Quest for New Women's Chelsea Boots
March 21, 2019 9:02 AM   Subscribe

My beloved Keens are on the edge of death. 15 years, 1 resole, can't complain. They don't make them anymore. :( What is out there besides Doc Martens and Blundstone in the $200 or less pricepoint?

From previous research here & elsewhere, I'm concerned that the quality just isn't there in manufacturing anymore. I think Doc Martens switched to being made somewhere other than the UK awhile back? Reviews I'm reading about Blundstone are also saying things like, "I had my first pair 10 years and these just aren't the same quality..."

I want a casual, well made, low heel, leather chelsea boot. Halp.
posted by yoga to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
I like Fluevog (under $200) and Frye ($300, but excellent quality) for lasting footwear. Their Chelsea boots linked here.
posted by pammeke at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

I just got these as an alternative to the Blundstone Maddison Tiana

I bought online, and was impressed with the quality, and the leather. So other Maddison styles may suit you.
posted by Ftsqg at 9:13 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

What about this Everlane chelsea boot? It's not as chunky as the others you mention but in general their stuff is decent.

The unfortunate thing is that it's hard to get good full-price leather shoes under $200.

Yoox has a couple of pairs of Moma chelsea boots for sale under $200 in a wide range of sizes. IME, Moma runs a tiny bit big, so you might want to order two and return one. These are not chunky, but if you really want a chunky sole, you can take them to a cobbler and ask that they add a thick vibram sole. The cobbler will knock off the heel piece and add a whole vibram sole which will be trimmed to fit the shape of the existing sole. I have this done fairly regularly as it makes boots warmer and cushier.

Momas are good quality - not as tromp-in-the-mud as field boots, but perfectly suitable for walking.
posted by Frowner at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

OMG I knew you guys would be able to help me!!

Ftsgg those Maddison's might do the trick. I can't wait to scope all these out.
posted by yoga at 9:26 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Birkenstock also makes one. It's not cheap, but the quality seems good (though I've only had mine a few months not lots of years)
posted by kbuxton at 9:36 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

When my wife wanted a boot, I went deep to find a full-grain leather boot with a Goodyear welt that would be buy-it-for-life like so many men's boots are. While not quite a Chelsea, I ended up finding the Frye Natalie Double Zip. They list for $300+, but you can regularly get them for well under $200. For example 6pm has them for $164 right now. Note that only the "whiskey" and "black" leather versions are full-grain leather and goodyear welted. With basic care these should last a lifetime!
posted by AaRdVarK at 9:58 AM on March 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Try Geox. I have these and I loooove them, in fact I am wearing them right now. I have another pair of Geox boots bought 5 years ago that are still in great shape.
posted by 4rtemis at 10:39 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I bought this pair of Sorels in October and have worn them almost every day since then. They are wonderful.
posted by witchen at 11:35 AM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Rossi is similar to Blundstone and I think still made in Australia.
posted by sepviva at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I just bought a pair of Kodiak Chelsea boots - you can get them at REI, like your Keens. My Kodiak winter boots have lasted two years and look nearly new, so I expect the same from these.
posted by umwhat at 7:47 PM on March 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

umwhat, I can't tell if there is a finished leather lining in those Kodiaks. I have found that when it's rough leather on the inside of the boot it pulls my socks down. :( Can you enlighten?
posted by yoga at 5:47 AM on March 22, 2019

Ah, sorry for the belated reply - not finished leather, sadly!
posted by umwhat at 6:04 PM on March 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

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