What Are Desert Boots?

Troy Holmes

Several types of ankle-length boot are available for both men and women. Desert boots are ankle boots made of soft suede material that matches most causal clothing. The boots have special soft crepe soles that are more comfortable for walking than standard boot soles.

Dry, cracked earth in a desert.
Dry, cracked earth in a desert.

Desert boots became popular during World War II when they were worn by the British military in the desert. These boots have limited padding and typically come in desert-tone colors that include tan, dark tan, black, and gray. A desert boot has limited padding for the ankles and feet but goes well with jeans or khaki pants.

A desert.
A desert.

These boots are typically easy to clean. Most desert boots are not water resistant. These boots require a waterproofing treatment to protect the material from the rain and snow. The soles should be cleaned periodically with a damped toothbrush or shoe brush. This keeps the boots and soles looking fresh and clean.

Desert boots are typically laced with hard leather laces. This gives the shoes a causal look that matches most belts and casual paints. The boots cover the ankles and should be worn with ankle-length socks. This protects the ankles from leather rub burns that can happen from the upper sole material.

Desert combat boots are not the same as desert boots. Combat boots are made from hard, solid soles and are a much taller boot. A normal desert boot is more of a casual shoe.

Most desert boots are made with crepe soles. These are unique soles that are made with a soft rubber. This type of sole has the consistency of a pencil eraser. Crepe soles are shock absorbent and comfortable for casual walking.

A chukka boot is similar to desert boots but is made with leather uppers and a harder sole. These boots are also ankle-length boots but are dressier than a desert boot. Chukka boots come in a variety of colors and material to match most causal attire.

Calfskin desert boots are another type of ankle-length boot that is based on the chukka boot design. These boots are made from soft calfskin uppers and have hard rubber soles. The calfskin boots have a durable appearance but are comfortable to wear. Calfskin boots are typically available in either black or brown.

Desert books are made of soft suede.
Desert books are made of soft suede.

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