What Are Chelsea Boots?

What Are Chelsea Boots?

The Chelsea is a fitted, flat ankle boot that features elastic sides instead of laces, and when it comes to shoes, there aren’t many out there with a history as interesting. Chelsea boots have been a classic wardrobe staple for decades, for both men and women. Let’s delve into what makes Chelsea boots so iconic and explore how to style them.

What is a Chelsea Style Boot?

Chelsea boots are close-fitting ankle boots with stretchy elastic side panels. Many Chelseas also have a loop or fabric tab at the back to allow for easy pulling on and off, a classic design feature from the boots’ Victorian origins. Designed by J. Sparkes-Hall when Queen Victoria requested a pair of no-lace boots that wouldn’t get stuck in her stirrups while riding, he responded with what were initially called paddock boots, made possible by Charles Goodyear's invention of vulcanized rubber.

In the early 1900s, Chelsea boots became a core wardrobe piece in the equestrian world and would later dominate the countryside fashion scene. Chelseas inherited their name from their popularity in Chelsea, an affluent and trendy area of London during the 50’s and 60’s particularly on the ‘mod’ scene. Thanks to a group of artists and socialists who frequented the King's Road in West London, the term "Chelsea Boots" was immortalized and made iconic by The Beatles, Jean Shrimpton and The Rolling Stones to name a few.

Decades later, Chelsea boots are still in fashion and the trend shows no sign of abating. Chelseas offer timeless fashion because of their iconic silhouette, durability, comfort, and the fact that they can be worn with both formal and casual outfits. Chelsea boots are available in different materials such as suede, leather and in different prints and like any other ankle boots they also come in different toe shape designs. 

How to Style Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots bridge the gap between dressy and casual better than any other boot and complement virtually all outfits. They look great paired with blazers, chinos and suits and if you’re after a casual look they are fantastic paired with jeans and double-breasted coats. Chelsea boots also look great with skinny or straight-legged jeans, skirts and dresses either with tights in cooler weather or bare legs in the summer.

A timeless addition to your shoe collection, many of our Women’s Designer boots are the perfect combination between two British classics: brogues and Chelsea boots. Crafted in genuine soft classic black leather, this style is simple to pull on with its elastic side inserts and adds a little edginess to any look. 

Whether you're headed to an important meeting or going out with friends Chelsea boots are sure to elevate your outfit to new heights. Shop our entire collection of women's ankle boots!