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Men's Black Boots: History & Buying Guide Men's Black Boots: History & Buying Guide

Men's Black Boots: History & Buying Guide

Beloved by soldiers and motorcyclists, tradesmen and gentlemen, the men’s black leather boot is among the most timeless pieces of footwear. Grounded in simplicity, this style of boot can be polished for formal occasions while still admirably hiding the inevitable scuffs and scratches that come with everyday wear.


Black leather and black leather shoes have been around longer than we can reliably understand. While there is no specific single lineage for black leather boots, among the earliest and most prominent adopters of the modern black boot can be traced to cavalrymen and military officers of the 18th century. These earliest designs were sometimes called Hessian boots, after the German mercenaries who popularized their use. These later became the part of standard officer uniforms in much of continental Europe.

In a classic case of form following function, black leather made it easier to create a consistent color across many pairs in a pre-industrial time. Even if the leather was sourced from different tanneries and the boots were built in different workshops, there was a higher likelihood of matching similar colors. From a use standpoint, black doesn’t reflect light the way other shades do, making it ideal for hard wear because you don’t need to pamper the leather. Maintenance is also a breeze, since there are so many easy ways to darken and re-dye the leather. For occasions with more formality, black leather takes equally well to a shine, which makes it possible to “upgrade” a normal boot for special occasions as well.

How to Wear Black Boots for Men

These same features that made black leather boots a no-brainer for military use still influence their usage today. Black boots match perfectly with other black leather belts or jackets you may already own, as well as darker clothing combinations like raw denim or anything in a color range from charcoal to obsidian. They also create a uniform look that makes it easier to draw attention to whatever else you’re wearing.

For a downtown vibe, do what generations of New Yorkers and Parisians have done and pair shades of black to achieve an understated sophistication. The Black Matte Captain looks equally at home with ripped black jeans or dark slate slacks.

How to Wear Black Boots for Men

If you’re looking for a standout, polished look, a pair of full grain black leather Chelsea boots pairs with a dark-colored suit always look sharp. While the Black Cavalier pairs perfectly with a black suit, any dark jewel-colored tone works equally well.

For an everyday look, use casual black leather boots to contrast with more colorful items in your closet. Pairing something like the Black Cadet with classic denim and a patterned sweater or your favorite concert t-shirt is an easy way to create a clean but fun look.

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

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

Why we love it: This comfortable, versatile and durable cap-toe boot is handcrafted with the highest quality Tier 1 USA leather. 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: “I’ve had the Captains in Black for years and have to say, these things are absolute tanks. Well done!” - Alex S.

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The Timeless Men’s Black Boot

Black boots are such an easy, versatile piece of footwear nearly every man’s closet has room for at least one pair. These iconic staples require very little maintenance, work with a variety of outfits, and still have the power to create an outstanding impression.

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