Recently we have focused on the history of the Chelsea Boot, we are now turning our attention to another winter favorite Chukka Boots. The name Chukka is said to originate from the seven-and-a-half-minute Polo playing period called a Chukker or Chukka. The term is from the Hindi word “Chukkar” meaning circle of turn. These represent the variations of uppers; it is uncertain what exactly the original version looked like or exactly how they got their name.
Many believe Chukka Boots were used to play polo however, there is no evidence to support this. The likely story is that the boot was derived from the similarities between the two boots. This theory is supported by the fact that Chukka boots were worn by off duty polo players.
Materials and Style –
Chukkas are classically made from calfskin or suede. The style first became popular in the late 1940s as casual wear. This popularity has carried on in the 21st century particularly in the United Kingdom.
Historically the design of the Chukka Boot hasn’t changed massively. The boot is essentially ankle high, open laced and has two or three eyelets either side, thin leather soles and calfskin suede uppers in two parts and rounded toes.
The Chukka is predicted to have first been worn in India by off-duty soldiers. The theory goes that the Chukka made its way back west across the pond to North America.
We can thank the Duke of Windsor for bringing the Chukka boot to light within the UK. He wore the Chukka boots in the United States in 1924, one of the first high-profile appearances of the shoe this side of the Atlantic.