Desert Boots Style Guide

Desert boots are a must have for any wardrobe. The versatile boot is a fantastic choice at any time of year and can be incorporated into a wide range of styles. With styles ranging from classic desert boots to traditional chukkas and more, there's a version for everyone.


Desert boots vs. Chukka boots

Often, people use the terms desert boots and chukka boots interchangeably. However, while all desert boots are chukka boots, not all chukkas are desert boots.


What is a desert boot?

These are a specific type of chukka boot. Originally designed for the British army during WWII for desert combat, they’re now a staple in many men's and women’s wardrobes. Characterised by their rubber crepe sole, desert boots are typically made from suede. However, leather varieties also exist. 


What is a chukka boot?

These are ankle-high boots, usually made from leather or suede, with two or three pairs of eyelets for lacing. While they are similar in design to desert boots, their primary distinction lies in the sole. Chukka boots can have a variety of soles, from leather to synthetic, unlike the exclusive rubber crepe sole of desert boots. They are known for their simplicity and versatility when it comes to styling.

Looking for a great pair of boots to see you through year-round? Desert boots stand out as a unique choice. The rubber crepe sole that defines desert boots doesn't just add a unique style but also provides unmatched comfort. 

Moreover, the simple design means they're easy to maintain. Plus, they age beautifully, adding character as they get older. Even in their winterised versions, these handy boots keep their classic, comfortable and versatile style. 


Are desert boots in style?

Yes, very much so. Much of the enduring appeal of desert boots lies in their timelessness. Whether you're looking for a winter or summer pair of desert boots, these boots never go out of style. They're versatile, easy to wear, and can seamlessly transition from casual to semi-formal settings.


How to wear desert boots

No matter the season, desert boots can be a versatile and comfy choice. Here’s some styling advice on getting the most out of your desert boots.


Desert boots and shorts

Whether you’re running errands, off on an easy stroll or just relaxing with friends, desert boots are the perfect go-to boot. Plus, they’re a great choice in warm weather. And if you’re wondering how to wear desert boots with shorts, it's easy. Opt for a neutral colour like beige or tan, pair them with a plain white tee or a light shirt, and choose a pair of classic cargo shorts and you're good to go.

Jeans and desert boots

Unsure about what jeans to wear with your desert boots? Slim-fit or straight-cut jeans are your best bet. Whether you're going out for a coffee or a casual dinner, this combo never fails. Roll the jeans slightly at the hem to showcase the boots’ style.


Semi-formal occasions

Desert boots can also hold their own in more formal settings. Opt for a darker shade, like brown or black, and pair them with chinos or tailored pants. Complete the look with a button-down shirt or a blazer.


Winter look

As winter sets in, pair your desert boots with chunky knitwear or a long coat. For women, layering a scarf or wearing a knit dress can give great textural contrast, keeping you stylish yet warm.


Caring for your desert boots

Proper care can extend the lifespan of your desert boots and ensure they look great, no matter how often you wear them.



For suede varieties, use a suede brush to gently remove dirt and maintain the nap. For leather versions, a damp cloth followed by leather conditioner will keep them looking sharp.



Applying a water repellent spray, especially for suede desert boots, can prevent stains and water damage. Remember to test on a small patch first.



Store in a cool, dry place. Using shoe trees or stuffing them with newspaper to help retain their shape.


Get your best boots yet

When it comes to versatile footwear, desert boots stand out as a timeless classic. Whether you’re looking for a new pair of boots for men or a stylish pair of boots for women, desert boots always deliver. So, next time you're looking for a shoe that can transition from day to night, from summers to winters, the desert boot should be near the top of your list.

At Timberland, we’ve all the desert boots and chukka boots you need to keep you comfortable and stylish, no matter the season. Pair them with shorts and a tee for an easy summer look, or match them with jeans and a blazer for a semi-formal look that never goes out of style.

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