Recently, I noticed that there’s a room for a pair of chukka boots in my wardrobe. As I hadn’t owned a pair of low boots before, I was eager to give them a try. That also gave me an opportunity to try a new brand of shoes, as my current pairs of higher quality shoes had been purchased from Meermin, a Spanish maker with a nice price-to-quality ratio.
As a classical British brand, Loake, has a great range of shoes and a pedigree as shoemakers ever since year 1880, I gathered that I couldn’t go wrong with the brand.
Loake has a couple of chukka boot models available. After a while I decided upon their perhaps most classical model, known as Kempton. The Kempton is a perfect presentation of the classic, versatile shape of a traditional chukka boot. The suede, as a material, was also intriguing to me, so I wanted to gather some first hand knowledge about its qualities. Choosing a pair in snuff suede was thus a logical choice for me. Regarding to soles, Kemptons are sporting the high quality Dainite rubber soles. The classic 026 last from Loake has an all-round shape that is also beautiful to my eye.
Why chukka boots, then? The four seasons of Finland tend to place some extra requirements to all garments, doubly so regarding shoes. Ankle height is great for wet and snowy seasons, providing extra cover and protection for feet against the elements. Chukka boots also ride on the fence between semi-formal and casual, being equally at home with a pair of jeans or with flannel trousers – even with a flannel suit.
Choosing the right size
I wear shoes in both UK 9½ and UK 10, so decided to ask advice from Anderssen&Kurki to find the right size for me. Their suggestion was the size UK 10. As I often feel that the size 9.5 might be just a pinch too tight for me, I would say that the Loake 026 is a true-to-size last. It always pays to ask when you’re unsure about the correct size, as Anderssen&Kurki were eager and quick to offer their help.
Material and use
As I said, I hadn’t owned a pair of suede shoes before. However, during the short time I’ve owned the pair of chukka boots, I’ve came into conclusion that suede is actually one of the most versatile, durable leathers available for shoes. It matches nicely with both formal and casual styles. Suede is also an extremely easy care material. Just spray on some suede protector spray, let it dry and…that’s it! The boots are lined in nice, soft leather that is very pleasant for feet.
I can warmly recommend chukka boots as they shall surely find lots of use in a Nordic climate. I was surprised by the easiness of the material and the versatility of the style. As chukka boots are a classic wardrobe staple, I concur that everyone should own a pair.