A few months ago we were contacted by Massdrop asking if we’d be interested in promoting one of their upcoming Chukka boots. As always, we told them that we had to see, test and truly like the boots before we could commit to anything. About two weeks ago, we received the sand colored Chukka boots in the mail, and when I open the box, I was impressed by the softness of the leather. I wore them a couple of times, and it was clear to me this was a winner for several reasons.
Why am I Telling You This? Limited Edition of 500 Pairs
You have the chance to get a pair of these unique and authentic chukka boots, which are made in Wisconsin by Allen Edmonds and limited to 500 pairs across three colors.
But you have to act now!
Offer Start: Nov 1, 2016 – 6 a.m. PT.
Offer End: Nov 11
Update: The first 500 boots were sold , so there will be a second production run. All boots ordered now will be delivered in February 2017.
What’s So Special About This Boot? It’s a True Chukka Boot
Most chukka boots on the market today come with a leather lining or a rubber sole, but that’s not what the original looked like. If you have read our Chukka boots guide you know that the authentic boots had the following features:
- Lace up ankle boots. They reach the ankle and no further.
- Two or three lacing eyelets; anything else is not a chukka boot
- Traditionally made from calfskin suede leather
- Rounded toe-box.
- Two parts each made from a single piece of leather.
- The quarters are sewn on top of the vamp.
- Open lacing.
- Thin soles.
- Soles traditionally made of leather (crepe rubber soles were later worn with desert boots)
- Historically unlined.
This Allen Edmonds x Massdrop Special Edition does fulfill all of those criteria, and that is extremely rare these days. Normally, Allen Edmonds sells their regular lined Chukka boots with a rubber sole for $395.
On the other hand, the real deal from Massdrop sells for just $240 which is a 39% discount.
But as you know ht price alone doesn’t matter: it’s about the quality of the boots and these Allen Edmonds stand out!
Comfortable & Classic 511 Last
First of all, these boots are made of Allen Edmonds most popular boot last: the 511
With its classic round shape and roomy toe-box, most people feel it is very comfortable. Personally, I have a narrow heel and these boots fit like a charm.
Soft Suede Leather From England = Very Comfortable
One of the highlights of these boots is the leather. The uppers are made from two pieces of thick but wonderfully soft suede calf leather from Charles F. Stead & Co. This company has been specializing in suede since 1890, and their Janus Calf leather is simply superb for a Chukka boot.
The leather is so soft because only young calf skins are used with a luxurious silky suede side and a natural full grain, aniline reverse side. For these boots, the full grain side is on the inside of the boot and the suede on the outside. Overall, it is as soft as a shoe leather should be, because if it were any softer, it would not hold its shape and look bad.
Now, you may see suede boots all over the place at different price points but most of the time, the suede used is not full grain suede but rather split leather, which is less expensive and then sanded. It feels much stiffer and is not so sophisticated. So even if you already have a suede chukka boot in your collection, I am certain it won’t have leather as soft as this Janus calf.
Unlined Construction & Versatile Style
With a leather thickness of about 1.5mm, it is perfect to be made into an unlined shoe, which makes for a lighter pair of boots. The smooth inside of the leather makes it a breeze to put on or take off and the soft heel-cap and toe-cap reinforcements are not too stiff yet they make sure the boot looks good.
These Allen Edmonds x Massdrop boots are the first unlined boots in my collection, and I do not want to miss them anymore because they are unlined, comfortable an versatile when it comes to styling them. I have been wearing them with denim, corduroys or with a casual flannel suit and they looked great every time.
Goodyear Welted & Oil Soaked Leather Sole = Grip, Flexibility = Durability
Most Chukka boots these days come with a rubber soles whereas these are Goodyear-welted, which is more costly but the choice of classic style aficionados. The leather sole was soaked in Butyl, which is a rubbery oil that makes it more bendable and provides it with a bit more grip, than a plain leather sole, although it’s not as grippy as rubber would be. Personally, I am really pleased that this boot was so thoughtfully put together because at the end of the day it is a classic boot with an elegant leather sole that is not to be found anywhere else.
What Color Should You Choose? It Depends On Your Boots
Personally, I enjoy the sand color because I do not have anything else that is so light in color and it provides me with more options to change my outfits. Will the leather stain more easily than the darker snuff and chocolate alternatives? You bet! But that is of little concern to me because I have a sizeable boot collection.
If you are like me, and you already have dark brown and mid brown boots, then this sand color is the way to go.
However, if this is just your first or second boot in your collection, then I’d suggest you go with chocolate because dark brown suede pairs well with jeans, corduroys, gray flannel but even navy suit and you can, of course, wear it green as well as tan and even mid brown. My second choice would be snuff, which is a bit less versatile than the chocolate but still a nice color that pairs well casually but less so with navy and gray.
Update: Chocolate is already sold out
Can You Trust Massdrop?
Unlike Kickstarter, Massdrop is more than just a platform because they orchestrate the deal and sell the shoes outright. They have been around since 2012 and successfully managed deals of this kind dozens of times, so they have experience and a track record.
Get The Shoes Before Christmas
The first production run of Allen Edmonds Chukka boots will be delivered Dec 16, 2016 whereas the second run will be delivered in February 2017.