The Best Leather Boots of 2023

Doc Martens' 1460 Lace-Up Combat Boots are our top pick

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Madewell / Ariat / Tecovas

Some things just feel right: A warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, snuggling under your favorite blanket for a movie night, or wearing the perfect, cozy outfit for your favorite winter-weather activities. And much like these seemingly simple pleasures, there’s something particularly satisfying about putting on a fresh pair of leather boots. When there are what feels like millions of options out there, knowing what to choose can feel overwhelming. Plus, there are other questions to consider: Should you get brown? Black? Splurge on an investment pair? Opt for an affordable, trend-focused style? Again, there is a lot to consider.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Doc Martens' 1460 Combat Boots take our top spot because of their classic design, durability, and top-notch comfort.

As designer Rebecca Minkoff explains, if you’re searching for a leather boot, you’re already in a good spot. “It’s ALL about the leather,” Minkoff explains.

As we head into even cooler temperatures and you start planning your winter getaways and outfits, here are 15 leather boots that will be a great addition to any outfit.

Best Overall

Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace-Up Boots

1460 Lace-Up Boots

Dr. Martens

It doesn’t get much more classic than a pair of Doc Martens. Not only do these boots last for decades when taken care of properly, but they also are continuously in style, so you don’t have to worry about investing in a pair of boots that will be out of style in a year or two. Plus: They’re comfortable. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, “These shoes are amazing. They are extremely durable. I am a bartender, so I need something to stand in for long periods of time. They withstand all the bar spillage and working on my feet for 12+ hrs. Highly recommend it.”

Material: 100% leather︱Size Range: 5-11︱Colors: Black

Best Budget

Marc Fisher Chelsea Boots

marc-fisher-chelsea-boots

Marc Fisher

Marc Fisher is one of the most popular, trend-focused boot makers out there. These are the perfect balance of a classic Chelsea silhouette paired with a trendier detail in the chain. The reviews for these are also excellent, with an impressive 4.9 rating on DSW. One customer wrote: “​​Bought it for my birthday! Wore them all day for the first time, and they didn't hurt at all.”

Material: Leather upper︱Size Range: 5.5-11︱Colors: Black, white

Best Designer

Brother Vellies Ronstadt Boot

brother-vellies-ronstadt-boot

Brother Vellies

Brother Vellies is known for gorgeous luxury shoes, and these boots certainly match up with those descriptors. While these aren’t everyday boots necessarily, the heel is low enough to be comfortable for all-day wear. They’re also made in Italy, so you know the quality is there.

Material: Leather upper︱Size Range: 5-10︱Colors: Cognac

Best Chelsea

Thursday Chelsea Boots

thursday-chelsea-boots

Thursday

A quick Google search for “best boots” will almost certainly land you on the Thursday website. Thursday is known for high-quality boots and leather shoes, and these Chelsea boots are an excellent choice if you’re looking to peruse hundreds of customer reviews before buying. As a bonus, they’re made from WeatherSafe™ suede that is suitable for different seasons and weather.

Material: WeatherSafe™ suede︱Size Range: 4-12︱Colors: 11 shades

Best Western

Tecovas Handmade Western Bootie

tecovas-handmade-western-bootie

Tecovas

It doesn’t get much more western than this. These boots are available in a variety of shades and types of leather, so you can get pretty specific when it comes to what type of western boots you’re looking for. They’re also a more subtle option than some calf or knee-high boots on the market right now, so they’re a good entry point to a popular trend.

Material: Calfskin, bovine, or goat︱Size Range: 5-12︱Colors: 6 shades

Best Heeled

Nisolo Dari Commuter Boots

nisolo-dari-commuter-boots

Nisolo

With hundreds of positive reviews, these are another pair of leather boots you’ll almost certainly see come up in your “best boots” search. Multiple reviews note that they own several different pairs of shoes from Nisolo, which means the quality and design are sure to be on point. As one person writes of the Dari booties: “This is my 5th pair of NISOLO shoes since first discovering them in 2017. Every pair is in great condition and an absolute go-to for its season. I decided to try something new with the white dari boot. I don't have white booties but wanted to try something new. I was thrilled the second I took them out of the box. I can see them bringing together fall, winter, or spring outfits beautifully. Very comfortable. And with NISOLO, you never have to ever question quality.”

Material: Waterproof leather upper︱Size Range: 5-11︱Colors: Six shades

Best Knee High

Seychelle’s Leather Boots

seychelles-leather-boots

Nordstrom

If you’re in search of a knee-high boot that’s comfortable to wear all day while still being stylish enough to pair with virtually any outfit, look no further than these leather boots from Seychelle’s. They’re also the perfect way to easily create a ’70s-inspired look. One customer review says: “These boots are even more gorgeous in person than pictured. Spectacular quality leather and structure.”

Material: 6-10︱Size Range: Leather upper/textile lining/synthetic sole︱Colors: Brown, white

Best Ankle

Madewell The Ankle Boot

madewell-the-ankle-boot

Madewell

Madewell is known for clothing that is—you guessed it—made well, and according to the reviews, these booties are no different. The elasticized pull-on closer makes them easy to slip on and off as you move about your busy day, and the pointy toe silhouette of the boot gives them a little bit of an edge.

Material: Leather upper︱Size Range: 5-11︱Colors: White, black

Best Mid-Calf

Vince Camuto Mid-Calf Boot

vince-camuto-mid-calf-boot

Vince Camuto

These mid-calf boots have it all: Comfort, style, positive reviews, and an on-trend silhouette. Not to mention they’re affordable at just $169 (what’s even better is that some colors are on sale and priced below that!). As one happy customer writes, “I have terrible feet and was so fortunate to find these comfortable booties. So cute and easy to wear with almost everything.”

Material: Leather upper︱Size Range: 5-12︱Colors: 5 shades

Best Lace-Up

Steve Madden Lace-Up Booties

steve-madden-lace-up-booties

Steve Madden

Lace-up booties are some of the most popular types of boots on the market. With no heel and an easy lace-up closure, this style of shoe can take you from errands to work to date night to beyond. Still, some lace-up booties are a step above the rest, and these Steve Madden boots fall into that category. With nearly 2,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars, you can find out everything you need to know and more about these fabulous boots in their many reviews.

Material: Leather or velvet upper material︱Size Range: 5-11︱Colors: Brown, black

Best Moto

Tamara Mellon Perfecto Boots

tamara-mellon-perfecto-boots

Tamara Mellon

If you’re searching for a pair of classic, low-heel black boots, it doesn’t get much better than these Tamara Mellon Perfecto boots. With a “cloud cushioning insole” with 6mm of “ultra foam padding,” you just know these are going to be comfortable. Not only that, they’re timelessly chic as well, so you can easily incorporate them into your wardrobe for years to come.

Material: Soft Vitello Leather︱Size Range: 5-8.5︱Colors: Black, white

Best for Winter

Ariat Women’s Waterproof Boots

ariat-womens-waterproof-boots

Ariat

One word: Waterproof. Nothing can make a dreary winter day worse than having rain, snow, or sleet soak through your boots, making your socks and feet damp and leading to a very uncomfortable day. Luckily for all of us, these Ariat Waterproof Boots will prevent that from ever happening. What’s more, they are extremely well-reviewed, with hundreds of positive customer reviews. One person wrote: “This boot is extremely durable and waterproof. I wore this shoe as my everyday work shoe working outside in restaurants and in customer service in the snow in Aspen. Walked through the snow many times, and the boot still looks great! I would recommend this boot to anyone.”

Material: Waterproof suede upper︱Size Range: 5.5-11︱Colors: 6 shades

Best Lug Sole

Tory Burch Women’s Lug Sole Booties

tory-burch-womens-lug-sole-booties

Zappos

Lug soles are thick, rubber soles that have deep indentations which are designed to provide good footing. They’re also very, very trendy. These Tory Burch lug sole booties combine a trendy (and comfortable) lug sole with lace-up closure and a 3.75-inch heel.

Material: Calfskin︱Size Range: 5-11︱Colors: Black

Final Verdict

Overall, we love Doc Martens' 1490 lace-up boots simply because few styles can stand the test of time like this pair. Plus, their Teflon-esque durability and overall comfort make them a foolproof choice. If you're looking for a pair that will be kind to your wallet, we love Marc Fisher's Waty Bootie. And if you're all about the splurge, Brother Vellies' Ronstadt boot will surely bring you joy.

Meet the Expert

  • Rebecca Minkoff is a co-founder of the global fashion brand of the same name, which has retail stores across the globe and sells a variety of items, including handbags and footwear.

What to Look for in Leather Boots

When it comes to finding the best pair of leather boots for your money, a good place to start is the quality of the leather, explains Minkoff.

“It’s more worthwhile to invest in a high-quality leather,” Minkoff says. “One that isn’t painted or on the low-end quality because, after one encounter with snow, sleet, or salt, [it] will peel off and look bad the rest of winter.”

While this doesn’t necessarily mean spending the most money possible on leather boots, it can mean doing a little more research to figure out which boots are made from 100 percent leather or have reviews that say they hold up well in inclement weather.

FAQ
  • Will leather boots stretch?

    Minkoff says that, yes, leather boots will stretch if they’re thin. If you’re having trouble stretching out your boots, though, there are ways to speed the process along. As an InStyle article explains, this process can be as simple as placing water-filled plastic baggies in your shoes and freezing them. As the water expands and freezes, your boots should expand, too.

  • Can you wear leather pants with leather boots?

    Absolutely yes. As Minkoff explains, an easy way to style such a look is to make an edgier biker look.

    “Layer with an oversized sweater or a vintage rock tee,” Minkoff suggests.

    The fact is that leather boots (particularly if they’re black, brown, white, or another neutral tone) can be worn with virtually anything and everything, and yes, that includes leather pants.

  • How do you clean leather boots?

    Cleaning leather boots is much simpler than you might think. According to Molly Maid, the process can be as simple as wiping away dirt with a brush or cloth and using a simple soap and water solution to clean off debris. Leather boots are meant to survive the elements, so you don’t have to worry about ruining them during the winter.

  • What types of leather boots are trending?

    When it comes to what leather boots are the most popular right now, Minkoff says it’s “higher platforms with thicker lug soles.” Not only are they chunky and popular, but they’re also incredible for not slipping and for inclement weather, as Minkoff also adds.

Why Trust Byrdie

Olivia Muenter is a fashion commerce contributor for Byrdie, and she has been published in Refinery29, Bustle, Fashionista, Glamour, and Woman’s Day, among others. Her search for this piece covered cashmere retailers of all types. For criteria, she evaluated customer reviews, size inclusivity, price point, and style.

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