The 19 Best Leather Boots of 2023

Madewell / Ariat / Tecovas

Boots have a place in every womans cold-weather wardrobe—and if you want yours to hold up for more than one season, leather is the way to go. The long-lasting material breaks in to conform to the shape of your foot, getting softer and comfier over time.1

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"Almost every outfit you can think of can be paired with a leather boot," says fashion stylist Tamra Nicole Byrd. But there are tons of options in terms of silhouette, color, heel height, and shaft height (how high they go up your ankle or leg). Byrd is a fan of booties or tall boots, while personal stylist Cassandra Sethi often recommends Chelseas for their versatility.

Of course, comfort matters, too—beyond just taking the time to break in your leather boots. Podiatrist Mona N. Ramani, DPM, says the most comfortable pairs will have arch support, cushioned insoles, roomy toe boxes, and breathable linings.

With these experts buying tips in mind, we searched high and low to find the best leather boots for women, carefully evaluating each pair for design, height, color options, fit, and price.

Best Overall

Madewell The Darcy Ankle Boot


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The perfect leather boot is in the eye of the beholder. But if we could only pick one to recommend or wear ourselves, wed go with Madewells Darcy Ankle Boot. Flaunting analmond toe and aslightly slanted block heel, its decidedly modern yet versatileenough that you wont have to worry about it going out of style next season—or even next year.

These ankle boots go with just about anything, including casual looks, going-out ensembles, and professional attire. Theyre also comfortable, thanks to the brandsCloudlift Lite padding in the cushy insoles. For a sustainabilitybonus, the leather is sourced from a tannery with a Gold rating from the LWG (Leather Working Group).

  • Heel Height: 2.25 inches
  • Size Range:5–12
  • Colors: True Black, Warm Cinnamon, Pale Parchment, Silver, Burnt Olive

Best Chelsea

Kork-Ease Bristol Chelsea Boot

Courtesy of Zappos.

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The Bristol is our favorite Chelsea boot. The ankle-high,easy-on style features elastic gore panelson the sides and a pull tab at the heel, plus amodest heel height and a cushioned footbed. "These will be your everyday boots youll actually be able to walk in," says Sethi.

  • Heel Height: 1.25 inches
  • Size Range: 6–11
  • Colors: Black, brown, taupe

Best Combat

Dr. Martens 1460 Smooth Leather Lace-Up Boots

Dr. Martens

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Dr. Martens reigns in the world of combat-style shoes. The brands iconic 1460 Boot first launched over 60 years ago and continues to be afashion stapletoday. These instantly recognizable kicks haveleather uppers with corded laces and semi-transparent lug soleswith signature yellow stitching. They can take a while to break in (sometimes weeks), but once you get there, youll be glad you put in the time.

  • Heel Height: 1.25 inches
  • Size Range: 5–12
  • Colors:Black, Cherry Red, Clash Pink, Sulphur Yellow, White, Pale Olive, Gaucho Crazy Horse +more

Best Ankle

Franco Sarto Linc Bootie


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The Linc Bootie rises just above the ankle and features a low heel perfect for a work commute, travel, or everyday wear. Anupdated take on the Chelsea boot, it boasts smooth leather uppers, elastic side panels, and an inner zipper that makes it super easy to get on and off.

  • Heel Height: 1.25 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors:Black, olive, brown, taupe, cognac

Best Heeled

Kate Spade New York Knott Zip Boot

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To elevate your look, consider a heeled style, like Kate Spades Knott Boot. Thesesleek and sophisticated boots add over 3 inches of height, but thanks to theblock heels, youll feel steady on your feet.

  • Heel Height: 3.25 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors:Black, Light Fawn, Rustic Brown

Best Block Heel

Dolce Vita Irnie Block Heel Chelsea Boot

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We also like Dolce Vitas Irnie Boots, which have chunky, medium-height block heelsthatll make you stand slightly taller without sacrificing comfort. Meanwhile, thesemi-squared chisel toesnod to modern trends—but they arent so contemporary that they cant beworn season after season.

  • Heel Height: 2.25 inches
  • Size Range: 6–11
  • Colors: Tobacco, Black, Taupe

These 15 Chelsea Boots Are The Best For The Cold Weather Months Ahead

Best Stacked Heel

Nisolo Dari Heeled Boot

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If you like a stacked heel, the Dari Boot might be the one. The2.5-inch block heel features 12 layers of durable leather that resembles wood to contrast the sleek leather uppers. Not only that, but these boots are water-resistant, so you wont have to worry about stepping in a puddle or unexpected rainfall. Just a heads up, they run slightly small, so consider ordering a half-size larger than you normally wear.

  • Heel Height:2.5 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors: Almond, Black, Bone, Brandy, Honey

Best Low Heel

Børn Cove Waterproof Chelsea Boot

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Prefer a lower heel? Børn Cove Boots have your name on them. Theheels are just an inch, and since the platform is a half-inch, the incline is only half an inch.Arch supportbuilt into the insoles makes them even comfier. Theendlessly versatilestyle is perfect for streetwear looks but also a great choice for business-casual dress codes. Best of all, theleather is waterproof,so you can make a splash without worry about damaging your boot.

  • Heel Height: 1 inch
  • Size Range: 6–11
  • Colors: Black, taupe, gray

The 11 Best Walking Boots For All Types of Trails and Terrains

Best Lug Sole

Sam Edelman Laguna Waterproof Lug Sole Chelsea Boot


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If youre drawn to theutilitarian vibe of a lug sole, youll appreciate Sam Edelmans Laguna Boot. These Chelsea-style boots have chunky rubber soles with 1.5-inch heels and 1-inch platforms. Fashion-forward yet practical, the heavily lugged design keeps you steady on your feet, while theweatherproof coatingprotects the leather and helps you stay dry.

  • Heel Height: 1.5 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors:Black, Golden Caramel, Cedarwood, Tawny Brown, Banana Cream +more

The 17 Best Lug Sole Boots

Best Splurge

Rag & Bone Mustang Boot

Rag & Bone

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If youre open to shelling out a bit more on leather boots, this pair from Rag & Bone is well worth the investment. The Mustang Boot has aclassic almond toe and a subtly slanted stacked heel that adds 2 inches of height. We appreciate how the understated Western details offer just enough character without sacrificing versatility.

  • Heel Height:2 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors: Black, camel

Best Pointed Toe

Marc Fisher LTD Ulani Pointy Toe Bootie

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A pointed toe creates an idealbalance of sass and sophistication. If youre a fan of this look, go with Marc Fishers Ulani Bootie. Beyond the statement toe, these boots stun withhalf-moon block heelsand supple leather uppers, while thecushioned footbeds promise to keep your feet happy for hours.

  • Heel Height: 3.25 inches
  • Size Range: 5–12
  • Colors: Black, ivory, cognac, dark brown

Best Waterproof

Blondo Hallie Waterproof Bootie


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If you live in a wet climate, youll always be glad to have weather-resistant footwear. Blondo Hallie Booties havewaterproof leather uppers with sealed seamsand knitted sock-like shafts that not only help your feet stay cozy but also prevent water from getting inside. And thetreaded rubber outsoles add traction on slick ground.

  • Heel Height: 1.5 inches
  • Size Range: 5.5–11
  • Colors: Black, Bone, Dark Taupe

Best for Cold Weather

Timberland Premium 6-Inch Waterproof Boot


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Originally released in the 70s, Timberlands tried-and-true lace-up boots are ideal for chillier days. They haveseam-sealed waterproof leatheruppers to keep rain and snow out, whilePrimaLoft insulationhelps your feet and toes stay warm when the temperatures drop. Not only that, butanti-fatigue footbedshelp you remain comfortable for hours on end.

  • Heel Height: 1 inch
  • Size Range: 4.5–11
  • Colors:Wheat, Black, Light Grey, Medium Grey, Light Pink +more

Best Dressy

Jeffrey Campbell Geist Square Toe Boot


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These boots make a stellar finishing touch to a dressy ensemble. We love theultra-sleek leather uppers, flared block heels, and on-trend square toes. The elegant, polished stylewill pair beautifully with a slinky satin dress, a pleated maxi skirt, or a pressed jumpsuit and blazer.

  • Heel Height: 2.5 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors: Black, brown

Best Designer

Tory Burch Leather Ankle Bootie

Saks Fifth Avenue

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For those looking for a one-of-a-kind shoe, these ankle booties by Tory Burch are worth the investment. With asimple silhouette, a timeless almond toe, and a balancedfaux-wood block heel punctuated with a gold metal accent, the understated yet refineddesign nails the quiet luxury vibe.

  • Heel Height: 3 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors:Almond Flour, Perfect Black, Chocolate Brown

Best With Arch Support

Naturalizer River Bootie

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As Dr. Ramani notes, arch support is a crucial component of comfortable shoes. These boots take it a step further withopen-cell foam cushioningthroughout the footbeds to keep you light on your feet, while the soft leather uppers have almostno break-in period.

  • Heel Height: 2 inches
  • Size Range: 5–12
  • Colors: Black, English Tea Brown, Cabernet Sauvignon Red

Best Knee-High

Vagabond Brooke Tall Boots


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For those who like taller boots, we highly recommend this pair from Aldo. "If you like to wear skirts and dresses, this is a must-have in your closet," says Sethi. Thesuper-smooth leathersoftens over time, and theplatform sole keeps you comfy on your feet for long periods. These boots are also a breeze to get on and off, thanks to the inner zippers.

  • Heel Height: 3.75 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors:Black

The 21 Best Knee-High Boots of 2023

Best Statement

Everlane The Puffa Boot


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Were also super into these trendy leather boots from Everlane. Merging classic clogs with a playful take on the Chelsea, they havedramatically chunky heels and platform soles. Both are wrapped in LWG-certified leather to match the uppers for a modern monochrome look thats sure to turn heads.

  • Heel Height:3.25 inches
  • Size Range: 5–11
  • Colors: Black, dark brown

Best Vegan Leather

Mia Jonna Lug Sole Chelsea Boot

Courtesy of Mia.

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If you prefer animal-free footwear or are looking for amore affordable option, consider vegan leather. A marriage between a Chelsea and a combat boot, these faux leather booties arepractical yet edgy and oh-so-stylish.

  • Heel Height:2 inches
  • Size Range: 6–11
  • Colors: Black, Luggage, Sahara, Bone

Where We Stand

Overall, our favorite is the Darcy Ankle Boot from Madewell. The modern yet versatile silhouette goes with just about any outfit, while the cushioned insoles keep you comfy on your feet. But if you prefer a Chelsea boot with a lower heel, consider the Kork-Ease Bristol Chelsea Boot. And if you like a higher heel, go with the Kate Spade New York Knott Zip Boot.

How We Researched

For this story, we interviewed three experts, including two stylists and a podiatrist, for buying tips and insight into what to wear with leather boots. Then we researched todays best leather boots, narrowing it down to the most stylish, versatile, practical, and comfortable options. We evaluated each pair on these attributes:

Leather qualityFitComfortDurabilityStyleVersatilityPrice and value

What to Look For in Leather Boots

Style: There are a few styles to choose from, including booties, heeled boots, tall boots, combat boots, and Chelseas. Sethi often recommends Chelsea boots, like the Kork-Ease Bristol Boot, or knee-highs, such as the Vagabond Brooke Boot. "Chelseas go with many types of bottoms in your wardrobe and look great for all dress codes," she explains, adding that knee-high boots are perfect for fall and winter.Color: Since you can expect leather boots to last multiple years, a versatile, neutral hue is always a wise choice. Think black, brown, taupe, camel, or cognac—the Franco Sarto Linc Bootie comes in most of these colors. According to Sethi, dark tones are best. "The lighter the boot, the harder it is to outfit," she says. However, Byrd is all about making a statement with non-traditional colors and prints. "I absolutely love a white or animal-print leather boot," she says.Comfort Features:

Dont end up like Monica from Friends—that is, crying in pain over uncomfortable boots in the name of fashion. "When shopping for leather boots, prioritize comfort features like cushioned insoles, arch support, and breathable linings," says Dr. Ramani. Even better if they have padded collars, roomy toe boxes, and heel stability. Naturalizer River Booties boast built-in arch support, cushioned footbeds, and soft leather uppers with almost no break-in period.


How long does it take to break in leather boots?

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to break in leather footwear. "The break-in period will vary from person to person and from one pair of boots to another," says Dr. Ramani. While the leather will eventually soften and mold to the shape of your feet, she advises taking it slow and avoiding "pushing through severe pain, as this can lead to damaging the boots or, worse, damaging your feet."

To break in leather boots, Dr. Ramani recommends applying a leather conditioner to enhance the materials pliability and wearing thicker socks the first few times you put them on. "A shoe stretcher can help alleviate any discomfort caused by pressure points," she adds. You can also wear them around at home for a couple of hours before wearing them out and about for longer periods.

How do you clean leather boots?

Cleaning leather boots is much simpler than you might think. Its best to condition your boots with a leather conditioner to keep the material supple and wipe off any stains with a damp cloth and a bit of leather cleaner. If you have suede leather boots, you have to follow more specific instructions and avoid heavy rain or snow.

What can you wear with leather boots?

Leather boots are more versatile than you may think. During the fall, winter, and even into the spring, they can be worn with everything from jeans and trousers to dresses and jumpsuits. "You cant go wrong with a pair of denim pants and a cropped jacket or a midi skirt or dress," says Byrd. "Dont be afraid to show off a little leg when it comes to your leather boots, ladies!"

The 26 Most Comfortable Shoes That Don’t Sacrifice Style

Article Sources

We takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies

, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

Barton CJ, et al. Development and evaluation of a tool for the assessment of footwear characteristics. J Foot Ankle Res 2, 10 (2009).

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