How To Wear Boots For Men
When choosing a new pair of boots, you’ll likely have a few ideas in mind of what you’re looking for. However, you might not be entirely sure enough to outline a specific criteria.
Therefore, let’s take a moment to look at a few considerations and what to bear in mind. After all, with so many styles and fits to choose from, this can be a daunting task.
When Will You Wear Your Boots?
The first thing to ask yourself is when you’ll be wearing them. By that, we mean the season and time of year. Are you looking for a pair of boots for the milder months or specifically during the winter? Alternatively, you might be looking for versatile boots that can be worn all year.
Therefore, keep in mind the weather that you’ll experience when wearing the boots.
Soles & The Weather
If it’s going to be raining a lot, you’ll want to avoid leather and instead opt for a rubber sole. Two of the boots above feature Dainite soles. This made in England sole is extraordinary and will ensure that you stay dry and retain some grip even in the roughest weather.
However, you might be looking to wear your boots during warmer months instead. As rubber doesn’t breathe, it might get stuffy in there so you may want to consider leather instead.
In this case, a crepe sole as found on Chukka boots are a solid choice too. They’re slightly more affordable and a naturally-sourced rubber, so they breathe just a little. Furthermore, their texture doesn’t track mud or dirt, so they’re great for the outdoors during the late spring.
Construction & Insulation
Remember also that boots are great for winter as they’ll keep your feet cosier than shoes. However, bear in mind that the build quality will be a deciding factor. Non-lined boots won’t offer much protection from the elements, and thin leather doesn’t insulate all that much.
If you’re going to be encountering snow, Ross & Snow specialises in boots for rough weather conditions.
In dressier scenarios, rubber-soled leather boots may do the job sufficiently if large enough to wear thick socks underneath.
Furthermore, aim for welted boots where possible. The welt is a strip of leather than runs around the outside of a pump rather than a lining. This traditional method offers extra insulation and protection from the elements.
Therefore, water is less likely to run into the shoe and wet your feet. Additionally, welted boots usually feature wider soles with slightly more height, which is excellent for puddles!
Where Will You Wear Them?
The next question to ask yourself is where you’ll be wearing these boots. If the boots are a professional requirement, that narrows down your criteria considerably.
If work boots are what you’re looking for, you’ll just need to think about other needs such as ASTM safety standards. This includes electrical hazard protection as well as flame resistance.
Alternatively, will you be often wearing them outdoors? Like the previous section, it’s essential to keep in mind factors such as soles and welting. You’ll want something sturdy and comfortable if you’re going to be walking a lot too.
However, if you’re needs are more focused on fashion, then take a moment to consider the dress codes you’ll face. Will you be wearing the boots to the office? If so, is the environment more casual or conservatively professional?
For instance, you may be using your boots outdoors a lot, so something sturdy would be a right choice. Nevertheless, if the boots will be worn at the office too, you can’t exactly stroll in with bulky hiking boots!
How Will You Wear Them?
How you wear your boots ties in somewhat with the previous question but relates more to you than your native environment. While you may be wearing these boots professionally, you have your style and preferences to keep in mind.
For instance, there’s no point forking out just under $500 for the best dress boots available if you aren’t a fan of laces. You may prefer the convenience of only being able to slip a Chelsea boot on your feet and being on your way.
Alternatively, you may personally enjoy the details and ornamentation of brogues. Otherwise, you may be more casually-inclined and prefer Chukkas or even relish the versatility offered by blucher boots.
Whatever you opt for, remember that boots are an investment and a quality pair will last you for years. Make sure that you’re entirely satisfied with your choice and won’t tire of them too soon!
Can I Wear Boots With A Suit?
Traditionally, boots served a utilitarian purpose. As they are functional, they were worn by the working class. Meanwhile, shoes were considered less practical for manual labour and were therefore by men of high social standing.
Indeed, this abstract concept still influences men’s fashion in the sense that shoe formality is effectively dictated by its practicality. As a general rule, a shoe is more formal when it is less practical. This is quite clear when comparing the opera pump with a pair of work boots or even hiking boots.
However, the rules of formality have greatly relaxed since the World War II and continue to do so. Consequently, it is increasingly common to see boots with suits and other formal garments.
Nevertheless, you must take great care not to overstep the line even if it does continue to move. For instance, Dr Martens produce leather boots with a blucher design. Yet, they’re not overly formal. Similarly, you wouldn’t necessarily wear cowboy boots with a suit either.
Using our guide to shoe formality can be a great help. Otherwise, we have a variety of dress boot guides, which focus on the best buying options to wear with a suit.
Additional Boot Styles & Brands
You may have noticed the absence of a few popular boot styles and menswear brands. Similarly, well-known brands like Dr Martens, Timberland, and Red Wing are missing too.
Both Dr Martens and Red Wing were originally featured in this guide until our most recent update. While they are arguably in fashion and we do like them, we just felt that they didn’t make the cut this time.
Similarly, Red Wing and Dr Martens mostly produce their boots in Asia these days. That said, Red Wing Heritage is a range made in the USA and Dr Martens has a made in England line too. Yet, these represent just a small minority of their production.
Meanwhile, all the boots we listed above are made in England, Spain, Italy, and the USA. Otherwise, Beckett Simonon is the only brand to produce its boots in a developing country but this is in an ethical workshop.
However, you will find Red Wing, Timberland, and Dr Martens in more of our boot guides as they are the best boot brands for certain purposes.
Likewise, you might have noticed that we didn’t feature in Chelsea boots, desert boots or chukka boots. Indeed, we are fond of these boot styles. For instance, Beckett Simonon produces stunning Chelsea boots. Similarly, we love the chukka boots made by Ace Marks. Otherwise, Clarks desert boots are celebrated for their value for money.
Although you’ll likely see them in our other boot guides, we really wanted to reflect the best of the best on this occasion!