There are few shoes out there that seamlessly combine the best of practicality and high fashion quite like combat boots. Nearly every single year, the combat boot is heralded as making a comeback into the sartorial mainstream, but has the shoe ever really left anyone’s radar?
Combat boots have been popular for decades (Doc Martens released their iconic shoe in the 1960s), but the lace-up style is perhaps most closely associated with the grunge heyday of the 1990s. The combat boot has never really gone out of fashion, though, and has become a wardrobe staple that has been reinterpreted and reimagined by countless designers over the years, with twists on the material, color and heel of the shoe. While you can’t go wrong with a traditional black leather combat boot, there are now options out there ranging from white patent leather lace-ups to glitzy suede silhouettes, to suit any personal taste or occasion.
It’s not surprising that combat boots have cemented their place as a fashion fundamental; not only are they functional, but they add a cool girl edge to any outfit. The right pair goes with nearly every possible ensemble, and they’re an ideal shoe for transitional weather, since they work just as well with jeans and sweater during cooler temperatures as they do paired with a floaty dress and oversized blazer when it starts to warm up. You can’t go wrong throwing them on with leggings and a tee, and since fashion is all about balance, try sporting them with a ’90s-esque slip dress.
Combat boots give an instant edginess and sophistication to your outfit, and of course, they’re far more comfortable and sturdy to frolic around in than any kind of a heel. They’re a reliable year-round shoe, though depending on the style, they’re especially fitting during transitional, in-between months. Now that you’ve decided it’s time to invest in a new pair of stylish combat boots, we’re here to help. Below, see the best combat boots to shop right now.
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The Coolest Combat Boots to Shop Right Now
Stuart Weitzman Mila Lift Leather Boots
I own *way* too many pairs of nearly identical black leather combat boots, but I pretty much live in these. They hit at a flattering height lower on the ankle and have subtle gold hardware, with a chunky lug sole. They go with absolutely everything, from a cottagecore frock to slouchy trousers.
Gianvito Rossi Martis 20 Leather Ankle Boots
If you want an alternative colorway to traditional black, consider these fashionable tan leather lace-up boots from Gianvito Rossi, which have ribbed paneling and a solid rubber lug sole.
Reformation Katya Combat Boot
These sleek all-black leather combat boots are a more delicate option, thanks to the lack of metallic hardware and single colorway. They hit a touch higher on the calf, and have a recycled leather lug sole that’s sturdy but not clunky.
Dr. Martens 1460 W Boot
You can’t talk about combat boots without acknowledging the original Doc Martens. These are an undisputed classic that you’ll wear year after year—that is, after you break them in.
Vionic Shoes Lani Lace-Up Boot
Not only are these classic black lace-up combat boots a tried and true silhouette, but they’re also ultra-lightweight and happen to be water-resistant, so you don’t need to fret about ruining them when frolicking around in inclement weather.
M. Gemi The Antonella
A classic lace-up combat boot never goes out of style, and we love the comfy and practical lug sole on these off-white lace-ups.
Malone Souliers Bryce Boot
These timeless combat boots have understated gold hardware accents and a patent leather strap on the toe and ankle.
Koio Cortina Boot
Keep it simple with these straightforward and sturdy black combat boots.
Proenza Schouler Textured Leather Ankle Boots
White shoes can be daunting, to say the least, especially if you tend to be a little rough on your footwear. Don’t get nervous with these boots, though, as the textured leather makes them durable as well as fashionable, as does the contrasting black rubber tread lug sole.
Thursday Boots Combat
A chocolatey brown boot is a softer option than the typical black combat boot, and these lug sole leather lace-ups already have that perfectly worn-in aesthetic.
Gucci Trip Logo-Print Boots
Logo prints can be tricky, but why not embrace the trend with Gucci’s luxe take on the combat boot? The chunky lug sole heel and quilted detailing are just *chef’s kiss.*
Zadig and Voltaire Joe Boots
Zadig and Voltaire is here for all your French girl style needs; these leather boots have wide grosgrain laces and a statement-making black insert over the back.
Dr. Martens Molly Platform Boot
Don’t forget that there are *so* many Doc Martens options, like this glossy leather pair with a stylish high platform.