Desert boots are one of the most versatile styles of boot available and the smart casual shoe has become a wardrobe staple for many years. Due to it's design and the amount of styles available, the desert boot has a big presence in men's fashion, but how do you style them?Read more Men's Style Guide Features and check out our Store.
To kick off, what actually are desert boots and where did the shoe come from? Clarks, the British-based, international shoe makers are to thank for the creation of the desert boot. Being primarily made for soldiers when their original military boots failed them in the desert, the shoe was designed to be lightweight, durable an have a grippy sole. The style also had a suede upper section which made them comfortable and able to be worn for a long period of time. Being ideal for both the colder and hotter months, the boots have become an all year round staple that can be worn smart and casually. So if you're thinking if investing in a pair, here are a few that we believe are the best on the market.
As Clark's debuted the desert boot with their original design and brought it to the masses, they of course are the number one. Keeping it classic, Clark's desert boots by far have the style and design down to a tee. Available in a variety of tans, browns and blues, the desert boot is a staple piece for every man's wardrobe no matter the season. To stay on top of the changing fashions, modern styles of desert boots incorporate a contrast coloured sole into the structure. With soles traditionally made from crepe, the sole colour can be changed so easily, it instantly creates a fresh take on the traditional boot.
How To Style Clark Desert Boots
When it comes to Clarks, first of we all now know they're a classic so you don't have to go over the top with the styling, as the boots will speak for themselves. No matter what colour you want the shoes to be - black, tan, grey, it's up to you - the pieces you pair with the boot should be fairly tonal. By tonal we mean slightly neutral and base-like colours. So blacks, navy and greys are always good - you don't want to go over the top with a loud outfit as the boots will just get washed away into the background. As Zac Effron shows us, a layered navy combination works well with the brown desert boots. Layering is key in the winter, as you never really know what the weathers going to be like - one minute it's sunny, one minute your fingers feel like they're about to fall off. But with desert boots, you can wear them in the frosty temperatures as well as when Spring rolls around.
Chukka boot or desert boot? Either way, they're a style staple. All dessert boots are chukka boots, but not all chukka boots are desert boots. Confusing right? Well, the good thing is that you just need to know that they look good and they can be worn all year round, summer or winter. Hudson create a variety of chukka/desert boots which have bold, staple colours and are the perfect fit. The modern brand combines traditional features with the needs to the modern man as each boot pushes quality as well as style and design. The classic designs take inspiration from all areas of life from music to art to iconic style icons. If you want to stand out or fit in, the Hudson desert boots can cater for you. The rich material and colours make these the perfect boot for Autumn and when styled with your winter coat, you can take it right through the season.
How To Style Hudson Desert Boots
The affordable shoes can dress up an outfit better than a pair of trainers can, plus they can offer a more casual feel than wearing brogues or loafers. So all in all, your desert boots are the best middle men out there. With the lighter suede colours, a pair of chinos or light blue jeans will work well. Light jeans also work with navy colours, so when your trousers are a slight off white colour, the blue tones look good. A simple overcoat and shirt will finish off the outfit and you can head straight down to the pub without looking too casual.
As a multi-purpose footwear brand based in the US, Red Wing produce a selection of structural, hard-wearing boots. The designs vary but the array of desert and chukka boots have a different take on the tradition crepe and suede desert boot construction. Still with a similar design to the classic desert boot, Red Wing's versions are leather based and are better for when the rain hits us. So if you're looking for a boot that's going to be weather resistant then Red Wing will provide you with a durable shoe that's not only practical but has a stand out design. The best Red Wing colours are their red, tan and brown variations as these rich tones stand out no matter what you wear. Made for hiking and hunting, the premium fabrics stay looking polished and fresh even after a whole season of wear. Technically adapted for the modern life style, the chukka styled boots still have that classic desert boot look that your after, so investing in a pair of these will be perfect for all a working man's needs.
How To Style Red Wing Chukka Boots
With such bold colouring, whatever you wear with this style of boot needs to be worn with confidence. The shoes go hand in hand with what people consider traditional work apparel - flannel shirts, denim jeans and strong boots are the ultimate 'work' wear of the past. This has now been brought up to be seen as casual wear for many of duty working men. So with this in mind a flannel shirt, checked or plain, and some selvedge denim jeans will work best with the Red Wing boots. Finish off with a rain coat and you'll be ready to face the rain.
As we've established, chukka and desert boots are very similar, so when it comes to our final brand we've given you an alternative option to those above. In more of a chukka style, Grenson boots look slightly chunkier than the traditional Clark design. Grenson are a very recognisable British footwear brand that use classic heritage styles to create an array of shoes varying from brogues to boots. With a wealth of experience and expertise in shoe making, each piece is based on high quality and durability so when investing in a winter staple, these are more than ideal. Due to the chunky style of the Grenson shoe variety, each design can be worn casually or formally. So if you're looking for a boot that'll go with your suit for when the snow starts to fall, the rubber sole and leather upper will keep your feet warm and dry throughout the season. Not the tradition crepe sole of a desert boot, these variations have adapted to the needs to the modern man and unpredictable British weather.
How To Style Grenson Boots
These practical boots date all the way back to being heavily used in World War I & II, so when it comes to styling them you need to mix practicality and fashion. The trustworthy boots add a sense of structure to your outfit, so start by pairing them with some durable blue jeans and a coach jacket. All these pieces incorporate some kind of uniformity into their design, so they work well together. If you want to go for something that's a bit more casual, swap the coach for a leather jacket and you'll have an outfit that looks effortlessly put together.
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