We already mentioned that the Chukka boot isn’t as old as some other popular styles (think, Oxfords, Derbys, or Monkstraps) but their shorter legacy is equally intriguing. This shoe style stems from two places: military and sports.
The word, “chukka,” potentially stems from the game of polo. In polo, chukka is a seven-minute period of play in a game that consists of anywhere between four to eight chukkas (or chukkers, depending on what part of the world you’re in). The similarity between what is now known as the Chukka boot and the Jodhpur boot (the boot style worn by polo players) is one origin of how this name came to be attached to this style.
As for its potential military origins, we’ll go back to World War II. In desert campaigns during the war, the British army issued a certain type of Chukka boot as the standard, referring to them as “desert boots.” The material difference was a crepe rubber sole rather than the standard leather of the chukka.