Men’s boots are all about versatility. Depending on the style, and the material, you can find boots for hot summer picnics, blustery autumn afternoons and long slogs through freezing winter rain. And with proper care, a good pair of leather boots can last season after season, long after your thongs have snapped (always in a beach carpark, for some reason, and always on days when the concrete could fry an egg).
The trick is picking the right boot for the right season, and having a couple of pairs that will keep your feet comfy year-round. Consider this your seasonal men’s boot crash course.
Men’s boots for summer
Obviously men’s boots won’t be suitable for every summer day. That’s why god invented moccasins. But for sunny afternoons in the park or drinking Sav Blanc at some fancy country vineyard, you can’t beat a lightweight pair of boots. For summer boots, we recommend anything ankle-height, which generally means Chukka boots and Desert boots (not quite the same thing). Chukkas and Desert boots are lightweight, extremely comfortable and always on-trend. Summer is a great season to experiment with materials, too. Because you’re less likely to get wet, consider picking up a pair of suede or nubuck boots, like the DIEGO. Throw on some cuffed tan chinos and a linen shirt and you’re ready for that summer barbecue.
Men’s boots for autumn
Autumn is a bit of a mixed bag, weather-wise, so you need to be prepared for anything. Again, a lightweight pair of Chukkas is a good option here—maybe the full-leather OLDMAN for added weather resistance. For dressier occasions, pick up a pair of leather ankle boots, like the WILKINSON or RAYDON. These always look sharp under some slim-fit dark denim and a knit blazer. The other option is, of course, the ever-reliable Chelsea boot. We’ve written an entire guide on Chelsea boots, but the short version is this: they go with everything. If we could recommend one men’s boot that will see you through every season, it’d be a leather Chelsea like the OSBOURNE or the BRODRICK. You really can’t go wrong.
Men’s boots for winter
Winter is when you need to be really thinking about boot materials and boot care. All that rain, all that added moisture, that’s the stuff that ruins men’s leather boots. So first things first: no suede or nubuck. You want hard-wearing full leather uppers and leather lining—for warmth as well as waterproofing. A good shoe spray can also work wonders. During winter, we recommend something higher and heavier, like our rubber-soled military boots. This is often the only season when you can bust out a chunky combat boot, so go nuts. Military boots come in all shapes and sizes, from the dressy DUNSTON and the luxurious INGRAM to the more casual CAIRO. Just remember to cuff your jeans a little higher than usual—you don’t need a natural ‘break’ with military boots.
Men’s boots for spring
Spring is a little like autumn: you need to keep one eye on the weather forecast at all times. There’s nothing worse than walking out in your new khaki suede DAYTON boots and then running for cover when it rains. Something like a low-rise, round-toed LUCCA Chelsea boot is great for spring: it’s comfortable enough to walk around all day, and the rubber sole and leather upper can handle any unexpected showers. Our leather OLDMAN Chukka boots are equally versatile. You can dress these down with basic chinos and a crew-neck tee, or even pair them with chino shorts and a linen shirt. Boots in spring need to handle pretty much anything the sky throws at them, so think lightweight, comfortable and waterproof.