Here is the answer to your smart-casual shoe dilemma: desert boots. Just style them right, and you have the perfect, all-purpose footwear. Find here a review of some of the best desert boots for men as of 2021.
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Designed in 1949 by Nathan Clark, desert boots have won the hearts of men the world over and are now (or should be) a staple in every man’s wardrobe. These are timeless and versatile boots made for warm weather but still ideal for in-between weather as well.
They perfectly fuse functionality and fashion, making them the best pick for any casual occasion. With their unrelenting comfort and smart and timeless design, they are reliable and practical, allowing you to pull a stylish look effortlessly.
Clarks Desert Boots may have been the first to properly reach mass manufacture, but other shoe manufacturers give them a serious run for their money. If you are hunting for hard-wearing but stylish footwear, stick around; you are where you need to be.
The 12 Best Desert Boots of 2021
There is a fantastic selection of desert boots out there to discover. We did the hard work for you and now present this in-depth review of the best desert boots for men on the market right now. (We even threw in some chukkas, for good measure.)
No conversation about desert boots is complete without a mention of the Clarks brand. And this particular design carries over 80 years of history.
Clarks Originals Desert Boots are a timeless classic and come with the legendary stitchdown construction, a crepe sole, and suede upper. Couple this with the two-eyelet lace-up closure, and you have a perfect casual fit.
Although Clarks is not the cheapest desert boot you will find, it’s reasonably priced considering its massive popularity. It also helps that there is a metric ton of colors and finishes to perfectly suit your style. Need a suggestion? Clarks Desert Boots Beeswax goes with pretty much everything–but don’t be afraid to branch out.
So in summary: Clarks men’s desert boots promise durability, comfort, and timelessness. They’re a must-have in every respectable wardrobe.
The Red Wing Weekender work chukka boot is the perfect blend of style and comfort. But be ready to dig a little deeper in your pocket for the top-quality stichdown construction and the slim profile of this boot.
Whether you wear the Red Wing chukka with socks or not, it remains supremely comfortable; you will not want to take it off. The boots fit snuggly into the foot, leaving enough space for the toes to wiggle freely. You will love the comfort the flat crepe sole brings to your daily grind, as well. That said, it will be wise to try the boot in store to ensure it’s the right fit for you.
If “Made in USA” matters to you, then Red Wing chukka boots are ideal. Moreover, top-tier construction inherent to the Red Wing Heritage series ensures your dollar stretches as far as the many miles you walk.
Comfort is synonymous with desert boots. And that’s precisely what you get with this Bruno Marc Urban Suede chukka boot. Regardless of how long you wear the boot, the foam footbed gives you comfort as you walk.
These leather chukka boots come with a premium suede construction and a durable non-skid sole. You will find a suede upper and three-lace-up eyelet closure. To complete the look is the contrast stitch detailing on the vamp. These are versatile boots that will go with almost any outfit, so rock them for any occasion.
With 15 colors to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice. They tend to be slightly larger, so don’t forget to choose 1 or half a size smaller.
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Looking for an eco-friendly desert boot? The Astorflex Greenflex has you covered. This is an incredibly handsome Italian-born boot with inner soles punched with the tagline “La scarpa buona,” meaning “the good shoe.” And upon closer inspection, you really can’t argue with that.
Astorflex uses natural rubber to make the soles for added comfort and to minimize environmental impact. They use water, mimosa, and oak bark for tanning the uppers. No dyes are used in any of the processes, making Greenflex the ultimate environmentally friendly footwear.
Whether you rock them with chinos on a date night or some denim pants, you can’t go wrong with these casual classic Italian-made desert boots.
These beeswax chukkas will go with almost every outfit in your wardrobe. Whether you pair the Clarks Bushacre 2 with a suit, your favorite jeans, and t-shirt, or a plain shirt, you will make a statement everywhere you go.
Unlike the OG Clarks Desert Boots, the Bushacre 2 ditches the crepe sole for hard vulcanized rubber. While it isn’t as comfortable, it lasts a lot longer between resoles, and provides a slimmer, more svelte outsole profile. As such, it is just a pinch more formal, while still lending itself to everyday wear.
Clarks make the Bushacre a little large, so it’s best to choose one that is 1 or 0.5 inches less than your regular shoe size. With 35 color varieties, you won’t have any trouble picking the best boot to match your outfit.
If you want class, the Bruno Marc classic suede desert boots are for you. With this buy, you will be getting three eyelets lace-up closure, textile lining, and an immaculate stitch detailing on the vamp.
Bruno Marc also throws in a non-skid rubber sole and a cushioned footbed for extra comfort while you walk. Whether you hike during summer or winter, this desert boot is strong enough to handle it all.
These affordable desert boots come in many color and finish options unavailable from many other brands. They’re inexpensive enough to buy more than one pair, so go wild cultivating a style that pops!
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The Thursday Boot Company Scout is easily the king of value among mens chukka shoes. This is a tough boot that will handle any weather nature throws at it. With the Vibram wedge sole, this pair of boots will take you the extra mile with confidence, even in challenging terrain.
This Thursday Boots chukka can be resoled, adding to its longevity, character, and bang for buck. This feature, coupled with the rugged leather that needs no maintenance, and the Goodyear welt construction for waterproof capabilities, makes the Scout the ideal pick for a man who wants a shoe to take on hard weather.
It comes in more than ten high-quality leather options for variety, so you are guaranteed to find one that tickles your fancy. When Thursday Boot Company says the Scout is rugged and resilient, they mean it.
Kenneth Cole chukka boots offer a perfect blend of style and functionality. But wait till you wear it; that’s when you’ll know what comfort is.
This desert boot features a premium suede upper, giving it a refined (but not overly formal) look. Features such as a footbed, cushioned textile lining, and an insole deliver unmatched comfort with every step you take. And thanks to the durable flex rubber sole, the Desert Sun Chukka Boot is an outstanding daily driver.
The blind eyelets and the lace-up closure allow a secure fit while the stitch-out construction maximizes feet support. To complete the charm is a contrast stripe at the midsole. Kenneth Cole desert boots definitely deserve consideration for a spot in your closet.
Timberland knows a thing or two about hard-wearing leather boots; and their EK Brook chukka boot is no exception. The fact that you can dress it up or down for any occasion makes it a wardrobe essential.
The top-of-the-line materials and anti-fatigue comfort technology combine to deliver maximum comfort to the wearer. This means that you can have this boot on all day with no regrets. Timberland is big on environmental conservation; apart from using full-grain leather for the upper, they make the outsole with recycled rubber and the lining partly with recycled plastic bottles.
All these join forces to give you unparalleled support, comfort, and style. Add the extra comfort from the leather-lined footbed, and you are home and dry.
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John Lofgren fuses Japanese craftsmanship and the classic American style to deliver some of the best boots outside of bespoke shoemakers. Here, you’ll find zero quality issues, such as fraying stitches or loose grain.
These boots feature a robust construction. For starters, they come fitted with a thick veg-tan insole, German steel shanks, crepe rubber soles, and heels and suede uppers. Double-stitched sewing puts everything together for durability. Not forgetting the embossed padded leather footbed for added comfort.
It’s pretty easy to see why they call John Lofgren a perfectionist. He left no stone unturned to craft the ideal desert boot for men who loves the finer things in life.
Red Tape is renowned for quality and reliable desert boots such as their Gobi suede desert boots. This pair boasts a genuine suede construction that gives it a handsome look. Thanks to the heel cup, the boot fits comfortably. It also features two eyelet lace-up closure for relaxed, comfortable all-day wearability.
And don’t worry when conditions turn slippery as the boot comes with a rubber sole with great tread and grip.
While stone is the most common color, Red Tape offers the boot in a broad color change to make every man happy. If you have been looking for a superb budget option, you will be at home with this one.
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Two factors make the Rancourt Acadia stand out: It’s USA-made and handsewn. The Acadia is a perfect fusion of winter boots and summer moccasins, making it the best transitional shoe in summer and fall.
Rancourt keeps this footwear unlined to allow it to comfortably mold to your feet while retaining breathing space in warm weather. Thanks to the water-resistant uppers, your feet will remain dry even in rainy weather. What’s more, the desert boot features three antique brass eyelets, a new “caliber” sole, chestnut leather laces, and so much more.
The handsewn moc stitch completes its unique style.
Desert Boots: Men’s Style Guide
The versatility of desert boots makes them go well with most outfits. Whether you dress up or down, desert boots pack a serious punch in class and comfort, making them go well with almost any outfit in the wardrobe.
Here are some chukka boots style tips to consider.
You can slip into desert boots with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt to add a stylish pop to an otherwise fully casual outfit. They are the ideal pick if you want a relaxed yet smart look. Rock them on a weekend hang with the boys, or dress to impress on a lunch date. Beige and brown chukka boots coupled with black or blue jeans help you step out with confidence and class.
A desert boot will give you a twisted formal look, perfect for office wear. Thanks to their unmatched versatility, they are good with a pair of jeans or a striped suit. While the classic brown boots will complete any look, it’s hard to write off black desert boots due to their slick nature. Break them out with black trousers or chinos, and you are good to go.
A smart casual look straddles the line between formal and relaxed, making it one of the hardest looks to pull off convincingly. A pair of desert boots, however, will allow you to strike the right balance effortlessly. Try casual desert boots of any color with a checked shirt and some chinos, and you will make a fashion statement wherever you go.
Desert Boot FAQs
Are Desert Boots Comfortable?
When you choose desert boots that tick all the right boxes, you will never have to sacrifice style on the altar of comfort. They usually feature soft material for comfort and amazing support to your feet. Generally, desert boots are crafted with the end user’s comfort in mind. But ensure you get the right size.
Are Desert and Chukka Boots the Same?
All desert boots are chukka boots, but not all chukka boots are desert boots. Desert boots tend to be more casual with a lighter fabric than chukka boots. They are also characterized by a crepe sole and a suede upper.
Should You Wear Socks with Desert Boots?
Socks are a good idea to keep off bad odor after multiple uses of the boot. However, you don’t always want socks peeking out the top in every outfit.
Thus, generally a pair of no-show socks will do best, though the desert boot’s vamps are high enough to hide standard socks as well.
Desert boots are no doubt a classic, walking the line between casual and smart wear with aplomb. Whether you’re dressing up a relaxed outfit or adding some swagger to business casual, there’s not much that’s as universal and flexible as the desert boot.
What’s more, unlike many leather boots, chukkas and desert boots tend to be more affordable. Thus, you won’t feel bad about taking advantage of the different styles, finishes, and colors to purchase multiple pairs to spice up your wardrobe selection.
Of course, the real reason to wear desert boots is comfort, thanks to relaxed uppers and crepe soles. They’re virtually engineered to become your favorite shoe!
What do you think of our selection? Are there any desert boots you feel we left out? We would love to hear from you, give us a shout in the comments below.