About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the HVAC and hydronics industry. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on his
dad bod father figure.
It’s chukka boot season! For me, chukka boots are the perfect “do everything” shoe. I tend to wear mine with “smart” business casual outfits, IE: Oxford or linen shirts paired with casual chinos or jeans. Depending on the level of formality you’re going for, you can easily dress chukkas up or down the style ladder as you see fit. Huckberry recently launched the Caliber Collection for their Rhodes boot line, adding new styles with wedge soles that are traditionally used on workwear and Americana or heritage style boots like Red Wing, Wolverine, Viberg, etc. Let’s see what these Tyler chukkas are all about.
The scent of this leather lets you know it’s the real deal.
The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)
- 5 – Excellent! No issues and highly recommended.
- 4 – Good. Above average, but not perfect.
- 3 – Average. Minor issues, might be good at the right price.
- 2 – Fair. Below average due to defects, flaws, or imperfections.
- 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price.
Waka! Waka! Waka!
- Brand: Huckberry’s Rhodes
- Style: Chukka boot
- Size: 10.5 D US (~44 EU)
- Last: N/A
- Construction: 360° Goodyear Welt
- Upper: Full-grain roughout cow leather
- Lining: Half-lined and trimmed with vegetable tanned cow leather
- Sole: Meramec PU tan wedge sole
- Details: Leather-topped foam insole
- Extras: N/A
- Country of Origin: Leon, Mexico
- Price: $175 USD
Toe box and vamp is pretty smooth with a noticeable nap that’s not too unlike suede.
My pair of Tyler chukkas in “taupe” roughout leather was ordered on a Wednesday and they arrived on Saturday afternoon via UPS Ground. Nothing to complain about here!
FYI: Huckberry has a 60-day return policy with free return shipping. Like most retailers, your footwear must be unworn and in resellable condition with no signs of try on wear or damage.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy ordering, quick shipping, and a great return policy.
A slightly sturdier and slightly larger box.
I’ve said this before, but I really enjoy a good shoe box as it shows that there was thought put into the whole purchase and unboxing experience. Huckberry updated their packaging sometime last year and the new Rhodes footwear boxes are pretty great. Slightly more sturdy, slightly larger (for boots!), and comes with a carrying handle. That handle may come in handy because Huckberry still doesn’t include any shoe storage bags or other accessories with their boots. I understand Huckberry’s Rhodes lineup of boots and shoes are trying to meet that middle of the road price point, but come on! At least throw in some spare laces or some basic cloth shoe bags. If Gustin can do it with their less expensive sneakers, y’all can make this happen, too. I believe in you, Huckberry!
My boots arrived wrapped in a single layer of tissue paper and each boot was stuffed with lots of tissue paper to help keep the boots in decent shape along their journey. Unfortunately, the left boot arrived with a flat spot dead center of the toe box that had to be brushed out with a suede brush.
Score: 4/5 – Box is great, but Huckberry needs to update the wraps and throw in some laces/shoe bags.
Fresh out of the box, the scent of the vegetable tanned leather hit my brain like a cinderblock and yanked me back in time. Immediately, I was 10 years old again, standing in this little local cowboy boot store, gazing up at the wall full of rattlesnake, lizard, ostrich, gator, and other leather cowboy and roper boots. I can still faintly hear Alan Jackson on the radio telling me not to rock the jukebox, because he wants to hear some Jones. Suffice to say, this leather is LEGIT. My wife could smell them from the other room and she, too, immediately recognized that scent and even remembered the same store from when she was younger. Small world!
Behold the roughout fuzz.
Even though we’re dealing with a lightly waxed roughout leather, the toe box and vamp is pretty smooth with a noticeable nap that’s not too unlike suede. In contrast, the quarters and rears of both boots look fuzzy! Almost like you skinned (preferably stuffed) Fozzie Bear and used his hide for footwear. I’m loving the texture and character of the uppers; they mesh really well with other distinct textures like denim and Oxford cloth shirts. Color wise, I’d rate these somewhere between “camel brown” and desert tan. It’s a very natural and earthy color that should be super versatile.
As far as construction goes, all of the stitching is on point and the panels are well-placed. You can still see a bit of pencil marking in corners where the craftsperson laid out the panels before stitching everything. I hesitate to use the word complaint, but I’m not a huge fan of the two-piece tongue. It looks like it was an afterthought, or perhaps the factory doesn’t have the proper cutting die for a true one-piece vamp. At the end of the day, this is a very small aesthetic disagreement more so than a problem or issue.
Interior shots, and also a comparison in how the leather looks different in sunshine and shade.
The interiors are half-lined from the midfoot forward in vegetable tanned leather. The rear halves of the boots are unlined, except for a 0.75” wide strip of veg tan leather running around the opening and down to support the laces. Speaking of laces, I think these round, waxed cotton laces are superb. They traverse through blind metal eyelets for some extra support when you’re cinching those laces down. Finally, there are thin veg tan leather footbeds glued down on top of either stiff leather or fiberboard insoles. I can feel some kind of padding in there, too, but I can’t tell if it’s foam or cork hiding under there. Sadly, I can’t visually inspect those components without cranking up my bandsaw and cutting them in half. I don’t think Joe wants to financially support those types of reviews… or does he?!
These Tyler chukkas sport bespoke Meramec “Caliber” wedge outsoles in a nice shade of sand brown. Meramec is the same company that supplies outsoles to brands like Thorogood, Carolina Boots, Rancourt, etc. Their Maxum-Lite ML308 material used for these chukkas is a rubber-like polyurethane that focuses on lightweight comfort and slip resistance. Those are great characteristics for boots like these, especially as we’re transitioning from Spring into Summer and the day’s weather is never predictable. I suspect these will be fairly durable over time.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Great! Fantastic leather, solid construction, and Goodyear welted. Well done!
Meramec “Caliber” wedge outsoles in a nice shade of sand brown.
Comfort, Fit, and Sizing
The Tyler chukkas run true to size, so go with your normal Brannock size. While the last looks slightly narrow from above, my pair in 10.5 fit pretty darn well fresh out of the box. I didn’t notice any spots that felt too tight or too loose. I will note that if you regularly need a wider fitting, you’re probably out of luck with these as Huckberry doesn’t offer anything other than a standard US average D width.
For sizing reference, I am a 10.5 D/E on a Brannock device and usually take a 10 D in wider-fitting dress shoes, including Alden’s Barrie last and Grant Stone’s Leo last. I take a 10.5 E in Allen Edmonds 65 last, as that last runs too narrow for me. I also take a 10.5 in Vans and an 11 in most Adidas or Nike sneakers.
Comfort is always subjective, but I do find these to be pretty comfortable. I probably wouldn’t wear them to a theme park for an all-day outing, but I wouldn’t hesitate to wear them to work or out to dinner and drinks with friends and family. Overall comfort is better than Clark’s Bushacre 2s, but less comfortable than the Bushacre 3s. There’s a bit of padding in the Tyler chukkas, but it’s not a full insole.
Score: 5/5 Stars – Fits true-to-size and feels pretty comfortable overall. Not bad!
On point stitching.
Overall, I’m a fan of these chukka boots from Huckberry’s new Rhodes: Caliber Collection. They fit well, they feel pretty comfortable around the house, and they seem to be made very well. The materials and craftsmanship are above average and I can imagine that these should last you many years of regular wear with proper maintenance and storage. Best of all, they’re recraftable so any competent shoe cobbler near you should be able to repair and replace pieces as they wear out. Personally, I’d love to give these a long term review to see how they break in and evolve in time. Check them out and let us know what you think! Cheers, y’all.
Avg. Score: 4.5/5 Stars – Pretty good! Highly recommend checking these Huckberry Rhodes boots out.