Top quality men's boots
December 11, 2014 10:32 AM   Subscribe

After reading this AskMe, my future men's shoe purchases will all be top quality. With that in mind, I really like these Chelsea-style Allen Edmonds boots (bigger pic, slightly different style), but unfortunately, they no longer make them. Can you recommend a similar boot from a similarly high-quality company?

What I like about the AE boots is that they're slip-on, and that they're casual enough to wear with jeans but can also go with other pants as well. AE says that the closest thing they're producing now is this boot, but I don't care for the patterning on the front, or the multi-colored goring. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Are you in the US? What's your budget?

Jack Erwin has a nice Chelsea. They use a direct-to-consumer model. Quality is slightly lower than AE but they are a lot cheaper.

Meermin makes a nice Chelsea too. They ship from spain but they're also good for the price.

However, if you want an investment, for Chelsea boots nothing beats RW Williams.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:36 AM on December 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I'm in the U.S. My budget is flexible, but I'm prepared to pay at least as much as those Allen Edmonds boots cost ($350), perhaps a good bit more for a real investment. More than double that is probably not in the cards, but I'm not going to rule anything out if someone wants to make a persuasive case.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:44 AM on December 11, 2014

Aside from RW Williams, JM Weston is the other well-known maker of Chelsea boots. Plenty of info on these brands if you search on
posted by mullacc at 10:46 AM on December 11, 2014

Oh dear no I don't care for that new chelsea boot either. AE makes some dubious choices sometimes.

The chisel toe RM Williams chelsea boots are very, very nice - more elegant and better made than AE, in my opinion, although there's certainly some nice AE boots. You will probably have to order from Australia. I wear an 8E in US men's shoes and I take 7.5 (wide if I can get it but they are stretchy) in RM Williams. The deal with RM Williams is that they are the only maker who does whole cut chelsea boots (there may be a couple of high end custom makers who do now) which means that there is no seam on the boot except the seam at the back of the heel. This gives a more elegant appearance and a more leak-proof boot. You will probably need to order from Australia - I got mine gently used on eBay, but that was a lucky break.

Loake makes a chelsea boot that is supposed to be pretty good. Herring Shoes is a reliable international shipper.

The Trickers Lambourn is a nice boot; Pediwear is also reliable.

Yoox stocks Moma, which has a bunch of chelsea boots right now. Moma is a mid-range Italian brand that is a little bit too fashion-forward, IMO, but I have been pretty happy with a couple of pairs of shoes from them via Yoox - they're blake rapid stitched, as far as I can tell. They run a little long in the toe and I take a 41 as a slightly wide size 8.

In my experience, Westons run huge, partly because of a simple difference in calculating sizing and partly because their lasts are ginormous. I take a 7 in Westons.

posted by Frowner at 10:54 AM on December 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You're in NYC, right? Why not hit up Barney's? They stock a great variety of high-end boots (and some junk) and this may give you a better idea of fit and options. There's also a Crockett Jones shop at 7 West 56th Street, apparently, and they sometimes have chelsea boots - if they do and they fit, you can't really go wrong with C&J.
posted by Frowner at 10:58 AM on December 11, 2014

Response by poster: I'm in NYC.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:06 AM on December 11, 2014

Crockett & Jones Chelsea 3 (about $600)
posted by melissasaurus at 11:07 AM on December 11, 2014

Check out the Australian Boot Company here. This is in the Toronto area. Looks like US shopping is not an issue, if you look at the FAQS. They carry the Williams boots and Blundstones (I have a pair) as well.
posted by PickeringPete at 11:08 AM on December 11, 2014

Thing is, I wouldn't spend a lot of money of this style of boot because so much of it is composed of canvas. The soles are still high quality I'm sure but why not get an all-leather ankle boot like so, where spending the extra cash will be rewarded by extended wear. With a Chelsea Boot (or a suede chukka for that matter) the extra quality will be less meaningful, and (if you're into signals) less visible (ie there are lots of cheap jodhpurs so it's hard to tell when you're wearing nice ones).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:16 AM on December 11, 2014

What about Red Wing? They have a Chelsea that's available at Zappos and its another historic U.S. shoemaker with a good reputation.
posted by Area Man at 11:34 AM on December 11, 2014

Julian Boots. Accept no substitute. Persist in your efforts and you will be rewarded.
posted by herrdoktor at 3:50 PM on December 11, 2014

I would expect the Wolverine Men's Montague 1000 Mile Chelsea Boot ($300) to be of very high quality. I've had their 1000 Mile Boot for about 4 years now and it's going strong.
posted by spaghettification at 5:30 PM on December 11, 2014

I recently saw a billboard for a similar boot near Penn Station in NYC. I don't remember the name of the style, but they were Florsheims.
posted by naturalog at 6:35 PM on December 11, 2014

Classic men's shoe styles in women's sizes are easier to find now than they were eight years ago, when I discovered that Allen Edmonds made women's shoes briefly in or around the late 1980s. Since good shoes can last a long time if they're cared for, nice ones come up on Ebay all the time. I have several pairs and haven't paid more than $40. The situation may be not the same for more recent men's shoes. But if you love those specifically, it doesn't hurt to set up a few saved searches for variations on "Allen Edmonds Ashbury" "Allen Edmonds Chelsea" and so on. You can keep shopping around for alternatives and Ebay will email you if some pop up.
posted by doift at 10:31 PM on December 11, 2014

These Grenson's looks sharp.
posted by cazoo at 10:33 PM on December 11, 2014

Response by poster: I took Frowner's suggestion and hit up Barney's. I bought this pair of boots made by Church's, a British company. I haven't worn them around yet as I just purchased them and then dropped them off at the shoe repair place to get weathproofed, but I like how they look and feel. Thanks for all the help, everyone.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:35 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

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