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Style Advice

Four of the best boots for your chosen budget

Four of the best boots for your chosen budget

Stepping into a trusty pair of boots has a certain feel to it, especially when they've reached that perfectly worn-in stage. And you should make sure you wear them in until they reach that point, because the best boots can – and should – stay in your wardrobe rotation for years to come. So how can you guarantee that they do?

It’s not just about picking any old style that fits into your budget, but it means taking into consideration things like design details, material, and craftsmanship too. To help you do just that, we’ve enlisted Thread stylist Freddie Kemp to seek out the best pair of Chelsea, lace-up, hiking, and desert boots for you based on the unique budget you gave us upon signing up. Walk this way.

Chelsea boots

Photographed: Base London Flint Washed (£79.99)

Our top pick: Base London Chelsea boots 

When choosing Chelsea boots, you can go contemporary or you can go classic. The beauty of these Base London Chelsea boots is that they seamlessly combine the two, so you’ll be able to wear them with a wider spectrum of looks and ultimately get a lot more wear out of them.  

What we love about these is the design is clean and simple, but subtle details like the logo, contrasting pull tab, and stitching around the panels mimic features you’d see in more luxury designs – minus the luxury price tag. The washed-grey colour feels less expected (in a good way) than your classic blacks and browns, but it’s equally as versatile, so you don’t need to worry about the colour limiting your outfit options.

How to get the most out of them 

Short answer: wear them with anything. Chelsea boots work incredibly well with looks on both ends of the smart casual spectrum. Thanks to their equestrian roots, they complement rugged outdoors styles – think a flannel or field jacket. But they’ll also fit seamlessly into smarter outfits, and even formal suiting, due to their sleek, single-panel silhouette. To really show yours off (and you’ll want to), wear yours with cuffed jeans – selvedge denim lends a smarter edge for a considered smart casual look.

Lace-up boots

Photographed: MVP Leather Brogue Boot (£42)

Our pick: MVP leather brogue boots 

Men have been lacing up leather boots for centuries, so there’s a lot of history behind this style. But they never manage to feel dated, and that’s down to the many ways brands have interpreted the style – from chunky and rugged to sleek and smart. But if you’re looking for a style that’s versatile and made to last, we’d turn to this pair from MVP. The brand is one of our own in-house labels, so we can say with confidence that a high level of care and attention to detail went into creating them.

Need proof of their quality? Just look to the detailed stitching and real leather upper, which will age well and last longer than synthetic boots at a similar price point. They offer the kind of detail you might expect from a more expensive pair of boots, which makes them versatile and classic without being overly stylised.

How to get the most wear out of them

If you want to wear your lace-up leather boots with smarter looks, pick a pair with brogue detailing (like the MVP style above) that feels more elevated than your average. You’ll be able to dress them up with a shirt and blazer for work, but on your days off, you can style them with jeans and a sweater.

Hiking boots 

Photographed: Marks & Spencer Casual Boots (£22)

Our pick: Marks & Spencer casual boots 

Hiking boots are officially cool. But they’re also incredibly functional (don’t you love when a pair of boots is both?). Whether you’re an outdoors enthusiast or a disciple of footwear trends, they’re a style that will work for your wardrobe. And while trends can often be expensive and fleeting, this pair from Marks & Spencer is neither. They perfectly combine the three things you want from a good pair of hiking boots: style, practicality, and a price tag that doesn’t match the cost of an airline ticket. It doesn’t hurt that Marks & Spencer is a brand known for quality, and it shows in the excellent craftsmanship of the design. Simplicity always feels more expensive. 

And like so many other styles that we tout here at Thread, it’s these kinds of details that make all the difference. The herringbone lining, convenient side zip, and moc-toe detail all help this pair stand out from other contemporary hiking boots, and will make them easier to pair with everyday looks (not just the outdoor kind). 

How to get the most wear out of them

Unlike your leather lace-ups or Chelsea boots, hiking boots aren’t quite so easy to smarten up. But what they lack in versatility, they make up for in function and practicality. Pair them with whatever you usually like to wear when you’re hitting the great outdoors – whether that’s cargo pants and a fleece or jeans and a down jacket – and you’ll be dry, warm, and stylish to boot.

Desert boots 

Photographed: Soleset Desert Boots (£48)

Our pick: Soleset desert boots

The luxurious suede and light, neutral tones of a typical pair of desert boots lend themselves to warm-weather months (they were created for the desert, after all). But if you choose wisely, you can wear yours year-round. And a chunky-soled pair, like these from Soleset, will ensure you can do just that. Don’t let the reasonable price point trick you – the cleated sole and suede upper on these desert boots are great quality, so with the right care, they’ll last for years to come. 

If you think the chunky style feels more contemporary than a traditional pair, don’t let it deter you. It’s just subtle enough as to not veer into trendy territory. In fact, it will be easier to clean and, in turn, help your shoes last longer. 

How to get the most wear out them

In warm weather, your desert boots will go with anything from linen suits to shorts. But in colder months, the refined sandy tone tends to complement dark-wash jeans for a rugged, smart casual feel. Just make sure you invest in a good suede protector, so you can prepare for whatever the forecast throws at you and ensure they’ll take you even further.


Words: Ella White
Styling: Freddie Kemp