Similar to bags as I described in my previous article, I started paying attention to my shoes once I started working and had to pay for them myself. It was simple, the cheaper the better. But those cheaper shoes tore down in just a few months.
I realize however that replacing shoes are worse than bags because not only I have to spend more, I also need to go through the process of finding a good fit and breaking-out new shoes all over again. Luckily, Philippines has a good shoe industry. Marquina Shoemaker is one of those. I’ll be reviewing their Armas Chukka boots.
Chukka boots are one of my favorite shoe styles. These are ankle-height boots with 2 to 3 eyelets. They are made in leather including suede. The sole can be leather, rubber or crepe. Chukka boots in crepe soles are also called desert boots. Some of the well-known chukka boots are those of Clarks and Red Wing.
What I like about chukka boots is that they are lighter than taller boots. Aesthetically, they are simple which makes them easy to integrate as part of everyday wardrobe specially in a smart-casual look. I think they are actually the perfect shoes in Manila. They can protect you from rain and puddles due to being leather and good ankle height but are also lightweight enough for the tropical heat.
Marquina Shoemakers Armas is one of the chukka boots in my shoe rotation. I like it so much that I purchased two in size twelve (my Nike basketball shoe size is also twelve). I have the colors chestnut brown and walnut suede which is more of a dark brown. These are great colors in terms of versatility. There are also other awesome colors in their website for more options.
The shape or cut is sleek which makes it appear longer. It has this dressier feel to it even though these are boots. I usually prefer a rounded toe and buliker sole for a more rugged look but having the Armas chukka boots is good for diversity. They look well in slim tapered pants from jeans, chinos and wool trousers. You should be careful wearing them in wider pants as it can swallow this streamlined shoes.
They can feel snug due to the sleek cut of the shoes. People with wide feet like me might experience initial tightness but it should not cause pain. It should also feel better as you wear it more as it “breaks-in” the leather. It is still better to try it first but Marquina Shoemaker has good exchange policy based in my experience. Although I’m not familiar of their return policy.
Like all of their shoes, they are constructed using Blake-stitch which I won’t explain in detail but different shoe construction explanations are available in the internet like here. If you want a shoe that will last for a long time while wearing it often, make sure to get stitched soles as opposed to cemented or glued ones.
The leather in the shoes looks good. I’m not expert on leather but Marquina Shoemaker is using full-grain based in the description in their website. Full-grain leathers are the best quality. There are a lot of information in the internet regarding different types of leather like in here.
I also bought the suede version of Armas Chukka boots. I love suede shoes as I think it look interesting. It is also easier to incorporate in more casual outfits. It tends to be better in warm climate because it’s softer. It has a reputation of being vulnerable in wet and rainy conditions but in my experience, that is not really the case. It can handle rain and if you’re really worried, there are products that can make suede more water resistant. Having said that, if I know that it will be a rainy day, I would usually grab my non-suede shoes. It’s just that if I’m caught in the rain while wearing suede shoes, I won’t worry about it.
I wear Armas chukka boots once or twice a week in office and weekends. They mostly fit in my smart-casual and buisness-casual attire. I can also wear them in a more relax weekend setting. I’m not sure though if you can wear this in more rugged inspired work-wear outfit despite being boots as they really are sleek-looking. The key is to wear with a slim tapered pants which is a bit of an issue for me as I am leaning more towards wide “regular” fit pants. Regardless, I was still able find place for them in my rotations and they look really good.
Armas chukka boots and Marquina Shoemaker products in general are of great value. I already bought many shoes from them which I will also do reviews in the future. Their shoes are classic and good-looking styles with reliable quality. I definitely recommend them. Thank you for reading and please support Philippine brands 🙂