Best Chelsea Boots Reviewed & Rated
Chelsea boots are a very stylish boot that comes up to or just above the ankle but does not cover the shin. They are not lace-ups but have goring on either side of the ankle to make putting them on easy. Chelsea boots may have a very defined appearance but they vary quite a lot between manufacturers.
Chelsea boots are generally very versatile. They can be appropriate for work, for dressing down with a pair of jeans or for dressing up with a business casual suit. They can be a rain boot, a winter boot, or a great boot for walking around in. Because of their versatility, style and ease, a great pair of Chelsea boots will become a favorite in your wardrobe.
- Giorgio Brutini Cormac
- Rich Leather Look
- Synthetic Sole
- Dr. Martens Oakford
- Synthetic Sole
- Skechers Blaine Orsen
- Rubber Sole
- Rugged Leather
We spent many hours looking for the best Chelsea boots available on the market, to suit a variety of needs and tastes. We’ve come up with a list of 10 of the very best Chelsea boots. There is something on our list to satisfy everyone and one for every member of the family. Without further ado, let’s meet our line up:
10 Best Chelsea Boots
1. Giorgio Brutini Cormac
Leather is an incredibly durable material that is soft against the skin as well as weather and stain resistant. These boots have a high-quality upscale look that makes them perfect in the boardroom.
Handstitched boots are generally better quality than cemented boots or boots that are put together on the assembly line. The handmade nature of the boots along with the material make these boots reasonably durable.
Cost and Value
These are very low priced for the quality and look great! They fit well with the elastic goring on the sides and you will appreciate the insole padding that makes the boots that much more comfortable.
- Waxed Leather
- Hand Stitched
- Upscale Look
- 100% Leather
- Wide Sizes Available
- Upper Lacks Support
2. Dr. Martens Oakford
Dr. Martens’ soles are made from a sticky synthetic rubber that provides great traction on any terrain. It can stiffen in icy conditions though, so a word of caution in winter. The sole is also air cushioned for shock absorption and comfort.
Dr. Martens uses high-quality leather in all of their shoes and these Chelsea's are not different. The leather is breathable and will not overheat your feet, leaving them dry and cool
Cost and Value
These Chelsea boots are in the lower third of the price range. The Oakford Chelsea is a great value in return for the quality boot you are receiving. Docs last forever as well, which gives you even greater value for your money.
- Quality Leather
- Synthetic Sole
- Heavier Boot
3. Skechers Blaine Orsen
Uppers of the Blaine Orsen have been constructed form quality leather, durable yet pleasing to the touch, and ready for whatever wear and tear you throw at them. Panels are carefully stitched together, and elastic side gores are hidden from view by a panel of stitched leather. Heel and tongue pull tabs make it easy access to pull onto the foot.
Slightly more rugged in its appeal, the Blaine Orsen can be worn for both casual settings, business attire, or when paired correctly, for some formal events. Its rich oiled leather gives it a smooth finished look, while rugged sole allows for traction in any kind of weather or on uneven surfaces. Rounded toe gives room for walking over long periods of time, without getting sore feet.
Cost and Value
Similar to other Skechers brand footwear, the Blaine Orsen is averagely priced. For a well-constructed and quality leather Chelsea style boot, it’s a bargain! Rich oiled leather look allows these to be durable and versatile in function and use, so you can’t go wrong! Perfect for those who are in search of their first pair, or Chelsea lovers, it will soon be a staple in your footwear collection.
4. Skechers Segment-Dorton
These boots feature a gel-infused memory foam insole for comfort. Memory foam is great all by itself but when it’s added to the recoverability of gel, it takes comfort to a whole other level of all-day comfort.
The side goring on these Chelsea boots is concealed behind strips of oiled leather for a unique look to the Chelsea but also for additional protection for your ankles whether you are working hard or playing hard in these boots.
Cost and Value
These boots are in the mid-range of price for the shoes on this list. For the investment though you are getting Skechers comfort and functionality combined with a rugged, oiled leather look and extra protection for your ankles. Worth the extra money.
- Leather Upper
- Concealed Panels
- Rear Pull Loop
- Gel Infused Memory Foam
- Synthetic Sole
- Sizes Run Wide
5. Blundstone Dress
The footbed in this Dress Blundstone Chelsea boot is anatomically shaped and removable. You can wear your own custom insole or orthotic if you wish.
Support where you need it
The Blunnies Dress features a steel shank in the midsole for stability and Blundstone's Prono XRD shock protection in the heel strike zone for extra shock-absorption, reducing soreness and fatigue in the heel and ankle.
Cost and Value
These shoes are very much an investment. However, for the money, you are getting one of the most popular Chelsea boots. The reason they are so popular has nothing to do with the name and everything to do with the quality, comfort, and wearability of these boots. Work all day in them without aches or pains and still have the energy to walk around doing your errands at night.
- Leather Upper
- Rubber Sole
- Anatomic Footbed
- Stablizing Shank
- PU Midsole
- TPU outsole
- Fits Wide
6. Joules Wellibob
These are a very durable rain boot with a rubber upper and rubber They are waterproof and abrasion resistant so these cute rain boots will last you a very long time.
Who can be dull and grey like rainy, overcast weather when you’re wearing boots with bright floral prints, vivid stripes or airy, flying geese? You can’t is the answer here! These fun boots are all expressive sunshine.
Cost and Value
These boots are a great value at the low end of the price range. For the cost, you could get the chihuahuas and the floral print to mix up the fun. They are a great rainboot with the wide-mouthed Chelse style and comfortable padding too - not just for working in the garden!
- Rubber Rain Boot
- Rounded, Roomy Toe
- Abrasion Resistant
- Textile Lined
- Fixed Insole
7. Blundstone Original
The outsole on these Blundstones is made from thermoplastic polyurethane which provides good traction and much longer wear than other outsoles. It is also oil, acid and fat resistant, making them great in a kitchen. These boots should last you years.
2.5 mm thick Leather
The leather upper in this Chelsea boot is thick, protective and medium-quality. It is weather-resistant and rugged, ready to take on almost anything.
Cost and Value
Blundstones are an investment, at the higher end of the price range for shoes on our list. However, like the Dress Blunnie, these are worth every penny for the quality, comfort, and durability of the boot. These are a little tougher than the Dress and should last longer before having to be replaced.
- TPU Outsole
- Toe Spring
- Premium Thick Leather
- Protective Leather Upper
- Shock-Absorbing System
- Finish Appears Dull
8. Bruno Marc Bergen
Along the entirety of the boot, the Bruno Marc Bergen boasts of decorative brogueing along the toe box and edges of the side gores, as well as sporting wingtip toe to pull it all together. Best suited as a dressier Chelsea, it will go well with work or business attire or suits, and formal occasions such as weddings or galas. Perforations help keep the foot cool during extended wear, and heel tab makes the Bergen a cinch to pull on.
Synthetic material creates the uppers of the Bergen, but gives a shiny look, and maintains flexibility for walking. Side zipper closure helps get you in and out of the boot in addition to its heel tab, and a stacked heel adds an elevated confidence. Rubber soles give it traction in addition to sole pattern for grip. Perfect for Chelsea enthusiasts to consider if you’re in search of a fancier pair!
Cost and Value
Definitely one of the more budget friendly options on our list, the Bruno Marc Bergen is a stylish sophisticated Chelsea boot, and will have heads turning for a second look. Decorative brogues and wingtip toe give it a posh look, while rubber sole provides great traction, and side zipper give them an easy fit. Best for formal occasions or business dress, they pair well with slacks, wool trousers, tuxedos, or even a pair of jeans.
9. Skechers Double Trouble
The Great Chelsea is lined with Skechers’ Bio-Dri lining which wicks moisture away from your feet keeping them dry and comfortable. It also helps to keep odor down in the shoes.
The insole in this shoe is an air-cooled memory foam which also helps keep your feet cool and dry while providing a comfortable cushion for walking or standing on your feet all day.
Cost and Value
These Skechers Chelsea boots are in the low-range relative to the boots on our list. Still, an investment you are getting a boot that will last for quite a while is comfortable and will prevent your feet from becoming too sweaty during prolonged wear. It is also a stylish boot with the ruching and wedge.
- Wedge Heel
- Comfortable Insole
- Bio-Dri Lining
- Inside Zipper
- Sizes Run Wide
10. Refresh Tildon
The Refresh Tildon is constructed from synthetic materials, which makes this boot a vegan friendly option for those where something animal-friendly is preferred. Soft faux suede gives a great feel to the boot, but still keeps the classic Chelsea side goring for style points. Ankle length make them great for pairing with skinny jeans or leggings, or to hide under wider trousers and dress pants.
If you’re newer to wearing a Chelsea style boot, the Tildon is a great entry level option, as it keeps a clean look and appeal, which you can pair with any kind of outfit. It’s versatile with its look, but a small chunky heel keeps it on par with other dress shoes, giving it added height and confidence. Heel tab makes them easy to pull on, and a rounded toe gives ample room for comfort.
Cost and Value
Another budget friendly option on our list, the Refresh Tildon is a great option for newer Chelsea wearers to consider, as well as those who prefer vegan made footwear. Soft faux suede gives them a luxe feel, while clean classic styling makes them versatile for pairing with a plethora of outfits and occasions. A great all around option for a Chelsea to add to your closet.
Synthetic & Rubber Sole
Lacks Heel Pull Tab
Depending on your needs, there is a shoe on this list that will suit you. Whether it’s inexpensive style, a boot that lasts forever, a rain boot, a snow boot, or a boot that is great for work but also works for play, you will find it here. Our list of the 10 Chelsea boots really does contain something for everyone.
Read further for a description of the criteria we use to assess the Chelsea boots that we looked at. The criteria section and the frequently asked questions are great resources to give you information about what to look for when you’re considering purchasing your own pair of Chelseas.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Chelsea Boots
To make our list the boots we looked at had to have certain traditional Chelsea boot characteristics. These really are the important characteristics of the style, so if they’re missing altogether, you have a boot of some type but it’s not a Chelsea.
- Flexible sides: The slip-on flexibility and fit of a Chelsea boot is usually accomplished with elasticized goring on the ankles and only occasionally with an inner zipper. The goring must be firm enough to allow the foot to slip into the boot, with a little help from the pull tab, without easily wearing out. Goring that sags or does not bounce back will leave you uncomfortable, unsteady and ruin the look of the boot. If a zipper is used (as in two of the boots on our list), it must leave the top of the boot flexible and open.
- Wide mouth – These boots typically have a wider mouth than other boots. This can sometimes lead people to believe that they do not fit properly but this is not the case. The top of the boot is meant to be wide as part of the style. All of the boots in our list have the wide mouth of a traditional Chelsea boot.
- Traction sole – Chelsea’s are meant to be durable and workable and therefore have rubber or synthetic rubber soles that provide good traction and durability. The sole should be shock-absorbing but it is not a requirement of a Chelsea boot that they are layered or feature a thick cushioning midsole.
- Protective upper – They are traditionally made of high-quality leather in the upper but the important aspect of the upper is actually protection. A protective upper can be made of rubber, leather, or synthetic leathers.
- Pull tabs – If the boot does not have a zipper, it will require either a low cut (meaning it is not a Chelsea anymore) or pull tabs to help you get them on easily.
Chelsea boots are meant to be durable top and bottom. In most cases, not all, you are investing quite a bit of your hard-earned money into the boot and you deserve to have that boot last. What makes a boot durable?
- Outsole: The outsole of the boot comes into direct contact with the ground – concrete, pavement, dirt, cobble, gravel – a lot of abrasive surfaces that can wear down a cheap out-sole fast. A good out-sole is meant to stand up to the abrasion. It may be made of rubber, a hardened form of rubber, synthetic rubber or leather to make it tough but of all of these tough materials, hardened forms of rubber have the most resistance to wear. When we’re talking about synthetic rubbers, these can be hit or miss – too brittle and they’ll break apart, too soft and they’ll wear out like butter on a hot day. Read reviews to determine how well the out-sole lasts.
- Midsole – Midsoles are not built into every Chelsea boot or if they are, they are usually thin. Thin is okay as long as the midsole lasts. It should provide cushion and shock absorption without being too rigid or collapsible.
- Insole – The insoles on boots often do not last as long as the outer parts of the boot. That’s okay but they should be removable so you can replace them with inserts when they wear out – extending the comfort and use of the boot.
- Upper – A durable upper is water and stain resistant (not necessarily waterproof). It should be constructed in a way that seals it well to the sole. Goodyear welting is the best but proper cementing can also make an upper very durable. The material – whether rubber, synthetic or leather – should be thick enough to last a very long time but not so thick as to be overly rigid. If it is synthetic, it should not peel easily. Again reviews are a great place to discover information about the quality of the upper in your boot. Look for indications that the upper is durable and will not wear out easily.
If you’ve read a number of our criteria sections, you will have seen that we talk about comfort quite a lot. There are a few reasons for this:
- A comfortable shoe is virtually pain-free and shoes should never cause you pain
- A comfortable shoe is worn more frequently, giving you the best use for your money
- A comfortable shoe is also likely a very supportive shoe that will help prevent injury or aggravate already existing injuries and conditions
- A comfortable shoe is also a shoe that likely will not cause minor but painful injuries like blisters, scrapes, and abrasions, and
- When you purchase a shoe online, you do not want to be surprised to discover that you’ve purchased a shoe so uncomfortable you will never wear it again.
Here are some brief tips about the comfort of a good Chelsea boot:
- Goring – the goring should not abrade your ankle or rub against it a way that will cause blisters.
- Back – the back of the boot should not cut into your ankle.
- Mouth – the mouth of a Chelsea boot is wide, this is the style, but your foot should still sit securely and comfortably into the heel without sliding out.
- Weight – the boots are going to be heavier than most athletic shoes or dress shoes but they should not be so heavy as to cause you fatigue. Check the weight of boots in the specifications.
- Fit – ensure you read size charts and reviews to determine the correct size and width for your needs. A poor fit will be uncomfortable.
- Insoles – look for padded insoles and footbeds that will cushion the feet.
- Flexibility – The boot should be flexible enough to move with your feet. For high arches, there should be more flexibility and for flat feet, less flexibility.
- Toe Box – make sure will be enough room in the toe box for your toes to lie next to one another and not be compressed together.
- Heel – there should be great shock absorption in the heel area to take the load off your heel and ankle
We could literally write a book about shoe comfort but the above are some great tips for ensuring that your purchase will make your feet happy rather than angry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Chelsea boots a new style? I’ve only really seen them in the last few years.
A: Ah, fashion. Everything old is new again. Chelseas date all the way back to the Victorian era, when the streets weren’t so very clean and good boots were a necessity. They were worn by both men and women. They also saw a surge of popularity again in the 1960’s among the mod crowd. They are now seeing another surge of popularity for their stylish look, durability, and ease of use. The name Chelsea became attached to the boot in the 1960s named after a street in London, England.
Q: Are there variations of the Chelsea boot? I’ve seen styles with pointed toes.
A: Yes, there are several variations of the Chelsea boot. One is a pointed toe variation that was created for the Beatles and are often called “Beatle boots” and another is the jodhpur boot, which is a Chelsea that is specifically designed for horseback riding.
Q: What is goring?
A: Goring is elasticized paneling that is added to shoes to help in getting them on. Goring is used in Chelsea boots, jodhpurs and a lot of slip-on styles like loafers.
Q: The synthetic leather on my boot is peeling away. Is there anything I can do about that?
A: There are repair kits that you can purchase for synthetic leather peeling. However, these kits are not cheap and it takes quite a bit of time and talent to use them in a way that isn’t readily obvious. It’s often not worth the money and time to replace a synthetic upper. Read reviews to avoid this problem and know that inexpensive synthetic leather shoes are not going to hold up as well as genuine leather and higher quality synthetics.
Q: Size guides are so confusing, why should I waste my time figuring them out?
A: Like anything else, they do become easier to read the more of them you are exposed to. They are worth reading because no two manufacturers will make shoes in exactly the same size or the same way. And no manufacturer can even be said to create two different shoe models in exactly the same size or way. Reading the size charts and guides is a good way to ensure your purchase will fit your foot. Also reading reviews will tell you if the size chart is accurate. Most are but not all.
Q: When a shoe is described as a fashion shoe, what does that mean?
A: It usually means that the shoe was built with its appearance as the primary design aspect and less focus may have been put on the other aspects of the shoe. For example, functionality, comfort, and durability may be sacrificed for the look of the shoe.
Q: I’m a vegan for ethical reasons but I really love that Chelsea boot look. Are there options for me?
A: Several of the boots on our list are made of synthetic leather and one entirely of rubber. One is even specifically made of vegan leather. When looking for vegan-friendly shoes it is important for you to carefully read the specifications for the boot. You can also post questions on many online buying sites. The manufacturer or experienced consumers may tell you whether the synthetic material is vegan-friendly.
Q: Leather or suede? I can’t pick!
A: Sorry, can’t help you there. Leather and suede are both great looking for a Chelsea boot and the choice will be a personal one to you. Think about where you want to wear them, how they might scuff, what outfits they will match and you’ll soon have your answer. Either way though, if you purchase quality, you won’t go wrong and you’ll rock the look.
Q: So excited that I received a great pair of Chelseas for my birthday. But what do I wear with them?
A: The boots are designed to be a little slim so skinny jeans look great with them but so do straight cut jeans and pants, skirts, dresses, and capris. You can pair them with whatever makes you look good and feel good. These are a very versatile style. Younger folks are creating their own styles and don’t get bogged down by stiff fashion rules anymore, so go with what makes you happy.
Q: Oh man, the leather is cracking on my Chelseas. I’ve had them for years and I don’t want to give them up. Help!
A: Cracking leather can be caused by a number of factors – UV radiation exposure (i.e. too much sun), excessive aridity (desert-like dryness), heat, and chemical exposure. Clean the boot carefully with a dry cloth. Using a damp cloth with a leather cleaner, gently clean the leather being sure to wipe away any residue with a clean damp cloth. Apply a good quality leather conditioner to the boots and work it in according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow the boots to dry and then treat them with a waterproofing sealant to restore their water-resistance. Be prepared to treat the boots with the conditioner again in a week or two to help further restore the leather. If the cracking is very deep or has created a hole, you may have to just give up and replace the boot or take it to a cobbler to see if they can do more for you.
Q: Some of these boots aren’t exactly Chelsea boots, are they?
A: At NicerShoes.com, we appreciate the creativity it takes to interpret a style and make it your own so we do include shoes that are interpretations from time to time. So long as they match the basic qualities of a shoe, we do grant some leeway. This is to give you variety, give a nod to creative shoemaking and because if designers did not create innovations in footwear, we wouldn’t have the dizzying array of shoes that we enjoy today. Go creativity!