Men’s chukka boots have become very popular for their versatility, style and comfort. But what do you match them with? Here’s everything you need to know.
As any gentleman knows, combining elegance with casualness is no easy feat and requires a certain level of class, style, and sophistication. So, when it comes to our feet, we believe no shoes master this ideal quite like the chukka boot.
However, knowing how to style men’s blue, brown, cream and red chukka boots isn’t easy.
From curious beginnings to commercial demand, discover what makes this humble shoe so popular and what to wear with them on every occasion.
What are chukka boots?
Chukka boots are ankle boots with two to three eyelets for laces and a tongue. This design distinguishes chukkas from the Chelsea boot, which has no laces and uses elastic instead to hug your foot and ankle.
While Chelsea boots suit some of us, I know plenty of gents who prefer a less polished and tightly fitted form of footwear for comfort and style, which is where the chukka comes into its own.
With a growing reputation for versatility, men’s chukka boots are now classified as your ‘everyday boot’, suiting casual attire and formal occasions.
The history of chukka boots
The exact origins of the ‘chukka’ are unclear and arguably date back to 1924, with reports in America stating the duke of Windsor brandished a pair as a polo enthusiast.
Plus, in polo, an interval of play is known as ‘chukka’ or ‘chukker’. However, it’s also an Indian term for a leisurely walk or turn. So, whether the name originated in India or on the polo pitch, no one knows for sure.
One thing is for sure. The chukka has undeniable connections to the British military in Egypt during WW2, who preferred the lightness and protection a chukka boot offered while serving in the red heat and upon the soft, dry desert terrain.
In the 1960s, the UK mod culture embraced the chukka boot after being initially rejected in the 1950s. A famous example of its worldwide acceptance came with Steve McQueen riding Triumph motorcycles or driving mustangs in the iconic 1968 film 'Bullitt'. McQueen's unforgettable style was encapsulated by the suede brown chukka boots on his feet, exemplifying masculinity, fashion, and elegance.
Since McQueen's dazzling performance, the chukka style has taken significant strides to become a firm favourite among modern gents. There are a couple of options available, with smooth leather or the dominating type of choice, suede leather.
How to wear brown chukka boots
Brown suede chukka boots are appreciated by many in various tones and tans.
Like lots of brown footwear, it’s a versatile colour suiting both casual and formal appearances.
We recommend brown suede chukka boots with medium blue jeans and a Henley white shirt for a 'cool' and casual look. This winning combination embodies masculinity and resembles a relaxed style that stays cool all year round.
At Percy Stride, choose our ‘George Chocolate’ suede brown chukka boots for this outfit, complete with a traditional upper and crepe sole with a natural hardwearing crepe stitch.
Brown chukkas might be a bridge too far for black-tie dinner events, but they can still pull off formal occasions. We recommend brown suede or leather chukka boots with khaki chinos, a light blue oxford shirt, and a dark blazer with a strong belt.
To match your brown chukkas in leather or suede, opt for our brown chestnut 100% leather belt.
How to wear cream chukka boots
Cream or sand-tanned chukka boots impress as suede smart-casual footwear, ideal for summer outdoor events or recreational visits.
Sport your cream suede chukka boots with fitted navy trousers tucked into a smart polo or short-sleeved shirt. If you wish to go even more casual, select a light t-shirt and sports jacket. The versatility of sand chukka boots makes them perfect for smart casual attire.
Completing this casual look, we recommend our ‘George, Sand’ suede chukka boots, with flat sand laces and sand suede upper. Perfect for wearing outside in summer and spring.
How to wear blue chukka boots
Blue chukka boots are surprisingly versatile. However, dark, navy-blue suede chukkas are a confident choice if you want to make more than just a casual impression.
For a casual look with your blue chukkas, try dark trousers or jeans with a navy t-shirt before a light unbuttoned or opened shirt, preferably patterned. Alternatively, apply this style with a white or grey t-shirt and denim open shirt or jacket.
Now, blue suede blue chukkas can handle formal attire better than any other. Perfect with a grey suit, white shirt, and long black coat. Be it casual or formal, choose our ‘George, Blue’ suede chukka boots. You’ll find the gentle suede is fashionable and strong to suit either style in any scenario.
So, for anyone wondering, “can you wear chukka boots with a suit?” the answer is yes. Opt for blue suede chukka boots with a grey patterned suit.
How to wear red chukka boots
Now, gents, a style guide is not complete without throwing a wildcard into the mix. Enter the red suede chukka boot. Not as popular, but certainly prone to make an impact and show confidence.
For that smart-casual look again, we suggest a dark red chukka with black trousers or jeans, below a pale blue shirt. Red and blue can combine into a winning combo, especially when you strike the right balance between the light and dark colours. The lighter the red, the darker the blue and vice versa.
Lastly, we recommend our ‘George, Plum’ red suede chukka boots, debossed with the Percy Stride Emblem Insole and 100% handmade with a gorgeous plum suede upper.
Find your ideal suede men’s chukka boots
Now you know chukka boots can work in any situation, it’s time you select a pair built to last. At Percy Stride, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality footwear for our clientele which is sustainable and stylish.
Our suede chukka boots are handmade in Northampton with traditional ‘1813-last’ methods, ensuring our suede is soft and strong, complete with a selection of four colours suiting your preference.
For that extra bit of protection, we also offer Collonil Carbon Pro Leather & Suede Protect Spray. Working as a high-performance waterproofer which offers long-lasting protection against dirt and moisture.
So, if you’re interested in finding a nice new pair of suede chukkas built to last you a lifetime, have a gander at our superior selection here at Percy Stride.