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Did you know that the first Chelsea boot (one of my all-time favorite types of boots) was made for Queen Victoria? The story goes like this: Queen Victoria had requested a pair of boots without laces so that she could wear while riding, explaining that laces tended to get caught in her stirrups (which, I don't ride, but sounds annoying?). As a result, London-based shoemaker J. Sparkes-Hall designed the now-classic boots, which were called "paddock" until the '50s and '60s when their name morphed into "Chelsea boots," thanks to the style's association with King's Road, a street in London's borough of Chelsea. These days, Chelsea boots have gone beyond their British roots and become a universal favorite.
"Chelsea boots are a fall staple," agrees celebrity stylist and costume designer Alexandra Imgruth, who explains that these accessories are, on a basic level,
"flat ankle boots easily spotted by their elastic side panel." Indeed, this style is made from a single piece of leather, split into two parts called the vamp and the quarters. These parts meet near the ankle, where they're joined by a strip of vulcanized rubber or elastic that extends just below the ankle but stops before reaching the sole.
Ahead, check out some of the very best Chelsea boots for women in 2022, from classic to modern, that are sure to make you fall in love with this classic fall boot all over again.
The OG Chelsea Boots
When we asked Imgruth about her go-to pair of Chelsea boots, she said, "As they're inherently English, it's always best to get it from the source—an English brand. My favorite is Crockett and Jones."
Wedged Chelsea Boots
This beautiful wedge pair is, by all accounts, comfortable, easy to slip on, and true to size. One review notes that they "hold up really well through all weather" and that they provide substantial arch support.
Cuban Heel Chelsea Boots
Imgruth reminds us that a heeled Chelsea boot—a "low heel with a tapered back and straight front"—is commonly known as a Cuban heel. This pair is chic and simple, with a price tag that won't break the bank.
Luxury Cuban Heel Chelsea Boots
If you're a fan of the Cuban heel, Imgruth suggests this "perfect" pair from Celine, which balances its sleek, feminine shape with a touch metal toe.
Waterproof Chelsea Boots
Hunter's waterproof boots will seamlessly take you from day to night and ensure you won't have to obsessively check the weather every hour. Reviewers warn that they need to be broken in before long-term wear, but that just means that when you first get them, you'll have a great excuse to make your quick trips to the market extra chic.
Leather Chelsea Boots
Come for the durability of Frye's vintage Italian leather booties, stay for the gorgeous redwood color they come in that will stand out from the rest of your Chelsea boot collection. Customers rave that these boots are true to size, long-lasting, and don't even require a "break-in period."
Thick-Soled Chelsea Boots
Expect to receive plenty of compliments whenever you throw on Koio's bestselling Chelsea boots, which will instantly become part of your capsule wardrobe. Indeed, several reviews call this pair their new "everyday boot," with one satisfied customer explaining that the certified Italian leather "molds to your foot and is so soft."
Chelsea Boots for the Rugged
If you still want to look cute while doing outdoorsy activities, throw on Timberland's Chelsea boots, which are available in seven (!) different colors. In line with this boot brand's ethos, they're also great for consistent long-wear. One reviewer writes that after having worn the boots regularly for three or four years, her boots "still look awesome and are super comfortable."
Croc Chelsea Boots
Animal prints, like this croc-embossed look, give your 'fit what Imgruth calls a "more experimental look." Try this style tucked beneath a pair of jeans or with a flowing midi skirt.
Suede Chelsea Boots
Imgruth also cites "a beautiful suede" option, like this pair from Staud, as one of her Chelsea boot go-to's.
White Chelsea Boots
These boots come in seven different colors, and customers rave about how high-quality they look and how easy they are to walk in. They do run small, though, so be sure to round up if you're between sizes!
Durable Chelsea Boots
Swap your traditional rain boots for this rugged Chelsea boot version. The boot's chunky, durable soles also make it ideal for walking through city streets or muddy terrain.
Chelsea Boots for Everyday
Not only are these boots chic, but, according to reviews, they're incredibly comfortable. One highly satisfied customer writes, "I’m sitting on the sofa watching TV [with them on] because I don’t want to take them off."
Rainy Day Chelsea Boots
These Chelsea boots have a matte finish and are suited for rainy days, though you can wear them even when there's not a cloud in the sky. Plus, they're so comfortable that one reviewer says they feel "like house slippers."
Pointed-Toe Chelsea Boots
I love a good pointed-toe boot, and this gorgeous option is, in the words of one pleased customer, "that rare balance of style and comfort in a single item [which] is hard to find."
Gabrielle Ulubay is an E-Commerce Writer at Marie Claire and writes about all things fashion and beauty. She's also written about politics, gender, and sex for publications like Bustle, HuffPost Personal, and The New York Times. 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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