Curiously enough, this review hits just before Christmas and yet across large swaths of the country, it’s been unseasonably warm — these are still fair game as a last-minute gift, though. Now when it takes as long for winter to start as it has this year, it can be somewhat easy to get into a style rut. The weather’s not heavy enough for thick winter boots, yet you might be a bit sick of wearing sneakers. So what’s a good intermediary between these two extremes? As you may have read before on this site, it’s the chukka boot. It’s swifter and sleeker than a winter boot but it’s a little less cleaned-up than a Chelsea boot, so it can wear both more casual or a tad dressier for the late fall and into early winter and beyond. Crafted in rich suede like the option you see here from Thursday Boots, it’s the perfect go-to for when it’s time to change your footwear without going into full-on thick boot territory. There sometimes can be a tendency to skimp a bit on quality when it comes to a shoe like this (after all, brands like H&M sell chukkas for lots less), particularly if a suede chukka isn’t your go-to everyday footwear option. It’s wise to shell out more though — with Thursday, you’re getting both a fair price and a really solid chukka boot.
You might recognize the Chocolate Suede Scout Boot from a recent Style Pick of the Week, and it’s been in solid rotation over these past few weeks (which, coincidentally, have remained quite warm in NYC), thanks to its quality and looks. Thursday Boots, if you’re unacquainted, has made a name for itself in the men’s footwear market through a fall 2014 Kickstarter launch that positively blew up, as the investors might say — and their recent product additions have proven nothing short of eyecatching. That goes for the brand’s chukka boots, as well as its superb-looking Chelsea boots and some tough hiking boots. Those are on top of its more premium and higher-priced Black Label Collection featuring rare leathers, and its Captain Boot silhouette (of which the Roughout Captain Boot as seen on this blog was a part).
So for all the range the brand has, it’s a good thing the quality doesn’t suffer, at least to this style writer’s eye. The Chocolate Suede Scout in particular features a Goodyear welt that doesn’t have any noticeable imperfections or issues in terms of the stitching. And while that’s a selling point, perhaps the first thing you notice is the quality of the suede — it’s smooth and soft, unlike a more casual Clarks boot, which sometimes has a rougher feel and a more noticeable nap. That smoothness makes these Thursday chukkas quite easy to dress up — even with suit trousers and a turtleneck. The premium round wax laces are also trimmer and sleeker than laces on some other suede chukkas, helping with that elevated feel (it helps that the laces are the same color as the suede itself).
Another noticeable and rather defining feature of these chukkas is the height of the boot itself. Whereas some chukka boots like Clarks hit a little lower on your heel, these extend ever so slightly higher on the ankle — just slightly below the height of an ASOS suede Chelsea boot, for reference. That difference might seem subtle, but when combined with the brown suede and full glove Italian leather lining, it lends a continental feel to these boots (exhibit A: James Bond rocking brown suede chukka boots). So given that bit of contrast, it felt right to pair them with a dressier ensemble for Thanksgiving, and yet they also paired perfectly well with a more casual henley-and-denim ensemble for exploring Washington, D.C.. I’ve gone so far as to pair them with an elbow-patch cardigan and navy chinos, as you can see here.
On top of versatility, the comfort of these boots is absolutely a big selling point, too. Some have had issues with the quality of Thursday Boots or the comfort, but I’ve experienced no such problems. The studded rubber outsole has provided good, noticeably solid traction for getting around NYC on the weekdays and weekends, and the heel hasn’t worn down despite the miles I’ve put on them. It’s a comfortable walking experience from toe to heel, and one would think the full glove leather lining plays a large part in that. Everyone’s footwear experience is different, to be sure, but I also found that a size 10 runs true to size on my feet. That works out well given that the toe shape of these shoes leans much slimmer than your average chukka boot. Again though, that’s another feature that makes them dressy and wearable in a variety of situations.
Crucially too, the quality of the suede has held up quite well. I certainly don’t baby my shoes, although I do use a suede brush and waterproof spray (I’d recommend you do the same, and Thursday Boots has you covered with a boot brush on its site). They do have a few scuff marks, but nothing outrageous given how I’ve been wearing them — and there were no issues as far as suede quality right out of the box, either. It really was one shoe that I couldn’t wait to start wearing, and I’ve been happy to get the chance to continue wearing them this winter. It’s worth you looking into them — brown suede chukka boots can be worn right now with dark raw denim or burgundy cords, and you can wear them into the spring and summer with white denim and light blue chinos. A pair like this can dressy, too — charcoal flannel trousers and a nice elbow-patch crewneck would blend in seamlessly with this continental style, and you could mix in some high-low style with navy cargo trousers and a grey crewneck sweater. And with the quality they pack, you could find yourself reaching for them again and again.