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Boots are often less versatile than sneakers, but are just as vital to a wardrobe. Two pairs, one black & one brown, is a good start. Beeswax Clarks Desert Boots, while overplayed, can be a great casual boot. Decent brands include: Wolverine, Red Wing, and Doc Martens. Some of these brands, particularly Doc Martens, have seen reduced quality in recent years as they have moved production to China and Thailand as an attempt to cut costs. The company Solovair is a great alternative to Doc Martens because it uses the same equipment, employees and leather that Doc Martens used before outsourcing their jobs. They look identical and fit similarly.



Work Boot

Work boots are the descendants or direct copies of the 20th century models. Any actual work boots that blue collars use today are not considered fashionable. But if you work in hospitality you might want a pair, you can stand in them all day comfortably and they'll protect your feet from anything dangerous.

Most popular

  • Timberland (6in Basic)
  • Red Wing Heritage (Iron Ranger, Beckman)
  • Viberg (lots of custom models)
  • Caterpillar (Orson)
  • Chippewa
  • Japanese ones (Real McCoy, etc.)
  • Oak Street Bootmakers (Trench boot, the Hunt boots kinda-ish)

A couple of words about Redwing Heritage line. They cost about 250-350 $ and you get very durable boots for that price. Iron Ranger and Beckman both use last №8, so they're quite long, you can size down if you have narrow-medium feet. But if you have a wide feet, say 3E, so don't buy them, the construction of boot won't let you happily walk on this planet anymore. Iron Ranger don't favor the people with high arches, so keep that in mind. Also they don't have any heel support whatsoever, shaft of the boot goes straight from the outsole, it can make your heel slip. A cork sole do not absorb shock that well so it's hard on your joints and very slippery on ice and snow. Overall, those are boots that can take a beating, just apply some dubbin or sno-seal on them and they will serve you for a long time, ugly and heavy. But for that money you better buy some Visvim Patrician, heh.

Hiking Boot

These are not modern hiking boots by Mammut or whatever. These look more like old hiking boots which is to say, no synthetics other than the sole.

  • Viberg 66
  • Danner Mountain Light


Go back to r/mfa. Ok if you insist, these will go with fucking ANYTHING, they are like the GATs of boots.

  • Clarks Desert Boots
  • Pretty much every other brand listed here makes a pair so check them I guess.



This is a big category, and risks looking dad-core, but it can kinda be done.

  • Alden
  • Allen Edmonds
  • Carmina
  • Crockett and Jones

Boot features

The sole is probably the most important part of a boot. Materials are:

Leather: dress and fashion boots; good all-around but terrible in rain/snow/ice. Lightest weight. Crepe: same pros/cons as leather, but more casual, arguably more comfortable. Cork: like rubber; hard-wearing and decent traction, but rarely lugged. Rubber/Vibram: most work boots, many fashion boots. Probably the standard material. Heaviest.

And forms include:

Flat: leather, crepe, and many cork-soled boots have flat soles. Traction depends on material. Wedge/marshmallow: good insulation, decent traction. Polarizing look--personally I like them a lot. Lugged/commando: best for harsh weather. Don't go overboard on lug size; a little goes a long way. Dainite: a type of lugged sole often found on dress boots.

Lacing: almost all boots are open-vamp, Derby-style, but a few (particularly dress boots) are closed-vamp Oxford-style. Some are no-vamp, eg. Chelsea- or Cowboy-style.

Height: the lowest boots are probably Chukkas, but most have a 4-6" shaft height and are called ankle- or mid-height. Some are 8" or more and you should probably avoid them.

Toe box: Plain-toe or cap-toe boots are the most versatile. Wingtip-toe boots are somewhat dressy, and moc-toe boots are much more casual.