The 10 Best Combat Boots of 2023

Few boots can transform utilitarianism into style like the combat boot.

Trixi Giese wearing Prada yellow bag, black vintage bomber jacket, Urban Outfitters black top, Zara yellow skirt and black combat boots on August 17, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.
(Image credit: Getty/Jeremy Moeller)

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. 

Meet the Expert

Mateo Palacio, fashion stylist
Mateo Palacio

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
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, fashion, culture, and politics both at Marie Claire and for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal. 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.