Combat, hiker, desert, jodhpur, Chelsea or chukka, in classic shades from sand to tan, navy through to jet, on suede and leather, with buckles, lace-ups, monk straps and even shearling, for the more practical everyday or dressy of occasions, whatever your boot preference, the perfect pair has the potential to serve heavy on style.
Stepping up those traditional silhouettes with cool, contemporary detailing, not all boots were created equal, however. Go big on luxe materials, artisanal craftsmanship and time-honoured techniques with our edit of the brands that have mastered the art of boot making, and then some...
The Chelsea Boot
A staunch boot style since its Victorian inception and adopted and made cool by '60s Mods, countless decades and seasonal iterations of Chelsea boots have generated a wave of textures, finishes, toe shapes, hardware and hybrids. Fundamentally, the lace-less, slip-on silhouette can be as everyday or as smart as you like, even boardroom appropriate with the right trouser cut and length. The past few seasons have seen the Chelsea become the subject of contemporary details, such as pattern and panels, and, via Gucci, a lick of that signature stripe. Other strong styles come courtesy of Ermenegildo Zegna, Magnanni, Valentino and Paul Smith.
The Desert Boot
Hot on the footwear lexicon since the 1940s, the desert or chukka is one of the easiest boot options to smarten up your everyday, making a great alternative to sneakers and high-tops. Recognisable for its two-hole lacing, low-rise ankle and a soft silhouette, it’s a super-chilled, go-with-anything style that's a little more high maintenance and less winter-proof in suede, but gloriously all-season and investment-worthy in leather. Make Paul Smith, Bottega Veneta and Tod’s your go-tos.
The Military Boot
Encompassing a remit of styles from the everyday combat look through to the highly polished harness, buckle and bootstraps of the officer ranks, having a military boot in your sartorial arsenal will always prove a timeless investment. Look to Saint Laurent for jodhpur stirrup strap details, while at Common Projects and Valentino the chunky rubber sole, lace-up combat style wins out.