This Year in Gear

The Top Boots of 2018


December 31, 2018 Briefings By

At Gear Patrol, we have a thing for boots. No matter a person’s role in the company, it’s a safe bet they have strong opinions about different boot brands — and at least a couple of well-worn pairs at home. As such, our boot coverage tends towards unique releases and uncommon brands more often than not.

This year we discovered a large amount of Japanese-market boots made both domestically and abroad. Not surprisingly, those stories were complemented with an array of pieces featuring North American heritage makers like Red Wing, Viberg and Wesco. The wild card in the mix was, perhaps, the focus on versatile rain boots designed for the city.

Across all of our boot coverage, there was a through-line: a focus on quality craftsmanship married with tasteful designs. With that in mind, take a look back at the best boots of 2018.

L.L. Bean Is Offering Limited-Edition Colorways of the Classic Bean Boot
L.L. Bean Is Offering Limited-Edition Colorways of the Classic Bean Boot

Colonial Red, Dark Cocoa and Shale Grey, among others.

The Price of These Waterproof Suede Roper Boots Is Hard to Beat
The Price of These Waterproof Suede Roper Boots Is Hard to Beat

A handmade boot for just over two bills.

Swedish Rain Boots That Won’t Cramp Your Style
Swedish Rain Boots That Won’t Cramp Your Style

Swedish rainwear purveyor Stutterheim released a natural rubber Chelsea rain boot.

These Rare Red Wing Heritage Slip-Ons Are Finally Available in America
These Rare Red Wing Heritage Slip-Ons Are Finally Available in America

Previously available only on the Asian market, you can now get these kicks from Snake Oil Provisions.

Red Wing Heritage Released a New Unstructured Chelsea Boot
Red Wing Heritage Released a New Unstructured Chelsea Boot

A durable Hill sole, a Comfortforce footbed and stitchdown construction.

Some of the Best Boots You Can Buy Featuring Horween Leather
Some of the Best Boots You Can Buy Featuring Horween Leather

Viberg's heritage styles and Horween's respected leather.

A Cult Japanese Brand Makes the Clarks Desert Boot Interesting Again
A Cult Japanese Brand Makes the Clarks Desert Boot Interesting Again

Japanese-Americana-streetwear meets Clarks and things go surprisingly well.

Heads Up, Target’s New Rain Boot Is Dirt Cheap and Looks Stellar
Heads Up, Target’s New Rain Boot Is Dirt Cheap and Looks Stellar

Hunter collaborated with Target to make a rain boot that's $100 cheaper than their own, and almost the same materials.

These Japan-Exclusive Red Wings Are Finally Coming to the US
These Japan-Exclusive Red Wings Are Finally Coming to the US

Tough-as-hell leather shoes with a weather-proof build.

These Super-Limited Boots Are Based on an Iconic WWII Model
These Super-Limited Boots Are Based on an Iconic WWII Model

Cut from black rough-out Japanese steerhide.

This Unique Boot Is Surprisingly Comfortable from the First Wear
This Unique Boot Is Surprisingly Comfortable from the First Wear

Made from black washed Italian horsehide.

Clarks Just Released a Limited Edition Italian-Made Boot for Summer
Clarks Just Released a Limited Edition Italian-Made Boot for Summer

Only 356 pairs are available in each colorway.

The Affordable Chelsea Boot You’ll Want to Wear All Summer Long
The Affordable Chelsea Boot You’ll Want to Wear All Summer Long

The newest Chelsea boot from Oliver Cabell is worth a look.

These Waxed-Leather Boots Pair Well with Basically Everything
These Waxed-Leather Boots Pair Well with Basically Everything

Cut from waxed Italian deer hide.

Red Wing Heritage Just Dropped a Sharp Limited Edition Boot
Red Wing Heritage Just Dropped a Sharp Limited Edition Boot

Two different leathers combined in one sharp boot.

This Heritage Bootmaker Released a Sneaker that Spares No Details
This Heritage Bootmaker Released a Sneaker that Spares No Details

The only sneaker made entirely in Canada.

This Tasteful Chukka Is Weatherproof and Rebuildable
This Tasteful Chukka Is Weatherproof and Rebuildable

Available now for pre-sale.

This Northwest Bootmaker Made the Ultimate Outdoor Boot for Filson
This Northwest Bootmaker Made the Ultimate Outdoor Boot for Filson

Waterproof boots with Vibram soles.

Here’s What Makes These Boots Worth $775 — and a 4-Month Wait
Here’s What Makes These Boots Worth $775 — and a 4-Month Wait

Utilizing Black tea-core Horween Chromexcel horsehide.

These Handmade Chelsea Boots Are a Surprisingly Good Value
These Handmade Chelsea Boots Are a Surprisingly Good Value

Made from 4-ounce Saddle Tan leather and featuring Goodyear welt construction

Yuketen’s American-Made Guide Boots Are Why We Love Fall
Yuketen’s American-Made Guide Boots Are Why We Love Fall

Yuketen releases new, American-made moccasin boots in three different colorways for cold weather wear this fall and winter.

These Waterproof Handmade Boots Are Some of the Best Available
These Waterproof Handmade Boots Are Some of the Best Available

Featuring Coyote Sumner leather, a Vibram sole and true moccasin construction.

This Year in Gear

Just like that, 2018 has come and gone. Take a look back at the best of what the past 365 days had to offer in This Year in Gear

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