Originally created at the behest of Queen Victoria, who was
in search of a lace-free riding boot, the Chelsea boot ascended to its cool-commoner status (and adopted that particular name) in the swinging ’60s, when the mod set scootered down the King’s Road in their boots and skinny suits. In the 21st century, the best Chelsea boots for women are just as ridiculously cool as they ever were, albeit with room for twists.
Usually made of smart black leather or neutral suede, the archetypal Chelsea boot features elastic side panels, an ankle-height shaft, a back pull tab that makes the shoe easy to slip on and off (just as Queen Vic intended), and either a flat sole or low stacked heel. In addition to that classic silhouette, you’ll find plenty of Chelsea boots that up the edge factor with chunky lug soles, as seen on stylish celebs like
Emma Roberts; higher heel heights; or of-the-moment colors, like bright white and ecru. No matter where your preference lies on the classic/edgy spectrum, your chosen Chelseas will complement any ensemble you throw at them, from smart suiting to going-out looks à la Cardi B.
Ahead, find 10 of the best Chelsea boots for women on the market right now.
1 These Timeless Chelsea Boots Made Of Supple Leather
There’s nothing not to love about these
Chelsea boots, which are classic in every way. “They’re soft, they’re the perfect heel height for my comfort, and I’ve walked all day, multiple days - with no pain or regret afterwards,” one Amazon reviewer reported. The buttery-soft, black leather version featured here is probably the platonic ideal of a boot, though it also comes in brown suede styles and shades of tan and burgundy — perfect for fall. Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors and Styles: 7 2 This Chelsea Boot/Sock Boot Hybrid
A ribbed-knit side goring gives these
booties a cozy feel, similar to a sock boot, but a toothy rubber sole toughens things up. The beige faux-suede version pictured above would look chic complementing a camel coat and wool trousers in a similar shade — though the 13 additional colors and materials on offer are worth considering, too. You’ll find plenty more subdued neutrals to choose from, as well as a bolder iridescent silver. Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors and Styles: 14 3 This Simple, Streamlined Chelsea Boot At An Affordable Price
If you’re in the market for a simple pair of
Chelsea boots, free of extraneous bells and whistles, these are an excellent option. They feature a classic round toe, low stacked heel, supple faux-leather construction, and elastic goring in a subtle V-shape. Their one unexpected touch? The interior is lined in soft faux fur for extra warmth and comfort during the colder months. At just under $50, these are among the more affordable options on this list without sacrificing quality. Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors and Styles: 9 4 These Chelsea Boots That You’d Never Know Are Waterproof
Not a fan of Wellies? These
Chelsea boots are a sleeker alternative. The silhouette is a paragon of the classic Chelsea boot, but these are durable, flexible, and made of a 100% waterproof PVC material with grippy rubber soles, so you can confidently wear them in a downpour. Get them in matte black to complete the illusion of fashion-as-performance wear, or lean into the rain-boot vibe and opt for rubber-duck yellow. Sizes: 4 — 12 | Colors: 14 5 These Rustic Chelsea Boots Made Of Distressed Brown Leather
Chelsea boots are made of distressed chocolate leather that reads a little more rustic than your typical smooth, crisp black. These handcrafted boots get even better with time and wear, like so many of the finer things in life, so consider them an investment piece — and go ahead and wear them with everything. Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors and Styles: 8 6 A Pair Of ’90s-Inspired Chelsea Boots With A Block Heel And Lug Soles
Chelsea boots look like something a cool babysitter in the ’90s would wear, which means they’re entirely relevant right now, too. Plus, the non-traditional block heel offers a bit of height without compromising comfort or mobility, so you can walk, dance, and run, no problem. These would look equally cool grounding a floaty velvet maxi dress as they would a pair of sleek black skinnies. Sizes: 5.5 — 11 | Colors: 6 7 A Pair Of Statement-Making Chelsea Boots In Stark White White ankle boots will complement virtually anything you pair them with — white is a neutral, after all — but offer an unexpected, statement-making alternative to basic black. Try these Chelsea boots (complete with a chunky lug sole, a trending silhouette) with white jeans and a cozy white sweater for a tonal look or as a crisp contrast to a bright, punchy printed dress or suit. Sizes: 5 — 11 | Colors: 3 8 The Dr. Martens Chelsea Boots That Are The Epitome Of Cool
The perfect union between a combat boot and a
Chelsea boot, these cult-favorite Dr. Martens feature many of the brand’s signature details — the bouncing sole, the yellow contrast stitching, the black-and-yellow back tab that instantly conveys the wearer’s coolness — but in a classic Chelsea boot silhouette. Think: punk sun, mod moon. Choose from two styles in black leather. Sizes: 5 — 11 | Styles: 2 9 These Chunky Chelsea Boots With A Slightly Higher Shaft
For an updated take on the Chelsea boot, consider these
Sam Edelmans. They have a slightly higher shaft height than the traditional Chelsea boot(ie), plus two pull tabs and a rubber lug sole — details that add a little extra edge and modernity. They’re quite functional, too, as all the best Chelsea boots are. Spray them with a rain- and stain-protectant, slip on a pair of thermal socks, and these stompers make for a stylish alternative to your typical all-weather boots. Sizes: 5 — 14, including wide sizes | Colors and Styles: 14 10 These Glam Chelsea Boots With A Bejeweled Anklet
Here’s a cool way to rock an anklet post-sandal season. Studded in oversized rhinestones in an ornate filigree setting, the strap embellishing these lug sole
Chelsea booties is a little kitschy, a little glam, and an instant outfit-maker. The anklet is removable, too, in case you prefer a simpler look. On the same page, you’ll find a few styles featuring a chunky gold chain anklet in lieu of the crystal version pictured above. Sizes: 5 — 12, including wide sizes | Colors and Styles: 10
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This article was originally published on
Oct. 9, 2021