.
For some go-to boot brands with quality reputations, check out Kurt Geiger, Loake 1880, and Common Projects.
How to Clean and Maintain Chelsea Boots
Taking care of your boots is equally as important as styling them well.
There are several failsafe approaches for cleaning and maintaining your Chelsea boots, regardless of their material.
Rubbing leather boots with leather conditioner will help maintain the material by restoring its moisture.
To condition them, start by removing the dirt with a brush and diluted Woolite.
Let them dry, then rub in the leather conditioner. When dry once again, finish it up with a light buff (a horsehair shine brush does the trick).
Suede is suppler than regular leather, and its natural flexibility causes it to become prone to scuffing.
A suede brush helps preserve the overall surface of suede Chelsea boots, and specialized suede protector spray will help you avoid unwanted stains and marks.
Simple household materials like a damp towel and white vinegar can also come in handy for removing marks on suede.
Whatever method you choose to clean and sustain your suede, be gentle!
Shoe polish helps preserve and enhance the shine of your leather Chelsea boots, and many polishes can also help mask stains and scuffs.
Available in a variety of colors, shoe polish can be selected to perfectly coordinate with the shade of your boots, ultimately enhancing their overall color.
For best results, apply with a soft cloth and give them time to dry before wearing.
Be it rain, snow, or sleet, using a waterproofing spray will help your Chelsea boots withstand inclement weather.
Waterproof them before the first wear, then apply a thin coat every three to six months to encourage longevity.
Some of the most beneficial boot maintenance comes from what happens when you’re not even wearing them.
With cedar shoe trees, you can help your footwear sustain its shape and absorb moisture buildup.
Want to avoid dust? Tuck your boots into cloth shoe bags to keep the dust out of sight.
Proper Shoe Storage
Storing your boots the right way will help preserve their shape and overall appearance.
Extended heat contact can cause leather to crack. To prevent this, make sure you store your Chelsea boots away from a heat source (like a radiator).
Additionally, keep them out of the sunlight (especially if they’re made of suede), as prolonged exposure can cause fading or mildew.
Chelsea Boots vs Chukka Boots
If lace-less Chelsea boots aren’t your thing, try working some of the best Chukka boots into your wardrobe.
You may also know these boots as “Chukkas” or “desert boots.”
Whatever you call them, they’re a solid alternative to Chelsea boots (or a welcome companion, as there’s surely room for both in your closet).
Since both styles are ankle-high, snugly fit, and typically made of leather, there are many similarities between Chelsea and Chukka boots.
They both originally gained recognition in the United Kingdom, too, but the popularity of Chukkas started first.
A significant difference between the two is the closure, as Chukkas are traditionally crafted with a lace-up shaft, while Chelsea boots will have elastic or a zipper. Chukka boots are also traditionally unlined.
While most Chukka boots will have a leather sole like Chelsea styles, it’s also common for them to be crafted with crepe rubber soles.
This crepe sole styling is most commonly associated with the “desert boot” name, which was first popularized by Clarks.
Like many menswear essentials, the desert boots have military roots and are commonly associated with the attire of British soldiers.
Like Chelsea boots, Chukkas are easy to dress up or dress down. Whether it’s a sharp suit or a laid-back lumberjack look, there’s always a place for these versatile boots that go with almost everything.
Photos from: Lenscap99 / depositphotos.com, Devin_Pavel / depositphotos.com, 13.20stocks.gmail.com / depositphotos.com, nito103 / depositphotos.com, Devin_Pavel / depositphotos.com, MaleWitch / depositphotos.com.
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