Buying Guide to Men's Chukka Boots

Chukka Boots are traditional-style shoes, great for winter and spring. These classic shoes are designed to provide a certain amount of style and a high level of comfort at the same time, and it was clear because of these two principle qualities that they became very popular in 1940-1960.

Superlative Features

Leather outsoles are one of the important features of classic chukka boots. Due to their wide range and so many styles, it is not precise to say what a real chukka boot is and what is faux. However, according to the research conducted by shoe historian June Swann, real chukka boots have the following features:

  • Chukka boots are lace-up ankle boots that reach the ankle and no further.
  • These boots have two or three eyelets.
  • Conventionally made from calf suede leather
  • Round-toe style
  • Chukka boots have thin soles and open lacing
  • Outsole is traditionally designed with genuine leather material
  • Unlined

Modern Chukka Boots

In the modern era, chukka boots have become more versatile than the traditional style and have been designed to suit the times. The differences in the designs and detailing of the boots determine whether they are suitable for formal occasions or festivities.


These days, chukka boots are formulated in various leather and fabrics including cow suede, calf leather, canvas, and faux leather. Historical leather chukka boots with brown suede leather upper and leather outsoles can be coordinated with casual outfits but some gents also wear them with blue suits and semi-formal blazers.


Chukka boots have thinner outsoles. Traditional chukka boots were made in original cow leather material that can be worn with a wide range of formal suits on different occasions. On contrary, desert boots have thick outsoles and rough stitching patterns, making them only appropriate for casual wear. 


Although chukka boots come in an array of fascinating hues. Some boots are designed with burnished leather. While others are finished with patent leather upper. Some popular colors include camel brown, tan, dark brown, burgundy, and black. Casual chukka boots are often designed with contrast stitching patterns on the uppers. However, the lace color that matches the leather is suitable for an elegant look.

Chukka Boot vs Desert Boots

There is a huge range of chukka boots available out there. Due to its popularity, there are several manufacturers of casual chukka boots and also customized versions of them. Some are premium leather boots, others are formulated with rubberized outsoles.

When it comes to desert boots, some manufacturers use this term as an alternative to chukka boots. “Desert boots” is a particular kind of men chukka boot. In other words, not all chukka boots are desert boots, but all desert boots are chukka boots.

A chukka boot is any high-ankle boot with no more than three eyelets. Desert boots are chukkas formulated with lightweight leather upper and rubberized outsoles.

So, your burgundy suede ankle boots with rubberized outsole? Obviously, chukka boots! Your dark tan chukkas with genuine leather outsole? Yes, chukka boots, but not desert boots.

Because of their simple design, a few changes in the design can make a huge difference between each pair of chukka boots. It is recommended to opt for the ones that match your style and preference, whether it’s a classic tan desert boot or a modern-sleek leather chukka in camel shade, or anything in between!