Chukka Boots: The FAQ
With our archives now 3,500+ articles deep, we’ve determined to republish a traditional piece every Sunday to assist our newer readers uncover among the finest, evergreen gems from the previous. This text was initially printed in Could 2019.
Chukka boots characterize one of many easiest types of males’s footwear, and have been a sartorial staple for many years.
Regardless of their standing as a traditional menswear “fundamental,” nonetheless, guys nonetheless typically have a couple of unanswered questions on them — questions that will hold them from getting, and rocking, a pair themselves.
So in the present day we’ll reply a few of these FAQ’s, so you will get extra snug and assured with the chukka.
1. How do you pronounce “chukka”?
It’s “chuck-uh” (rhymes with “yucca”) reasonably than “choo-kuh.”
The title is believed to have arisen from British polo gamers residing in colonial India; a “chukka” or “chukker” is a interval within the recreation of polo. It’s unclear, although, whether or not the boot was named for its similarity to boots worn by gamers throughout the recreation, or to the footwear favored by them off the sector.
2. What makes a chukka boot, a chukka boot?
Chukka boots are available in all kinds of colours and supplies and will have little twists in type, however to be a real chukka, the distinctive options outlined above have to be in proof.
Along with these fundamentals, chukkas most sometimes and historically sport skinny laces and are made with both unlined leather-based calfskin or suede.
3. Are “chukka boots” and “desert boots” the identical factor?
Sure and no. Whereas “desert boots” and “chukka boots” are generally used interchangeably, desert boots are a selected kind of chukka boot, so that every one desert boots are chukkas, however not all chukkas are desert boots.
The desert boot variation of the chukka arose throughout World Conflict II. British troopers preventing within the Western Desert Marketing campaign in Egypt and Libya discovered that their military-issued boots didn’t do an sufficient job providing traction within the sand, nor of retaining that sand from migrating inside them. They admired the footwear of merchants within the Outdated Bazaar in Cairo, which was in flip influenced by the footwear of South African troopers. British officers had cobblers make chukka boots for them primarily based on that design, which married the standard chukka higher that tied up near the ankle (the higher to maintain out sand), with a crepe rubber sole (the higher to stroll upon it). These “desert boots” have been popularized after the struggle as civilian footwear by the Clarks firm.
At present the desert boot could be distinguished from a “commonplace” chukka by its thick rubber sole — additionally it is most frequently made from suede, and its most traditional colour is, not so surprisingly, sand. Whereas darkish chukka boots with a skinny, arduous leather-based sole are extra formal, desert boots are extra snug to put on, and sit on the extra informal aspect of the chukka spectrum.
4. What can I put on with chukkas?
Almost all the things in your closet.
Whereas all varieties of chukkas reside extra on the informal finish of the footwear spectrum, these versatile boots can readily be dressed each up and down.
On probably the most informal stage, they give the impression of being tremendous with denims and a t-shirt — at the very least a nicer, stable/striped tee reasonably than the graphic selection.
Chukkas are most at house on the subsequent notch up: sensible informal. They pair nice with darkish denim/chinos + a button-down, polo, or sweater. Fashionable but snug, swapping sneakers for chukkas is a simple method to elevate all of your informal appears.
They continue to be appropriate as you rise a little bit increased to enterprise informal, and could be worn with khakis and a sport coat or blazer.
Now, as as to if you may rise one other formality stage nonetheless and put on them with a swimsuit, we’ll handle that in its personal query under.
However first a couple of basic type suggestions:
- Distinction the colour of your chukkas and pants; so darker-colored boots with lighter pants/lighter-colored boots with darker pants. Keep away from having the colour of your boots and pants match too carefully; e.g., sand-colored chukkas + sand-colored khakis.
- Take into account rolling your pants up a bit to indicate off the distinctive styling of the higher a part of the boot; with it coated, the boot simply appears like a generic leather-based shoe.
- Select pants that break a little bit increased and have a narrower leg; a little bit rounded toe protruding of a saggy, extensive leg pant appears bizarre.
5. Are you able to put on chukkas with a swimsuit?
Sure, with a couple of caveats.
First, chukkas are extra applicable when paired with a swimsuit for after-hours social events reasonably than skilled ones. The mix will look misplaced in additional conventional banking and authorized places of work.
Second, for those who do put on chukkas with a swimsuit, it needs to be these with leather-based soles and calfskin uppers, reasonably than suede desert boots with rubber soles. With the underside of your swimsuit pants overlaying the tops of your chukkas, the toes of such boots gained’t look too completely different from these of one other leather-based costume shoe.
Lastly, whereas it may be finished, due to the informal nature of chukkas, they’re positively not very best for pairing with the formality of a swimsuit; a dressier shoe will invariably look higher.
6. Are you able to put on chukkas in the summertime?
Given the truth that they’re referred to as desert boots and grew out of the recent climes of Africa and India, you’d suppose the reply to this one can be apparent — sure!
The hesitation about sporting chukkas in the summertime after all comes from the concept that you shouldn’t put on boots throughout the hotter months. And certainly, you shouldn’t put on high-cut, heavy responsibility boots within the warmth (except they’re for operate). However with their ankle peak, and sometimes unlined, thinner cloth, chukkas are an exception to the rule. Actually, they’re the most effective of the restricted choices obtainable for stylish, closed-toed, however laid-back summertime footwear for males.
You possibly can technically go sockless with chukkas, however they tie up so near your ankles, that dropping socks isn’t going to make your ft a lot cooler — simply sweatier and stinkier.
Should you can put on them in the summertime, are you able to put on them with shorts? Not advisable. It makes you appear like you’re happening an African safari, and may solely be pulled off if that’s what you’re truly doing. If it’s scorching sufficient it is advisable don shorts, it’s time to go sockless in an excellent decrease lower of leather-based footwear like the boat shoe. Or higher nonetheless, the “Metropolis Slipper.”