History of the Chukka Boot

The Vienna Chukka Boot and Lieben Chelsea Boot being shown off.

Last year, Stegmann released its second boot design, the  Vienna Chukka Boot. It’s our first lace-up shoe design. After customers loved our first boot, the  Lieben Chelsea Boot, we knew we had to find a way to create more comfortable boot options for you. Before we dive into what went into our own Chukka boot design, let’s learn more about the origins of the well-loved Chukka boot style.

Where Does the Chukka Boot Come From?

The word Chukka itself lends us a clue. “Chukka” is a polo sport term. It describes the seven-minute periods of play that comprise a full match. There are usually four to eight Chukkas during one match. The Chukka boot resembles the boot worn by polo players, the Jodhpur boot. The Chukka boot design may have been inspired by this short riding boot, but the Chukka is more casual, flexible, and features laces. 

A closer look at the word “Chukka” helps us understand even more. The birthplace of polo is India, and “chukkar” in Hindi means “circle” or “turn” which can roughly be translated into a “casual stroll.” The Chukka boot, therefore, became a popular comfortable option for off-duty players–one of the world’s first “athleisure” moments. 

Several British and Indian polo players from back when the Chukka Boot first became popular.

How Did the Chukka Boot Become Popular?

Chukka was likely first worn in India by off-duty soldiers. Eventually, British Army soldiers wore a similar boot during the Western Desert Campaign of WWII.  The Chukka made its way back west because of Nathan Clark, who served in the war and brought the shoe back to his family to recreate. His family happened to found the Clark’s footwear brand.  After being spotted on celebrities like Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen during the 1950s and 60s, the Chukka made its transition into a casual American footwear staple.

The Signature Details of a Chukka Boot

A Chukka boot being shown off on a bicycle pedal.

While the style has evolved and taken on many forms over the years, today most sources will describe the Chukka Boot as a leather ankle-high shoe that features laces than can be pulled through two to three pairs of eyelet holes. The Chukka style lands somewhere in between formal leather shoes and casual sneakers. The sleek boot design can be easily dressed up or down for work and play. 


The Stegmann Chukka Boot

We started with signature Stegmann comfort staples when designing our

Chukka boot. Inside, real wool felt lining adds warmth and versatility–wear these with or without socks! Our sustainably sourced cork and latex midsole provides support to your legs and back while it also molds to your feet over time. The removable cushioning EVA insole provides an extra level of customized comfort. A spacious toe box allows your feet to move with ease. 

On the outside, our thoughtfully designed Chukka boot for women features a smooth, vegetable tanned leather upper. The padded heel collar makes them easy to slip on and prevents rubbing and chaffing while you walk. The convenient and adjustable lace-up design allows you to customize the fit. Finally, a textured traction rubber outsole makes these durable and safe shoes for all seasons. 

What our Customers Say about the Stegmann Chukka Boot for Women

Comfy brown Stegmann chukka boots being shown off.

“My husband and I both wear your clogs and LOVE them. When I saw the opportunity to purchase the boot I jumped on it. … They surpassed my expectations! So far, I have worn them continually, snow or no snow…. The comfort is beyond comfortable. It feels like you are wearing your house shoes! The width is perfect and they are so warm because of the felt.” - Dawn Hansen-Kasischke, Harbor Springs, MI.

“I love these ankle boots. Ordered a 1/2 size up from my regular shoe size and they fit perfectly. So comfortable warm and more flexible than anticipated.”  - Gaylene H., Harwich, MA

“I was hesitant at first to buy this pair of boots especially without trying them on. First, shipping was so fast, it came the next day. These are the most comfortable boots I ever had. I wore them on a trip with a lot of walking and never had to switch to a sneaker shoe. Very stylish and excellent quality shoes!” - Remolina S., Chesapeake, VA

“The minute I put them on they felt like my favorite well-worn shoes. Love everything about them. They look good and feel great!” - Okiejoy, Golden, CO

Take Care Of Your Chukka Boots

To wear your Chukka Boots confidently in the rain and ensure maximum life for your boots, we recommend our use our care accessories.

See our Shoe Care Guide here.

See all of our shoe care accessories.

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