The Best Types of Boots for Different Occasions

There’s a quote that says, “Good boots take you good places,” and knowing the right type of boots will surely take you to many great destinations. You can even conquer the world! 

However, you cannot go to a fancy formal occasion wearing cowboy boots or imagine yourself scaling a craggy cliff wearing a pair of knee-high boots.

There is the right pair of boots for every occasion. And “the right pair” doesn’t only mean the right type, but also the right quality that will make them worth the investment. Make sure you know your size, too! You should buy at least one pair for every type.

1) Chelsea boots

Chelsea boto in black calf leather

The most distinguishable features of the Chelsea boot are the black elastic side panels. Chelsea boots often have a loop or tab at the back, making it easier for the wearer to put them on and off. 

Chelsea boots first emerged in 19th-century fashion, especially in Victorian-era Great Britain. Shoemaker Joseph Sparks Hall made the first pair for the Queen herself, because she wanted a pair of boots that didn’t need to be laced up. Hall later claimed that Queen Victoria walked in these shoes every day, giving “the strongest proof of the value she attaches to the invention.”

However, the Chelsea boots that we know today didn’t become popular until the 1950s and, especially, the 1960s, when The Beatles started wearing them in their concerts.

Now that you’ve known that these boots have the Queen’s and the Beatles’ seal of approval, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t snap them up. Whether you’re going to the office in slacks, going to the malls in a soft lace skirt, or hitting the bars (or pubs, in British) in tapered denim pants, Chelsea boots look great for any outfit.

2) Combat boots

A man wearing tatoos and combat boots

As the name suggests, combat boots were initially designed to be worn by soldiers in combat. However, these lace-up boots later crossed over from being merely military to being fashionable, too. While these boots are still worn by our soldiers today (and they’re even getting design upgrades), civilians tend to focus more on their aesthetic qualities than their function.

How and where do you wear combat boots? Tie a white shirt around your waist, put on a pair of ripped-up jeans, and wear combat boots, and you will totally rock a classic punk look. You can also wear them at work, especially if you are the sort who often have some errands to run in the office or perform heavy physical labor. They’re also suitable for the casual night-out ensemble. Combat boots that are actually designed for outdoor activities (such as camping or mountaineering) look more stylish than ever. These boots’ versatility has indeed come a long way.

3) Weather boots

winter boots on the snow

Of all the types of boots on this list, these are must-haves. You will always need a good pair of waterproof boots, whether rain boots or snow boots (or why not both?), to get you through torrential rains or harsh winter storms.

There’s good news: weather boots have come a long way in terms of design. Chuck your old, clunky, and drab-looking weather boots and look for a new pair that will draw the eye. With cute and chic options (Chanel even has rain boots!) you no longer need to choose between ugly boots that keep your feet warm and dry or fashionable boots that leave you with soaked socks. These fashionable weather boots will make you want to step on the rain puddle – with style.

4) Over-the-knee (or thigh-high) boots

thigh high boots being worn

These are boots that go past the knees to thigh height. Not only do these boots look great to your fall and winter ensemble, but they also provide total protection to your lower extremities from nippy winter elements. They go great with skirts, jeans, tights, and dresses. Today’s over-the-knee boots are made from stretchable materials that you can easily scrunch down, and they still look great.

5) Moto boots

a pair of motorcycle boots

Moto boots are typically worn by motorcyclists. They look pretty badass when worn together with a jacket and helmet to complete the “rider” look, but they also look great off the saddle. Moto boots are typically mid-calf, low-heel, and made of leather. You can wear these nifty boots whether you’re pairing them with ripped jeans, a straight denim skirt, or a flowing skirt. Moto boots are often embellished with buckles, glittering studs, exposed zippers, and other hardware, making these boots a welcome addition to your fall get-up.

6) Tall boots

a riding boot worn by someone mounting a horse

Also called riding boots, tall boots were initially made for equestrians, the cavalry, and casual horse-riding enthusiasts. As the name implies, tall boots are much higher than the ankle and low-cut boots, reaching the knee level. You don’t have to mount a horse to rock tall boots – you can partner them with your leggings or tights to complete your casual outfits. They can also look great with straight or flowy skirts and sweater dresses to create your fashion statement.