About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the construction industry. He enjoys fine bourbon, boots, denim, sneakers, and working on his his
dad bod father figure.
It’s officially boot season! Most of us here in the U.S. are finally starting to enjoy some cooler weather as the seasons progress, daylight gets shorter, and we keep marching towards the end of the year. It’s finally time to break out the waxed outerwear, cozy wool sweaters, long sleeve flannel shirts, heavier weight pants, and best of all… boots! As a shoe nerd, I enjoy wearing a bunch of different boots, but chukka boots are the perfect “do everything” shoe for this time of year. I tend to wear mine with “smart” business casual outfits, IE: Oxford or lightweight flannel shirts paired with casual chinos or denim. Depending on the level of formality you’re going for, you can easily dress a versatile pair of chukka boots up or down the style ladder as you see fit.
I’ve been wearing these Tyler roughout suede chukkas from Huckberry’s house brand Rhodes for almost a year and a half now. I reviewed them for the site back in 2021 and they impressed me enough to warrant clearing out some space in my closet and putting them into the rotation. Seeing as it’s boot season again, I thought it was high time that we revisited this pair to see how well they’ve been holding up over the past 18 months. Are they still worth their $175 price tag?
Tyler chukkas up top were brand new (see them here in Adam’s original review), and the same chukkas over a year later on the bottom. Color looks a little different due to different lighting, but they are the same boots.
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.
- 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
The toe boxes have retained the clean, short nap after regular abuse.
How are they holding up?
While I don’t keep track of how often I wear each pair of shoes or boots in my “bullpen”, I can confidently say that I’ve worn these Tyler chukka boots at least a handful of times each month. Well, except for the sweltering hot Summer days where you’ll be lucky to find me wearing something on my feet other than a pair of Rancourt boat mocs or Alden Leisure Handsewn loafers. Let’s take a look at three main areas of the boots and how they’ve held up so far.
The uppers are made from a lightly waxed roughout leather. This leather is heartier and more durable than a split suede that you would find on similar chukka boots from Clarks or Astorflex. That means that as you wear the boots, minor scuffs and scrapes don’t seem to affect them as much. The toe boxes have retained the clean, short nap even after being subjected to errant kicks into office furniture, wooden shipping pallets, and dirty forklift pedals. The back half of the boots have retained the shaggy, hairier texture and haven’t been noticeably matted down at all. Side note: if you’re a fan of raw denim, you will have some slight indigo crocking to contend with, thanks to the rough texture. Accept it and gently fall into the wabi-sabi way of life.
Shaggy texture has been retained on the suede, but it will pick up the dye from raw denim.
As far as preventative maintenance and regular upkeep goes, I sprayed the boots down with Tarrago Nano spray protector before wearing them out the first time. I use this spray on most of my suede and non-water repellent shoes as an extra layer of protection from rain and accidental salsa drips. This stuff lasts forever, but you can easily reapply it when you notice rain drops not beading up. I have also tried to keep the uppers brushed with a cheap suede and nubuck brush I picked up from Amazon. I prefer this type of brush as the nylon and brass bristles help to lift and scrub the suede nap better than a gum eraser. The little nubs around the sides of the brush can help get into cracks and crevices, like around the welt line, and can help make scuffs disappear.
Durable and hearty leather has resisted minor scuffs and scrapes.
I will quickly note that I did burn through a set of laces within the first year, but that’s not unusual for me as I tend to lace them pretty tight and eyelets can rub through fabric laces. I recently replaced the stock 31” laces with a pair of 33” waxed laces from Guarded Goods. The OEM laces were a bit thicker, but the thinner waxed laces seem to glide through a little easier.
The Tyler chukkas are half-lined with leather from the tongue forward, but unlined at the rear except for a roughout suede patch at the heel to limit heel slip. The insole/footbed is also leather with a foam layer underneath for comfort. After months and months of somewhat regular wear, these boots have remained comfortable and I haven’t noticed any material or construction issues with anything your feet come in contact with. The foam layers that you’re stepping on haven’t deflated or flattened out in any noticeable way, which is frankly a bit of a (good) surprise.
After months of wear the boots remain comfortable, and the insoles in good condition.
The outsole is the one area where you can tell that I’ve really worn these chukkas. The tan Meramec wedge soles started out a lovely shade of khaki tan to pair well with the upper, but months of dirty asphalt and concrete surfaces have turned the bottoms a dingy shade of chocolate brown. You can also notice just a touch of heel drag on the lateral corners of the soles, but not enough to warrant having them replaced by a cobbler quite yet. All in all, I’m honestly surprised at how well the soles are holding up and they’re absolutely holding their own against a pair of Vibergs and a pair of Grant Stones that employ Vibram wedge soles.
The outsoles have held up surprisingly well and have gained a (ahem) “patina” of their own.
Is the sizing, fit, and comfort still the same?
After more than a year of regular wear and tear, I can say that the overall size and fit has relaxed a touch in terms of width. My size 10.5s wear more like 10.75s now, which is a bonus for those of us with high arches or those of us who prefer to wear medium or thick boot socks. This amount of stretch isn’t enough to consider sizing down; the extra room doesn’t make the boots feel too loose or anything like that. It’s more like loosening your belt out one notch after dinner. I still recommend that you go true to Brannock sizing with these as they fit great out of the box.
Comfort is still on par with my original review. They’re comfortable enough for a day at the office and dinner or drinks afterwards, but I wouldn’t want to wear them to an event where you’re on your feet all day. The insole does have a bit of padding, but it’s not removable and is nowhere near as good as a fully supportive insole unit or something with proper arch support.
Overall, I’m really happy with these Tyler chukka boots from Huckberry’s in-house brand Rhodes. They’ve held up incredibly well and are still comfortable for most situations. Outside of regular brushing and a new set of laces, these boots haven’t needed any major maintenance or repairs. Given the opportunity to buy them again, I would definitely purchase these boots again.
Score: 4.5/5 Stars – Better than average and holding up well!
A solid chukka to kick off boot season with.
Editor’s note: Before it’s suggested we do more long term tests, that’s a tough one because we don’t keep goods in an attempt to keep us as unbiased as possible. So that presents a particular challenge. We normally send stuff back after we’re done with the review. But for these, since we were gonna long-term-test, we bought them. Also, Adam only has so many feet!