Now that fall is upon us, it's time to indulge in some autumnal staples, including the best boots money can buy from trusted, high-quality boots brands. I personally love boots for their durability, versatility, and comfort. They're one of the few fashion pieces that perfectly balances form and function, and of all the types of boots out there, few transform utilitarianism into style like the combat boot.
Fashion stylist and writer Mateo Palacio says that combat boots can be identified as "typically large black boots made out of leather that are up to the ankles with a thick rubber outsole." Therefore, when shopping for these boots, it's best to look out for thick rubber soles in order to ensure durability. And keep an eye out for the material the boots are made of! Leather, vegan leather, and other high-quality materials will give your boots a longer shelf life, saving you money (and helping the planet) in the long run.
And, since most of us have no plans of going to war in Dr. Martens, why is this style called the combat boot? "They were originally used for combat training for soldiers to get through rough terrain," explains Palacio. They didn't become mainstream staples until the late 20th century, though, and now most combat boots are made with the intent of walking through city streets rather than through dangerous terrain.
If all of this has reawakened your love for this classic style, scroll on to discover some of Palacio's (and our) favorite combat boots of all time.
A Classic Combat Boot
Palacio calls Dr. Martens his "absolute favorite," and combat boot fans across the world agree. Scores of reviewers comment on how comfortable and weather-proof these boots are, calling them perfect everyday boots.
A Haute Couture Combat Boot
Palacios loves these designer boots, which even come with a little Prada-branded pouch on the side. And if you're not into the weight of the little bag, never fear: It's fixed to a removable strap that you can clip on and off at your leisure.
A Super-Platform Combat Boot
Committed to the platform trend? In that case, Palacio recommends this very elevated (literally) pair by Simone Rocha, which even features a cluster of pearls atop each set of laces for an extra chic element.
A Distressed Combat Boot
Who says combat boots need to be black? Check out this distressed pair by R13, which is sure to add some character to your next monochromatic outfit. This is among Palacio's top recommendations as well.
A Gothic Combat Boot
This gothic-inspired pair is another recommendation by Palacio. Per their standards, they're made from high-quality genuine leather and hearken back to the military origins of the combat boot that he previously discussed.
A Sleek Combat Boot
These super cute, platform combat boots are surprisingly comfortable. I have a pair in off-white, and they always manage to turn heads with their eye-catching, statement-making silhouette.
A Faux Leather Combat Boot
Not only are these boots made from faux leather, but they're also extremely comfortable. Dozens of reviewers rave about having stood for hours, walked all day, and worked double-shifts while wearing these boots—and without an ounce of pain. Plus, the price can't be beat.
A Pastel Combat Boot
Combat boots have a tough, traditionally masculine reputation, and this pale pink colorway introduces a fun contrast. Plus, customers say that they're comfortable, true to fit, and that they look more expensive than they are.
A Western-Inspired Combat Boot
I love Freebird for their Western style boots and was therefore elated to discover that they also carry a combat boot. This stylistically distressed pair is incredibly soft and comfortable—a perfect way to look polished and dressed up while feeling as though you're wearing your comfiest sneakers.
A High-Heeled Combat Boot
I personally love these boots. As a devotee to heels (I like feeling tall) and to the durability and tough look of leather boots, I always go for a heeled combat boot. These in particular are shiny, match with everything, and the thickness of the heel makes for very easy walking.
Meet the Expert
A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Mateo Palacio started their career in fashion PF and digital communications while working with Social Magazine, where they were a writer and social media director. They have expertise in womenswear as well as menswear, accessories, and fine jewelry, with a special interest in androgynous fashion and streetstyle. They have also contributed to a number of fashion and lifstyle publications, have appeared on HBO and MTV, and have styles the likes of Malibu Mitch, Sofia Reyes, Dai Burger, and DeathbyRomy.
Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things beauty, sexual wellness, and fashion. She's also written about sex, gender, and politics for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal since 2018. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, including two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.
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