Desert boots and chukkas are often used interchangeably in fashion lingo but that’s not precisely right. All desert boots are chukkas but not all chukkas are desert boots, just like how all thumbs are fingers but not all fingers are thumbs.
The desert boot came about in 1949 thanks to Clarks founder Nathan Clark, who looked at the boots the British Army was wearing in Egypt on duty. The boots, which they got from the Cairo bazaar, were based on the South African vellies, walking shoes used by soldiers in the bush environment. The soldiers needed something lightweight and desert-friendly, and which would reduce their likelihood of being tracked. Suede uppers and crepe soles were the solution.
The desert boot remains a Clarks icon, but also a menswear essential. Living up to its style of being a durable, rugged and hardy shoe, it’s also great for our urban environs as a stylish, semi-formal option. Mediacorp actor Chase Tan (@chasetan)spent the morning with us at Quayside Isle and W Hotel Singapore to test out how durable and stylish the desert boot is. Check out the video.