Chukka Boot Guide

If you’re like me the first time you heard about the Chukka you might have thought it was some kind of East Coast slang. Turns out they  can be the best go-to footwear a man owns. What’s not to love about a shoe that you can easily wear to a business meeting or to a concert? Either way it adds a bit of polish to your look.

The Chukka, also known as the desert boot, is an ankle boot with a rubber sole that is usually made of suede or leather and originated in the 40s. Traditionally the Chukka has three eyelets for the laces. You’ve probably seen dudes rocking dressier wingtip versions with suits or even jeans recently. Suede has been everywhere this year and the Chukka has been its poster child. But with the wetter winter months here, leather may be a better option (suede don’t do wet). Check out the options above from Cole Haan to give you some inspiration.

They’ll run your wallet around $200 – $300. If you’re looking for a pair of your own, Clarks is the foremost expert, but Cole Haan is giving them a run for their money.

The Manual caught up with TJ Papp, Director of Men’s merchandising at Cole Hann for a little Q&A on the ABC’s of the Chukka.

 What’s the history of the Chukka Boot?

The origins of the Chukka dates back to the early stages of polo. The Chukka boot itself came from British forces wearing boots that would keep sand out of their socks. One of the materials was Crepe Rubber. Clarks created the industry.

 What makes a Chukka Boot?

Essentially this means a deconstructed rubber bottom with thick rough suede, simple lines that are incredibly comfortable to wear.

If you could describe the Chukka in one or two words, what would they be?


The beauty of the Chukka is that it should be simple. It should be authentic and understated. It enables the consumer to wear it to any occasion.

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