In Praise of the Boot

It may be a trend started by the Beatles, but men’s boots doesn’t seem to be losing any steam.

Whether it’s the British Invasion style Chelsea or a casual Chukka, these footwear staples deserve at least some space in the closet.

So what’s right for whom?

Youthful:

With nods to anarchy or warfare, the combat boot is usually the province of the young and possibly hip. With dramatic styling and heft, these boots make an immediate statement.  Variations and cousins include similarly-styled double-monk-strap. Big. Heavy. Black. Unafraid. Not the type we’d wear to a fete in the garden. Utilitarian and long-lived, these boots have a limited range socially. Of course these aren’t just for the young. It’s all about attitude and there’s many a grizzled old soul who prefers the thump of a heavy boot to lighter wear.

Casual:

There’s a much greater latitude in this area, from dressed down to out on the town. Variants in this category include the aforementioned Chelsea which can be worn with jeans or a pair of dress pants, and likewise the Chukka. This is the stuff more of Steve Jobs than of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

casual boots

Formal:

On the more formal side, designers have taken stolid business staples like the brogue and increased the neck to turn workingwear into something with a little flair. Indeed you won’t immediately notice they’re boots unless the person wearing them sits down and crosses his legs. Perhaps these fit the man who wants to appear conservative but who also has an adventurous streak? We wouldn’t go so far as to say these are the footwear equivalent of the mullet, but…

Pricing runs the gamut on each of these as well. Joe Average might pick up a pair of steel-toed work boots for fifty bucks, but a Park Avenue aesthete might plunk down $1500 for a pair of John Lobb jodhpurs and think nothing of it.

Regardless of the man, the boot still has a featured role to play in his wardrobe from desert sands, to mucky moors or a Beverly Hills cocktail party, if the shoe fits, wear it.