Connery had his slip-on dress boots. Moore had his loafers. And Brosnan had his oxfords. When it comes to Craig’s tenure as 007, the James Bond chukka boots have undoubtedly been the defining footwear. He’s worn chukkas in one form or another in every one of this films. Which makes sense considering the style of Craig’s Bond has leaned much more to the casual side of things than any of his predecessors. After 15 years and four films (soon to be five, we hope!) we all have our favorite pair. So let’s dig into the alternatives!
The Casino Royale Suede Chukka
The first Craig-era chukka, the Loake Trapper, showed up in the 2006 film’s black and white pre-title sequence’s bathroom fight. A three eyelet, Goodyear welted boot with a leather sole and low profile vamp, the color of that suede combined with lighter, natural sole edge really sets this one apart. There’re just not many reasonably priced alternatives out there that have that combo. The suede color alone is tricky to nail down. Sometimes it reads as having a reddish hue. But in other product pics it looks almost olive. This thread on AJB007 goes into all kinds of detail about the Trappers and is worth checking out. And this July 20th, 2017 Instagram post from the great @legallybond account does a good job of capturing the dark tan shade of the suede.
Loake Trapper in Tan Suede: £110.00
Yep, you can still get the originals from the Loake Factory Shop. And that’s a heck of a good price. The question is: is that the right shade of Tan? I told ya it was a tricky color to nail down. So I’ll let you be the judge. They have UK sizes 6, 8 to 9.5 and 11 in stock. But unfortunately they won’t deliver to the U.S.
For my money, the color of the suede on the Hallatons comes closest to the Trappers. And it’s a simple 3 eyelet chukka with a clean design. Unfortunately, the sole edges are a darker brown. But it’s not all bad. The boots actually have a rubber Dainite type sole, which is pretty “Bond style” in its own way! John Lewis has UK sizes 7 to 10 in stock.
Vionic Chase Chukka in Tan: $159.95
And now an alternative I know is available to those of you in the U.S. The suede color leans more to that reddish hue the Trappers sometimes seem to have. And while most of the sole edge is darker than ideal, the heel block does have some “natural” coloring. Throw some light colored laces in these and they should do a decent job of capturing the look of the Loakes. Especially if you wear them with a navy linen suit. You’ll find sizes 7 to 13 on the Vionic website. DSW also has them at the same price if you prefer using that website.
Mark Nason Eastwood in Sand Suede: on sale for $80.00
Bostonian Dezmin Mid Chukka Boot in Cola Suede: $70 to $109.00
Shoe The Bear Phoenix S in Tobacco Suede: on sale for $114.99
Loake Boughton in Tobacco Suede: on sale for £130.00
Meermin 101468 in Snuff Suede: $210.00
The Quantum of Solace Suede Chukka
One of the very first posts I published on Iconic Alternatives way back in 2015 was on alternatives for Bond’s now iconic Quantum of Solace footwear. And the Church’s Ryder IIIs continue to be popular thirteen (!) years after Bond wore them for riding a dirt bike through Port-au-Prince and blowing up eco-hotels in Bolivia. You can still get the originals at Herring Shoes for £410.00/$496.00.
Aside from the 3 eyelets, this is about as close to a match as we can expect an affordable alternative to get. The color and overall shape are pretty spot on. As is the Dainite-like studded rubber sole. The boot is also leather lined. But there’s no mention about the construction. At this price point, I’d expect something like Blake stitched. Jones Bootmaker has European sizes 41 to 47 in stock.
Another boot that offers good bang for the buck. They have the look we want, they’re leather lined and Blake stitched with a Dainite-like rubber studded sole. The Canterburys are made in Portugal, not England. But the reviews are very good and Herring has sizes 6 to 13 in stock (some sizes are due later this month). Shipping in the UK is free. However, they charge £20.00 (about $25) to get them to you in the States. I can’t deny liking Herring Shoes. As I’ve frequently said, the owners and staff there know footwear and make customer service a priority. That’s something I think we can all appreciate.
Kurt Geiger Balfour Chukka Boot in Dark Brown Suede: on sale for $89.99
GANT Kyree Boots in Dark Brown Suede: on sale for £119.00
Velasca Artista in Dark Brown Suede: $245.00
Spier & Mackay Chukka in Mocca Suede: $248.00
Sanders Holburn in Chocolate Suede: $256.00 excluding VAT
The Skyfall “Enjoying Death” Suede Chukka
This particular pair of chukka boots from Zara was on-screen for … what? … maybe 15 seconds? But we’re nothing if not thorough here at IA! And that “Enjoying Death” look continues to be a fan favorite nearly ten years after Skyfall first hit the movie screens. So if we’re going to keep using it as Bond-style inspo, we best get it right! Like the Loake Trappers from Casino Royale, this is a tricky one when it comes to alternatives. The dark tan suede isn’t a huge issue. But that pale crepe sole presents some challenges. To learn more about the Zara chukkas, check out this thread on AJB007 (from 2012!). There’s lots of good information and it’s a great blast from the past!
American Eagle Suede Chuka Boot in Tan: on sale for $29.97
Before you turn up your nose at the idea of buying footwear from AE, remember: Bond’s boots are from ZARA! And these are suede, basic and a pretty good match. Not to mention dirt cheap. Sizes 8 to 12 are in stock on their website.
Maybe for ethical reasons, real leather isn’t your thing. Which I can completely understand. So here’s an option that uses a decent quality faux suede and comes pretty darn close to the Zara boot. DSW has the lowest price I could find. But they’re out of some sizes. You can also find the Manson at Zappos, where almost all sizes are in stock. However the price jumps up to $69.99 there.
Kenneth Cole New York Desert Chukka in Taupe: on sale for $91.46
It has three eyelets instead of two. But other than that, the taupe suede and light colored rubber sole combo comes real close to the Zara boots. Zappos has sizes 7.5 to 11 available for that sale price.
Base London Lawson Suede Chukka in Taupe: on sale for $49.97
Ben Sherman Hunt Desert Boot in Sand: £70.00/$105.00
All Saints Luke Ankle Boot in Taupe: £119.00/$178.50
Barker Monty Chukka Boots in Sand Suede: $255.00/£125.00
Aurélien Suede Chukka Boots in Dark Beige: $331.00/£238.00
The Skyfall Black Dress Boot
After almost a year of lockdowns, people are slowly starting to trickle back into their offices. Which means some of you are going to need to swap your slippers (“You can’t see my feet on Zoom!”) for some footwear that’s a little more formal. And when we’re looking for a great dress boot that can also withstand the abuse of salty, slushy winter sidewalks, Bond’s Tetburys from Skyfall are among the best we’ll find. You can still get the originals at Pediwear for $507.10 (excluding VAT)/£445.00. Made with a full grain leather upper and Goodyear welted Dainite rubber outsole, the boot’s most distinctive characteristic is the chisel toe of their 348 last. Definitely an investment. But they’re built to last years.
Samuel Windsor Prestige Kensington Boot in Black: on sale for $55.00/£35.00
The four eyelets and more rounded toe immediately tell us these aren’t an exact match for the Tetburys. But … did you see the price? I also know a couple of fans of Bond’s style that have been very happy with their previous purchases from Samuel Windsor. So don’t equate a low price with “cheap”. These are still hand made using Italian leather and a Goodyear welted construction, they’re leather lined and they use a Dainite-like rubber studded sole. That’s a lot of boot for fifty-five bucks! There’s still plenty of sizes left at their website.
Beckett Simonon uses a business model similar to the one used by Gustin and Taylor Stitch: buy the product now, they’ll make it, and then ship it to you at a later date. Yes, you do have to wait for delivery (sometimes months depending on what you’ve bought). But there are some advantages to the strategy. Because the company isn’t manufacturing and then storing a whole lot of excess inventory in anticipation of someone, somewhere buying it, they can keep their costs lower. It also generates less waste: since nothing is made before it’s sold, there’s no unsold product that needs to be dumped. So, about these boots. They’re made from full grain Italian leather using a Blake stitch construction and feature a full leather lined interior and leather sole. Perhaps most importantly, they’ve used their “Soho” last, which gives the boot it’s more refined lines and that distinctive chisel toe. If you’re not in a rush for your new boots, these could definitely be worth a shot.
Herring Shoes Cannock Chukka Boots in Black Calf: $191.00/£165.00
The SPECTRE Suede Chukkas
I’ll be updating the dedicated post on the Playboy chukkas later in March. For now, here’s what you need to know: their unique bumper crepe sole sets them apart from other chukkas, Steve McQueen also loved them, and the business history behind the boots is actually kind of interesting (and explains why so many companies are making “Playboy chukkas”). Bond’s boots in SPECTRE came from Sanders & Sanders. You can still get them from Mason & Sons for $225.00/£205.00.
Fred Perry Hawley Boot in Ginger Suede: on sale for $89.99
It has the look and color we want. It’s a great sale price. And Fred Perry has a long history in British fashion and culture (and Bond films, to a lesser degree). What’s not to like? 6pm has a decent range of sizes available. If they don’t have what you need, you can head to Zappos. But the price jumps up to $150.
George Cox and the “Popboys” have a noteworthy legacy in British culture (“brothel creepers” and Sid Vicious are just part of it). Yes, they’re almost the same price as the Sanders & Sanders Playboys. And they’re not what Bond wore in SPECTRE. But they have their own special kind of “cool” that makes them a worthy addition to any man’s wardrobe. They even feature in a story on the Fred Perry website. You can buy them directly from the George Cox.
Delicious Junction Bullitt Suede Boots in Brown 2: £88.99 to £89.99
British Walkers Classic Playboy Chukka in Brown Suede: $118.00/£93.22
Sanders Luthor in Polo Snuff Suede: £215.00
Herring Shoes Mustang Chukka Boots in Polo Suede: $231.00/£199.00
The No Time To Die Moc Toe Suede Chukkas
We now know that the boots Bond’s wearing in the No Time To Die Matera scenes are the Drake’s Crosby moc toe chukkas in dark brown suede. You can still get those directly from Drake’s for £275.00/$395.00. They’re now also doing a more rugged, rough-out suede version with a studded, Dainite-like sole for $495. Just in case you thought you’d be giving the boots more of a beating than Bond gave the original crepe sole ones. We’ll be updating our post on Bond’s Matera suit very soon. And you can find a nice alternative for that blue jacket he wears in our latest Best Budget Style Finds post.
Hackett London Suede Chukkas in Dark Brown: on sale for £129.90/€139.90
The good news? Aside from using a rubber sole rather than a crepe one, the Hacketts are a great match for Bond’s boots. The bad news? There’s plenty of sizes available at Dress For Less, but I don’t see anything on their website about shipping to the U.S. There is one lonely pair of size 43s over at Dress Inn for $132.99. But that’s about all I could find that’s available stateside. Anyway, those of you in the UK and the rest of Europe should be happy! Dress for Less has lots of sizes left as well.
The rumor around town is that Astorflex made the Crosby for Drakes. However, Drake’s asked for a different last and a few upgrades here and there (not sure what those may be). In any event, from a looks standpoint, the Dukeflex is nearly identical to Bond’s boots. I’ll also add that I have a pair of the Dukeflex (in the lighter brown color) and I love ’em. They’re a great fit and super comfy. But they do run about a half size large in my experience. Now, here’s the problem. The only place I could find that is currently carrying the Dukeflex in dark brown is Care of Carl. And it seems like they only ship to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Germany. If you live in one of those countries: Yay! Go get your boots! For the rest of us, there’s another option …
The other option? Buy the Dukeflex in a lighter color and dye them dark brown. I’ve dyed more than a few pair of shoes myself, and if you’re careful and patient, it’s really not that difficult. It’s also the kind of thing any decent shoe repair service should be able to do for a reasonable price. I found Stuarts London has the biggest selection of alternative Dukeflex colors. The link above goes to the Foresta ones. But you’ll find the Dark Khaki ones here for $161. There’s also a few pairs in Whiskey floating around at End Clothing for $169.
Aldo Wardoniel Chukka Boot in Light Brown: on sale for $129.98
I was just reminiscing on Instagram about Aldo’s now long gone alternatives for Bond’s SPECTRE Morocco boots. And BOOM! They’ve made a surprise comeback with a great, affordable option for Bond’s Matera footwear. Obviously these are candidates for the dye job solution. But style-wise they’re almost an exact match for the ones Bond wears. They also have plenty of sizes in stock and ship nearly everywhere in the world. Good to have you back, Aldo!
Velasca Barbee in Dark Brown Suede: $245.00
The No Time To Die Rough Out Suede Chukkas
I need another pair of brown chukka boots like I need an extra hole in my head. But I have to admit: these ones are calling to me. They’re also a clear example of Craig’s heavy influence on Bond’s sartorial decisions. He’s being wearing a pair of rough out suede Moltons in his personal life for years. You can learn more about the boots on the Crockett & Jones product page. But I found best price at Pediwear, where they retail for $450.13 (ex. VAT)/£395.00.
Well, these will do quite nicely for affordable alternatives. Thursday has used what they call “WeatherSafe” suede. Which gives the uppers that waxy finish that comes very close to the look of the Moltons. They’ve also gone with a full glove leather lining, a studded rubber Dainite-like sole and a stitched out construction so the boots can be re-crafted. You’ll find sizes 6 to 15 on the Thursday Boot Co. website. And shipping and returns are free anywhere in the U.S., with international shipping available for a very reasonable fee.
Did we miss you’re favorite alternatives for a pair of James Bond chukka boots? Tell us about them in the comments below! And remember to visit our Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter account and Pinterest Boards for more James Bond style advice and inspiration!