Britain was this month told to brace for a long, snowy winter, with one of the biggest chills since 1950 expected to soon set in.
While clothing can be adapted and layered to work for the colder season, footwear will require a dramatic change in the coming months. It’s time to say goodbye to sandals and canvas low-tops and hello to leather boots built to withstand the elements.
A cold winter and heavy snowfall may bring transport chaos to much of the country, but it does provide an excuse to invest in some of the best men’s boot brands out there, like these.
1. Red Wing
Speciality: Worker boots
Boots from this American brand have been put through their paces over the years, having been worn by families during the US depression and by soldiers across two World Wars.
Today, Red Wing’s legendary worker boots are as strong as ever, providing protection and comfort in refined heritage-inspired styles.
Available at Mr Porter and END Clothing.
Red Wing 1907 Heritage Work 6″ Moc Toe Boot, available at END Clothing, priced £269.
Speciality: Chelsea boots
Established in Australia in 1932, it is the expert craftsmanship and premium materials that keep R.M.Williams boots as relevant as ever in the present day.
The business’ renowned Chelsea boots are coveted by contemporary and classic dressers alike, known for their hard-wearing nature, rugged aesthetic and masculine appeal.
Available at Mr Porter.
R.M.Williams Gardener Whole Cut Leather Chelsea Boots, available at Mr Porter, priced £295.
Speciality: Brogue boots
Handmade in Northampton, widely regarded as the home of British shoemaking, since 1829, Tricker’s boots have held onto their authenticity with a tight fist.
The business is still owned by the same founding family and the brand continues to use traditional manufacturing techniques and original lasts, bringing over 180 years of history to every pair.
Available at END Clothing.
Tricker’s Stow Brogue Derby Boot, available at END Clothing, priced £390.
Speciality: Desert boots
A high street name most will recognise, Clarks has been producing high-quality footwear since 1852.
The British retailer’s most popular output is undoubtedly the desert boot, a design inspired by footwear made for British Army officers in Egypt. Clark’s chukka model follows in close second, crafted from soft suede in a simple and unfussy silhouette.
Available at clarks.co.uk.
Clarks Desert Boot In Beeswax Leather, available at Clarks, priced £99.
Speciality: Hiking boots
Italian label Fracap first created footwear for agricultural use in 1987 before its designs were embraced by both the Navy and Air Force. However, it was 2002 that marked a turning point for the brand, when it switched focus towards more streetwear-inspired designs, bringing in a whole new wave of fans.
Since then, its M120 hiking boot has become a menswear favourite, created in the same Italian factory and distributed to style-conscious gents worldwide.
Available at END Clothing.
Fracap M120 Cristy Vibram Sole Scarponcino Boot, available at END Clothing, priced £199.
6. Dr. Martens
Speciality: The 8-eyelet boot
No boot list would be complete without Dr. Martens. Despite first rolling off the production line more than half a century ago, getting adopted by almost every subculture along the way, the label’s iconic 8-eyelet boot, complete with signature air-cushioned sole, has stood the test of time.
The brand’s new vulcanised natural rubber version of its traditional 1460 silhouette is completely waterproof, allowing the rebellious spirit to stay alive, while keeping feet warm and dry.
Available at drmartens.com.
Dr Martens Original 8-Eye Boots, available at ASOS, priced £100.
Speciality: Wellington boots
Those who have ever been to a festival will have encountered a pair of Hunter boots. The brand’s rubberised Wellington is a British icon, having served everyone from the British Army to farm workers and Glastonbury-goers.
Now under the creative direction of Alasdhair Willis, Hunter has entered an exciting new era of contemporary style, but its approach remains true to its heritage.
Available at hunterboots.com.
Hunter Original Shrot Boots, available at Mr Porter, priced £70.
Speciality: Goodyear-welted and Triple Welt boots
There are so many great Northamptonshire shoemakers – Cheaney, Church’s, Edward Green, John Lobb – who specialise in Goodyear-welted footwear, but we’ve given the nod to Grenson for two reasons: 1) the brand’s designs are now widely available online, making them more accessible for the everyday guy, and 2) due to its Triple Welt line.
Developed by Grenson’s craftsmen in the factory, rather than the design department, Triple Welt models feature a special sole and welt construction that makes the shoe look like it has three welts of different widths.
Yes, the company’s G-TWO line is produced overseas – sacrilege to many traditionalists – but Grenson is still a traditional British shoemaker at heart and its Triple Welt series proves it.
Available at grenson.co.uk.
Grenson Field Triple Welt Boot, available at END Clothing, priced £395.
Speciality: Biker boots
British label Belstaff’s heritage is deeply embedded in the motorbiking world, so it’s no surprise that its hero style is the slim yet rugged biker model.
Accompanied by expert leather goods and strong celebrity endorsements, the brand’s footwear stays true to its authentic and adventurous spirit, bringing a touch of sleek luxury and elegance to a seemingly rugged world.
Whether you’re a motorbike aficionado or not, you’ll find yourself in good company in a pair of its built-to-last biker boots, which make the perfect match for any dressed-down look.
Available at belstaff.co.uk.
Belstaff Trialmaster Leather Boots, available at Mr Porter, priced £425.
Who are your favourite boots brands – whether high street or high-end – and what silhouettes are they best at?
Share your tips in the comments section.
The Very Best Men’s Boot Brands
The bootmaking industry’s leading labels and the silhouettes they specialise in
Image: Grenson x Foot the Coacher