I often speak of my love for boots. Wearing a good pair is probably my favorite way to make a statement in any outfit. What’s more, boots are often extremely practical, with many being an effective way to keep your feet warm, dry, and comfortable.
Different types of boots are suitable for different occasions. Some like Chelsea or brogue boots in high-quality leather can be worn in formal situations. Pairing these styles with a suit or slacks is acceptable wear for all but the most formal situations.
There are plenty of types of boots suitable for more casual situations. I wear my dessert boots almost as an alternative for sneakers. Other styles like chukkas are at a similar level.
Then there are work boots. These are probably the ultimate in statement pieces as the sheer size and heft draws your eye downwards. anyone who’s worn a pair of Dr. Martens knows that when you wear these boots, you stand out.
In this article we’ll list the different types of boots, starting with the ones we are most excited about at the moment.
Different Types of Boots for Men
There are very few times when Chelsea boots aren’t in style in some form or another. They are the perfect footwear to wear with tailoring or smart jeans. Traditionally they come in leather with an elastic panel on the side to help you get them on. Nowadays you can grab a pair in suede for a more casual take on the style. At the moment I particularly like styles with chunkier soles and those that finish higher up the ankle.
Cuban Heel Boots
Cuban heel boots are currently having a moment in the sun. These are very similar to Chelsea boots but they have a higher block heel—which gives them a distinctive look. They also typically come in at the less bulky end of the boot spectrum. Another difference between Chelsea boots and Cuban Heel boots is that Cuban boots commonly have a zip instead of an elastic patch.
A brogue boot is exactly as it sounds: a boot with the dot pattern (known as broguing) found on brogue shoes. When worn with looser jeans or pants, this style of boot often appears to resemble regular shoes. They come into their own when worn with skinny jeans or when the hem is turned up so you can see them in all their glory. These are perfect smart casual wear and will easily see you make the move from the office to the bar. Grab them in black or brown leather depending on your closet.
Oxford boots are similar to brogue boots but without the intricate detailing. You can wear them in a similar way. Pair them with jeans and a jacket in fall, or go for a heavier coat in winter. It’s one of the most versatile types of boots: when worn with your trousers falling over the top they appear to be smart shoes, and when worn with the hem a little higher they turn into more of a statement peice.
Rugged work boots are a true way to make a statement. These have their origins in the heavy, practical boots worn on building sites and factories. This means they are thick and chunky. You’re going to struggle to wear work boots with suiting but they really come into their own in more casual situation and look fantastic when paired jeans or even chinos. Consider pairs in beige suede like those popularized by Timberland or in black leather for a more versatile look.
Hiking boots are for hiking. But in this article I’m taking about regular boots with many of the style features of hiking boots. Think about color laces, thick chunky soles, quality leather, and strong lacing eyelets. Whil these boots are often more fashion-focused than your average pair of Gore Tex, they still often come with features that make them great for walking such as waterproofing and comfortable soles, making them a great choice for when you have a long day of walking. Hiking boots typically come in everything from retro-style pure leather boots to ones based on more up-to-date designs. When wearing these boots, be sure that the rest of your outfit matches the rugged style of the boots.
Desert boots are casual ankle boots made with a distinctive rubber sole. They typcially have just two or three eyelets that bring the upper together. They are commonly made from suede in various colors, although there are leather versions. The potential for a variety of colors means you can buy pairs that go with pretty much any outfit and they go especially well with casual outfits such as jeans and chinos.
Rain Boots (Wellies)
Rain boots are a trend that seemingly came out of nowhere. Traditionally wearing these boots was limited to farms, festivals, and hunting. However, they seem to have gained popularity over recent years as a more general way to keep your feet dry. Brands like Hunter make classic rain boots in a variety of lengths, from classic knee-length boots to ankle ones. Other brands have jumped on the trend too, and are producing rubberized versions of classic boot styles.