The best Chelsea boots to buy this autumn

Categories: Style

Smart sneakers and sandals may have been mainstays in our summer wardrobes but, as the mercury drops and the nights draw in, only robust footwear will do. And, for something that’s guaranteed to protect your feet against the more challenging elements, you can’t go wrong with a pair of quality Chelsea boots. Created in 1851 by London-based shoemaker Joseph Sparkes-Hall – and first dubbed the significantly less catchy ‘J. Sparkes-Hall’s Patent Elastic Ankle Boots’ – Chelsea boots became a prominent part of British style, used for everything from walking to riding, until the onset of World War One. Strangely, they fell out of favour for several decades, but made a comeback during the swinging sixties – popularised by everyone from the Stones to the Beatles. From that time onwards, you’d be hard-pressed to walk down a city street without passing at least a few Chelsea-clad feet, and we’re confident this is a style with serious sticking-power. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best boots to pull on this season, which promise to take you seamlessly (and stylishly) from the office to after-work drinks. Perfect for the gentleman who works as hard as he plays.

Tod’s Chelsea boots demonstrate the timeless appeal of the style. Crafted in Italy from rich dark brown suede, they have all the features we have come to know and value – pull tabs, flexible elasticated inserts and a sleek profile – but are set on the label’s signature rubber soles for superb durability and cushioning.

New York-based Common Projects combines utilitarian design with Italian quality and construction, resulting in a sleek, clean-lined aesthetic. Known for its cult-favourite sneakers, it’s applied its effortlessly cool aesthetic to this pair of chic suede Chelsea boots. Understated, smart and designed with comfortably tapered toes, the shoes are set on cushioned rubber-crepe soles in a tonal hue and feature the brand’s signature embossed gold serial numbers.

Cheaney’s footwear is made for longevity – each shoe is handcrafted from the finest hide in the label’s workshop in Northamptonshire. Set on Goodyear-welted leather and rubber soles, these classic ‘Godfrey’ Chelsea boots are cut from smooth suede and fitted with pull tabs and elasticated sides that make them easy to get on and off.

R.M. Williams’ ‘Gardener’ Chelsea boots have been handcrafted in Australia from a single piece of leather, ensuring that they’re both comfortable and durable. Initially designed as a work boot, this style has oil-resistant Goodyear-welted soles, which provide exceptional traction and can be easily resoled over years of wear.

The simplicity of Chelsea boots means you can wear them with almost anything. Paul Smith’s ‘Canon’ pair is a true classic – they’re made from smooth leather and fitted with elasticated panels and gripped rubber soles that are sturdy and resilient.

Looking for more autumn-ready essentials? These are the ready-to-wear suits we want this season…