For many people, the winter season allows for a dramatic wardrobe change. Adding jackets, pants, and new shoes to your outfits can enhance one’s sense of style. Chukka boots are one shoe style to opt for. With a wide range of options, they can complement and complete an entire outfit. But, are chukka boots good for winter cold weather?
Chukka boots are generally considered a nice winter option due to their rugged design, but it is important to understand that plain chukka boots will only offer mild to moderate warmth. For better winter protection, a pair of waterproof chukka boots or insulated chukka boots might make the most sense.
Although leather boots are warm enough to handle mild winter conditions, a leather chukka boot by itself is not likely to keep your feet warm in extreme winter conditions. For the coldest winter conditions, you will want an insulated chukka boot.
The type of insulation used for leather boots can vary company to company. Some boots will have a lining (like flannel, fleece, or shearling), but most insulated chukka boots use synthetic insulation. This type of synthetic insulation (like 3M Thinsulate) is popular because it is very good at trapping heat but is also lightweight and non-bulky, so it doesn’t affect the shape or fit of the boot.
***Here’s my advice. If you want a quick understanding of what type of insulation may be best for winter boots, then watch my short 45 second video posted below that quickly explains what you need to know. Also, please subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking the button below. Thanks!
The amount of synthetic insulation used in leather boots can vary from 200 grams to 1000+ grams (the higher the number, the warmer the boot). For most chukka boots, the insulation weight will be either 200g or 400g. There are other things that can affect the warmth of a boot too, like the quality and thickness of the leather used.
In this article let’s take a closer look at how good chukka boots can be for winter, and what types of things you will want to consider to find the right pair of boots for your specific needs.
Are Chukka Boots Good For Winter?
As we discussed above, although chukka boots are good for most winter conditions, if you are facing extreme weather, you will want to go with a waterproof and/or insulated chukka boot. Normal chukka boots will only be moderately warm, and won’t be able to withstand extreme conditions.
The design of chukka boots also makes them a nice winter option. Most chukka boots offer nice ankle support and feature an outsole than can handle more rugged conditions.
Chukka boots are especially useful for a business casual dress code. Compared to dress shoes, chukka boots are much better equipped to handle wet, winter conditions.
Are Chukka Boots Waterproof?
No, not all chukka boots are waterproof? But there are certain chukka boots that are designed to be waterproof and/or water-resistant. Many companies will use a waterproof spray to make a chukka boot waterproof, but you can also buy waterproofing spray to apply to your boots if needed.
Just because chukka boots may claim to have waterproof leather does not mean they can withstand extreme rain.
When considering different types of chukka boots, be wary of suede. Suede chukka boots are not the best choice for wear on a rainy or snowy day. When most suede gets wet, it can become permanently damaged. On the other hand, rubber chukka boots do not need any additional waterproofing. Rubber chukka boots act like any other rain boot, but with an added sense of style.
When it comes to waterproof boots, some companies will use a play-on-words to make you think that you are getting more waterproof protection than you think. Quickly, two things to know:
- Does it Have a Liner – Some boots may be marketed as “waterproof”, but just simply have waterproof leather and no liner. For better protection, you will want both waterproof leather and a waterproof liner. To read more, visit our article about what makes a boot waterproof.
- True Waterproof – It is very difficult for a leather boot to be completely waterproof. Yes, seam sealed leather and a waterproof liner helps, but don’t expect to submerge the boot in water and come out completely dry. For that, you’d need pvc boots or rubber rain boots.
Many companies will use tongue gussets to help keep water and debris out. A tongue gusset connect the sides of the tongue to the boot which helps to keep water out. Not all waterproof chukka boots will have this tongue gusset.
Seam sealing is an important step in waterproofing a boot. When a boot is stitched and built, the small needle holes present opportunities for water to get into the boot.
To waterproof a boot, these companies will seal the seams with waterproof taping to help cover these needle holes. Some boots will also seam seal the insole to prevent water from getting in from underneath the foot.
Do They Make Insulated Chukka Boots for Winter?
Insulated boots are great for colder weather. If you experience milder winters, lightweight chukka boots can suffice. However, more extreme weather calls for better capable boots.
Insulation in the form of flannel, synthetic wool, and more is excellent for keeping feet warm. Whether you walk to work or go camping, insulated chukka boots are essential.
By itself, leather can’t keep you warm in extreme cold. As we discussed earlier, companies will use synthetic insulation that is lightweight and non-bulky to insulate boots.
This allows them to line the interior of a boot without affecting how the boot fits and looks. The amount of insulation used will vary, and will affect the warmth of the boot.
For insulated chukka boots, you will typically see either 200g or 400g of insulation used. The 400g boots will be warmer. While it’s impossible for me to know your weather conditions, in my experience, 200g boots keep my feet warm in typical, moderate winter conditions. For extreme weather, I’m using 400g (or higher).
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to find insulated chukka boots that use more than 400g of insulation. Anything above 400g is typically used for extreme conditions, and can actually cause a boot to be too warm if you’re simply wearing it in moderate winter conditions.
If you want to explore other options, visit our articles linked below about insulated winter boots:
Insulated chukka boots are beneficial when the weather is a bit colder than a typically mild winter day. They are great for chilling temperatures are might be the better option if you face snow and bitter cold weather. Because many chukka boots are intentionally made as lightweight, stylish shoes, you may not find a heavy-duty chukka boot.
One sign to look for in insulated chukka boots is a strong outsole. Dressier chukka boots will have leather outsoles, while chukka boots built for outdoor wear will likely have a thicker, rubber outsole, and might make better sense for winter conditions.