For the transitional season, make Crockett & Jones’s chukka boot your go-to footwear
Fuss-free in looks and easy to dress up or down, here’s why this silhouette should be your next style investment
Although the bitter, damper parts of the year may well be on their way, we still have the transitional season to breeze through first, a period in which mid-weight layers, including cashmere jumpers and cotton chinos, become staples for a month or two. Of course, as the weather turns slowly towards lower temperates, and especially as the British climes can shift between humidity and grey clouds with the fluidity of an Aston Martin changing gears, reliable footwear, now more than ever in the calendar, is an important factor to consider in your daily routine.
In this department, few items are as ideal for the in-between seasons as the chukka boot, a lightweight, grippy piece of footwear whose simple look, yet reliable construction, makes it one of the most iconic style designs – worn by some of the most feted menswear icons – ever made.
Of course, a key reason for why chukka boots have outlived fads and fast fashion is the basic fact that they look good – they evoke the silhouette of Chelsea boots, yet, thanks to their use of laces and two or three eyelets, as well as their often unlined build, they’re imbued with a casual slant. Meanwhile, their three-piece outer-material make-up – inside quarter, outside quarter, and vamp that is cut low on the leg but above the ankle – provides a robust feel, a notion that’s bolstered by its military background in which chukka boot creator Nathan Clark, after having seen British soldiers in Egypt, in WWII, sporting soft suede boots with crepe rubber soles, produced the first pair in 1950.
With both off-duty features and a history rooted in practicality, this specific design sits somewhere between casual and smart, ideal for either a deconstructed suit or a weekend ensemble comprising a merino jumper and selvedge denim. As a result of this hybrid appeal, these boots have long been loved by the style set – from Steve McQueen to Daniel Craig’s Bond – who have kept such items forever relevant by wearing them with other evergreen wardrobe heroes, such as nylon bomber jackets, plain T-Shirts and neutral slim chinos.
If seeking out a starting point when looking to invest in a pair, consider the Chiltern by Crockett & Jones, makers of fine, high-craft footwear since 1879. One of the label’s oldest, most iconic styles, and the least formal boot in the entire collection, the Chiltern is defined by its plain front three eyelets; suede silhouette, which is water- and stain-repellent under normal conditions, allowing the shoe to retain its colour and nap; and Dainite rubber sole, made with a studded pattern to improve grip and durability – ideal for seasonal walks in the countryside, or in your local green space – and to also bolster that casual feel.
Moreover, the last on which it has been made, 224, one of the brand’s oldest still used to this date, provides a generous, medium-round toe shape, which simply underlines the relaxed ethos, one that is perfect to wear with autumn staples of button-down shirts and twill trousers.
Indeed, we are also aware that many menswear aficionados like to pair their footwear to different circumstances and occasions, so we should also usher you towards Crockett & Jones’s other options of chukka boots, of which there are now 18 variations in total.
Of particular note is the Chepstow 2, made from teak oiled side leather and distinguished by its chunky, cleated rubber sole that offers grip for when trekking up hillsides, crags and other wild terrain. The Molton, which has become famed for its appearance in the Norway scenes in No Time To Die, is coveted for its rough-out suede, which, as the name suggests, becomes more rugged in appearance over years of wear. Then, there’s the Tetbury, originally made in 2004 and whose wax calf leather and square toe lends it a more dressed-up feel, angled more for suits and tailored pieces.
Fuss-free in looks, timeless in appeal, and simple to style up or down due its ability to stay between two codes of dress, it’s easy to understand why the chukka boot has been the ideal transition-period footwear for decades.
Want more from Crockett & Jones? Read about milled calf, the label’s most supple leather yet…
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