Test Drive

The Hefty Chukka

These suede boots are surprisingly substantial

Grant Stone men's suede chukka boots
Grant Stone men's suede chukka boots

Heading into fall, I'm always on the hunt for a new pair of boots. It may sound crazy because the best part of wearing boots is the patina, but there's no better feeling for me than getting a fresh pair to kick of the colder months. I love a leather lace-up boot that you can wear to death, but also a rich-colored durable suede is something you shouldn't shy away from either. And I think I just found a boot that marries the two perfectly.

They're from Grant Stone, and I've already broken them in before fall officially arrives. Their chukka boot offers three eyelets to secure the instep, sturdy Goodyear-welt construction, and smooth calf suede and vegetable-tanned leather throughout the soles. I'd consider the price of the boot to be an amazing buy because there are some companies out there using the same high-quality materials, but are charging double. Plus, the warm sand color and crepe sole make this boot a perfectly versatile year-round option to worn with everything from jeans to a cozy Harris Tweed suit.

I've mentioned before that I have a weird foot when it comes to boots or even dress shoes. In sneakers, I'm between a 9.5-10, and in boots and dress shoes, I'm around a size 8. One of the best parts of purchasing shoes from Grant Stone is that a dedicated team member will reach out to you to ask questions about your sizing. The person helping me correctly picked up that I have a narrow foot and suggested that I size down by half a size and try a 7.5D. Did it sound a little crazy? Yes. But he also mentioned that I shouldn't feel any "hot spots" or uncomfortable pressure when I tried them on. So just keep that in mind whenever buying.

Sure enough, the boots fit perfectly for me—didn't even have to add an extra insole or anything. What I love about the Great Stone boot is that it has a definite heft to it that your normal chukka style doesn't. If you're looking for a light Clarks-esque desert boot then these may be a bit too heavy for your liking. But if you're in the market for a substantial shoe that you can wear now because of the comfortable crepe sole and will also be able to survive harsh weather conditions ahead, then you'll like these as much as I do. Also, I should mention there is a short break-in period—but not as much as previous Red Wings or Aldens that I've worn. After about three wears, they will be uniquely yours, comfortably snug and ready for years of wear.

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Grant Stone Chukka

Chukka, $328 by Grant Stone

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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