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8 Zip-Up Boots for a Functional Alternative to the Chelsea

With selections from Calvin Klein to Maison Margiela and Belstaff to Berluti.


The zippered boot is ready for service. In its more tactical iterations, this style of boot commonly protects the feet of firefighters and paratroopers who need them on at a moment’s notice. Yet the design is also favored among another set of hard workers: style icons. The Beatles’ side-zippered variant of the chelsea boot solidified their rock-star aesthetic early in the 1960s.

The zippered boot can be dressed up or down and worn beneath jeans or chinos. And in contrast to the added bulk of the laced or pull-on boot (where the entire foot must be able to slide through the top) the zippered boot’s side entry allows a slimmer overall silhouette that easily fits a narrow pant leg. For rockers or soldiers, firemen or urbanites, the zip always delivers.


Calvin Klein ‘Beck’ Zip Boot
A sleek profile and double zippers make The Calvin Klein Beck boots a solid budget-friendly option. $90


Johnston & Murphy ‘Larsey’ Plain Toe Boot
This old-school American brand takes a modern approach to the dress boot with a fine-grain calfskin upper and a sheepskin lining.


Uri Minkoff ‘Manet’ Boot
Uri Minkoff’s Manet boot splices textures, collaging its fine grain with a distinctive side panel of pebble leather beneath a polished buckle.


To Boot New York ‘Harrison’ Zip Boot
The Harrison boot combines a higher shaft and a high-polish sheen with an unexpectedly rugged lug sole to ensure versatility in styling.


Belstaff, Attwell Burnished-Suede Boots
Inspired by motorcycle culture, these Belstaff boots come in suede with a burnished, slightly worn finish.


Paul Smith, Sullivan Distressed Suede Boots
Without any seams lining its front face, the Paul Smith suede boot offers a particularly clean and unadorned appearance.


Maison Margiela, Brushed-Leather Chelsea Boots
An update of the 1960s wardrobe essential, these Chelsea Boots trade elasticated sides for zippers and sit on faux crepe soles.


Berluti, Artista Oiled-Suede Boots
The product of a century of boot-making experience, Berluti’s hand-crafted approach and particular attention to the unique shape of the foot are evident in these oiled suede boots with burnished leather trim.

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