Best Chelsea Boots Reviewed & Rated

Chelsea boots are a very stylish type of footwear 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. They may have a very defined appearance but they vary quite a lot between manufacturers.

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Updated just in time for fall of 2018! We've included a couple new models including the Refresh Tildon, and Bruno Marc's brogued beauty for business attire. Check our criteria and FAQs for helpful information to select your next pair!

They 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 especially made for rainy weather, for the winter, or just great for walking around in. Because of their versatility, style and ease, try to find a great pair and it will become a favorite in your wardrobe.

Featured Recommendations

Giorgio Brutini Cormac
  • Giorgio Brutini Cormac
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rich Leather Look
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Price: See Here
Dr. Martens Oakford
  • Dr. Martens Oakford
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Leather
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Price: See Here
Skechers Blaine Orsen
  • Skechers Blaine Orsen
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Rubber Sole
  • Rugged Leather
  • Price: See Here

We spent many hours looking for the best pairs 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 ones. There is something on our list to satisfy everyone and one for every member of the family. Without further ado, let’s meet our lineup:

 

10 Best Chelsea Boots

 

1. Giorgio Brutini Cormac

A sleek, designer model that is great for work or business. Stylish and well made, you will look great in this upscale boot. It features all the handmade quality and hand finished details that you can expect from Giorgio Brutini in a well fitting, supple leather shoe.
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Full leather construction
Leather is an incredibly durable material that is soft against the skin as well as weather and stain resistant. They have a high-quality upscale look that makes them perfect in the boardroom.

Handmade quality
Handstitched boots are generally better quality than cemented ones or ones put together on the assembly line. Their handmade nature along with the material makes them 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 them that much more comfortable.
Pros
  • Waxed Leather
  • Hand Stitched
  • Upscale Look
  • 100% Leather
  • Wide Sizes Available
Cons
  • Upper Lacks Support

2. Dr. Martens Oakford

This is the best example of Dr. Martens's Chelsea line and comes with all of the class Doc DNA. It features the classic Doc synthetic sole and durable double stitching. It has traditional goring on the sides for flexibility. It’s hard to find a more iconic and more durable boot than a Dr. Martens and these will surely become a favorite.
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Classic synthetic sole
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.

Quality leather
Dr. Martens uses high-quality leather in all of their shoes and these ones are not different. The leather is breathable and will not overheat your feet, leaving them dry and cool

Cost and Value
This model is in the lower third of the price range. This model is a great value in return for the quality you are receiving. Docs last forever as well, which gives you even greater value for your money.
Pros
  • Quality Leather
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Air-Cushioned
  • Slip-Resistant
Cons
  • Heavier Boot

3. Skechers Blaine Orsen

The Skechers Blaine Orsen is a sturdy pair with a bit more rugged styling. Quality leather creates the uppers with decorative stitching that’s also functional to hold the panels together. Rounded toe gives ample room for comfort, and a pattern lug sole provides traction on all sorts of surfaces. Suitable for work or play, it’s a great all-around look that can complement most any ensemble you pull together.
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Leather Quality
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.

Styling
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 pair made of quality leather, 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, it will soon be a staple in your footwear collection.
Pros

Leather

Rubber Sole

Ankle Length

Cons

Sizing Varies

Durability

4. Skechers Segment-Dorton

4. Skechers Segment-Dorton
Skechers - the name says comfortable, functional footwear and this model lives up to the reputation of their maker. This oiled leather pair looks rugged and solid and ready to hit the road on a Harley. It’s comfortable inside too so don’t let that rugged look fool you into thinking this is a rough pair. It’s a fantastic addition to your wardrobe.
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Gel-infused memory foam
These ones 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.

Concealed goring
The side goring is concealed behind strips of oiled leather for a unique look but also for additional protection for your ankles whether you are working hard or playing hard when wearing them.

Cost and Value
They 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.
Pros
  • Leather Upper
  • Concealed Panels
  • Rear Pull Loop
  • Gel Infused  Memory Foam
  • Synthetic Sole
Cons
  • Sizes Run Wide

5. Blundstone Dress

5. Blundstone Dress
Classic Australian Blunnies. These shoes look great and are appropriate for kicking around or working. They feature a steel shank for stability, extra shock-absorption in the heel and a premium leather upper. The footbed and PU midsole make it very comfortable for long hours on your feet.
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Removable footbed
The footbed in this model 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, but you will be getting one of the most popular models for the money. The reason they are so popular has nothing to do with the name and everything to do with their quality, comfort, and wearability. Work all day in them without aches or pains and still have the energy to walk around doing your errands at night.
Pros
  • Leather Upper
  • Rubber Sole
  • Anatomic Footbed
  • Stablizing Shank
  • PU Midsole
  • TPU outsole
Cons
  • Fits Wide

6. Joules Wellibob

6. Joules Wellibob
A colorful, fun rainboot in the well-known style. These are a cute rainboot for working in the garden or just keeping your feet dry while walking around town. They come in a variety of printed rubber toppers from solid black, to geese to floral designs to allow you to express your individuality and sense of fun in your rainboot. Comfy padded footbed too!
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Durable construction
These are a very durable pair with a rubber upper and rubber. Apart from being cute, they are also waterproof and abrasion-resistant, so they will last you a very long time.

Expressive style
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! They are fun and 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 style and comfortable padding too - not just for working in the garden!
Pros
  • Rubber Rain Boot
  • Rounded, Roomy Toe
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • Textile Lined
Cons
  • Fixed Insole

7. Blundstone Original

7. Blundstone Original
The Original Blundstone that started it all, this is one tough, comfortable boot. You can take it anywhere and work all day in comfort. It’s made of a premium, thick leather for protection and durability. They also feature a toe spring, reinforced stitching and a soft leather and textile lining. They are rugged and will take you anywhere you want to go.
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TPU Outsole
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. They should last you years.

2.5 mm thick Leather
The leather upper 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 you are getting. These are a little tougher than the Dress and should last longer before having to be replaced.
Pros
  • TPU Outsole
  • Toe Spring
  • Premium Thick Leather
  • Protective Leather Upper
  • Shock-Absorbing System
Cons
  • Finish Appears Dull

8. Bruno Marc Bergen

8. Bruno Marc Bergen
More formal than other models on our list, the Bruno Marc Bergen steps up the embellishment and styling with brogueing and wingtip toe design. Typical elastic side gores are edged with more decorative perforations, and a slightly stacked heel gives some height and confidence to your steps. With a few color options available, you can find one best suited to your wardrobe, and your individual style preferences.
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Decorative
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 model, 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.

Construction
Synthetic material creates the uppers of the Bergen, but gives a shiny look, and maintains flexibility for walking. Side zipper closure helps get your feet in and out of the shoe 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 option 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 stylish and sophisticated, 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.
Pros

Brogue

Wingtip

Formal Dress

Price

Flexibility

Cons

Thin Leather

Durability

9. Skechers Double Trouble

9. Skechers Double Trouble
Skechers is an award-winning global footwear manufacturer that knows a trendy and comfortable shoe. This model is a great example of their skill. This is a cute and comfortable wedge that will look great with whatever casual or business wear you choose for the day.
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Bio-dri lining
It's 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.

Memory foam
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
This Skechers model is in the low-range relative to others on our list. It is still an investment as you are getting a pair that will last for quite a while - it is comfortable and will prevent your feet from becoming too sweaty during prolonged wear. It is also a stylish model with the ruching and the wedge.
Pros
  • Wedge Heel
  • Comfortable Insole
  • Bio-Dri Lining
  • Inside Zipper
Cons
  • Sizes Run Wide

10. Refresh Tildon

10. Refresh Tildon
Lastly on our list, the Refresh Tildon is clean and simply styled, with a low chunky heel and rounded toe. With many hues of browns, greys and black, you’ll be able to pair them perfectly with many different outfits and styles of attire. Synthetic material construction makes it a vegan friendly option as well, but still gives a great soft feel with its faux suede look. Perfect for work attire or casual evenings out, it’s a great entry-level option!
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Vegan Friendly
The Refresh Tildon is constructed from synthetic materials, which makes this a vegan friendly option for those where something animal-friendly is preferred. Soft faux suede gives a great feel 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.

Clean Appeal
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 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.
Pros

Vegan Friendly

Synthetic & Rubber Sole

Faux Leather

Cons

Sizing Varies

Lacks Heel Pull Tab

Depending on your needs, there is a shoe on this list that will suit you. Whether you’re looking for an inexpensive style, a pair that lasts forever, a rainboot, a snowboot, or one that is great for work but also works for play, you will find it here – our list really does contain something for everyone.

Read further for a description of the criteria we use for assessment. 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.

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Chelsea Boots

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Chelsea Character

To make our list, the pair we looked at had to have the traditional characteristics. These really are the important characteristics of the style, so if they’re missing altogether, you have a boot of some type but not this one.

  • Flexible sides:  The slip-on flexibility and fit 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 inside, with a little help from the pull tab, without easily wearing out. Goring that sags or does not bounce back will leave you uncomfortable and unsteady, as well as ruin your look. If a zipper is used (as in two of the pairs on our list), it must leave the top flexible and open.

 

  • Wide mouth – These 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 is meant to be wide as part of the style. All of the models in our list have the traditional wide mouth.

 

  • Traction sole – They 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 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 it does not have a zipper, it will require either a low cut or pull tabs to help you get them on easily.

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Durability

These shoes 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 pair you have chosen and you deserve to have it last. What makes it durable?

  • Outsole: The outsole is what 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 model 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 often do not last as long as the outer parts. That’s okay but they should be removable so you can replace them with inserts when they wear out – extending the comfort and the use.

 

  • 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. Look for indications that the upper is durable and will not wear out easily.

 

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Comfort

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 pair:

  • Goring – the goring should not abrade your ankle or rub against it a way that will cause blisters.

 

 

  • Mouth – the mouth is wide, this is the style, but your foot should still sit securely and comfortably into the heel without sliding out.

 

  • Weight – they 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 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 – It 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 these a new style?  I’ve only really seen them in the last few years.
A: Ah, fashion. Everything old is new again. They date all the way back to the Victorian era, when the streets weren’t so very clean and good footwear was 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 became attached to the boot in the 1960s, named after a street in London, England.

Q:  Are there variations of them?  I’ve seen styles with pointed toes.
A: Yes, there are several variations. One is a pointed toe variation that was created for the Beatles and are often called “Beatle boots” and another is the jodhpur model, a specifically designed one for horseback riding.

Q:  What is goring?
A:  Goring is elasticized paneling that is added to shoes to help in getting them on. It is also used in 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 this look. Are there options for me?
A:  Several of the models 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. 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 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 for my birthday. But what do I wear with them?
A:  They 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 pair. 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. First, clean it 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 and work it in according to the manufacturer’s directions. Allow them to dry and then treat them with a waterproofing sealant to restore their water-resistance. Be prepared to treat them 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 your pair, or take it to a cobbler to see if they can do more for you.

Q:  Some of these 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!


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