Add some diversity to your closet with some Jodhpur boots. Today, we’re going to tell you all about Jodhpurs, including where to get a pair!
Though not as popular as their cousin, the Chelsea boot, Jodhpurs are a versatile and classic boot. Like most men’s essentials (the trench coat and the tool watch, for example), Jodhpurs started as utilitarian gear before becoming fashionable among discerning men.
Today, they’re a good piece of footwear for most of the year. Typically leather constructed, they can even be worn with some casual suits.
Since they’re ankle-high, you can wear them worn on temperate days in the fall and spring. Let’s dig into Jodhpurs and what makes them special.
What are Jodhpur Boots?
Essentially, Jodhpurs boots are like Chelseas with a buckled strap, which adds a bit of complexity without compromising the overall minimalist look.
It’s an ankle-high boot, typically made of leather, with a low heel and rounded toe. The strap style varies from model to model. Usually, the free sides of the strap are usually attached to the upper leather’s front piece.
The strap then wraps around the front ankle to form an “x,” then buckles on the back ankle or side — or some variation of this.
That being the case, each Jodhpur boot is usually made of two pieces of leather, with the vamp sewn on top of the quarters. There’s also often a loop, similar to belt loops on pants, for the strap to pass through.
Traditionally, they come in tan or black leather. These days, you can find them in all sorts of colors and in different kinds of leather patterns, including crocodile and suede.
Since they’re so simple and sleek, a leather-constructed Jodhpur goes perfectly well with a suit, suit separates, and sport coats. Still, the strap adds a touch of ruggedness, allowing you to wear this boot with jeans, leather jackets, chinos, and even pieces of workwear.
Basically, these are pretty versatile shoes.
Jodhpur Boots: A Brief History
Jodhpur boots were created in 1920s India, likely in the Indian city of its namesake, though we’re not 100% sure of this. Originally, polo players wore them.
They could have also been named after Jodhpur pants, which may or may not have originated in Jodhpur, India. What we do know is that these pants were modeled after traditional clothing in the subcontinent and that Westerners called them Jodhpurs.
These trousers protected men’s calves from rubbing while riding horses, meaning tall boots weren’t needed when wearing Jodhpur pants. The ankle boots they wore instead were, possibly, named to match their trouser counterpart.
Naturally, these breathable boots became popular summer wear for equestrians.
Saks Fifth Avenue started selling Jodhpurs in the late 1920s, though boots generally would go in and out of fashion for the next few decades.
By the 1960s, boots started to come back into favor, thanks in no small part to the Beatles. Jodhpurs became classic staples, albeit not as common as “the Beatle boots,” otherwise known as Chelseas.
9 Places to Get Jodhpur Boots
Unfortunately for those Stateside, Jodhpurs are far more common in England than they are in the US. Another option is getting an authentic hand-made pair in India, where they’re still made!
There are a handful of designers taking on this classic style. Here are nine of them, in no particular order.
Thursday Boots: Rogues
Thursday Boots is known for their middle-ground offerings, boots that are of far superior quality to fashion boots but are much cheaper than high-end luxury footwear. They have a Jodhpur called the Rogue.
The Rogue is made of Thursday’s WeatherSafe Suede, which is waterproof and soft. It comes in black, mocha, olive, a warm tan called “cognac,” and a lighter colorer tan called “taupe.” The heel is higher than on a traditional Jodhpur, and there’s a strap loop in the front for added topography.
The result is a sleeker, almost Chelsea-like boot that’s casual but high-end looking. The sturdy Goodyear Welt construction also ensures this shoe will last you for years.
Beckett Simonon: Douglas Jodhpurs
A favorite made-to-order shoe brand, Beckett Simonon serves up a sleek Jodhpur boot called the Douglas.
It’s built with full-grain cowhide leather, which is sourced from an Italian tannery that’s Gold-Rated by the Leather Working Group.
This means the manufacturers take care to minimize environmental impact. It comes in black and four shades of brown that vary in warmth and darkness.
Style-wise, the free end of the strap comes out from the slick curve of the front upper. It then cleanly wraps around the ankle and joins at a slender brass buckle on the side.
The neat front strap and handsome leather make the Douglass an appropriate shoe for jeans, tweed, sport coats, and linen suits.
New Republic: Maison Leather Jodhpurs
Few budget shoe brands offer as compelling a value proposition as New Republic.
At around $100, their Maison Leather Jodhpur Boot is pretty bang-for-buck, considering its 100% full-grain leather construction and its stacked leather sole. Thoughtfully, New Republic even adds a rubber tread for extra traction.
The Maison takes the classic Jodhpur silhouette and equips it with modern updates, like a sleeker toe and a vertical side zipper that travels the entire height of the shoe, even interrupting the strap.
It’s an effective balance of ruggedness and elegance, respectful of the traditional Jodhpur template but distinct in its own right.
The nature of its aesthetic contribution to your outfit changes depending on what you wear it with. It’ll add an almost biker-like edge to more formal combinations and a slick sophistication to casual outfits.
Scarosso: Damiano Jodhpur
Scarosso is a luxury retailer that focuses on hand-crafted Italian leather footwear. The Damiano Jodhpur is hand-made with chestnut calfskin on an Italian last and finished off with a Blake construction.
I’m a fan of the Blake stitch. It’s not as durable as a Goodyear welt, but it’s still resoleable, and it’s easier to break in.
Like the Thursday Rogue, the Damiano features a strap loop on the front, but it’s a lot dressier looking.
The loop is a supple leather, with a more delicate and specific shape, pointed on each end. The free end of the strap comes out from the front upper’s sharp side curve and comes with a slender buckle, like the Beckett Simonon Douglasses.
The Damiano sits comfortably in the smart casual realm, making it an easy-to-pair shoe in most situations.
Zappos: Alexander Noel Jodhpur Boots
Online shoe retailer Zappos sells the Alexander Noel Jodhpur Boot, which is definitely the most ranch-style-looking shoe on the list.
The pre-patinated leather’s darker edges highlight the rest of the shoe. Between this and the old-looking buckles, the Alexander Noel sports a comfortably worn-in look.
The burgundy strap gives a stylish contrast but is not distractingly dramatic since it’s the in same color family as the upper’s brown hue.
Ever practical, the rubber outsole helps you walk on wet surfaces. To me, the Alexander Noel is like a real ranch boot with some fashionable touches. It’s also handmade by leather craftsmen in Spain.
Baudoin & Lange
A true traditional bespoke atelier, Baudoin & Lange shoes are designed in London and hand-crafted in design studios throughout Europe.
The Sagan Grand Boots Watts is a hyper-tapered version of a Jodhpur, making it perfectly acceptable in most formal events.
Baudoin & Lange raise a specific calf breed to build this shoe. This Central European bovine breed is fully free to graze and exclusively grass-fed, resulting in the posh aesthetic of a traditional box calf, with a much higher level of softness. It’s supple but super tight.
Before the wax finishes, an aniline dye brings deep and dimensional color to the fibers. Appropriately, this trend-resistant shoe comes in classic black and brown.
Arthur Knight: Jodhpur Zips
A family-run business since the early 1900s, British-based Arthur Knight is an excellent source for hard-to-find classic styles.
They take designs that might be considered too dandy for present-day fashions and modernizes them into wearability.
Their Jodhpur Zips are a perfect example. Uniquely, it comes in a burnished navy hue, perfectly complemented by gunmetal hardware. Rarely are Jodhpurs made in such a cool palette, and this combination makes these shoes stand out without being loud or overly trendy.
They’re made in Italy with high-quality calf leather, immaculately burnished for a more grown-up look that balances out the fun coloring.
The interior boasts a full-leather lining with a full padded insole for immediate comfort.
Pediwear: Sanders Newburys
Pediwear is an English family business that sells a wide range of brands, from international fashion houses like Ralph Lauren to British-specific ateliers. They seem always to have at least one Jodhpur on offer.
The Sanders Newbury is a step above an entry-level Jodhpur. It’s standard but low-key, leveled up in a way that wouldn’t intimidate newbies.
It’s made of a waxy leather in black or brown and has a thick traditional ankle strap that doesn’t get too complex. In fact, the strap almost looks like a single wrap-around. There’s nothing too ornate here.
It’s still built with a long-lasting Goodyear Welted leather sole and leather insoles and even has a little bit of decorative exposed stitching where the front meets the back. Overall, the Sanders Newbury is classic but not without personality.
R. M. Williams: Stockman Buckle Boot
A staple in the Australian shoe industry, R.M. Williams is known for its origins in building practical one-piece boots for the rugged outback. It makes sense that they’re a go-to for equestrian-related footwear.
The Stockman Buckle Boot can take a beating but is as fashionable as your designer wallet. The elegant buckle and the exposed double contrast stitching at every edge give a chic and modern touch to the shoe’s tapered design.
Every small component of the shoe is finished to impressive detail, even the triangular stitches accenting the strap loops.
This boot is hand-made with yearling leather right from Adelaide and is constructed with a Goodyear Welt.
FAQs About Jodhpur Boots
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Jodhpur boots.
What Are the Differences Between Jodhpur Boots and Paddock Boots?
Paddock boots have a thicker sole since they’re meant to be worn in the yard. They often have more going on in the front, whether that’s more stitching from being made of more leather pieces or even a lace-up that goes up beneath the straps.
Why Are They Called Jodhpur Boots?
There are two possibilities. They were named after the Jodhpur pants they were meant to be worn with. Or, they were named after the Indian city of Jodhpur, where legend says they were invented.
Can You Ride Horses in Modern-day Jodhpur Boots?
Yes, Jodhpur boots were made for riding. As long as it’s made of a material as strong as real high-quality leather, even contemporary fashion Jodhpurs can be worn for riding. If you bought your boots for style though, keep in mind you’ll subject them to a lot of abuse when riding or working on a horse ranch.
I actually like Jodhpurs boots a bit more than Chelseas. The strapwork mostly slips underneath your pant legs but adds visual intrigue as you walk or when you sit, and the hem moves up.
They definitely aren’t very common, but since new brands like New Republic and Thursday Boots are adding them to their line, it’s possible that they’re growing in popularity.
Questions? Comments? Leave them below!