We spent 6.9 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Several purchasers have reported that the mid-top footwear stretches to give a perfect fit.
  • Most reviewers are one in saying that the Vans Desert Chukka is an ultra-comfortable sneaker that can be worn all day without pain. 
  • Some customers have mentioned that this chukka from Vans is solidly built and will last a long time.
  • This Vans sneaker has a clean styling and looks effortlessly cool, according to plenty of users, because it contains a good balance of casual and dressy.
  • A good number of respondents have mentioned that the Vans Desert Chukka earned them many compliments from friends and colleagues.
  • Many testers state that the Desert Chukka is a quality shoe with a leather that feels good to the touch and thick enough to give heft without sacrificing the shoe’s lightness.
  • The shoe provides good traction even on a snow-covered sidewalk, one consumer has noted.
  • One customer has told of her delight at finding that the sizes for this men’s model can go pretty low so that other women like her can wear the shoe too.
  • The price of the Vans Desert Chukka is much less than its worth, one pleased buyer has commented.

1 reasons not to buy

  • One person has complained that the actual color is lighter than pictured.

Bottom line

The Vans Desert Chukka is a surprisingly versatile shoe coming from a company best known for manufacturing skating footwear. The mid-top sneaker maintains a perfect balance of casual and dressy for days when you feel like lounging and days when you need to drop by the office.

The footwear is skillfully constructed with a suede material that feels incredibly durable and lightweight at the same time. Expert cushioning abound, and the shoe gives a perfect fit. 


Top: Mid
Inspired from: Casual
Collection: Vans Desert
Price: $105
Colorways: Black, Blue, Brown
Small True to size Large
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The Vans Desert Chukka has a mid-cut profile, which gives a measure of ankle support while the leather upper provides lateral and medial ones. The style of the shoe follows a traditional cleat fit, so measurements are longer when compared to standard Vans skate shoes. A rope lacing system lends a more cleat-like appearance and acts as a way to customize the shoe to the foot.

The toe box is wide enough, providing the foot and toes much-needed room.

The Vans Desert Chukka is a beautifully-crafted shoe with a high-end appeal. Take it anywhere you want to look more professional, whether working in the office or lounging in your country club. The mid-top footwear looks good when paired with a casual suit or neutral-colored chinos and a sports jacket.

The Vans Desert Chukka shoe has an aura of sophistication that is hard not to like. From the premium leather upper to the beautiful neutral tones, the shoe is all elegance. But the advantages do not stop there. The footwear also boasts of comfort brought about by the Vans UltraCush sockliner, which gives abundant cushioning, and the UltraCush Wave outsole, which provides a light and flexible feel.

The Desert Chukka is a new reinterpretation of the popular Chukka Cleat which Vans introduced sometime in the 2000s. The Chukka Cleat is a mid-top shoe with a suede upper resting on a vulcanized sole. The original silhouette, built along the same cut as most chukkas, is one of the go-to shoes in the skateboarding world and remains a favorite with collaborators.

The clean style of the cleat gave designers plenty of leeway in creating their art, and the silhouette has been the canvas of choice for many of them over the years. In fact, one of the best known—and certainly one of the most expensive—is the Vans x KAWS x Simpsons Chukka Cleat which sold in 2007 at a price of $700. That model was adorned all over with illustrations of Simpsons characters drawn KAWS-style on a lined school paper.

The Desert Chukka takes the profile of the Chukka Cleat and gives it a more polished and less casual feel. The flat vulcanized sole is replaced with an UltraCush Wave outsole while the upper has been upgraded with a premium leather that would not look out of place in an office setting.

  • The Vans Desert Chuka weighs around 283 grams per shoe and has a shaft measuring about 4 ½ inches.
  • The mid-top footwear uses only water-based inks and glues.


Danny McLoughlin

Danny is a sneakerhead turned sneaker industry expert that believes a good outfit begins from the feet up. His aunt currently isn't speaking to him for wearing a pair of kicks at his cousin's wedding. He spends most of his time trying to keep on top of the latest releases, hitting up his contacts and doing what needs to be done to secure his next pickup. Danny has been featured in prestigious publications such as The Washington Post, The Irish Times, Footwear News and the like.