10 Best Chukka Boots I Have Reviewed (UPDATE)

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Chukka boots are very versatile. Many people wear these boots casually to work, but they can also be worn for intense activities. You can take full advantage of their versatility and use them as needed on different terrains. These boots tend to have ankle coverage, to keep your foot protected at all times. Allowing you to carry out a range of activities. So, It is important that you pick the best chukka boot to suit you.

Fun Fact

Did you know…..

Some believe that the term ‘Chukka’ comes from a period of play in the well-known sport Polo.

 

I have always liked chukka boots and seeing Keanu Reeves rocking them with many different outfits has helped me like them even more. They look great and are a good overall boot for those casual days.

They also are very manly and can be quickly pieced with a casual t-shirt and jeans. I am a big fan of these. When I don’t have too much time to think about what I will be wearing, I pick these and choose my clothes accordingly.

Because I am such a fan of these boots I have gone to the effort of finding out the current best chukka boots in 2018.

So here is my list:

Best Chukka Boots

1Clarks Bushacre 2

Clarks Bushacre 2
Our Review: (4.9 / 5)

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These chukka boots are hard to match when it comes to versatility. They are easy to wear and perfect for many situations. Made with a leather upper, the boots are classic and durable. Furthermore, Clarks have an impressive range of colors to choose from. From the lighter colors to the darker colors, you can find an upper to match your daily outfits. Featuring a crepe rubber sole, the boots are durable. In terms of drawbacks, some people are uncomfortable with the minimalistic padding of the upper. However, it is a great overall classic boot.

2Nunn Bush Hatch Plain Toe Chukka

Nunn Bush Hatch Plain Toe Chukka
Our Review: (4.8 / 5)

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These elegant boots are strictly recommended for formal wear. Made with a comfortable memory foam sock liner, the boots are among the options you can consider for when you are working in the office. These have a synthetic sole, giving the boot perfect traction needed in an office environment. This classic boot is also very easy to clean, so these could be your go-to choice for the office. In addition, they have a beautifully burnished leather upper. Making this shoe the best looking chukka boot in our list.

3UGG Leighton Chukka Boot

Our Review: (4.7 / 5)

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The UGG Leighton chukka boots are a rugged option. They have a high comfort level for those long walks. If you truly want a pair of boots that are comfortable, then you can take full advantage of the energy comfort system which is essential for good cushioning.

Built with full leather upper, they can work for simple daily tasks such as going to work. The rubber outsole can also see them as an option for a quick outdoor adventure, but the pattern of the outer sole has not been created to carry out these tasks. In addition, If you want a more custom approach such as more support for the arch, then you can even use your own insole with these boots.

4Ferro Aldo Blaine Casual Brogue

Our Review: (4.7 / 5)

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Made for leading traction, these particular chukka boots are recommended for wider feet and those who seek a traditional lacing design. With the rugged outsole, they can even be used outside the city on some rare occasions. But affordability is what makes them stand out from the others. The manufacturer has had to use synthetic leather which helps drive the price down. So, if you do not mind a synthetic leather upper then these can be a great option for those bad weather days. We would recommend this boot as it combines fashion with great durability.

5Timberland Killington

Our Review: (4.7 / 5)

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Made from partially recycled materials, this chukka boot is a recommended option for added comfort. Mostly considered for their distinctive style, these boots are a great option for the younger user. Timberland has been successful in combining mesh and leather on this chukka boot. Hence, it offers an upper which is easy to clean. So it gives you a more stylish boot in comparison to the other options.

With the OrthoLite footbed, these boots are great if you are looking for a very comfortable boot. The SensorFlex technology of the outsole is great for independent support in all areas of the foot. Furthermore, it represents a viable solution when you decide to go off-road.

6Reef Men’s Voyage Chukka Boot

Our Review: (4.6 / 5)

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If you need leading arch support and a sportier design, then these boots are an awesome choice for your feet. Made with a sneaker-like outsole, the boots are great for a long day out shopping or simply walking. With one of the most supportive midsoles in its class, the boots are among the top natural leather options in their class.

The modern approach to the classic chukka boot proves that innovation is still possible in this class. With a leading midsole which naturally follows the contour of the foot, they are the ideal if you are standing for many hours every day.

7Madden M-Edict

Our Review: (4.5 / 5)

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As one of the most elegant choices, this chukka boot is the best option for daily wear. They are versatile and they represent a solution which comes with a distinct design. At the same time, if you are not a fan of the pointed toe box design, then they might not be for you. Furthermore, it is also important to remember that they are very easy to clean, which is great when you want to wear them to work. With a 4” shaft, they are not made for the outdoor person, especially as the outsole is designed only for flat surfaces.

8Arider Cooper-03

Our Review: (4.2 / 5)

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These Chukka boots are not tough to clean, as they have a matte finish. So dusting them after a long day at work should not take too long either. With a small platform of just 0.5”, the boots are an elegant solution which can be used for everyday wear. Furthermore, they are recommended for light casual wear too. If you are looking for a versatile option, they are not really recommended as the thin outsole is not made for rugged terrains. So, we would say these are a good overall chukka boot for the office and for casual strolls.

9Kenneth Cole Reaction

Kenneth Cole Reaction
Our Review: (4 / 5)

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The youthful design of the boots has a certain appeal which makes them distinct in the chukka boot niche. Combining a sportier outsole and a minimalistic upper, the boots are inspired by pop culture. As you may expect, the sportier outsole recommends them for urban use in most cases.

They are great for students or great at work as the boots are lightweight, with minimal padding. The design suits most people as it comes with a rounded toe box for better versatility so you are able to wear these with casual outfits.

105.11 Tactical Men’s Pursuit Chukka Boot

5.11 Tactical Men’s Pursuit Chukka Boot
Our Review: (4 / 5)

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The true outdoorsman needs a pair of proper chukka boots too. So, this is why the manufacturer has created a good rugged outsole. Which would allow you to use this boot for proper traction off the beaten path.

In terms of comfort, the boots also come with a removable OrthoLite insole for added customization. The padded collar around the ankle also proves to be a considerable comfort-improving design, especially with lateral movements. Made with an upper leather, the boots are available in three colors with the gun smoke grey, distressed brown and dark coyote options. It is a good option for someone wanting a boot to meet the increasing demands of the outdoors and the indoors.

How to Choose the Best Chukka Boots?

There are a few things you need to know before purchasing a chukka boot. If you already own a pair of chukka boots. Then you might look towards choosing a less versatile design and go with a more distinctive option. On the other hand, if you are looking for your first pair of chukka boots, then you should go for a more versatile option. As it will help you get through your day of activities.

Upper

The upper is the first thing you notice when looking at a chukka boot. This is the area of the shoe where manufacturers tend to play around with to change the look of the boot. So, that a unique chukka boot can be created.

Chukka Boot Upper

If you are a fan of classic designs, the minimalistic full-leather upper with no padding is a good place to start. Such designs are versatile as they go with different types of outfits. They are very simplistic and classic, allowing you to piece them with a smart casual outfit with ease. Furthermore, you can also look at the options which use different materials or combinations of materials for a more unique look.

Leather

The natural leather upper is among the most popular options for the modern chukka boot. Many people prefer leather uppers for their natural feel. Which makes these shoes far more durable. It also has the added benefit of being cleaned easily, for those days when you do get some dirt on them.

Suede

The suede upper is still based on leather. But the leather is softer and fuzzier, which gives the boots a distinct look. When compared to classic leather, suede can also attract and keep dust more. So you will need to clean them as often as possible.

Synthetic

The fully synthetic upper for the chukka boots is rare. However, there are a few options which can be considered when it comes to better overall breathability and distinct looks. For example, the combinations of the synthetic leather, mesh, and real leather can often lead to appealing boots for many people.

Outsole 

The pattern of the outsole has a significant impact on how you can use chukka boots. One of the most interesting solutions refers to the office chukka boot that has a rubber or crepe outsole. At the same time, there are different options which can mimic a sportier shoe and which can even come with a sneaker-like design. These unique, youthful designs are great for those seeking a sportier feel.

Chukka Boot Outsole

The pattern of the outer sole is also important for traction purposes. If you plan to tackle uneven surfaces regularly. Then you may want to choose a boot with good grip and flexibility that have crepe and rubber outsoles. However, you will need an outsole which comes with a thicker design, above the 1” mark. But the outsoles could also be lower to suit the casual wearer.

An exception to this would be a sneaker-inspired boot, as it would have a different look and feel to a regular classic chukka boot. Combining the traditional chukka upper with the sportier sneaker outsole means that you will have the ability to choose a design which is tough, but also light and flexible.

Remember, formal boots usually have a low profile outsole which is far tougher than the counterparts. They also have a smooth outsole without much grip as you don’t really need a shoe with much traction in an office. However, the less formal counterparts tend to have thicker profile outsoles with far more traction to help tackle those tough outdoor surfaces.

So do take some time to decide where you will be wearing the boot so you can figure out if you will need a low profile outsole.

Breathability

Breathability

It is hard to associate the word ‘breathability’ with chukka boots. As manufacturers of chukka boots don’t tend to take breathability into consideration. So, this is why a very limited number of manufacturers actually offer perforations throughout the shoe. To help stand out from the crowd and offer customers something different. As we know by now boots aren’t built for breathability, so you would find them difficult to wear for a few hours in the heat.

Waterproofing

Waterproof Boot

In most cases, chukka boots are not really made for rocky terrains. However, there are some boots that look smart and provide grip for tough terrains.  Waterproofing is essential for this purpose. You want your foot to be kept dry at all time when wearing these. So, if you want a shoe with good waterproofing abilities then do take a look at the boots with natural leather uppers. As many of the boots have treated leather uppers. The last thing you want is a heavy waterlogged boot, so do take this pointer into great consideration.

Design

Shoe Design

Most chukka boots have been quite conservative up until a few years ago. Many manufacturers stuck to the classic looking chukka boot. However, they have now started to step out of line and design boots which appeal to more than one audience.

In terms of design, the chukka boots that come with limited inner padding are great for wearing in and around the city. These boots are great for going to the supermarket, classes or to work. If you want to tackle uneven terrains, you can choose an option which comes with thicker inner padding, especially around the ankle. As this would give you a more overall comfortable boot, which helps protect your ankles.

They now have boots in different colors, which are great for those that want a boot to match their outfits. Or for those who are looking for something more unique.

The colors will help you stand out, purchasing the darker colors would allow you to piece them with far more outfits and would be suitable for those darker winter days. A lighter color would be ideal for the summer months, however, you can still style both of light and dark choices in the different seasons and they would still look great.

If you do want to stand out then you can always purchase a chukka boot with a bright color with varying laces to really stand out. There’s a chukka boot out there for everyone.

Comfort

Boot Comfort

 

 

 

We can’t ever forget about comfort. Let’s be honest comfort is the number one priority for many of us and so the same goes for these boots. Make sure to look for a boot with a softer inner sole and midsole like the crepe sole. This will help cushion your feet whether you’re wearing them for a few hours or a full day.

The last thing you want is a boot that does no justice to the soles of your feet. We want you to be comfortable. If you feel as though none of the boots provide you the high levels of comfort and cushioning required then you always have the option of purchasing orthotic insoles.

So don’t think you need to buy a boot that sacrifices on comfort.

Size

Size

Size is always key when looking for anything whether its clothes or shoes. So if it is possible to try to get your foot measured first whether it’s at a local podiatrists place or a shoe store. So that you have an exact size of your foot, as all brands tend to have slight variations when it comes to footwear sizes.

Also looking at the width of the toe box and upper each of the boots will vary in size so try to wear the boot if you can. But if not then stick to your usual footwear size and it should be fine.

Brief History

Chukka Boot History

It is widely recognized that the Chukka boot came from India. Many people believe the boot has numerous amounts of similarities with the infamous ‘Jodhpur boot‘. The jodhpur boot is an ankle boot and was designed as a riding boot when on horses, it looks a lot like the well known Chelsea Boot.

In 1924 the Chukka boot was worn in the United States of America by the Duke of Windsor. It was believed he visited India earlier where he had played Polo and found himself coming across the Chukka boot as we know today. So the western world would not have been introduced to the Chukka boot if it was not for the Duke spending time in India. Ever since the Duke had worn them, their popularity had increased. Making the Chukka boot an important boot in many peoples wardrobe today.

Further down the history line soldiers fighting in World War II wore these boots to manage the tough terrains they had to face in the desert (Northern Africa). As the boots were made for very high durability to withstand those tough outdoor conditions in the heat. However, these particular boots were referred to  ‘the Desert Boot’ and they had a crepe outsole to give them better comfort.

Chukka boots have come a far way from being worn for Polo to being utilized in the second World War and now to our shoe cupboards. They are a great versatile boot that provides great levels of comfort and style allowing them to grow in popularity around the world.

Because of their history, we can now appreciate them as a smart or casual boot. As Chukka boots have a distinct style in comparison to other boots. They are a classically designed ankle length boot with a few pair of eyelets for an open lace locking system. They also have a very simple toe box and tend to be made from leather or suede. Although there are manufacturers who always try standing out from the crowd using different uppers.

Why the name ‘Chukka’ ?

Polo

There seem to be two schools of thought on where the name ‘chukka’ derived from. One being the fun fact mentioned above where people believe the term chukka comes from the popular sports game Polo. Which is the seven-minute thirty-second period known as the ‘Chukker’ or ‘Chukka’.

The reasoning for people believing this actual meaning is that Polo players would tend to play in chukka boots, however, there is some limit of truth in this as many people don’t recall this to have ever happened. But chukka boots (Jodhpur boots) would be worn by Polo players when they slip out of their playing shoes and into something far more casual and cool once they finish with their game. So this is where the association between the word chukka and polo comes from.

There is some truth in this reasoning as they are smart casual shoes, so you can understand why Polo players would want to slip into these after a tiring game instead of sticking with their Polo boots.

However, others believe the word comes from the Hindi word ‘chukkar’ which essentially means round or circle. It can also mean taking a casual stroll or turn, so its very easy to understand how the term could have also come from India.

So the Chukka boots could be from the Polo playing realm or derived from India, you can choose which story you prefer as no one exactly nows. But either way, we are lucky to have this versatile boot to help us switch up our styles as and when we need.

What is the Difference Between a Desert Boot and a Chukka Boot?

Chukka Boot

Well, these boots do look very similar. Stay with me on this one. All chukka boots are not desert boots. However, all desert boots are chukka boots.

I hope it hasn’t confused you as much as its confused me.

The way we can differentiate from the two is by taking a look at a few areas of the boots. From the sole to the laces and the stitching along the shoe.

The desert boot tends to have a sole made from crepe, whereas the chukka boot has a sole made from rubber or leather. so check the outsoles of the shoe.

Next, we can take a look at the laces. A desert boots laces tend to be thicker in profile a bit like a sneaker lace. Whereas, a chukka boots laces tend to look sleeker and have a slim cylindrical profile. But these can be changed by manufacturers who want to try to create something different so it’s not the only deciding factor.

The stitching on the side of the desert boots will tend to stand out far more in comparison to the chukka boot. As they usually have a thicker stitch and use a different colored thread to give the boot more details.

Are Chukka Boots Easy to Clean and Maintain?

Chukka Boot Maintenance

Yes, they are.

There are a few things you would need to look into first. What is the material of the upper? Is it waterproof? How often am I willing to clean them?

Like every shoe, you need to be careful when wearing them if you are looking to keep them for a while. If you are like me and want a shoe to look brand new all the time then you may need to spend an extra few minutes every few times you wear the boot.

But here are some tips you should take into consideration for both leather and suede options:

Leather

We have all seen leather items in our life. If this option is for you then know that it is easy to clean and maintain. It is far more durable as it is the skin of an animal and so even any accidental spills or stains won’t really show up too easily.

If you have leather chukka boots then take simple take a wet cloth and wipe down your shoe from the bottom to the top. This should get rid of any superficial dirt. But if it has a suede upper then don’t even think about using water because you’ll be left with a big water stain.

Bring the leather back to life and clean away any unwanted dirt with the help of saddle soap (special leather soap and conditioner). It will help bring your boots upper back to life and give them the brand new look for far longer.

If you do accidentally get a stain or spill on them, lightly place some alcohol and water on to a cotton wool piece and rub it lightly up on the stain. This should help reduce or even remove the stain on the upper.

Polishing. We all know about this classic method of keeping your leather footwear alive and its the same for these boots. It will give them a new life and they will look as though you have just purchased them. Bringing back all the natural leather’s qualities like water resistance back to life.

Suede

You can protect your suede boots by sealing the suede upper with special protective spray, but do remember that can alter the original color of the boot. So you might want to be careful.

Or if you are unfortunate enough to get a stain on your boot then use some talcum powder to help absorb the spills. Simply sprinkle some talcum powder on the stain and leave it overnight, in the morning this should have helped remove the stain. You can then clean them with a suede brush.

If the suede is starting to look like its losing its x-factor then simply use a brush to bring those small fibers back to life by rubbing them with a brush, to help revitalize the brand new look of your boot.

Look after your boots regardless of the upper, keep them looking new and clean. It will only do your outfit justice.

Chukka Boot

Conclusion

Chukka boots are often the first go-to option for those seeking a rugged design with some elegance as well. There are many solutions which you can find for this particular reason, but the classic chukka boot is hard to match. This list has something for everyone, so do take your time and I hope my review and write up has helped you come to a well-informed decision. Pick one to suit you.

My Pick

This is why the Clarks Bushacre 2 is the best option for most people. Based on a classic design and the quality which is offered by the leading manufacturer, they are the go-to for multiple uses.

So where can you wear them? Well… If you want to take them to work, the boots provide great comfort for long hours and come with the crepe sole, which is durable and flexible. This is why they are perfect for a long day at the office.

Their simplistic style and design allow you to wear them to the office or for casual strolls in and around the city. Hence, this is the boot I recommend, as they are the classic looking versatile boot which everyone should have.

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