Best Chelsea Boots Reviewed & Rated
An excellent choice for fall and winter wear, Chelsea boots are a great addition to anyone’s closet, seeing that they can easily be dressed up or down. Appropriate for work, casual wear, and even with a suit, they come in a wide variety of designs and styles, from simple and elegant, to rugged, even to those with broguing and colorful details, allowing you to show off your personal style. With a huge number of models available on the market, it may be difficult to find the best one for you. That’s why we compiled this list of the ten best Chelsea boots available for purchase, with options for every budget, style and color preference.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 10 hrs of research
Leather Upper, Lining & Outsole
No Break In Period
- Frye Melissa Chelsea
- Thursday Boot Company Duke
- Dr. Martens Oakford
- Giorgio Brutini Cormac
- Blundstone Dress
- Blundstone Original
- Skechers Double Trouble
- Skechers Blaine Orsen
- Skechers Segment-Dorton
- Joules Wellibob
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Chelsea Boots
1. Frye Melissa Chelsea
Leather Upper, Lining & Outsole
No Break In Period
Rugged but exceptionally stylish, the Melissa by Frye is one of the best options you can go with. It comes in several beautiful antique leather versions - including black, cognac and slate - that'll be easy to match with a variety of outfits from jeans to skirts to dresses. Like all Frye footwear, the Melissa is made with premium quality Italian leather, and is one of those shoes that'll develop a gorgeous patina with wear, lasting you for years to come.Read more
Nothing says high end quality like the clicking of a good leather outsole. While it may not be appropriate for wear in wet conditions, a leather outsole will provide you with exceptional comfort, natural shock absorption and plenty of breathability to make wearing these boots an enjoyable experience. The low 1" heel is of the perfect height to add a bit of cushion under the heel, but without shifting your weight forward too much.
Attention to Detail
While the upper is simple on the Melissa, this does not mean that small details have been forgotten about. The pull tab features a classic Frye button for a pop of metal, while stitching under the goring adds some subtle style to an otherwise classic shoe.
Cost and Value
Probably the most expensive pair of footwear on this list, the Frye Melissa may not fit everyone's budget. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a good investment in terms of footwear, then it's definitely recommended seeing that it's one of the most comfortable and durable pairs you'll find. Additionally, the leather and lining are soft and comfy, requiring no break in period, allowing you to wear these for hours, out of the box.
2. Thursday Boot Company Duke
Genuine Leather Upper
Soft Leather Lining
Natural Cork Footbed
Studded Rubber Outsole
Runs Large and Wide
It's hard to go wrong with a product made by the Thursday Boot Company, and the Duke is no different. Made for those who prefer elegant style, high quality materials and some of the best quality control in the industry, it'll definitely be the pair of shoes you reach for every morning when you're headed to work. You can choose between suede or leather for the upper, and get either a black, brown or tan color that'll be easy to match with a variety of outfits from jeans to suits.Read more
The upper of this boot is made either with quality leather or with water-ready suede that will stand up to unexpected showers. However, it's the Goodyear Welt construction that ensures a waterproof and durable pair of footwear. The outsoles are made with studded rubber for a good amount of grip even on wet surfaces, so you can rest assured that this is a great all-round model for all types of weather conditions.
The Duke features a full glove leather interior that'll be soft to the touch while providing a good amount of breathability in case you've worked up a sweat. The footbed is made with natural cork that adapts to your arch, providing you with great arch support, while a Poron insole ensures excellent shock absorption and antimicrobial properties.
Cost and Value
Considering their quality, these boots are completely worth the slightly higher asking price. Handcrafted, made with plenty of comfort features, and beautifully designed, you can rest assured that these will serve you well for years to come. Added features such as the elastic goring and pull tab make them easier to use, and a breeze to put on, even when you're in a hurry.
3. 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.Read more
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.
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.
4. Giorgio Brutini Cormac
Wide Sizes Available
Upper Lacks Support
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.Read more
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.
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.
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.Read more
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.
6. Blundstone Original
Premium Thick Leather
Protective Leather Upper
Finish Appears Dull
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.Read more
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.
7. 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.Read more
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.
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.
8. Skechers Blaine Orsen
Deep Traction Lugs
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.Read more
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 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.
9. Skechers Segment-Dorton
Rear Pull Loop
Gel Infused Memory Foam
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.Read more
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.
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.
10. Joules Wellibob
Rubber Rain Boot
Rounded, Roomy Toe
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!Read more
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.
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!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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?
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:
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:
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
There are so many versatile options you have when pairing chelsea boots! For business attire, pair a classic black pair with a nice suit, or slacks and button down. You can do a little bit of a rocker fashion when paired with skinny jeans and leather jackets, or everyday casual with regular jeans and your favorite top.
The name of the fashionable chelsea boot became popular from the 1950s and 60s, where pop culture combined with Kings Road in Chelsea put them on the map.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!