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Shoeology: The History of the Chukka

3-minute read

The Chukka boot's history may not go as far back in time as the Oxford's or the Derby's, but it's just as compelling. As is often the case in men's fashion, the origins of the Chukka boot can be traced back to both the military and sport. The term 'chukka' comes from polo (the sport, not the famous brand). In polo, a chukka (or 'chukker') is a seven-minute period of play, and a polo match typically consists of four to eight chukkas/chukkers. In India the term 'chukkar'—which in Hindi means 'circle' or 'turn'—can roughly be translated into a 'casual stroll', which is fitting for a boot that can be considered the halfway point between more formal leather shoes and casual sneakers.

It's believed that the Chukka boot acquired its name because its similar appearance to the boot worn by polo players, the Jodhpur boot, which itself shares a resemblance to the Chelsea boot. But while Chukkas were identified with the sport of polo, the boots made specifically for polo are different enough in their design from chukkas that it's unlikely chukkas were ever worn to actually play polo. They were, however, worn by polo players after matches because of their comfort. Chukka-History-blogpost-image2 The traditional chukka boot has two or three eyelets maximum (our Vancouver Chukka has three, keeping it in line with the traditional style), but over the past few years brands like Nike have been making traditionalists cringe with their Chukkas, which feature six eyelets (although I have to admit that I’m amused by the thought of someone actually petrified by a Chukka having six eyelets instead of three). Unlike the rest of the styles we've covered in our Shoeology series, which originated in the UK, the Chukka was probably first worn in India by off-duty soldiers. Eventually, the theory goes, the Chukka made its way back west and the across the pond to North America. And once again, the Duke of Windsor is also involved. He wore Chukka boots in the United States back in 1924, one of the first high-profile appearances of the shoe this side of the Atlantic. A variation of the Chukka boot, known as the desert boot, was also standard issue in the desert campaign of World War II. Rather a leather sole, these boots featured rubber soles for better traction in the desert terrain. After WWII, Nathan Clark started the shoe company Clarks, and brought the desert boot into the mainstream. In the 1950s, the Chukka made its transition into a casual staple, where it has remained one ever since. Of course, depending on the incarnation, the Chukka boot can sit on closer to either end of the formal vs. casual spectrum. Our Vancouver Chukka inhabits a central position on this spectrum—its sleek shape and thin leather sole help it feel right at home when paired with some trousers and a sportcoat, and its contrast sole and laces gives it a nice casual feel, perfect for pairing with a crisp pair of raw denim jeans.


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The Harley Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How To Measure:
The Harley Heeled Sandal: Take a tape measure and wrap it around your foot, right below your ankle bone as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 26 cm
5.5 26.5 cm
6 27 cm
6.5 27 cm
7 27.5 cm
7.5 27.5 cm
8 28 cm
8.5 28 cm
9 28 cm
9.5 28.5 cm
10 28.5 cm
10.5 29 cm
11 29 cm
11.5 30 cm
12 30 cm

The Esther Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How to Measure:
The Esther Heeled Sandal: take a tape measure and wrap it around your ankle, above the ankle bone, as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 23 cm
5.5 23 cm
6 23 cm
6.5 23 cm
7 24 cm
7.5 24 cm
8 24.5 cm
8.5 24.5 cm
9 24.5 cm
9.5 25 cm
10 25 cm
10.5 25.5 cm
11 26 cm
11.5 26 cm
12 26 cm

Belt Sizes

Natural Waist Measurement Typical Jean Size Belt Size for High‑rise Pant Belt Size for Mid‑rise Pant Infinite Belt Size
23-25" 23/24 26" 28" 1
25-26" 25 28" 30" 1
26-27" 26 30" 32" 1
27-28" 27 30" 32" 1
28-29" 28 32" 34" 2
29-30" 29 32" 34" 2
30-31" 30 34" 36" 2
31-32" 31 34" 36" 2
32-33" 32 36" 38" 3
33-34" 33 36" 38" 3
34-35" 34 38” 40" 3
36-37" 36 38" 40" 3
38-39" 38 40" 42" 4
40-41" 40 40" 42" 4
42-43" 42 44" 46" 4
43-44" 43 44" 46" 5
44-45" 44 46" - 5

Sizing Note: For the most accurate fit, measure around your body where you plan to wear the belt. Choose the closest belt size to that measurement.

Belt Diagram Accent Belt and Complement BeltThe Accent Belt, The Polished Belt and The Complement Belt size measurements start from the beginning of the leather to the middle hole.

Belt Diagram Infinite BeltThe Infinite Belt size measurements cover the entire length of the leather.

Belt Measuring Guide

Belt Measuring Guide

A - High-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt around your natural waistline, wrap a measuring tape around the narrowest part of your midsection. Then, add 3” to determine your high-rise belt size.

B - Mid-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt lower than your natural waistline, you will require a dierent size. If you have a particular pair of bottoms you intend to wear your belt with, wrap a measuring tape through the belt loops while in a relaxed position.

When wearing your belt in your preferred style, it should fasten in the middle hole. The belt will relax with wear allowing you to cinch it tighter, as needed.

If you plan to wear the belt in both the high and mid-rise styles, you have two options:

  1. Select your high-rise style and fasten it more loosely when worn in the mid-rise style.
  2. Select your mid-rise style and fasten it more tightly when worn in the high-rise style.