With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide which boots to buy. Here at The Idle Man, we're partial to a boot and reckon we know a thing or two about which are dominating the market for comfort, style and quality. Walk this way for a guide to the five best boots for men with a few styling tips thrown in for good measure.
Types of Boots
If you're looking to get your hands on some men's stylish boots, there are so many factors to keep in mind. Not only do you need to figure out what type of boots you want but you also need to familiarise yourself with the best boot brands out there. Luckily for you, we've put together a comprehensive list featuring some of the best men's boots on the market.
It's finally time to take a closer look at some of the best boots in the world. We can safely say that if you already own any of the upcoming styles, you can consider yourself to be pretty cool. However, you'll definitely find an interesting pair to add to your collection. Let's get going then.
Dr Martens 8 Eye Classic Boot
Dr. Martens have been churning out cool boots for a while now, so they've got a pretty good idea about what they're doing - many say they're the best leather boots on the market.
What makes Dr. Martens so iconic is that they are a mark of individuality for some many subcultures - whilst representing the divergent personal styles of each, they have still been able to retain their own sense of self as a brand. Since they made their way onto the scene in 1947, Dr. Martens have made a place for themselves on the market - their distinctive style and brand ethos has been unrivalled.
Klaus Martens was the man behind the first pair of Docs. When the war ended, he procured leather from a cobbler's in his hometown and inspired by improvements he had made on the design of his army issue boots following a skiing accident, he crafted the first pair of Dr. Martens boots.
The boots were not a massively profitable venture until he met up with an old university friend and collaborated on the design adding soft leather, an air cushioned in sock and rubber soles. The boots were a hit in Germany with housewives, so the pair decided to expand internationally bringing their design to England where shoe manufacturer Griggs bought the rights to produce the boots in Britain, adding the now iconic AirWair bouncing soles.
The rest went down in history and since then Dr Martens boots were first claimed by factory workers and labourers and then by rock n roll royalty during the '60s and '70s. The punks soon got their hands on the boots and then it was the skinheads - the latter have probably most come to epitomise Dr Martens' brand identity. If you're thinking of wearing your men's boots with jeans, these are an obvious choice.
From housewives to skinheads, the Dr Martens Classic Boot has been not so much a style staple as it has a footwear icon for almost 70 years and for that reason, we've picked it as one of our top five boots for men.
Clarks Originals Desert Boot
In 1941 one half of the Clarks brothers, deployed in Burma, noticed soldiers were sourcing crepe soled, suede boots from cobblers in Cairo to wear in their downtime. A welcome alternative to their restricting and uncomfortable army issue footwear, these boots were unlined, allowing feet to breath. The upper is lightweight because it is made out of only two pieces of suede. The crepe sole is a shock absorber on the rough desert terrain.
Nathan Clark returned to England with designs based on the simple boot. The stock committee initially rejected him, so he took his designs to the Chicago shoe fair. Branded under Clarks Originals, Desert Boots instantly became a hit and since then have made their way onto the feet of young Mods and Britpop fans.
With the likes of Jimmy Cooper, Steve McQueen and Liam Gallagher behind it, the desert boot has become a footwear staple over the past 80 or so years and continues to make waves today.
The initial design of the boot has barely changed since its inception and for its timelessness and originality, the desert boot is up there as one of the best boots for men around.
Timberland Lace Up Work Boot
The Timberland work boot made its way onto the market in 1973. For its practicality, durability and classic appeal, the Timberland boot has been championed by workmen and the fashion focused alike. Thanks to their solid structure, they're also some of the best men's winter boots out there.
This boot has made huge waves in hip-hop with the likes of Tupac, Kanye West and Rihanna all donning them. The Timberland boots actually built their reputation in the 90's music scene. Although, they originate as functional boots for construction workers in Maine in the early 70s.
Timberland actually condemned their association with the street scene - they were more about hardworking labourers in rural locations. Unable to kerb the speed with which these boots spread among the urban street scene, Timberland were forced to acknowledge this connection. Today, the Yellow Timberland 6" is a staple of the hip-hop and rap scene.
The construction of the Timberland boot is a lengthy and complex process so the boot can boast functionality and craftsmanship as its core values. Whether on the feet of workers or rappers, it has remained a firm favourite for its enduring style and quality.
The Chelsea boot has long been at the forefront of comfortable and stylish footwear. Originally designed for Queen Victoria herself, the Chelsea boot - formerly known as the Paddock boot for its use as riding footwear - was a practical and stylish option.
By the 1950s, a group of intellectuals and creatives knocking about Chelsea picked up the boots. As members of the group aptly named the Chelsea Set were frequently seen wearing the boots, they were renamed Chelsea boots by the media moguls that reported so heavily on their activity.
During the next decade, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles started to wear these boots. This further cemented their effortlessly cool style among the social elite. The style conscious Mods also claimed the boot as part of their clean, sharp and tailored style. We just couldn't ignore a boot steeped so much in cultural and style history.
You can instantly recognise the brogue because of the perforations made in its serrated leather upper with a wingtip toecap. Many think that the shoe originated in Ireland, bróg being the Irish term for shoe. The designer of the brogue imagined it as a outdoor country walking shoe. The reason is because the perforations drain fluids taken in when wading through wet terrain. Formerly, people only wore them for function - not for style. However, it is now commonly accepted as a casual and dress shoe.
It is unclear when the Brogue was actually invented, but it is thought that the boot variation was introduced at the same time to provide better ankle support when used as a walking shoe. The brogue boot today is considered a classic style and can be worn for formal or casual occasions. As a more formal boot alternative, we had to include it in the five best boots for men.
The Five Best Boots For Men
- The Dr Martens 8 Eye Classic Boot is simply one of the most iconic types of boots out there.
- The timeless design and comfort of Clarks Originals Desert Boot make for an excellent addition to your collection of shoes.
- The Timberland Lace Up Work Boot is perfect for outdoors lovers.
- From The Beatles to The Rolling Stones, the Chelsea Boot is the essential element for an effortlessly cool look.
- Brogue boots will provide you with a slightly more formal option.
On That Note
Claiming some serious wardrobe space, boots are a footwear essential that when worn right can carry you through every season. They're sturdy, durable and can last a long time when given a bit of TLC. The tricky bit is picking the right pair that suits your individual style and needs. Of course, we would suggest buying them all. Just make sure you pick the right brand and style for you. With all the types of men's boots out there, you have plenty to choose from. If worn correctly, boots are a versatile piece of footwear that can take you from season to season.