Hardwearing, improving with age and more versatile than trainers, boots are the future. Probably.

Pick your style

Chelsea boots

Once the preserve of London dandies these are a smart alternative to a shoe. Also look for more robust versions with ankle ‘monk straps’. Wear with a slim, mod-style tonic suit, macs and pea coats. Keep them polished.

Lace-up ‘work’ boots

Such as Red Wing, Timberland, Trickers, etc. Best for a tough wintery look and suggestion of rugged manliness. To complete the ensemble try teaming with blue jeans (faded Clarkson-style is back), white T-shirt and red plaid shirt. The more worn-in – but well cared-for – the better.

Army surplus

The survivalist military style is getting big, with all the high-street stores stocking variations. Wear them over black jeans with a hooded sweatshirt and leather bomber jacket. Keep clean but not too polished for a contemporary feel.

Victorian urchin

These are the beaten-up vintage-y ones worn only laced up to the ankle. A little bit military, a little bit worky and very retro, this style of boot is suprisingly versatile. Jeans, trousers, leather jacket, plaid shirt, they’ll go with just about anything.

Trouser styling

Over jeans

Protect your jeans by wearing them tucked into your boots. Works best with distressed ‘Artful Dodger’ look popularised by All Saints window displays (and post-apocalypse boots, above).

Under jeans

Boots under jeans are the answer for anyone trying to get away with looking casual in a smart place – clubs on a Saturday night, decent restaurants in bad weather, etc. Ideal if they’re a smarter (Trickers) or fashionable (Church’s) pair.