Over the past decade, the Chelsea boot has become one of the quickest ways for a guy to inject a jolt of modern style into his everyday wardrobe. They’re as classic and reliable as menswear gets, but are not without some edge—it’s no coincidence that everyone from The Rolling Stones to Kanye West has been spotted wearing the style. In fact, for a while there, it seemed like the only shoes West was stepping out was a pair of sleek suede Chelseas made by Bottega Veneta. Suddenly, guys all over the country were following Ye’s lead and donning the classic pull-on boot style. Years later, Bottega Veneta is still making the Chelsea boot feel new and fresh.
A standout style from the luxury label’s latest collection is the “Tire” boot, a sturdy Chelsea boot with a chunky tread sole. Simply put: this Bottega Veneta boot is a proper high-fashion stomper. It is a quintessential Chelsea in many ways: a sleek and laceless high-top silhouette, with a stretchy elastic panel for a snug fit. And then things get freaky—just a bit. The front of the shoe has been given a bulky rounded toe, and the standout feature is an exaggerated rubber-stamped outsole that comes in a variety of unexpected colors, from bright red to dark kelly-green to chocolate brown. The final result is a boot that feels like statement fashion without drifting too far from the brand’s long-standing focus on tradition and craft. (Cheekily, the boot pulls from designer Daniel Lee’s mega-popula “Puddle” rain boots.)
The Chelsea boot has been around since the mid-1800s, and the design hasn’t changed much since. However, in recent seasons, designers have started to unconventionally play with the style. Raf Simons gave the boot a very style-forward and futuristic upgrade just last year. Now we can add these from Daniel Lee and Bottega Veneta to the list. It’s not too often you come across a pair of Chelseas that can slosh through snow and also turn heads in Soho—but when you do, you’d do best to grab them.
Bottega Veneta “The Tire” boots