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The Chukka has origins in the game of polo: it is the unit of time by which polo matches are measured. (A typical chukka is seven minutes long, and a polo match consists of four, six, or eight chukkas.) Some have said that chukkas resemble shorter versions of the boots worn by polo players, but it is claimed also that they were intended to be a more comfortable version of polo boots that players could wear after the game — think the original Uggs and surfers.
Chukkas are ankle-length boots with two to three pairs of eyelets on each side for a lace-up closure. These eyelets allow for a snug fit around the ankle which, unlike regular boots, will not disrupt the shape of one’s trouser-bottoms. Chukka boots generally have a rounded toe, minimal stitching, and open lacing (similar to the derby). They are traditionally made of soft suede, but nowadays there are many versions from which to choose.
Chukkas are not to be confused with desert boots. Desert boots are a much more casual version of a Chukka boot and have a nearly identical shape. They are distinguished by soles that are not made of leather.
These are the least formal of the shoes we are discussing. They would not be appropriate for anything except casual attire, although pairs in high-quality leather compliment a smart-casual ensemble. Both chukkas and desert boots are exceptional.
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