How to wear chukka boots

Chukka boot SW

How would you wear yours?

The name is distinctive, the boots are unique and if you wear them right, you’re sure to be a stylish chap.

Chukka boots have a look and identity of their own. But to make the most of this boot style, it’s important to know how to wear them to their best advantage.

What are chukka boots

polo players on horseback

When is a chukker a chukka?

There are several theories about where the name Chukka came from, and like Chelsea boots, most of these ideas come from the world of equestrian sport. “<ahref=”” title=”Chukkers” target=”_blank”>Chukkers” are periods of play in polo, and it is believed that players would wear thin soled, lightweight boots in their downtime, hence why the name was attributed to the sport.

Chukka boots have a rounded toe box and a unique open lacing, with no more than two or three eyelets on each side. The thin sole makes them incredibly light and more suitable for downtime between polo games, than for manual labour.

Traditionally, chukka boots would have been made from calfskin suede leather. As time has gone on and the availability of other materials has increased, you can now buy Chukka boots in varying materials such as canvas and even alligator, meaning more flexibility for different occasions.

How to wear them

Chukka boot

Note the length of the trousers
Source: Pinterest

Unless you want a very bold look, chukka boots aren’t suitable with suits or formal wear. You could wear them in a laidback office, but in general stick to casual occasions. As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t wear them to anything more formal than a smart casual do.

Chinos are the best trousers for chukka boots, as they are casual and can be worn with no break. By wearing them at this length, with the hem of the trouser brushing the ankle, you can also show off your socks when sitting. So pick your socks with care!

Chukkas are bolder than other boots, and don’t have the same simples lines, so choose a contrasting colour to your trousers to help show them off. Remember your shade pairings though, you don’t want to make a good pair of boots stand out for the wrong reason!

For the top half of your outfit, there isn’t much you can do wrong. A clean cut polo shirt is a good option, as is a linen shirt in the summer.



The man who brought us the desert boot
Source: Harpe Brothers

Like Gibsons and Derbies, the differences between a desert boot and a chukka boot have become rather skewed.

The main one is that the former has a crepe sole, whereas chukkas have leather ones. So if you want a boot with more grip, go for its closely related desert boot instead.

Chelsea boots are another popular ankle height footwear option, and are a better option for a more formal occasion. Just like chukka boots, it’s a good idea to wear trousers that show your ankle, as the elasticated gusset is a key detail of Chelsea boots.

The world of men’s shoes is a crowded place, with all manner of footwear, but a chukka boot will leave you looking cooler than the breath of a man who has just eaten a polo. And you can wear them after playing the sport too.

How to wear burgundy shoes

With London Collections: Men currently taking place, new trends and styles are all many can think about. But that doesn’t mean you should forget the classics. Case in point: burgundy.

Vibrant and versatile, burgundy is actually pretty easy to slip into an outfit. And a pair of stylish looking shoes isn’t a bad place to start.

Interested? Let’s find out how to wear men’s burgundy shoes.

Casual wear

Burgundy Shoes Le Noeud Papillon Blog Trends 2013

One way to wear burgundy
Source: La Noued Papillion

For more flexibility than a black shoe, look no further than burgundy. Thanks to the lighter tone, it is much more versatile. As long as you opt for complementary colours and avoid black trousers at all costs, there is a lot of room for imagination.

In winter, a pair of hard wearing cords is an ideal partner for burgundy shoes. You could even opt for a burgundy pair, but be sure to add some colourful socks to break your look up. If cords aren’t your thing, jeans or moleskin trousers would work just as well.

In the summer months you can’t go wrong with a pair of chino shorts. We think cream would be a particularly stylish choice when teamed with a pair of burgundy loafers, derbies or deck shoes. If the weather is inclement (this is the UK after all!) then opt for a pair of full length chino trousers instead.

Formal wear


Monks can be made formal

Burgundy is undoubtedly more casual than black, so if it is a very formal event, it’s best to stick with black.

However for semi-formal events, burgundy monk shoes, Oxford shoes and even Chelsea boots work well. Navy, grey, brown, blue and charcoal suits for men all compliment burgundy shoes, giving you the right amount of vibrancy, without annoying fashionistas or the dress code!

Stylish as they are, burgundy shoes aren’t as common as black, brown and tan, so be prepared to make a bold statement when you wear them.


Desert boot blue

Blue is a great foil to burgundy

If burgundy is a touch too zany for your liking, go for lighter shades of brown, such as tan. This still offers you plenty of flexibility, but is not quite as daring.

But if you really want to be cold, then why not try blue or navy shoes? While navy will calm things down, a pair of electric or French blue shoes will really stand out. Blue penny loafer, or blue suede Chukka boots are a popular choice and can look very snazzy. Just remember they’re not appropriate for formal events.

If you really love the colour burgundy, but don’t have burgundy shoes then you could go for a burgundy suit, choose burgundy accessories, or just show a flash of colour with burgundy socks.

Whatever you do, do it burgundy.

How to wear deck shoes in the winter?

Sipping cold drinks by the sea, the burning coals of a BBQ and the smell of sun cream are all part of summer. But it isn’t summer. It’s winter, and that means some items of footwear are off the agenda.

Sandals, outdoor slippers and sticky flip flops can all be put away. But is there a place for the casual deck shoe? We believe so.

Deck shoe beige

The sort of shoe you pack away in the rain

Why you should wear them?


The perfect chance to show your style
Source: TTC

Style doesn’t have a holiday during the winter months, and neither should you. It’s important to dress well, and deck shoes allow you to do this.

Whilst there’s no doubt boating shoes are a casual choice, there are plenty of laid back events over the Christmas period, so you’ll have ample opportunity to rock them out.

If you’re worried about the festive period being too cold for deck shoes, fear not, as winter workarounds are possible.

How to wear them

Deck shoes winter

The perfect winter deck shoe

Start off by finding a pair with a thick rubber treaded sole. These are designed specifically for winter, meaning you are less likely to slip and will be able to deal with the colder conditions easier.

With the cold comes a need for socks, which is a deck shoe no-no most of the year. So either wear trousers with a full break, thus covering any socks. Or find “invisible socks” which only cover the bottom of your feet.

Socks or no socks, you most certainly won’t be wearing shorts, so it’s important to find the right mens trousers. Pick jeans for a really casual look, and chinos if you want to smarten things up.

What to avoid

Deck shoe pile

Which one would you avoid?
Source: Seanskisez

Low cut deck shoes are clearly a bad idea during the winter months. For one the snow, rain and mud have less leather to fight against. But for the fashion conscious, low cut deck shoes will also reveal unsightly socks – a big faux pas.

Also, avoid brightly coloured deck shoes. Whilst it’s good to brighten up the colder months, vibrant colours are best for summer.



A left field choice for city folk
Source: Geocoaching

Loafers are the obvious alternative to deck shoes, but again you’ll need socks – so pick a stylish pair.

If you’re a fan of the chunky sole of deck shoes, but want something more substantial then go the whole winter hog and pick a nice big worker boot.

To pull off deck shoes in winter, you need to give them some thought. But with the right colour, trouser length and ability to hide one’s socks, you’ll be keeping the spirit of summer alive.