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8 Best Types of Boots for Men (2023)

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Boots are a men’s style essential. They are classic, masculine, rugged and can be worn with jeans all the way up to a suit. Here are the 8 best types of boots for men.

Best Types of Boots for Men

1. Dress boot

A dress boot as the name suggests is a dress shoe in the form of a boot. The easiest way to tell if a boot can be considered a dress boot is to simply cover the shaft of the boot and see if it looks like a dress shoe. Dress shoes are incredibly versatile because they give you the ability to dress up or down the boot.

You can wear dress boots with jeans and chinos for casual looks as well as with wool dress pants for business casual attire. You can even wear dress boots with a suit.

Typically dress boots feature a lacing system but occasionally you can also see side zippers. Zippers tend to make boots more casual so avoid them if you plan on wearing your dress boots with more formal outfits.

Read: Are Boots Business Casual?

2. Work Boot

Work boots are meant to take a beating. High quality versions typically feature a durable leather upper with reinforced stitching, goodyear welt or hand stitched construction along with durable leather or rubber soles. Dedicated work boots will also have a metal toe cap to protect your feet. But metal toe caps are rarely seen on fashion version of these work boots. Since these boots are designed with durability and comfort in mind, style tends to take a back seat. A roomy toe box as well as a bulbous aesthetic is quite common on most work boots.

red wing iron ranger work boots  Best Types of Boots for Men

Depending on the design of the work boot you can wear it with jeans and chinos for casual looks and perhaps dress them up with a sport coat and dress pants. With that said, work boots don’t pair well with more formal looks such as with suits.

moc toe boots

Pic – wolverine 100 mile (you can wear with business casual looks) but moc toe boot you can’t.

3. Chelsea Boot

Chelsea boots have seen a resurgence of late in the menswear community. Unlike other types of boots which feature either a lacing closure or zippers, Chelsea boots have elastic panels on both sides of the boot which makes them easy to put on and take off. Chelsea boots can come in a multitude of different styles ranging from more casual to more dressy.

chelsea boots

Chelsea boots with a streamlined silhouette paired with slim leather or rubber soles tend to be dressier. While Chelsea boots with a more generous/roomy design along with thick rubber soles are better for casual wear.

chelsea boots Best Type of Boots for Men

4. Chukka Boot

chukka boots best summer shoes

Chukka boots are an ankle high boot which work incredibly well for both casual and business casual wear. A type of chukka boot is known as the desert boot which has it’s origins in the military. These boots typically feature a leather or suede upper along with a crepe rubber outsole. Clarks makes the iconic desert boot which comes in a host of different colors and materials and is great for casual wear.

chukka boots

You can also find dressier chukka boots. What makes them dressier than a typical desert boot is a refined leather or suede upper along with a slim leather or rubber outsole. These boots work incredibly well paired with jeans, chinos and even with business casual attire.

5. Harness Boot

classic style (frye, Durango) and then you have modern interpretations (Thursday boots, saint Laurent). Harness boots are a western styled boot. Classic harness boots tend to feature a roomy design along with a squared toe box and a harness strap around the heel and ankle portion of the boot.

harness boots Best Type of Boots for Men

However, many designers have taken the harness boot design and incorporated a more modern aesthetic such as a slim silhouette and a rounded toe box.

harness boots

Choosing one over the other truly is personal preference. Personally, I prefer the classic design because of its masculine appeal and rich history.

6. Hiking boot

hiking boots best types of boots for men

Hiking boots as the name suggests are typically used for hiking and mountaineering. They feature an eye let lacing construction along with a durable (and sometimes waterproof) leather upper and a rubber outsole for traction. Classic hiking boots are designed to keep your feet warm and dry in cold and wet conditions and you can sometimes find warm wool or synthetic fur lining the inside of the boots.

Hiking boots are great for casual wear during the fall and winter months. Wear them with dark denim and corduroy pants for a sleek and rugged look. Since they are a casual utilitarian styled boot, they don’t pair well with business casual or more formal attire. Good quality hiking boots should feature either a goodyear welt, a storm welt or a norwegian welt construction since these will make the boots water resistant as well as resolable.

7. Rain Boot

You should only wear rain boots when it’s raining, muddy or if there are puddles outside. Rain boots are designed to be utilitarian which means there only purpose is to keep your feet dry. They’re not a style piece or something you want to wear. Rain boots come in different style and lengths but the most common is about knee high. You’re also supposed to tuck in whatever pants you are wearing into the shaft of the boot to protect them from rain and mud.

Although rain boots are not a style piece, you still want to stick with neutral colors such as black, navy, gray, brown and olive. These will work best regardless of your outfit. You want to stay away from bright loud colors such as red, yellow and green.

8. Winter/Snow Boot

Winter boots serve the primary purpose of keeping your feet warm and dry when it’s cold, wet and snowy. Style and aesthetic typically take the back seat when it comes to the design of snow boots.

winter boots, best types of boots for men

However, there are dressier options available for snow boots but even these are designed for more mild to moderate winters. If you get plenty of snow and sleet and the temperature falls below -15 then it’s best to get a dedicated snow boot which is designed to protect your feet from frostbite.

winter boots

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best boot types for men. Considering there are many styles of boots it’s a good idea to get an idea of your personal style and needs and then decide on which boot types best suit your lifestyle. Let me know what are your favorite boot styles.


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