25 Luxury Shoemakers Crafting The Finest Men’s Boots
Combining the highest quality leathers with unparalleled craftsmanship and cachet, these are the finest bootmakers in operation today.
How to equate luxury in men’s boots? Well, you could say it’s not just one thing but rather a formula, consisting of a harmonious blend of exceptional materials, impeccable craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, superior comfort, unique design and exclusivity.
All of these elements combine to create boots that not only elevate one’s style but also offer an unrivaled experience of quality and refinement. And they should last a lifetime, too.
Want to get your hands (or feet) on a pair of high-end stompers? Below we showcase the brands making the highest quality boots on the market today, and what sets them apart.
What makes a pair of boots luxury?
While there are plenty of luxury boots that are constructed from premier technical fabrics (especially the outdoorsy contemporary types), the number one factor that differentiates a cheap pair of boots from a premium pair is the leather used.
Top-grade hides not only ensure exceptional comfort, but they’re hardwearing too, able to age gracefully and develop a natural patina over time.
The style of the boot will typically determine the type of leather used. For example, rugged hikers will not be constructed from the same super-soft calfskin as a pair of sleek Chelsea boots.
Full grain and top grain are the keywords to look out for in product descriptions. A lot of brands will make a point of saying ‘genuine 100% leather’, but really that’s just a way to dress up the fact that they are using corrected leather, which isn’t regarded as luxury.
The construction of luxury boots is a labor-intensive art form; one pair of boots might pass through many different hands on the way to becoming a finished product.
Hand-stitching is a meticulous process, and the welt and sole attachment is where you pay for quality. You should prioritize Goodyear-welting wherever possible – not only does this traditional method of construction ensure waterproofing and durability but it also enables easy resoling, making your money go further in the long haul.
Traditional shoemakers have worked on their house blocks for many decades and refined the process to perfection, ensuring a comfortable fit. Then let’s not forget about the details, from hand-burnished finishes to elegant hardware. Every aspect of the boot is thoughtfully considered.
Bespoke obviously takes all of this to another level with your own personal block and the ability to customize specific details such as the eyelets, laces and even the type of sole used.
The best luxury boot brands
The masters of the minimalist sneaker, Common Projects was founded in 2004 by Peter Poopat and Flavio Girolami. The brand has been uncompromising about its understated aesthetic, transferring that contemporary elegance to boots as well as sneakers.
Its full-grain leather Chelsea boot exemplifies this with its sleek design, premium materials and signature gold-stamped serial numbers. The New York label’s hiking boots in calf leather are another modern classic.
Better known for its predominantly black ready-to-wear collections, Saint Laurent’s legacy of rock ‘n’ roll chic extends to its boot collection, too.
The Parisian purveyor of nonchalant cool offers diverse styles, spearheaded by the super-chic Wyatt harness and jodhpur boots.
The range of ‘Army’ boots you won’t see in the trenches but you will see on discerning fashion feet in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements.
If you want to give your wardrobe a sublime dose of luxury fashion with a very contemporary twist, there are few brands more relevant right now than Bottega Veneta.
The leather specialist is best known for its woven works, which do feed into some of its boots, but on the whole the collection is a really creative array of styles designed to be worn with a fashion-forward aesthetic.
The Tire Chelsea boots are from another not-too-distant planet, while the Lug Lace-up boots provide a more down-to-earth alternative.
Combining tradition with innovation, Italian shoemaker Officine Creative stands out for its handcrafted boots. With an artisanal approach to vintage-inspired designs, Officine’s Artik leather hiking boots showcase the brand’s excellent leather work, with stunning patinas and top-class hardware.
The Chelsea boots have just the right amount of disheveled to make them instant urban classics.
Moncler came down from the mountains many years ago, crafting ready-to-wear and accessories fit for the world’s most stylish cities, but its heart is still in the great outdoors.
With a focus on functionality, technical innovation and contemporary style, Moncler’s hiking boots make for great dance partners with modern techwear wardrobes. We especially like the chunky-soled Konture Pocket boots and the space-age Acqua High rain boots.
More celebrated for his women’s shoes, Manolo Blahnik’s men’s styles often get lost in the menswear ether, but we feel this is a glaring oversight.
The brand’s exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail are evident in its Chelsea boots, Calaurio lace-up styles and Campcho shearling military boots, all made from exquisite leathers.
Bally’s heritage dates back to 1851 and its boots are known for their Swiss precision and style. If super-slick, top-notch calfskin leather ankle boots are your thing, then Bally has a smorgasbord of delectable footwear that will be of taste.
The Enga boots are particularly moreish, while the pebbled leather of the Mirno booties looks good enough to eat. And now we’re out of food-related metaphors.
Marsèll embraces the art of imperfection in its boots. The brand’s distressed leather, unique shapes and avant-garde designs redefine luxury in a non-traditional way.
The Zucca Zeppa lace-up boots are constructed from beautiful reversed leather that has been hand-distressed, while the Parrucca style has more of a military silhouette, perfect for edgy urban wardrobes.
Italian luxury brand Premiata stands out for its unique sense of footwear innovation and perhaps produces some of the most avant-garde styles on this list.
If you are in the market for combat boots with a twist, then you’ll find plenty to love here, including horse leather booties and rubber ankle boots.
Santoni’s legacy in shoemaking dates back to 1975 when Andrea Santoni founded the brand in the picturesque Italian region of Marche.
The brand has become synonymous with luxury and craftsmanship, earning a reputation for producing some of the finest men’s footwear in the world.
Santoni’s dedication to perfection is reflected in every pair of its luxury boots. From meticulously hand-stitched detailing to exquisite patina finishes, Santoni’s classic Chelsea and monk-strap styles epitomize Italian elegance and artisanal excellence.
Givenchy, founded in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy, has evolved over the years to become a beacon of urban luxury. Under the creative direction of designers like Riccardo Tisci and Matthew M. Williams, Givenchy’s footwear has pushed the boundaries of design, fusing urban edginess with French refinement.
Williams loves a buckle and so has embellished a number of this season’s styles with 4G motif hardware, our favorites being the Squared boots and Terra Chelsea boots.
For nearly seven decades, Magnanni has remained a family-owned brand dedicated to handcrafted luxury. Founded in 1954 in Almansa, Spain, the brand’s commitment to quality is evident in its leather and suede boots, imbued with an old-school refinement.
But the real selling point is the incredible patinas of Magnanni’s boots, from the Chelsea styles right the way through to the hiking silhouettes. They ooze luxury, but retail at a very reasonable price considering some of the other brands on this list.
Balenciaga, originally founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga in 1919, continues to evolve and disrupt traditional fashion norms under the creative direction of Demna Gvasalia, and its boots are a testament to that.
Whether garnering respect or ridicule, you can’t deny that styles such as the Steroid and Biker boot get tongues wagging, which is exactly the label’s raison d’etre.
Still, not all designs were created on acid: the chunky Tractor Chelsea boot is a thing of leather beauty, and the Combat boot is pretty spectacular, too.
Alexander McQueen, the British fashion house founded by Lee Alexander McQueen in 1992, combines English heritage with dark romanticism.
The brand’s boots are renowned for their intricate detailing, appealing to those with a taste for the dramatic. Blurring the lines between art and footwear, the Tread Slick model punches hard with contemporary styling, while the Punk Chelsea boot is so very McQueen with the silver arrow-shaped toe cap.
Founded in 1960 by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino is celebrated for its ready-to-wear but in recent years has won many plaudits for its boots, notably the Rockstud style.
Combining edginess with Italian craftsmanship and timeless design, the boots are a testament to its ability to blend punk-inspired aesthetics with Italian luxury, resulting in footwear that’s both rebellious and refined.
Born in 1866 in Northampton, the undisputed Mecca of shoemaking, Grenson exudes British heritage.
Renowned for its casual brogue styles, Grenson has recently ventured into the world of fashion-forward, military-inspired boots, injecting a contemporary edge into any urban footwear collection.
Still, it’s hard to beat the brand’s classic Brady boot.
Another venerable Northampton shoemaking institution, Church’s made its foray into bootmaking in 1879.
The brand’s Goodyear-welted designs are a testament to meticulous craftsmanship, with the polished Amberley Chelsea boots standing out as a timeless exemplar of refined elegance.
Crockett & Jones
Much like its Northampton peers, Crockett & Jones boasts a rich history that underscores its commitment to quality and evolution.
Offering a range of smart boots, it excels in crafting classic styles with meticulous attention to detail.
The brand’s leather and suede chukkas are an excellent choice for year-round wear, while the ankle-strapped Aldershot boot adds a rugged charm to any ensemble.
Tricker’s heritage in Northampton requires no introduction, and the brand proudly holds a Royal Warrant. Handcrafted with meticulous precision, Tricker’s occupies the upper echelons of bootmaking.
Its signature Stow Derby ankle boot is revered for its sleek silhouette and exquisite broguing details, and we could highlight more, but to be honest the collection is so broad and filled with classics that you’d be better off exploring it yourself.
Founded in Australia in 1932, R.M.Williams has earned acclaim for its boots, handcrafted from a single piece of leather. Infused with a rugged aesthetic, the brand combines durability with artisanal production techniques, resulting in boots that only improve with age.
Its extensive range of outdoor Chelsea boots – including suede, burnished leather and soft yearling leather styles – is a testament to R.M.Williams’ dedication to quality and style.
The fusion of mountaineering boots and luxury Italian design is at the heart of what Diemme does best. Founded in 1992 and managed by brothers Dennis and Maico Signor, Diemme handcrafts boots in the renowned Veneto region, seamlessly blending fashion with function.
Its flagship Roccia Vet hiking boot is unparalleled when it comes to combining style with durability.
Rooted in the Italian region of Puglia since its inception in 1908, family-run Fracap continues to produce some of the most exquisitely crafted leather hiking boots available.
Chief among these is the instantly recognizable Magnifico boot, a sturdy yet beautifully crafted hiker offered in various leather upper and sole options.
Keep an eye out for its limited edition collaborations, which have recently included partnerships with the likes of Ronnie Fieg.