There are many of us men who prefer classic boots as an alternative to regular dress shoes. Whether it’s a question of style or ankle support, there are many options to choose from.
At Bespoke Unit, we’re also very fond of boots and have worn many pairs. Therefore, this guide will take a look at the 10 Best Dress Boots For Men that you can buy online:
- Beckett Simonon Douglas [Jodhpur]
- Idrese Custom Boots
- Ace Marks Hugo [Blucher Boots]
- Amberjack The Chelsea [Chelsea Boot]
- Taft Branson Boot [Brogue Boot]
- Allen Edmonds Dalton Wingtip [Brogue Boots]
- Beckett Simonon Bolton & Preston[Chelsea Boots]
- Ace Marks Lorenzo [Chukka Boot]
- Beckett Simonon Lopez [Chukka Boot]
- Dr Martens 1460 [Durable Dress Boots]
Use the links above to jump ahead. We also cover formality in order to help you discover the more formal boot styles.
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Perhaps not the style you were expecting, we absolutely love the Jodhpur boot as a dressy option. Thanks to a thin loop of leather and a subtle buckle, it’s a streamlined and elegant design. When worn with a suit, the ornamentation is hidden, which adds to the dressiness.
Depending on the colour, the Douglas Jodhpur boot can be extremely versatile. Whether with jeans or a sharp three-piece suit, they blend right in and offer original visual interest.
You can opt between black, tan, or brown full-grain calfskin leather. We’re particularly fond of the tan for casual wear and they can work well with lighter suits. However, opt for the black if you want something very formal and versatile with professional wear.
"Versatile and elegance, the Beckett Simonon Douglas boots will turn heads and stand out from the typical assortment of boot styles people tend to wear."
Goodyear-welted custom full-grain leather boots that you can design yourself for less than $300? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? When Jawad Malik founded Idrese, his objective was to provide people with the opportunity to do just that.
You can create your own boots using Idrese’s online 3D designer, which are then crafted for you in Almansa, Spain. Traditional brogue boots are a tad more experience at $315. However, Jodhpur, Chelsea, and Chukka boots each retail for $295.
If you’re looking for a classic lace-up Blucher-style boot, then look no further than Ace Marks. These beautiful specimens have an elegant and dressy design thanks to their Italian craftsmanship. Overall, they’re perfect for formal wear.
As mentioned above, the Hugo boots have an alluring streamlined construction, which makes them an ideal option for formal wear. However, they can happily be worn in more casual environments. If you pair them with jeans, you’ll see just how versatile they are!
If you’re looking for boots to pair with a suit, black would be your best bet. However, we can’t overlook the added versatility offered by opting for a dark brown too!
A relatively new brand, Amberjack has burst on the scene with their blucher shoe The Original, and most recently The Chelsea boot. Available in a variety of color combinations and suede or leather options, their introductory boots canvas a wide range of formalities and tastes.
Constructed in Portugal with flexible dual-density outsoles, heat-activated foam midsoles, and sheepskin linings, Amberjack’s Chelsea boots are undoubtedly comfort-forward. However, their modern hybrid design does not skimp on style, resulting in an engaging boot that is also a pleasure to wear.
The smooth leather styles represent the more formal option, particularly in the darker tones, and will fit right in in business casual settings. The suede styles are a bit more casual than business, though depending on your workplace’s customs, the premium materials may earn them a pass.
Taft is renowned for its rebellious and unorthodox shoe designs. Indeed, it has become a hit among adventurous men who seek to push the boundaries of the businesswear dress code. We love the way the Branson boot marries textile and leather in a unique yet traditional way.
In fact, the quarters are somewhat reminiscent of early 20th century spats, which evokes a somewhat vintage vibe. While perhaps not suitable for more conservative workplaces, it’s a great option if you want to explore a more elaborate wardrobe.
The brogue style is a particular favourite of boot enthusiasts. As such, there’s a plethora of options available out there. Our favourites come from Allen Edmonds thanks to their superior construction and design. Furthermore, there are several options available for the connoisseur such as Dainite soles and Cordovan leather.
These are just as versatile as the Wolverine boots and can be worn for virtually any dress code. We think these look wonderful with a vintage-style tweed suit or as part of a business casual wardrobe. If you live in a humid climate, we highly recommend the Dainite sole for extra traction and weatherproofing.
Depending on your needs, you can choose between either brown or black whether. Whilst the brown will be more versatile for day-to-day wear, the black leather is ideal for dressier occasions. There’s also a stunning Cordovan shell option, which is a premium and elegant choice!
Thanks to the Beatles, the Chelsea boot is an iconic style reminiscent of the 1960s. They’re also a very convenient boot as they can be kicked on and off. Beckett Simonon has two intriguing models to choose from: the Bolton and the Preston.
Above, we featured a photo of the Preston is tan. However, the Bolton has a very formal and elegant shape on across the uppers. Chelsea boots are an overall versatile boot style that’s great for anything between business casual wear all the way to business professional.
For more casual wear, we’d opt for the brown leather option. However, the black looks great and would be perfect for more formal dress codes including cocktail attire.
Slightly more casual than the Hugo boots featured above, the Lorenzo incorporates the hallmarks of a chukka boot while being injected with a hearty dose of sleek Italian elegance. Chukka boots often have a somewhat rustic appearance. Meanwhile, the Lorenzo is refined and sophisticated.
As a result, it’s wearable for business professional workplaces. However, it also adds a certain grandeur to business casual attire. Therefore, the Lorenzo is a great choice if you want to up your style a notch.
Although we refer to the Lopez as a Chukka, their design is actually a hybrid of the Blucher too. Inspired by the WWI heritage style, the result is an elegant alternative to the classic Chukka.
If you opt for darker calfskin leather, the Lopez can be formally worn with a suit. Nevertheless, the lighter colours go very nicely with jeans and chinos. The lighter the colour, the less formal the boot.
If you want something versatile, dark brown works wonderfully with both suits and jeans. However, you may instead go for black if you want something particularly formal.
Dr Martens have been making their iconic boots for decades. Although often associated with counter-culture, the 1490 is from their core collection. The leather uppers feature a smooth finish, black stitching and soles for a more subtle look. Furthermore, these were designed on the 59 last for a dressier and classic shape.
Dr Martens can be worn with just about anything from casual wardrobes to more business casual styles. Usually, they’re not compatible with more formal dress codes. However, this style of boot can be integrated more seamlessly into dressier styles.
Although they’re also available in white, black will be the easiest to wear. If you want an iconic yet versatile boot, opt for the black leather.
Understanding Boot Formality
Unlike dress shoes, which are usually designed following distinctive styles, boots tend to be more subtle in their variations. For instance, most dress boots are usually lace-ups with an open-throat lacing system.
Meanwhile, shoes often rely on the clear distinction between close-laced Oxfords and open-laced Derbies. Furthermore, there are other distinctive styles such as wholecuts, monk straps, penny loafers, brogues and tassel loafers.
You can read all about these and their differences by heading to our dedicated shoe style guide.
Therefore, it’s often more complicated in finding the right boots in terms of formality and searches may take longer.
What To Look For In A Formal Dress Boot
Let’s now explore the various characteristics to look for in a classic lace-up boot that affect formality. You can use the checklist below as a reference when looking for formal dress boots according to your needs:
- Full-Grain Leather: Whilst pebbled leather and suede are quite casual, full-grain leather is considered the most formal.
- Black Leather: This is considered the most formal leather colour. Meanwhile, brown and lighter colours are quite casual.
- Toe Cap: A feature borrowed from classic Oxford shoes, toe caps add a sense of formality to a shoe’s design.
- Sole Thickness: Thicker soles are evocative of utilitarian boots and chunkier in design. Therefore, thinner soles are more refined and feel more formal.
- Wingtips: More ornate than a toe cap, wing tips are less formal alternative as they’re reminiscent of brogues.
- Broguing: Boots that feature broguing details such as perfing, pinking and toe medallions are less formal due to their rustic origins.
- Non-Black Colours: Even black boots that feature other colours in the stitching or their soles suddenly become less formal as they become flashier.
Hopefully, the above information should help you to find the more formal boots that best suit your needs. If you’re still unsure, you can also refer to our full guide to shoe formality.
Now that you have discovered the best dress boots for men, why don’t you check out some of our related shoe guides for a wider perspective?