Chelsea boots began life in England in the mid-19th century and didn’t stray far from home until recently. The elasticized wonders were a staple of the mid-’60s mod scene and protected the feet of seemingly every British invader from John to Ringo. Recently they’ve seen a revival on many of menswear’s best dressed. The silhouette is very slim and features elastic side panels and heel pull-tabs.
Blundstone 550 Boots
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Technically part of the Australian bush boot lineage of boots, Blundstone’s 550 boot is one of the best values you can get. It’s a top choice for people in every industry thanks to the tough leather upper, shock-absorption and classic design.
Rhodes Huxley Boot
These boots combine a super flexible and resolable Blake stitch construction with premium calfskin uppers and made-in-Portugal craftsmanship. They're more chiseled than the Blundstones, giving them a sleeker aesthetic that pairs well with a dressier outfit. They're also more comfortable than other boots from the getgo thanks to the cushioned Texon® insole.
Taylor Stitch Ranch Low
The Taylor Stitch Ranch Low doesn't stand as tall as other options on this list, but that's exactly what makes it stand out. In addition to its Goodyear-welted construction, the weather-restistant navy suede isn't something you see everyday. It's made in small batches and features a natural pigskin lining, cork insole as well as oil-resistant Vibram outsoles.
Unmarked French Toe Chelsea Boots
The French Toe Chelsea Boots from Unmarked are handcrafted in Léon, Mexico, a town known as the shoemaking capital of the world. The shoes use a smooth "Mysterious" black Mexican cowhide for the upper and incorporate vegetable-tanned leather for the lining, insole, midsole and outsole. It's constructed with a Goodyear welt, brass nails and wooden pegs.
R.M. Williams Craftsman Boots
R.M. Williams’ Craftsman Boot is its best-selling boot, braving the Australian outback on the feet of its hardest-working cowboys. The single, one-piece leather upper is supple yet durable and the Goodyear-welted construction extends the life of the boot several factors over. If it’s tough enough for Aussie cowboys, it’s tough enough for you.
Common Projects Chelsea Boots
An instant classic since it was introduced into the lineup of luxury footwear brand Common Projects, this Chelsea boot features supple suede and a comfortable crepe rubber sole. Kanye’s been known to rock this version, but it’s not limited to hip-hop royalty.
Rolling Dub Trio Side-Gore Boot
If you're after a more heritage take on the chelsea boot, Japanese brand Rolling Dub Trio is what you should get. Its Side-Gore Boot takes the slip-on shoe into workwear territory, featuring Horween chromexcel leather for the uppers, cork soles, vintage Cat's Paw heels and custom metal toe guards.
J.M. Weston Goodyear-Welted Leather Chelsea Boots
Established in 1891, French shoemaker J.M. Weston is revered amongst shoe snobs. Its Chelsea Boots showcase a taller shaft than most, paired with a sleek chiseled toe box. The boots are leather-lined and feature rare details like concealed sole stitching and handwelted construction, which sees the welt stitched to a leather holdfast, resulting in even better durability than conventional Goodyear welt construction.