Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Side zip boots have always been a bit polarizing. Some people appreciate that they are so easy to slip on in the morning, while others find the presence of zippers to be unnecessary or gaudy. Typically side-zips belong in one of two categories: a slightly taller boot with a rockstar/western vibe or a lace-up boot with a zipper added to the side. Both styles have their own benefits — the former is designed to have a zipper so it feels more intentional while the latter won’t move you away from classic styles.
1) Epaulet: Combat Boot in Couro Cromo Steerhide Black
Epaulet’s Side Zip Combat Boots are about as basic as they come. The pattern a simple derby boot, although it is slightly higher than many derby boots these days, and features a full lining, rolled edge, eight eyelets, and a St. Moritz outsole. The RiRi zipper is placed on inside quarter of the boot, and doesn’t extend all the way to the bottom; that means that once the boots are on and you pant leg is covering the boot, the zipper will be all but invisible.
Available for $375 from Epaulet.
2) Common Projects x Robert Geller: Side Zip Boot in Grey Suede
This Common Projects/Robert Geller collaboration Side Zip Boot is a great option for those of you who want a boot that was intended to have a side zip. It is made of a dark grey suede, and the zipper, which is a matte black and placed in the inside edge of the boot, blends in very well. These boots are made on a sleek last with a lowered heel, helping them to maintain their low-profile look.
Available for $429 from No Man Walks Alone.
3) Viberg: Side Zip Service Boot in Indigo
Viberg has been mixing things up recently, and their latest experiment, the Side Zip Service Boot in Indigo, looks awesome. It features their Goodyear welt construction (as opposed to stitchdown), but keeps the classic service boot pattern and last. The zipper doesn’t extend too far down the quarter of the boot and really blends into the pattern nicely, which is not something that can be said about all side zip boots. These boots are made from Kangaroo leather and features a Vibram Gloxi Cut outsole; once the boot has been constructed it is submerged in a vat of indigo to achieve the final color.
Available for $867 from Haven Shop.
4) Hope: Ryder Boot in Black
In my mind, Hope’s Ryder Boot is the perfect example of how simplistic a side zip boot can be. The pattern is understated, with no unnecessary pieces of leather or stitching, and the zipper, while more visible than on some other side zips, doesn’t look out of place on the boot at all. This boot was clearly designed to have a zipper adorn the side, making for a much more appealing final product.
Available for $318 from Need Supply.
5) Buttero: Side Zip in Waxed Ontano Brown
Buttero’s designs have always been top notch, so it comes as no surprise that their side zip is phenomenal. It is made of a waxed brown leather that, in conjunction with the antique brass zipper, creates a low-key boot that will only get better with age. This pair is made in Italy using Blake construction, a method that is known for being flexible, easy to break in, and sleeker than other constructions.
Available for $312 from No Man Walks Alone.
Plus One – Thom Browne: Side Zip Commando
Thom Browne‘s Side Zip Commando Boot has everything you’d expect in a boot used to walk across the countryside. It features a classic derby boot pattern, 360 degree storm welt, heavily lugged commando sole, and a full leather lining. The thing that sets this boot apart from other side zips is the fact that the zipper is placed on the outside quarter, thereby drawing more attention to the zipper. And like so many of Thom Browne’s other pieces, this one features his red, white, and blue accents — they’re present on both the pull tab and the backing fabric of the zipper. This pair might be a bit more than most people bargained for, but if it is your style then by all means pick a pair up!
Available for $685 from End Clothing.