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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 in addition to price. 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: Soleset Chelsea Boot ($84)

Our top pick: Soleset Chelsea boots

When choosing Chelsea boots, we recommend sticking to the classics: a sleek, smart shape that has just the right amount of chunky ruggedness to feel relaxed, but not completely casual. It’s this fine balance that makes Chelsea boots one of the most versatile styles in your wardrobe, and this pair by Soleset is a perfect example. 

Soleset is one of our in-house labels here at Thread, so we can guarantee that they’re made with the care and detail you might expect from a luxury product – minus the luxury price tag. The design is clean, simple, featuring quality materials and detailed craftsmanship, and the brown leather gives them a hint of country casual that will still fit easily into smarter outfits. But they don’t just imitate luxury pairs – they make their own style statement, too. It’s smaller details, like the textured leather, durable sole, and high arch, that make this style look and feel expensive. 

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 them with cuffed jeans – selvedge denim lends a smarter edge for a considered smart casual look.

Lace-up leather boots 

Photographed: Hudson Dayton Tan Brogue Boot ($91)

Our top pick: Hudson Dayton 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, you could do worse than these brown brogue boots by Hudson

The brand is known for quality craftsmanship and competitive prices, so you can trust that these boots are made to last. Need proof of their quality? Just look to the detailed stitching and worn-in leather upper, which will look perfectly rugged straight out the box and get even better with age. The sturdy shape blends style and functionality, and will 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 Hudson 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 

Our top pick: Cotswold Sudgrove 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 Cotswold 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 Cotswold is a brand known for high-quality functional design, and it shows in the professional details. A padded ankle, supportive sole, and brass hardware provide all the practicality you want from a pair of practical hiking boots. Better yet? It’s these same functional features that bring the chunky, contemporary feel that high-street shoe designers are scrambling to imitate. So even if you go off the outdoor trend, you’ll still have a great pair of walking boots on hand when you need them.

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 

Our top pick: Hudson Carter 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 rubber-soled pair, like these from Hudson, will ensure you can do just that. Don’t let the reasonable price point trick you – the chunkier sole and suede upper on these desert boots are great quality, so with the right care, they’ll last for years to come. 

Hudson is a brand known for high-quality craftsmanship without the high-end price tag, so you can trust these boots to be as durable as they are timeless and versatile. Cheaper shoes often fall back on unnecessary design details to make a statement, but the simplicity of Hudson’s desert boots proves you don’t have to overcomplicate the design to hit the mark. It also makes them even easier to dress up or down, whatever the weather.

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 chocolate 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