If you’re in the market for a stylish and functional men’s boot, a chukka boot may be the option you’ve been searching for.
This short lace-up ankle boot is as functional as it is stylish and can be worn in different ways for years to come if the proper care is taken for them.
- Top 5 Chukka Boots (Summary)
- What Are Chukka Boots
- Benefits of Using Chukka Boots
- How to Wear Chukka Boots – Style Guide
- Types of Leather Chukka Boots
- Are Chukka Boots Waterproof?
- Chukka Boots vs. Desert Boots
- How to Lace Chukka Boots
- How to Clean Chukka Boots
- 7 Best Chukka Boots Reviewed
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 5 Chukka Boots (Summary)
|Bruno Marc Urban||Check on Amazon|
|Clarks Bushacre||Check on Amazon|
|Timberland||Check on Amazon|
|Bruno Marc New York||Check on Amazon|
|Thursday Boot Company||Check on Amazon|
For more detailed and complete product reviews on benefits and features, keep reading.
What Are Chukka Boots
The word “chukka” comes from the game of Polo, which links the shoes to the game. A playing period in the game is called a chukkar or a chukka, which means “circle.”
It is still argued today why the link was made between the game and the shoes, with some arguing that it simply comes from their resemblance to Jodhpur boots, which are the traditional sports shoes worn by Polo players.
The other side of the argument is that chukka boots were the boots of choice for off-duty Polo players, which is where the name came from.
These classy players would switch into Chukka-style boots after the game, so they could still look sporty but with a more elevated look that translated over to parties, events, or normal life.
To define a boot as a chukka boot, it should have the following characteristics:
- Lace-up, ankle-high boots
- Only two to three lacing holes, or eyelets
- Made traditionally from leather, but newer versions may not be rounded toe
- Two single pieces of leather used
- Thinly padded soles (usually leather)
- Unlined (historically, though newer versions may be lined)
These stylish boots have made their way from off-duty Polo players to the general public, now being worn by stylish men who know how to dress.
Often, you might see a lumbersexual rocking these manly boots to nicely complement his burly beard and large muscles.
Benefits of Using Chukka Boots
One of the biggest benefits of owning and wearing chukka boots is their drastic versatility.
The key features we noted above, including the unlined nature, thin sole, and quality leather fabric, make it a good option for any upcoming occasion.
Owning a couple of pairs of these boots expands its range of use even more.
For example, owning a black and brown pair means you can rock a dark suit or light wash jeans and pair them with the perfect shoe.
While these shoes are universally versatile, they also have details that make them stand out among the sea of other shoes.
Their eyelet details and quality fabric will draw the eye down to your feet, making you stand out in the best way.
Multi-purpose function with stand-out style? Unbeatable.
How to Wear Chukka Boots – Style Guide
The Chukka boot is a great modern shoe style that fits into a contemporary wardrobe flawlessly. As a smart-casual shoe, it can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
For the office
If wearing a dark dress pant, pair with a dark navy or black chukka boot. It should be noted that if wearing something as fancy as a three-piece suit, perhaps another shoe would be the best option.
If wearing light pants, such as khakis, pair them with a tan chukka boot. Also, consider the finish of your boots; a highly polished leather boot looks a bit fancier than an unfinished light suede.
Out of the office
Since these shoes tie back to the game of Polo, you could really go for the sporty look by pairing a light-colored tan chukka boot with white pants and a sweater.
If you’re more familiar with the cosmopolitan off-duty look, perhaps pair dark, tailored jeans or pants with a dark brown boot.
Balance the look with a lighter-colored top and brown belt to keep it polished.
This is a seriously stylish boot, but you can have some fun with them by allowing a peek of a fun sock pattern above the boot by rolling your jeans or picking a shorter-hemmed pant.
Some Chukka boots now even come in two-toned colors if you’re really looking to stand out.
There are so many options available on the market now, you can even find a bespoke pair just for you.
To enhance your manly, smart-casual look, consider growing in a beard. While the shoes will speak to your masculine energy themselves, growing one of the best beard styles will add another level of manliness.
Be careful of common grooming mistakes, though, or the beard and the boots will all be for nothing.
Keep your facial hair neat and clean by checking out a list of best beard care products and finding the right beard oil or pomade for you.
Types of Leather Chukka Boots
As chukka boots have evolved over time, the styles they are available in have expanded.
Traditional leather chukka boots come in brown — whether a dark brown or a lighter tan. But now, some are available in fun shades of dyed leather.
Typically, a thinner sole is distinct of a finer, high-quality shoe. Thicker soles are valued lower but may present a different style that is attractive to the buyer.
Different color laces or eyelets are available now as a style statement. Contrast stitching is also a popular change made to some newer styles.
Are Chukka Boots Waterproof?
They can be!
Chukka boots, by default, are not necessarily waterproof. As with all leather, you want to be careful with normal leather boots.
Waterproof leather chukka boots will be made to withstand water with a seal or other methods of waterproofing.
Make sure there is a clearly stated “waterproof” label on your boots before you purchase if that is a characteristic that is important to you.
Chukka Boots vs. Desert Boots
These two shoe types are awfully similar, but there are distinct differences that set them apart. In general, it could be said that desert boots are a more serious, more durable boot option.
Defining Chukka Boot Aspects
- Leather sole
- Laces usually thin
- Stitching not prominent
- Only 2-3 eyelets for laces
- Dressier style option
Defining Desert Boot Aspects
- Rubber or crepe sole
- Visible stitching on the side
- Thick laces
- Two eyelets
- More casual style option
Desert boots got their name when the shoe was worn by troops deployed in Africa during World War II. Worn by soldiers in battle, they were designed to be durable and withstand harsh conditions.
Chukka boots, on the other hand, were popularized by off-duty Polo players for a more stylish statement.
How to Lace Chukka Boots
With just a few eyelets, luckily lacing chukka boots is not too difficult.
With two eyelets, you can simply pull both ends of the shoelace in towards the shoe from the outside, crossing them and then pulling the ends in through the top set of eyelets from the outside, just as before.
With the ends of the shoelaces going inwards, you can tie an invisible bow under the tongue of the shoe. This creates a sleek and fashionable look with no bow getting in the way.
How to Clean Chukka Boots
There are a couple of items you might want to pick up to properly care for your boots:
- Soft suede brush
- Suede eraser or leather eraser
- Stain repellent
When there is dried dirt on the shoes, use your soft-bristled brush to gently brush or scuff away the dirt spots. When brushing, be sure to go with the grain rather than against it.
If the suede brush didn’t work to remove the stain, simply rub away with a suede or leather eraser.
If you don’t have one on hand, a regular pencil eraser or cleaning eraser may work just fine.
If your Chukka boots get soaked by rain or puddles, you can still keep them functional and clean! When wet, stuff them with newspaper or paper towels and allow the moisture to dry out. Once dry, brush the suede or leather with your brush to restore the finish.
Once restored to their beautiful clean state, spray a stain repellent to maintain their clean state as long as possible.
7 Best Chukka Boots Reviewed
If you’ve decided to give these boots a try, but don’t know which one to choose among many possibilities out there, this list of 7 top rated brands with reviews will certainly narrow it down.
One of the most important things in every boot or shoe is comfortability. With Bruno Marc Urban Suede you get that and much more.
A cushioned footbed ensures that your feet are always relaxed and comfy, no matter how long you wear the boots.
With 15 colors available, you will be able to combine them with any pants or suit you want to and still look classy.
You simply cannot go wrong with attire because these boots will complement anything you wear without looking awkward because they are truly versatile.
The material they are made of is a premium suede leather with a durable sole. They also feature a suede upper, three eyelets lace up, and non-skid outsole.
The heel is approximately one inch, while the platform measures around 0.5 inches. For an added style and sharper look, there is a contrast stitch detailing on the vamp.
- Premium suede leather
- Cushioned footbed
- Available in 15 colors
- Very affordable price
- They are a little narrow upfront
- Can be a bit larger so you should go with half a size or size smaller
If you’re looking for the perfect boots that will go with just about anything you choose to wear, search no more.
Clark’s Bushacre Boots can be paired with jeans and your favorite tee, a suit, a plaid shirt, you name it. One thing is for sure, you will look stylish and your boots will draw just about anyone’s attention.
They are made of leather and crepe sole so they will last for a long time. Shaft measures approximately 4.5 inches from arch, platform is 0.25 inches, while the heel is one inch.
The manufacturer itself explains that these boots tend to be large, so they recommend going with a 0.5 or 1 size smaller than your regular shoe size.
For example, men who normally wear a size 8, should purchase at least size 7.5, or even better size 7.
Durable rubber outsole makes them very reliable and comfortable.
- Made of premium leather
- Durable and quality rubber outsole
- Can be paired with just about any outfit
- Available in 35 colors
- Half a size or size larger
- Laces are somewhat cheap looking
With many different colors to choose from, these elegant chukka boots are suitable for every possible occasion and type of terrain you can imagine.
You can wear Bruno Marc New York Boots in the summer, in the heavy snow or even when you’re going for a hike, that’s how durable and strong they are.
The features that make them so comfortable and reliable are suede leather, manmade sole and a non-skid rubber outsole that provides smooth movement.
The boots also have the textile lining, three eyelets lace up with an elastic panel design for easy on/off wear, and contrast stitch detailing on the vamp that adds more style to the model.
Just as in all the other chukka boots that Bruno Marc makes you will encounter comfortable, cushioned footbed and a classic plain toe.
There is also a well-known midsole stripe. The platform is 0.5 inches, while the heel measures approximately one inch.
- Genuine suede leather
- Three eyelets lace up with elastic panel design for easy on/off wear
- Cushioned footbed for comfort
- The price is very affordable
- The boots have a chemical smell
- Some customers noticed that the sole begins to separate from the suede after wearing them for some time
The manufacturer himself, Kenneth Cole Reaction claims that these boots blend fashion with functionality, and if you ever had a chance to stand or walk in them, you know that this is true.
Durable flex rubber sole is crafted for the guys that are always on the go.
The price is very affordable for the average Joe, but don’t let this fool you that these chukka boots are not up to the task.
Quite the contrary, premium suede upper makes them very elegant looking. To ensure that you get the all-day comfort, there is also a cushioned textile lining, insole, and footbed.
Lace-up closure and hidden eyelets are there to provide a secure fit, and a stitch-out construction gives extra support to your feet.
You will discover that a contrast stripe at midsole makes the boots even more charming. Shaft measures 3.23 inches from the arch, while the heel is one inch, and platform 0.5 inches.
- Premium suede upper
- Durable flex rubber sole
- Cushioned textile lining, insole, and footbed
- Lace-up closure and hidden eyelets for a secure fit
- The sole separates from the shoe after some time
- They can be a bit stiff
Shoes or boots that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion, are something every man should have in his closet.
The possibility to combine these pair of Timberland’s Chukka Boots with any casual or work-related outfit just adds more appeal to them.
The manufacturer made sure to use sleek lines, premium materials, and comfort technology for maximum comfort and elegance.
The upper is made of a premium full-grain leather, linings with 50% recycled plastic bottles, and Gripstick outsole with 34% recycled rubber.
All these features add superior comfort, support, style, and convenience. Recycled PET herringbone wicks away moisture, while leather-lined footbed has an exclusive anti-fatigue comfort technology.
They tend to run a half size large, so make sure to choose your shoe size accordingly.
- Premium full-grain leather upper
- Leather-lined footbed with exclusive anti-fatigue comfort technology
- Cotton laces
- Unique L7 lug outsole design for superior traction
- They are more expensive than most other chukka boots
- Not waterproof
Interesting fact about CLARKS Desert Chukka Boot is that they are inspired by the crepe-soled boots that British officers wore in the World War II.
And just like their boots, these also have a crepe sole and are made of suede leather to deliver comfort and a classic look.
The feature that you will love and can’t find in most other boots of this type is a stabilizing suede-lined heel counter.
The heel is around one inch, platform 0.5 inches and shaft measures around 4.25 inches from the arch. You can wear these boots the whole day, even on the sunniest days, and they won’t overheat your foot.
And let’s face it, that’s important when you are forced to have your shoes on the whole day for some reason.
- Durable suede leather
- Soft crepe sole
- They don’t overheat your feet
- Stabilizing suede-lined heel counter
- Sole gets dirty very quick
- They are more on the expensive side
As you’ve realized by now, most of the chukka boots mentioned here are made of suede leather. Thursday Boot Company Scout are no exception.
The thing about suede leather is that it’s the best material for the shoes. To provide the extra grip needed on all surfaces, these boots have studded rubber outsole.
Everyone knows the importance of having waterproof military style footwear. Stitch out construction on this pair makes them water resistant, completely re-soleable and durable.
Over time, cork footbed will form to your feet, and round wax laces will give you a clean and sophisticated look.
Normally, leather upper gets all worn out with time, but not on this shoes – on them it only gets better over time.
For a nice final touch, there is a full leather glove lining that ensures the most comfortable fit.
- Cork footbed that forms to your feet over time
- Studded rubber outsole gives the extra grip
- Stitchout construction that makes them water resistant and re-soleable
- Full glove leather lining for the most comfortable fit
- The laces are way to short
- They run large, so you should order half a size smaller than your normal athletic shoes
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding chukka boots, so you have no doubts or concerns in your mind.
1. Are chukka boots good for summer?
They are great for the summer!
Because of their lightweight nature and thin sole, they aren’t too bulky or hot on the foot in a warm climate.
They allow the feet to breathe while remaining durable for outdoor adventures in the nice weather.
2. How to wear chukka boots with jeans?
Wearing chukka boots with jeans is a great look.
To look the sharpest, stick to tailored, slim pants with a darker wash. Light wash jeans may be too casual for these boots, so leave those at home.
If you feel like adding a pop of color, pair a neutral shoes with a fun patterned socks and roll up the hem of your jeans to let them show.
Now that you know everything there is to know about chukka boots, you should be able to determine if they are the right boots you’re looking for.
Get yourself a pair of the best chukka boots on the market and prepare to stun with these stylish shoes.
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