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The Best Men's Brown Boots of 2020
The Best Men's Brown Boots of 2020

The Best Men's Brown Boots of 2020

The most exciting piece of footwear in every man’s collection - the holy grail - is a well-worn pair of brown leather boots. That’s because brown leather is a unique material that patinas with use and surprisingly looks better the longer you wear it. Every pair tells the story of its owner, their unique experiences and personality traits through the way the leather ages and evolves.


The original development of brown leather is rooted in the materials and methods that were available when tanning first developed. Vegetable tanning was the original way to preserve organic material, which required soaking animal hides in a bath of tannins to prevent decay. Those tannins mostly came from plant sources like the bark of oak, chestnut or mimosa trees (hence the “veg” in “veg tan” as it’s sometimes called). After tanning, the hides were left a light natural beige color that would darken and patina to deeper brown hues over time. Plentiful natural material also made it easy to create brown dyes, making it the default color for leather for millenia.

The earliest brown leather made its way to footwear first through sandals and moccasins, and then eventually to brown leather boots as shoemaking technology and craftsmanship improved. Eventually, brown boots achieved a sort of iconic status - Vincent Van Gogh was notably fixated with them, painting many “portraits” throughout his career - for the way each pair develops its own unique character to reflect the individual experience of its wearer. Whether it’s a paratrooper boot used by the 82nd Airborne dropping into Normandy or a pair of work boots used to fell timber in the Pacific Northwest, brown leather boots have starred in both grand historical narratives and intimate personal stories.

Our Picks for the Best Men's Brown Boots

Because brown leather develops such an amazing patina, how you wear your boots is often more important than what you wear them with.

For a well-earned patina, one of the best things you can do is embrace the scuffing that comes with daily wear and just let your boots get a little beat up. Oiled matte leathers, like you see on the Tobacco President, will create highly distinctive wear patterns that pair amazingly with casual denim.

The Best Men's Brown Boots: The Rugged & Resilient Tobacco President

If you like your leather pristine, smooth brown leathers bring warmth and rich color to otherwise neutral outfits. A blue suit or patterned slacks paired with a brown pull-up leather like the Brown Captain hits all the high notes. After a few scuffs, this leather can be quickly restored to its formal best with a quick conditioning and a shoeshine.

The Best Men's Brown Boots: The Classic Captain Cap Toe Boot

For something more functional, take a note from military traditions and pair brown boots with khaki or olive slacks to complete the look. The contrasting white sole on the Arizona Adobe Diplomat makes tough footwear appear a bit more relaxed and can simultaneously conjure a weekend in Palm Springs or a day spent flying prop-driven airplanes.

The Best Men's Brown Boots: The Diplomat Moc Toe

The Best All-Around Brown Men’s Boot: The Brown Captain

Key Features: Brown Thursday Chrome Leather, Poron® Antimicrobial Shock Absorbing Insole, Goodyear Construction for Longevity

Why we love it: The original boot that launched Thursday Boot Company, our brown leather is a custom-developed pullup leather hot-stuffed with waxes, oils and natural greases to give it a beautiful underlying glow. Featuring Goodyear Welt construction, it’s built to last with a premium look that lets the quality of materials do the talking.

What others say: "...these boots — classic, well-made, and affordable — will never go out of style." - Esquire

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The Best Men’s Brown Suede Boot: The Cognac Suede Scout

Key Features: Cognac WeatherSafe™ Suede, Stitchout Construction, Fully Lined Supple Glove Leather Interior, Poron® Antimicrobial Shock Absorbing Insole

Why we love it: When you want lighter textures for warmer weather, brown suede gets the job done perfectly. Blending classic British style with our own American aesthetic to be more durable and versatile. This is a chukka that can live up to the demands of long days year round.

What others say: “The moment I opened the box it bled quality. The online pictures do it no justice!” - Hideki M.

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The Iconic Men’s Brown Boot

A quality pair of brown boots will last you years and like any good relationship, their character will only deepen as you spend more time with them. The enduring qualities of brown leather make it a perfect archive piece, a testament to your personal adventures and history.

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