They may have gotten their name from London’s Chelsea neighborhood back in the beatnik ‘50s and ‘60s, but the best Chelsea boots for men today are anything but vintage. With modern leather finishes and colors, high-traction rubber soles and stylish touches, these slip-on boots are great for work, travel and weekends.
After researching the market and tapping into our extensive experience reviewing men’s footwear, our top pick overall is Astorflex’s Bitflex for its high-quality leather, versatile style and excellent fit. If you want something durable that can withstand cold winter conditions, we recommend Blundstone’s Thermal All-Terrains and for commuting or travel, go for a sleek, waterproof pair like Cole Haan’s Zerøgrand. Here, all the best Chelsea boots for men that earned high marks in our review process:
Other Top Picks To Consider
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
At Forbes Vetted, our fashion coverage includes many footwear articles, from the best men’s casual shoes to the highest-rated work boots. Readers trust us to help make smart and informed shopping decisions and we thoroughly vet each and every recommendation we make, according to specific criteria that depends on the topic and subject matter at hand. When finalizing our list of best Chelsea boots for men, we focused on a range of brands, materials and prices, sorting through hundreds of options and customer reviews. We the top boots for the quality of their construction and design, longevity of the materials, comfort and durability of the insoles and outsoles, overall style and value for the price.
What To Consider When Shopping For Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots are traditionally made of leather, while some are made of a polyurethane-based leather substitute. Like most leather goods, higher quality leather generally comes with a higher price tag, but then they’ll likely last for decades with proper maintenance. Smooth leather styles are considered to be dressier while suede, with its rougher texture, is better suited for more casual settings. Think about your budget and where you’ll be wearing your Chelsea boots, then pick out a style accordingly.
Another detail worth considering is the sole material. Dressier Chelsea boots have a leather sole which might require a bit of scuffing up and break-in time since they tend to be stiffer and slick straight out of the box. Most of the boots we reviewed have rubber soles which are flexible and offer more traction than their smoother leather counterparts. Again, assess the conditions where you’ll likely wear your Chelsea boots. If you expect to walk long distances or be on slippery surfaces, a rubber sole might be best for you.
The color of your boots is really a matter of preference and with some brands, like Amberjack, offering close to ten options, it can be confusing to know which one to pick. There are some general color guidelines, although most old-school sartorial rules don’t apply in today’s flexible fashion world. Brown leather Chelsea boots are considered a versatile color than be easily dressed up or down. Black boots can be styled for dressier occasions with a dark business suit, or when paired with slim jeans and a leather jacket, you can create a casual look. Some styles come in burgundy or gray tones, too, that strike a not-too-dressy, not-too-casual balance.
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