Desert boots have long since been a classic staple footwear for many men. They have stemmed from practicality in the African desert to the feet of people from all walks of life all over the world. Check out this guide on how to style them properly.Read more Men’s Style Guide features and check out our Store.
Best Desert Boots
I think it's high time that we start to talk about the boots themselves. If you're going to go for a pair of desert boots then, in our opinion, you have to go for a classic Clarks pair. These days the desert comes in an array of colours and patterns for you to choose from, which is all well and good, but, you're very limited on what you can wear these with. So, it's best just to stick to the classics when buying a pair, just say you can get the wear out of your investment.
From our own experience, it's best to go for solid block colours so that they add a little more depth to your look. And, of course, these shoes can be quite seasonal depending on which colour you choose, for instance, the beige colour would work better in the summer, the brown in the autumn and the black in the winter.
Chukka Boots vs Desert Boots
Now, before we move on to all the wonderful styling tips, let's clear one thing up. Chukka boots and desert boots are not the same. The simplest way to remember is all desert boots are chukka's but not all chukka boots are deserts. The chukka boot originates from the sport Polo (chukka being a period in the game). Their characteristics are similar to that of the desert boots - two or three eye holes and an ankle length. They are also made from multiple materials, but it is their form that makes them a chukka boot.
The desert boot is a subdivision of the chukka boot. They were worn by British soldiers in the desert (hence the name), and have a rubber crepe sole. Since their inception, the chukka boot has broadened its material from the traditional light suede desert boot and can now be purchased in a vast amount of styles.
Desert Boots With A Suit
When you think of a pair of desert boots you wouldn't necessarily think of dressing them up. This is what we need to tackle as they can be a great smart shoe for a more formal occasion. Of course, this depends on what you wear them with as you wouldn't team them with jeans for a formal look. But, worn with a pair of trousers and a formal shirt you can have a smart look that's formal appropriate and stylish.
Wear a pair of black desert boots with a white dress shirt and team it with a pair of formal black trousers. Because you're going for a more formal look, I'd suggest against rolling up the bottoms of your trousers. We know we're the leaders of the pack when it comes to rolling up the bottoms of your trousers or jeans, but this time, we'd say not to. This keeps the look formal rather than giving it a casual vibe with rolled trousers.
Throw an overcoat over the top for the ultimate in formal cool and you'll be good to go. Because of the season, the black overcoat will keep you warm without compromising on style. Of course, you don't have to go for a black number, you can choose to wear a grey or even camel coloured one.
Dressing down a pair of desert boots is a look that most people would go for. When it comes to dressing a pair of desert boots casually, many take influence from the mod styling, and we wouldn't blame you at all. The great thing about desert boots is that they can go with a variety of looks so you're not limited to just a few pieces in your wardrobe.
For the ultimate casual then why not try wearing a red flannel shirt with a pair of raw denim jeans. The red flannel shirt really works against the blue hue of the jeans, which, in turn, works against the beige colour of the shoes making for an all round perfect casual look this season.
Desert Boot Outfits
So, we have gone through all things desert boots and now we get down to the nitty gritty: the styling. The easiest way to categorise the different desert boots is from colour and material. We will go through the most popular styles on the market and give you the low-down on how to wear them.
Brown Desert Boots
An easy option is the brown desert boot- they're easy to fit in your wardrobe, they go well with your favourite blue and black jeans but also still has the element of looking smart. For a smart look then team your brown desert boots with black jeans and a white shirt; a great smart-casual look perfect for the office or a day out.
Leather Desert Boots
Real leather desert boots are hard to come by, as most of the designs are suede or brushed leather. Other than the material, the boots themselves don't often look much different from your average desert boots. This means the styling rules are pretty much the same.
The quality of these leather Clarks Desert Boots, £119 is very high, meaning they will last a long time and stand the test of plenty of wear and tear. Try not to be put off by the price as this is usually an indication of the quality and therefore the life of the shoe.
Navy Desert Boots
Coloured desert boots have seen a massive rise this season, and navy is a colour we love here at The Idle Man. When wearing blue desert boots don't be afraid to wear them with blue jeans. We would normal steer you away from this sort of colour matching but there is something about certain shades of blue that just works.
Grey Desert Boots
Another great colour way is the grey- we have seen these making the rounds on the blogs recently so they are hard to ignore. Wear these with some crisp black slim jeans and a beige cashmere jumper for an ultra cool, casual look. Opt for slim fit jeans as these with desert boots is a great combination. Or, for a more summery look, opt for a pair of chinos and boots, giving you an airier and easy look.
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