Best Chukka Boots Reviewed & Rated for Quality
There’s nothing worse than getting dressed for work, a lunch meeting, or a night out and getting stuck on what shoes to wear. Sneakers can be too casual and are better worn for running errands or heading to the gym, and dress shoes for many reasons can be too fancy and formal. That is where the Chukka boot comes in; an effortless piece that adds so much to your outfit without the hassle of trying to decide between casual and fancy. The following list will look at some of the most versatile and stylish Chukka boots on the market and will aid in picking the perfect pair for you. No matter what your personal style or preference is, a pair of Chukka boots in the closet is sure to get a lot of use and wear. Easy to throw on, effortlessly classy and stylish, and beyond comfortable; Chukka boots should appear in everyone’s wardrobe frequently.
A casual ankle boot that has now made a name for itself in the world of fashion, the Chukka boot is a uniquely named footwear choice that looks great and gives the wearer immense versatility. The Chukka is the perfect boot for running errands, sitting at a desk, attending weddings or any other occasion in your life as it can be dressed up or down with ease. It is, however, important to note what makes a Chukka boot different from other boots, because there are very similar styles out there which would not fall on this category.
Originally made of leather or suede they now come in many different fabrics and materials. Deciding which material will fit your style best is up to you, and you can play with materials and colors to craft a unique and personalized look. Dark leathers look great with a suit or dress pants, for a more professional look, and will give you the classic business look most people desire. A nice tan suede adds a casual yet stylish look and is a great addition to an outfit with jeans and a tailored jacket; throw this on for a date and you will be sure to impress. No matter the occasion, it is easy to pair Chukka boots with your clothes in a way that looks effortless and attractive.
One thing that differentiates Chukka boots from other styles is that they should have either two or three eyelets – any more and it is not considered a “true” Chukka boot. Though historically unlined, many brands have added various forms of lining such as wool and flannel which makes them great for giving more warmth to the boot during colder months. Known historically for their use by off-duty polo players, they have since evolved into an essential addition to any shoe closet.
10 Best Chukka Boots
1. Clarks Originals
There are many companies making Chukka boots, but only one actually started the trend, making Clarks the go-to for many. Though continuously imitated, few brands have been able to duplicate exactly what it is that makes Clarks Originals so original.
Every component of Clarks Originals is hand-picked. From the crepe sole to the premium Kudu leather, which naturally has marks and scratches, making each pair perfectly imperfect.
Cost and Value
The most expensive boot on the list, though you are receiving quality from a more than reputable brand. It is important to note that you do get what you pay for, and although pricey, Clarks are a pair of boots that will last for years.
- Color Selection
- Crepe Sole
- Reputable Brand
- Casual Fit
- Easy to Care For
- Run Large
2. Clarks Bushacre 2
The Clarks Bushacre 2 Chukka has a leather upper. Leather is a sturdy, durable material that, when used in shoes, provides stability and support. It’s also stylish without being flashy.
This boot’s Crepe sole is made of crepe rubber, or layers of coagulated latex. Crepe soles are especially shock-absorbant and have insulating properties to keep your feet a comfortable temperature.
Cost and Value
You can find the Clarks Bushacre 2 Chukka boot in the low-to-high price range. It’s a high-quality boot from a reputable company with great features, so it’s worth the price.
- Leather Upper
- Crepe Sole
- Comes in Wide Sizes
- Comes in a Wide Variety of Colors
- Soles may wear down quickly
- Little cushioning
3. UGG Neumel
UGGs are known for their cozy lining and the Neumel's are no exception. Ideal for keeping your feet snug year round, but especially during those colder months. Their wool is of exceptionally high-quality and ethically supplied.
Ethically sourced materials
UGG prides themselves on their strict standards when it comes to the wool used for their products. Ensuring no animal is harmed for their skin alone, UGG only accepts materials from non-mulesed wool sourcing. The company's strong commitment to Animal Welfare is just another reason why they are a fantastic brand.
Cost and Value
A very fair priced item considering the brand, and versatility of this Chukka boot. As the highest rated product on this list, it’s a fantastic choice for those looking for everyday comfort. These boots are unisex, making them a great gift idea for anyone as well.
- Easy to Style
- Trusted Brand
- Ethical materials
- Run Small
4. Skechers Segment Melego
This waterproof boot features a gel-infused memory foam insole. The gel infusion helps to keep your feet cool and complements the cushioning properties of the memory foam for maximum comfort.
Upper Side Perforations
This boot has perforations on the sides in the center of the shoe. These perforations allow air to flow in and out more easily to keep you cool and dry.
Cost and Value
This leather chukka boot can be found in the middle price range. Unlike most chukkas, the Skechers USA Segment Melego boot has temperature managing properties and cushioning for optimal comfort.
- Gel-Infused Memory Foam Insole
- Upper Side Perforations
- Leather Upper
- Rubber Sole
- Padded Collar and Tongue
- Pull Tab
- Can be stiff
- Sizing runs narrow
5. Calvin Klein Ulysses
This chukka’s synthetic outsole is designed to last, but it’s also great for traction. This chukka boot grips the ground so you don’t slip and fall while you’re wearing them.
Synthetic Insole and Lining
For maximum comfort, the Calvin Klein Ulysses Suede Chukka boot has a built-in synthetic insole with a soft sock liner to provide you with optimal cushioning and excellent shock absorption.
Cost and Value
These Calvin Klein Chukkas can be found in the middle-to-upper price range. It’s a quality name brand shoe built to be comfortable and stylish so you can walk with confidence.
- Synthetic Sole
- Synthetic Insole and Lining
- Blind Eyelets
- Layered Overlays
- Inconsistent sizing
6. Golden Fox Arizona
This construction method is renowned as the most durable and effective due to its dual-layer stitching and an extra layer between the insole and outsole. These chukkas are made to last.
Pillow Comfort Arch Support Insole
Unlike many chukkas, these Golden Fox Chukka boots have a soft cushioning insole with arch support built into it. This is sure to provide you with comfort, support, and stability.
Cost and Value
These classy, traditional chukkas are available in the middle-to-upper price range. Its many great comfort and safety features make it well worth the investment. They are sturdy and durable, too!
- Goodyear Welt Construction
- Pillow Comfort Arch Support Insole
- Full-Grain Leather
- Rubber Sole
- Water Repellant
- Fine Pigskin Lining
- May rub Achilles tendons
7. Red Wing Heritage Work
This chukka boot boasts a special Atlas tread outsole, which is meticulously incorporated into the white crepe outsole. This outsole is designed to provide you with great traction and stability.
This chukka boot aims for a classier appearance with nickel eyelets than other chukkas. These eyelets are also more durable than naked eyelets which can rip and tear more easily.
Cost and Value
As far as price goes, this chukka is the most expensive on this list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad buy. It’s a gorgeous boot with awesome features.
- Atlas Tred Outsole
- Nickel Eyelets
- Leather Upper
- Leather Sole
- White Crepe Outsole
- Very firm
- Little arch support
8. Thursday Boot Co Scout
The Thursday Boot Company uses the stitch out construction method in these boots. This construction method prioritizes comfort and flexibility. This method uses flanging to attach the upper to the outsole.
Studded Rubber Outsole
Rubber outsoles are naturally good at providing traction. The Thursday Boot Company improved their rubber outsoles by adding studs to them. These studs help your boots grip the ground better.
Cost and Value
These chukka boots can be found in the upper price range. They’re more expensive than most of the shoes on this list, but they are high-quality boots with great style.
- Stitchout Construction
- Studded Rubber Outsole
- Suede Upper
- Blind Eyelets
- Round Wax Laces
- Cork Footbed
- Leather Lining
- Little cushioning
- May need to be broken in
9. Timberland EK Brook Park
Specifically made for those who are on their feet all day, these shoes will help reduce foot fatigue and soreness that plagues so many of us. The anti-fatigue technology is built into the sole and uses geometric cone support to provide shock absorption; making it no longer a chore having to stand, or walk around all day. The more energy you put into the shoe, the more energy it gives back, so you will get more pep in your step each time you walk.
L7 Traction Lug Outsole
Designed with superior traction for harsh winters, these boots are made for the outdoors. The lug outsole protects against abrasions and helps to maintain traction and drainage. The outsole is also Green, made with 42% recycled rubber. Regardless of the surface, you need to walk across, these boots offer up fantastic stability and grip, giving you confidence and peace of mind.
Cost and Value
A beautiful simple shoe, with an expensive, classy look to it; these boots are priced accordingly. The cost of these boots is considered mid to high, but do keep in mind they offer a great value when considering what these boots are made from. If you are looking for a boot that is versatile, rugged, great in all conditions and terrains and is environmentally friendly, then the price of these boots will seem low in comparison to how much you are truly getting.
- Easy to Care For
- Good Traction
- Sturdy Construction
- Pull On Loop
- Recycled Materials
- Run Large
10. Bruno Marc Desert Storm
To aid with easy movement, and traction Bruno Marc added rubber which has great slip-resistant attributes. These are a great option for outdoor activities, like, such as the name suggests - venturing in the desert. They airy nature and high breathability means your feet will not get overly hot, and you should find that sweat and moisture do not build up throughout the day. This gives you dry and odor-free feet and boots, which is everyone's ultimate goal.
There is nothing worse than constantly fighting to get your shoe on and off. Bruno Marc adding that small elastic panel to the back of each pair of boots, takes the struggle away. It is an extra touch that can sometimes go unnoticed but makes a big difference in the overall comfort of your boot.
Cost and Value
A slight bit more expensive than the GLOBALWIN Chukka boots, however, you are receiving extra touches that make them worth it. For example; the elastic back, and 4 eyelets rather than 2 for extra support and a more snug fit.
- Manmade Sole
- Suede Leather
- 100% Cotton Laces
- Elastic Back
- Narrow Fit
Chukka boots are an investment piece, therefore it is essential to find the pair that not only fits your foot best, but your lifestyle as well. As versatile as this boot can be, some are made for a more specific purpose than others and this should be highly considered before you make a purchase. Durability is going to be one of the key factors, as not all materials will hold up the same during various conditions and weather. Opting for suede over leather may be the look you prefer, but come fall you may not get to wear them as often due to how wet it is outside. Try and keep in mind what type of situations your boots will come in contact with, and this will help you make a more informed choice on what you will get the most use out of.
It is important to remember that small features like an elastic back may not appear to matter, however, those with wider feet will find that it makes all the difference in easily putting on and taking them off. A sturdy, cushioned footbed is a must-have, especially for anyone who spends their days on their feet; no one wants to take off their shoes at the end of the day and have sore, tired feet. A boot with good traction is also something you want to consider, as it will help keep your feet moving smoothly across the ground when you walk. If you find yourself outdoors often, in all kinds of climates, a Chukka boot with a rubber sole is ideal for you, as a rubber sole makes for an almost completely slip resistant shoe.
There are so many brands creating new styles every day, and it’s hard to keep up with trends and what brand is best. With so many brands available, we have narrowed it down to the 15 that are making some of the most attractive, versatile, durable, and comfortable Chukka boots in 2017. With this list, you will be able to find the perfect pair of Chukka boots, that you will be able to easily incorporate into your life and style.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Chukka Boots
Cushioning is one thing that chukka boots usually lack. There is usually some cushioning built into the outsole, which is usually rubber or crepe rubber. Both materials offer some minimal shock absorption and cushioning to protect your feet. Some chukkas come with cushioning built into the upper by means of padding and into the footbed by means of the insole and midsole.
- Padding – Some chukka boots come with padded leather collars, tongues, and uppers. Depending on the material used in the padding and what you’re using the boots for, this padding can cushion some rubbing of the upper against your foot and ankle. However, if the padding is too firm or hard, then you would probably want to pass on that chukka, as a hard padding could hurt your ankles and Achilles tendons.
- Insole – Generally, chukka boots don’t have much by means of cushioning in their insoles. When you are looking for a new chukka boot, always check the insole to confirm that it will offer you enough cushioning to absorb the shock from each of your footsteps. Some manufacturers have invested in lightweight and thin cushioning technologies in their insoles, so it is possible for you to find a chukka with ample cushioning.
- Midsole – Some chukka manufacturers include midsole cushioning and support technologies, but not all chukka boots will have it. If the insole is cushioned enough and the outsole is sufficient for shock absorption, then not having a midsole should be fine. Ultimately, you would need to try them on or check out what other people have said about the boots you are considering purchasing before you buy.
- Outsole – Chukka boots all come with a crepe, rubber, or synthetic outsole. All of these outsole materials offer shock absorption and cushioning, but some are better than others. Of these, crepe outsoles may offer the most comfort, but they aren’t very good for heavy outdoor use. Rubber and synthetic outsoles offer a little less cushioning and shock absorption, but they are much more durable and long-lasting.
Support, Stability, and Flexibility
Unlike with cushioning, chukkas generally excel in stability and support. While they may not be the best at providing ample arch support, the upper is always firm and prevents rolling an ankle or your foot. However, there is such a thing as too much support, so it would be in your best interests to find an upper material which provides some flex to give you a more comfortable stride.
Leather is the firmest and offers the most support and stability. If you are looking for a firm, smooth boot, then a leather upper is the best fit for you.
Suede is another type of leather which can be just as firm and supportive. However, suede is made with the softer parts of animal skins, so it’s softer and has a fuzzier texture than leather generally has.
Synthetic uppers are entirely man-made and include no animal products whatsoever. Depending on the materials used and the design of the upper, synthetic uppers can be the most flexible, but they are also quite capable of providing ample support and stability.
Rubber is generally quite supportive and offers ample cushioning- the best of both worlds. Rubber is a firm material which absorbs shock well without sacrificing flexibility. Rubber outsoles will bend and move with your natural foot movements.
Crepe outsoles are more flexible than rubber and they provide optimal shock absorption. However, they are generally less durable than rubber or synthetic outsoles.
Synthetic outsoles have the most potential for flexibility, but they can also offer optimal support. It depends on the type of outsole and the manufacturer. Always do some research or try on the chukkas before you buy to ensure that you are getting the boot that offers the right amount of support and flexibility for you.
All shoes need to provide at least some traction. However, it’s important to get the most traction possible if there’s any chance that you’re going to walk on a slippery-smooth, wet, or uneven surface- which describes most situations, doesn’t it? Therefore, you need to confirm that your new chukka boots come with the best traction possible. Unfortunately, as these are dressier shoes, they don’t come with as much traction as sneakers and hiking boots.
Here are some things to consider that contribute to the traction capabilities of your prospective chukka boots:
- Outsole Type
Of the types of outsoles regularly found in chukka boots, rubber, and synthetic outsoles generally offer the most traction. Crepe outsoles offer less in terms of traction, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid a chukka boot with a crepe outsole. The biggest determiner for how much traction a boot is going to offer is actually the tread pattern.
- Tread Pattern
Tread patterns in your boots can make or break their traction capability. The best tread patterns for traction and slip-resistance include many thin perpendicular lines throughout the entire outsole, but most of the outsole is still pressing against the ground for optimal grip.
In general, chukkas are not designed with temperature regulation in mind. They’re a simple dress boot, but many manufacturers are investing in temperature regulating technologies to use in their chukka boots to increase the comfort and protection which they offer. A few such examples include breathability features, linings, and waterproofing.
- Breathability – Some manufacturers of chukka boots use perforations in the upper of their boots to provide some airflow in and out of the boot. However, most don’t include perforations, as it detracts from the classic chukka look. In general, the materials used in the upper of chukka boots are not breathable by default.
- Linings – Some chukka boot manufacturers invest in warm wool upper linings while others invest in cool gel linings. Consider the environment that you will be using these boots in before you decide. If you are going to be on your feet all day in a hot environment or doing a lot of physical activity, you would probably want to steer clear of the warm linings. Gel linings are usually incorporated into the insole, so the gel linings keep your feet cool while also providing cushioning and comfort, so they’re great for activities requiring you to be on your feet all day.
- Waterproofing – Waterproofed chukka boots are great if you are going to be in a wet environment part or most of the day. If you spill something on a waterproofed chukka, you won’t ruin the leather or suede. Dry feet are usually cooler than wet feet and dry feet develop fewer blisters.
- Rainproofing – A subcategory of waterproofing is rainproofing. Rainproofing only protects your chukkas from light exposure to water, such as when it is raining or you spill something on them. Rainproof chukkas are not designed to be submerged in water and doing so could ruin your leather or suede upper.
Fit and Sizing
It’s important to consider the fit and sizing options in your chukka boots. Not every chukka boot is designed with your foot shape and needs in mind. Some are too narrow, others have too large toe boxes, and so on. As such, you should spend some time researching or shopping around for the chukka boot shape and size that suit your needs the most.
- Width Size Availability
Not all chukkas come in wide sizes. If you have a wide foot, then you need to consider whether or not this boot comes in a wide or extra wide size which would fit your feet properly. Wearing chukkas which are too tight could lead to injury and toe deformities, neither of which is fun.
Similarly, wearing chukkas which are too large can also result in foot injuries or worse, so it’s important to find the chukka which fits your foot properly.
To confirm that the boots fit properly, you should try them on and walk around in them a little bit if you’re buying them from a store. If they slide around or slip off your foot, they’re too large. If they squeeze and cause pain, then they’re too small.
- Toe Box Shape
Most chukkas come with a rounded point forefoot. However, some have less drastic points than others. For wide feet, it’s best to look for one of these less pointed forefoot areas to protect your toes from injury and pain. The best chukkas provide enough space in the forefoot for your toes to spread out naturally without pain or discomfort.
Ease of Use and Convenience
Some features and aspects of chukka boots make them easier, more comfortable, and more convenient to wear. A boot which is hard to put on, uncomfortable, or doesn’t suit your needs is a boot which will sit in your closet gathering dust or winds up in the trash. As such, when you start hunting for the best chukka boot for you, you should consider which ease of use and convenience features you really want and need in your boots and which ones you can go without. Always do some research or try the boots on to confirm that they meet your needs before you make a purchase. Here is a list of a few of the most common features found in chukka boots which merit consideration:
Ease of Use Features
- Pull Tabs
Some chukkas come with pull tabs on the back of the shoe which are designed to make it easier to pull the boot onto your foot.
- Elasticized Openings
Some chukkas have openings and vamps which are elasticized so that they stretch to allow your foot entry more comfortably and provide a better fit than others.
Always consider the care requirements of your chukka boots before you make a decision. If you’re going to be working in an environment where they will get dirty quickly, you need a boot that is easy to clean and you aren’t likely to accidentally damage it by exposing it to too much water. Regardless of where you’re using them, any chukka you invest in needs to be easy to clean and maintain. No one wants a boot they have to constantly treat and retreat to protect the upper from wearing out.
Durability and Value
When you’re spending more than twenty to sixty dollars on a pair of shoes or more, you want those shoes to last. The best chukka boots are durable, so you can get the most use out of them to make them worth your investment. When it comes to chukka boots, there are a few details you should consider while you shop to ensure that you get the best deal for the best quality boots.
Chukka boots can be built using one of four methods and each method has pros and cons. Some will be cheaper and won’t look as nice whereas others will make your boots expensive but they’ll look stunning. Here are the four methods used in chukka boot construction:
This method is the cheapest. It involves glueing the upper to the sole. This method is durable, but it makes resoling your boots impossible.
The stitch down or stitchout construction method involves flanging the upper over the outsole before stitching the shoe together. Resoling is possible with this method.
- Blake Welting
Blake welting is more expensive because it’s a little more involved. The upper is tucked between the insole and the mid- and outsoles. This raises the durability of the shoe without making it impossible to resole. Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to resole boots with this method than some others.
- Goodyear Welting
The Goodyear welting method is the most complex but also the most reliable, as it’s the oldest construction method for chukka boots. This method involves additional layers and stitching for the most durability, extra cushioning, and reliability possible. It’s the most involved method, so it’s the most expensive, but it’s also the most durable. It’s easier to resole a boot sewn with this method than the others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I wear my chukka boots to work?
A: Yes. Chukka boots are stylish and generally come in neutral, professional colors. This is an excellent work boot for some outdoor work and even for some office work, depending on the dress code.
Q: Are my chukka boots good for sports?
A: No. Chukka boots have a small raised heel and have low-traction outsoles. While chukkas provide stability and support via the materials used in the upper, their outsoles are not optimized for sports.
Q: Do I need to protect my chukka boots with waterproofing or other protective substances before use?
A: It depends. If your boots are already waterproofed or have other protective features when you buy them, then naturally you don’t. However, if they aren’t waterproof or water resistant, it could be to your benefit to treat them if you are going to be walking in or around water.
Q: Are chukka boots vegan-friendly?
A: Some chukka boots are made only with synthetic, or man-made, materials. However, most chukkas are made of some form of leather or have some animal products used in their construction.
Q: How do I clean my chukka boots?
A: It depends largely on the materials they are made of and if they are pretreated or have been treated with waterproofing or other protective substances. If they have not been pretreated, then it could be a good idea to waterproof and pretreat your chukka boots before you use them.
- Leather Uppers: Use a leather brush to brush off any loose dirt first. Then, use some leather cleaner or some dish detergent to mix with some water to use to carefully clean the leather surface of the boot with a soft cloth. Be careful not to drench your chukkas in soapy water. Once the boot has been carefully cleaned, use another cloth to rinse the soap off of the boot. After the boot has been cleaned, you can use a special leather conditioner to treat your boots after washing them. Then, let them air dry. Do not put them in the dryer or next to a source of heat. This will damage your leather chukkas.
- Suede Uppers: First, use a brush designed for suede uppers to brush any loose dirt off of the boot. Then, use a suede eraser or suede cleaning block and another brush to scrub any stains or spots. If you don’t have the brushes and suede eraser, you can also rub the uppers of your boots together to scrape off any stuck-on dirt. If the boots are wet due to exposure to water or being caught in the rain, do not put your chukkas in the dryer or next to a heater. This will ruin your chukkas. Instead, take balled up paper towels and stuff your chukkas full of them and let the outer air dry while the inner has its moisture sucked into the paper towels. If needed when they are dry, brush the outer of the boot with a suede brush.
- Synthetic Uppers: Use a soft and dry cloth to brush off any loose dirt. Mix a little leather cleaner with three cups of lukewarm water and use another soft cloth to gently scrub the dirt and grime away. Use a soft cloth that has been dampened with clean water and wipe the soap off of your synthetic chukkas. Let them air dry. Use a special synthetic leather waterproofing product to treat your synthetic boots after they have dried.
Q: How can I increase the longevity of my chukka boots?
A: There are a few things you can do to increase the longevity of your chukka boots. First, don’t wear them in really dirty environments, like walking around in mud, unless you have to. Depending on how wet the mud is, if your boots aren’t waterproof, then the leather and suede could be ruined.
Clean them following the manufacturer’s specifications. If you can’t find the information you need on the manufacturer’s website or in the information provided with your chukkas, then clean them using the steps listed above in the question about cleaning your chukkas.
If you know you will be in a wet environment or that your chukkas will be getting dirty a lot, it could be a good idea to waterproof them if they are not already waterproofed.
Some people recommend using shoe trees to hang your chukkas on. This helps them maintain their shape.
Q: What can I wear with my chukka boots?
A: Chukka boots are so stylish that you could wear them with blue jeans or khakis and any kind of t-shirt or tank top, as long as the colors don’t clash. They wouldn’t work very well with a dress, skirt, or dress clothes, though.
Q: What kind of socks should I wear with my chukka boots?
A: Chukka boots are generally made of materials that don’t breathe well. As such, it would be best to wear a pair of socks with breathability and moisture-wicking materials to counteract some of that. As these boots are generally ankle height and made of firm leather, it would be best to wear socks that at least come up to the ankle to protect your ankles and Achilles tendons from painful rubbing. Other than that, as long as the colors don’t clash, you should be fine wearing any sock with them.
Q: Where can I buy chukka boots?
A: Chukka boots are available at many boot retailers online as well as in large and small shoe stores.
Q: How tight should my chukka boots be?
A: They shouldn’t squeeze your feet. Your toes need space to spread out naturally, but your heel shouldn’t slide out of the back.
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