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Comfortable Chelsea Boots
At last, a recurring trend we achy-footed gals can get behind: the Chelsea boot. Credited to Queen Victoria’s shoemaker, the style is sturdy, close-fitting around the ankle, with elastic goring on the sides and a heel tab in the back. Worn as riding or “paddock” boots in the 1800s, the style gained popularity among the equestrian community, worn by men and women alike. In the 1950s, a group of young artists, film directors and socialites from the Chelsea area of west London, incorporated the boot into their “look.” The Chelsea boot soon became an icon of the Mod subculture of London making its way onto the feet of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
When I began researching comfortable Chelsea boots, I came across Australian Blundstones. They’re cute, in a rural outback sort of way, but I wanted to give you readers more streamlined, feminine options. But this is no diss to Blunnies, they’re made for all-day comfort with shock-absorbing outsoles, removable cushioned insoles and steel shanks for stability.
In general, I’d recommend the Chelsea boot for anyone with a narrow ankle due to the snug fit and fairly low instep (arched part of the top of the foot between the toes and the ankle) since there are no laces to adjust. Here are 6 of my favorite styles for fall 2014.
1. Timberland Savin Hill Chelsea: Do you have a low volume foot? Is it narrow with a low arch and low instep? Then this boot would most likely provide a good fit. The Savin Hill Chelsea by Timberland also features a removable footbed and an accommodate some orthotics. Available in medium and wide widths, but online reviews state that the wide still feels more like a medium width. $50-140 at Amazon. A newer Timberland chelsea boot is the Somers Falls.
2. Kork-Ease Velma: Again, best for narrow to medium width feet and ankles. The Velma features a cushioned footbed with a bit of arch support. $185 at Zappos, $141-185 at Amazon.Find a deal at 6pm.com.
4. Clark’s Mariella Busby: Typical Clark’s sensibility with style. An Ortholite footbed provides cushioning and a walkable one-inch rubber outsole. See the more current Clark’s Maypearl Nala chelsea boot.
5. Ugg Bonham: Like the Chelsea look but need a warm and water-resistant version? Try the Bonham by Ugg Australia. It’s lined with natural wool with a Poron-cushioned insole and water-resistant full grain leather. Best fits a medium to slightly wide foot. $149.95 at Zappos, $119-149.95 at Amazon, free shipping and returns.
Do you like the Chelsea boot style? Do you have a pair of Blundstones? I’d love to hear more about how they fit and feel!