How Should Chelsea Boots Fit [Sizing & Comfort]

Originally called paddock boots, they became popular in 1960 when the Beatles started wearing them on the famous Chelsea scene. Since then, they’ve become a must-have in any wardrobe. They’re timeless and always fashionable. 

Before you decide to get yourself a new pair of Chelsea boots, read our guide “How Should Chelsea Boots Fit” to avoid getting the wrong size. 

How Should Chelsea Boots Fit: The Ultimate Guide for Your Comfort


What Is a Chelsea Boot?

The Chelsea boot is a footwear design that we can attribute to the Victorian’s. The boots were invented by J. Sparkes Hall, Queen Victoria’s top bootmaker. 

They’re mostly made out of two materials, leather or suede, and come in two colors, black or brown. They’re laceless and designed to slip on and off easily, thanks to elastic or vulcanized rubber around the ankles. 

Their original name was paddock boots, but the current name is thought to come from the boots’ popularity during the 1950s and 1960 in the Chelsea region in London. 


4 Tips on How Should Chelsea Boots Fit

They should fit comfortably around your feet but not too tight. The shaft should be wide enough to fit your skinny jeans inside. You shouldn’t feel like your feet are pinched, but they shouldn’t be too loose, so your feet slide around in the shoes or even slip out. 

When buying Chelsea boots, consider the following: 


Buy Chelsea boots in the correct size; you’ll find that they’re usually true-to-size. You don’t need to buy a bigger or smaller size, and if your boots feel a bit loose, you can always pop on thicker socks. 

To avoid any future problems, check out our article Effects of Wearing Shoes That Are Too Big.


The first thing to make sure when you’re buying a new pair of Chelsea boots is that they’re the right shape for your foot. The instep should be aligned with the middle of the shoe. 

As most Chelsea boots are made out of leather, ensure you don’t choose a size that squeezes your feet; leather does eventually stretch out a bit, but the process can be painful and can even cause minor injuries. 

Toe Box

Make sure you have enough room in the toe box to wiggle your toes around. It should be at least half an inch from your longest toe to the tip of the boot, but it’s okay to have an inch of space between the toe and the tip as well.

Whatever feels more comfortable for you, just make sure there isn’t too much space as this will make it harder to walk in them. 


The boots should be tight around your heels to keep them in place. It’s okay if you can move the heel a bit, but it should not feel loose enough to slip out while walking.

In fact, when you’re putting on a Chelsea boot, there should be a small amount of resistance, as the elastic sides stretch to get your foot into the boot. But once you have them on, they should feel very comfortable. 

zoom in a guy wears chelsea boots

Quick Fitting Tips

When you’re in the store and ready to buy your new pair of fashionable Chelsea boots, make sure you do the following tips first: 

  • If you usually wear insoles or orthotics, make sure you bring them with you to the store. You can try boots a size bigger if the insoles or orthotics don’t fit into your normal shoe size. 
  • Wear the socks you normally do when going to try them on. You don’t want the boots to be too tight or loose because you had on socks that were thinner or thicker than usual.
  • Once you put them on, go for a walk around the store to see how they feel. You’ll probably notice a small amount of slip on the heel, which is normal and will most likely stop once the shoes are worn in.
  • It’s best to try several different brands before you decide to make your purchase. It’s better to have more options to choose from to ensure you get the right pair for your feet.
  • When buying a new pair, don’t forget to check the quality of the elastic at the sides; you don’t want it to stretch out too fast and leave your boots feeling loose around your ankles. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Suede or Leather Chelsea Boots? 

It’s a constant Chelsea boot dilemma: leather or suede? Which one is a better choice of material depends on your lifestyle, where you live, and where and when you’ll be wearing your Chelsea boots. 

Leather is perfect for autumn and winter as it’s easier to care for and will last longer than suede shoes which are less durable in wet weather. 

On the other hand, suede shoes look more casual due to their texture; they’re more smooth but less durable. Suede shoes will provide a more relaxed aesthetic to your outfit. While they are less expensive and much softer, they also tend to get damaged much faster.

What Is The Best Color for Chelsea Boots?

As mentioned above, Chelsea boots mainly come in two colors: black and brown. Which one is better depends on you and your style?

We would recommend getting black Chelsea boots for a more formal look, for example, white-collar office attire, but they’re certainly not suitable for casual outfit combinations.

Brown in all shades is the best option for those who like to combine casual outfits, as they can easily be dressed up or down. 

I Have Wide Feet, Can I Still Wear Chelsea Boots?

Of course you can. Many brands have a variety of widths available; some even have special designs available for wide feet. 

It’s better to look for boots with a more rounded toe box, as these will give you more room, especially if you have wider toes.

Take a look at our buyer’s guide for the Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet.

How To Clean Chelsea Boots?

No matter how hard we try to keep our shoes clean, it’s impossible. If you get your Chelsea boots dirty, here are some quick tips on how to properly clean them:

Dampen a cloth with warm soapy water and gently start to remove any scuffs or marks with circular motion.

After you’re done, let them air-dry first before using any old cloth or soft bristle brush to eliminate any additional marks or scratches. Strengthen the shoes by using a good quality black or brown polish.

Even if you don’t need to clean them, leather tends to dry out and is susceptible to cracking. To prevent this, use a leather conditioner or cream at least a couple of times per year.

If you have a pair of suede Chelsea boots, then it’s best to get yourself a suede brush. A soft-bristle brush will do the job as well, but we recommend using a suede brush as other brushes may damage the material. 

Simply brush the suede Chelsea boots from top to bottom to remove the marks. If you can’t get rid of them with a brush, you can use a suede cleaner that’s specially made to clean and nourish this material. Using a cloth, gently apply and remove marks and let the shoes air-dry once you’re done. 

How To Put Chelsea Boots On?

Chelsea boots usually have one or two tabs attached at the top of the boots, around the ankle area. Use them to pull your boots on, and avoid pulling on the elastic sides as this could stretch them out. 

If you find it hard to get the boots on, you can always use a shoehorn to help your foot slide in more easily.



Chelsea boots have been around for a long time; they’re still fashionable and a must-have in your wardrobe. But before you purchase a pair, you should properly fit them so you can walk in them comfortably. 

They should feel snug around your feet but not too tight. You should also make sure that you have enough space between your toes and the tip of the shoe. If you wear any orthotics or insoles, bring them into the store with you to help choose the correct size and width for your needs. 


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