August 31, 2011  ·  style

Desert Boot Buyer's Guide 2011

Desert boots, chukkas, field boots. By any name, they're some of the most versatile footwear you can own, and if they're good enough for James Bond (above left) they're good enough for us. Here's a guide to a few variations on a classic theme.

Clarks [$110]
The original and still going strong; the wellspring from which all ankle-high, two-eyelet, suede-on-crepe-sole boots flow. If we're honest the very rounded toe box does limit the style just a bit to more casual occasions.

Florsheim [$120]
This is a new model for Florsheim. We haven't seen these in person yet, but we're fans of the quality and value proposition of the brand's recent output. Available in a great blue suede. By going with a standard rubber sole instead of crepe, the non-suede variants should be wearable well into the colder months.

Peal & Co. for Brooks Brothers [$248]
A slightly dressier update of the casual style, and one of our favourites. This boot retains the classic Clarks characteristics of two eyelets and crepe rubber, but gently updates the look with a pointer toe, lower rise and a darker sole.

Johnston & Murphy [$135]
Really comfortable. Good value. Interesting ever-so-slightly-squared toe. Points deducted for contrast stitching on the dark brown version and for excessive eyelets (2 is ideal, 3 is OK, 4 is uncalled for).

L.L.Bean Signature [$119]
A great price on a lined boot from one of our most reliable brands. Love the all-season rubber sole, but find its brick-red colour a little too bright against the black and dark brown suede options for anything other than casual wear.

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