Sliding Scale: Chelsea Boots

Welcome to the third installment of Sliding Scale, a series in which we bring you a single product for every budget. This month we’re rounding up Chelsea Boots. A British staple, worn by just about every famous English musician that ever lived (and some equally famous American ones as well), the decades-old style is (once again) having a moment. Here are seven of the best responsibly-made options.


The UK-made Chelsea Boots from Sanders have a polished leather upper, full leather lining, and goodyear welted leather sole. They come in two colors – black and brown – and minus the VAT / plus international shipping, they’ll run you just under $180.

Herring Dublin Boots

For about $10 more, you can get yourself a pair of the Dublin Boots from Herring. They’re made in Portugal, have a leather lining, cemented rubber sole, and are a bit shorter in height and a bit narrower in the toe than the Sanders boots. Unfortunately, these don’t come in black, but they do come in a really beautiful chocolate suede.

Jack Wills

Remember Rugby, the now defunct Ralph Lauren offshoot for college kids? Well Jack Wills is basically the British version of that. Their Kelfield Chelsea Boot is made in England, falls right between the Sanders Boot and the Herring Boot in height and width, and is on sale for $199 (plus free shipping). One color is available.


Like the Chelsea Boots from Sanders, these 290 Boots from Loake are handmade in the UK, have a polished leather upper, leather lining, and goodyear welted leather sole. However, the Loakes have a much slimmer toebox, giving them a sleeker appearance overall. They come in black and brown, and minus the VAT / plus international shipping they cost around $210.

Arthur Knight

Clocking in at $235 (minus the VAT / plus shipping), are the Designer Chelsea Boots from Arthur Knight. These are made in Italy, come in four colors, and have a hybrid rubber / leather sole.


Maybe my favorite pair on the list, the Beijing Boots from Church’s have all leather everything (upper, lining, and sole), are expertly crafted in Northampton, England, and are the perfect shape (slim, sleek, and endlessly versatile). I’ve seen these go for as much as $550 a pair, but Centre Commercial has them for about $380 (minus the VAT / plus free shipping), which is pretty good, comparatively speaking.

Common Projects

And finally, while there are dozens of luxe options out there (including Paraboot, Crockett & Jones, Hope, and Prada), if money really was no object, I’d go for these Common Projects x Robert Geller Chelsea Boots. They feature everything you know, love, and covet about CP’s sneakers (Italian materials and construction, sleek, minimal design) but then have the added bonus / bragging right of being made in collaboration with Robert Geller. You can get them from Acrimony, where they were originally $940, but have since been marked down to a still wince-inducing $658.

  • Watcho

    I would have loved to been in the WS planning meeting where they decided they were getting too much attention from hoi polloi and that 2015 was the year for more $500 casual menswear items. Seriously, I would have loved to be there. Where do I send my resume?

    • For boots, I think these are priced fairly recently.

  • runburnham

    It’s my humble opinion that any Chelsea Boot story needs to mention R.M. Williams. Sadly, their NYC store closed but their boots can still be found on line and in Australia. Top quality all around.

  • Rob

    Jack WILLS. Basic stuff guys.