The Indestructible Chukka
In the colder weather of fall and winter, footwear is no longer simply a supplement to a man's wardrobe. It becomes integral to the equation—as much about style as it is your seasonal survival. Which is why such rugged shoes are required. And why suede, one of the most autumnal materials we can think of, is usually out of the running. Because who wants to shell out for some quality suede shoes and then worry about ruining them by trudging through a pile of wet leaves or an icy, slush-riddled sidewalk? Nobody. That's why we're so on board with this innovation from Oak Street Bootmakers.
A collaboration with Horween Leather in Chicago, they developed a suede that is supple to the touch, yet durable enough to withstand years of wear and a variety of environments. How'd they do it? By using full grain hides and buffing only the flesh side of the leather, which they say maintains the hide's full grain integrity. Then, through a proprietary tumbling and oiling process, Horween was able to achieve a hardwearing suede that remained soft and most impressively, was waterproof. This is also the first Oak Street Bootmakers shoe that makes use of a genuine storm welt. Those attributes, combined with some Waterlock soles and the fully recraftable Goodyear welt construction, ensure that it will take more than hell or high water to knock these boots out of your regular rotation. Are they an investment? You bet. But when a pair of shoes will easily last you ten years or more, that ironclad quality is going to cost you.