With their aggressive marketing, great products and a long history, Church’s shoes are very popular and well-known brands to everyone. Church’s was founded by Thomas Church in 1873, in Northampton, England. Just like many other shoe-makers in Northampton, Church’s was actively producing and developing boots during both World Wars. Then in 1999, Church’s was bought by the Prada group with the acquisition price around $170 million. Many people say that the quality of the shoes have plummeted after the acquisition and many miss the old Church’s models. For 20 years, Church’s has been advertising very aggressively trying to achieve a luxurious image, and personally, the quality of the shoes is comparable with other British shoe-makers.
I will review the Church’s Tasmania Chukka Boots and find more about the famous Church’s brand.
I purchased the Church’s chukkas through E-bay when I was a student at Bristol University, the seller explained he only tried them on, and they didn’t fit him. The photos were okay, so I ordered the shoes at a price much lower than the retail price. When I got the boots, and I open box, the shoes were beautiful, and they were in a new condition, except for the small scuff on the right heel. I was not happy about the leather damage, but I did buy these off the seller at a low price, so I decided to keep them. I bought a tube of Saphir renovating cream and attempted to fix the heel.
The damage on the leather was not significant, but it was not small enough for the renovating cream to cover. Luckily though as you can see on the photo, you cannot tell the scuff exists and over the years the scuff has improved.
The Church’s Tasmania Chukkas have two pairs of eyelets on each shoe. Personally, I do get uncomfortable with two eyelets secure system on boots. I get worried that they cannot hold the boots secure enough. These don’t have any problems regarding the shoes not being secure and dangling around. Each shoe is made of three pieces of brown calf leather.
Chukka boots are ankle boots that are usually made of calf leather or suede. They were popular during the 1940s, and still Chukkas are a popular choice among everyone. Desert boots are Chukka boots that are made often made of suede and crepe soles.
Church’s Chukka Tasmania model seems to be discontinued, and you can’t see this on the official Church’s website, but some online shops are selling this model and Church’s have a lot of other great shoes. I read a lot of comments about the negative side of the new Church’s, but it seems like the quality is not as bad as many people say.
Okay, I will be honest, I do not know how the quality was before Prada group purchased the brand. I was not at the age to wear or have any interest in fine shoes. However, the only pair of Church’s I have is fantastic. They did have a break-in period that gave me some blisters on my feet while I was travelling in Istanbul, but I was walking around so much I bet even running shoes could have a given me blisters. Yesterday, I was walking around Seoul, South Korea in the rain with these Chukkas on to finalise my thought towards these boots. The shoes were very secure and waterproof, and now they don’t give me any blisters because the cork filling has molded to my feet.
I usually wear size UK 11 or US 12 for Sneakers like Nike and Adidas, and I wear US 11 for Red Wing boots. Size of the Church’s Chukka boots is UK 11 G, which is not the average size that I pick for my dress shoes. These were bought when I didn’t know much about shoes and how sizing works. I could have definitely gone for 10.5G, but during the winter with thicker socks, they do fit well, so I am not mad about it. Also, if I tighten the laces, it is only just slightly big for me and does not feel uncomfortable or dangle around.
If you have a chance to try the shoes, then I would advise you to visit the actual shop and try them, but if you don’t have the opportunity go for a half size smaller option. If you cannot visit the shop and there is no stock left, I would say going for your regular sneakers size is okay too.
The leather used on these boots is called Nevada leather. Nevada leather is very smooth and sturdy. The Nevada leather is vacuum tanned or economical mineral tanned, it’s free of chrome. Also, it’s a full-grain leather which means it’s the best quality leather you can find in the market. It shows on the shoes. You can see that the leather on this is impressive and smooth. Calf leather lining is used for the boots inside.
Since the Nevada leather is smooth, it feels like that it polishes more easily compared to other textured leather types. I don’t have to spend a long time to keep them shiny. Furthermore, the day before I wrote this, I was in heavy rain wearing these shoes. I was surprised how waterproof the boots were. Usually, not all leather products are waterproof since leather has pores.
The soles used on these boots are the Dainite soles. These are Goodyear welted. I do love Dainite soles because of their look and practicality. The welt sticks out a lot more compared to other dress shoes. It’s not stated online, but it seems like the soles are storm welted on. Also, I saw some leather soles boots online too. So, look out when you pick these boots online.
I don’t need to state why I love Dainite soles; we all know why. Korea, where I currently live, has a very harsh and weather throughout the season. In the summer the temperature goes up, and it rains a lot, and in the winter it is freezing and snows a lot. Naturally, leather soles are not very popular.
In my opinion, I would say my Church’s chukka boots have a stunning shape and astounding quality. Considering what others have said, that these are very impressive, I would recommend these to anyone who would want to wear them. I cannot say for all the Church’s shoes, but if they are anything like Tasmania chukkas, I am willing to buy other Church’s shoes too.