There are moments in fashion when trends align with comfort – and designers’ current love affair with lug-soled Chelsea boots is one of them.
“So many brands have done a heavy-soled Chelsea or combat boot this season,” says stylist Tara Morris. “They play to the oversized, androgynous silhouette that was so big at [Afterpay] Australian Fashion Week last month.”
Chelsea boots have been around since the 1840s (they were supposedly invented for Queen Victoria to wear while horse riding) and have been through various incarnations, from the Cuban-influenced style worn by the Beatles to the Blundstone work boots loved by tradies.
This new incarnation was inspired by the boots shown by Bottega Veneta designer Daniel Lee at his debut show for the brand two years ago. W magazine predicted they’d be a street-style hit and sure enough, they were everywhere during the northern summer. And now they’re here.
The Bottega-inspired boots have a higher shaft, often reaching to mid-calf, which means they work well with a cropped, wide-leg pant or a midi skirt. “I love them with a really wide, cropped trouser, which shows off the slim ankle,” says Tara. They also look great with a long print dress, with a chunky knit over the top.
Best of all? These Chelsea boots are beautifully comfortable and warm.
“They’re the first boot I’ve owned that I don’t feel precious about,” confesses Tara. “When you think about it, that’s really what a winter boot should be.”