Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.
Traveling for the holidays is basically one big style compromise. Limited packing space is the culprit, of course. Want to wear that jacket to see the family and drink some eggnog? Well, then this sweater has to stay home. Can’t spend a day without your favorite jeans? Well, that’s one pair of chinos that might not make the cut.
I can’t tell you the magic solution to all of this. Bringing more bags is an option, but one that kind of sucks. Packing light seems better, but I won’t pretend I know the perfect formula. What I do know—and can heartily confirm after recently breaking the zipper on a weekender bag while trying to shove an extra pair of boots in there—is that bringing less footwear along for the ride is definitely a good idea.
That’s where the Felix chukka boot from Rhodes comes in. It’s the perfect in-betweener: the one that can pull double duty for dressed-up and dressed-down occasions alike. That’s not all it’s got going for it, though.
It’s a chameleon.
The right chukka boot can work with pretty much any outfit. If you need to impress grandma, go ahead and get a little fancy with some tailored trousers and an unstructured sport coat. (Or a full suit, if that’s how you roll.) If you’re just hanging out, throw the boots on with a pair of jeans and don’t worry about them unless a shoelace comes untied. The Felix, with its streamlined shape and (not too shiny) leather upper balanced by a sturdy rubber sole, works equally well in both situations. No need for casual and dress shoes; save space and just bring the one pair. This pair.
It’s a welcome addition to any footwear rotation.
Maybe a versatile pair of travel-friendly boots isn’t a big deal for you because you’re…not traveling. Fair enough. These chukkas are still something you’ll want on hand to tackle the onslaught of events we all face at the end of the year. That versatility works at home, you know. Plus, it erases some of the mental effort of planning for those events, so you can focus on finding the right gifts and making sure the rest of your outfit is up to snuff.
It’s crafted to last.
If buying a pair of boots solely for the holiday season seems a little nuts, that’s because it is. That the Felix is well-suited to the occasion is great, but I’m not suggesting you throw yours in the back of the closet for 11 months once the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. These boots are made in Portugal from a durable calfskin upper, and their Blake construction means they’re resoleable. They’re meant to be worn, all throughout the year. That dressed-up/dressed-down magic works just as well in March or September as it does in December. And once you’ve put some serious miles on them, you can swap out that sole and start all over again.