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How Huckberry and Danner Brought a Classic 1960s Chukka Back to Life

Travis Khachatoorian
Expertise:

Boots, Heritage Fashion, News, Journalism

Travis is an Emmy and Edward R Murrow award winning journalist with 10 years reporting experience with NBC and CBS. He's followed stories around the world: into the path of Hurricane Michael in Florida, with Alaskan dogs on the trail of The Iditarod, and in the belly of a C-130 with US Paratroopers off the coast of Australia. Travis left the news to live a less action packed life with his wife and son in Southern California, but he’s still passionate about quality reporting and heritage style boots. Read full bio.


Last Updated: Apr 9, 2024
4 min read

Just when I thought I knew chukkas, this happened.

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In March, the designers at the men’s fashion website Huckberry teamed up with Danner to bring back the 1960s Canoe Moc. Aside from a few one-offs, this boot has been out of production for decades, so to see it back from the dead with a fresh new look blew me away.

The latest rendition is called the Mountain Moc 917. It’s a camp shoe that features a Gore-Tex liner, stitchdown construction, a Vibram sole, and an unmistakable look.

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I reached out to the people at Huckberry to learn more about the work behind the scenes, how to style this boot, and how long they’ll be constructing it. This is what one of their designers, Drew Bell, had to say about the collaboration.

A Q&A with Huckberry

Travis: Take us back to the beginning. Why did you decide to make this collaboration boot?

Drew: This boot goes back years, we asked Danner if we could modernize their iconic canoe moc, a chukka we had sold years prior, with history going back decades. We loved the old school look but wanted to update the boot with modern tech, breathable waterproof Gore-tex lining and vibram soles. 

Travis: How long did it take to bring this project to life? Was it a tough process?

Drew: This project has been in the works for over almost 5 years, from ideation to concept. This was a brand new style for Danner, meaning they had to create a whole new last, fit test and wear test, putting it through their extremely rigorous process in order to ensure it met their standards of quality.

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Travis: What was it like working with Danner?

Drew: Working with the Danner team is always amazing. We’ve been selling Danner boots since almost the beginning at Huckberry, so we have a great relationship with everyone there and their brand values really align with ours. We’ve done many special projects with them at this point and it’s still fun seeing what new ideas we’re all able to come up with together, it’s definitely a collaborative process.

Travis: Danner makes just about every style of boot under the sun. What drew you to recreate such a throwback design?

Drew: Again, this boot was really inspired by the original canoe moc, we loved that iconic stitching around the mudguard, and the chukka is a perfect height for a year round boot. It was all about embracing the nostalgia and heritage of the original Canoe Moc, and updating with all the new technology Danner has spent years developing. 

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Travis: It looks like there’s a mix of full grain cow leather and suede used in the upper. Is that purely for style or does the dark leather on the bottom serve a specific purpose?

Drew: The whole make up of the boot is directly inspired by the original version of the canoe moc. Full grain is typically easier to clean and provides better water resistance than suede historically, however with the addition of the breathable Gore-tex lining, the entire boot is now water proof. 

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Travis: Who is this boot designed for?

Drew: We designed this boot as much for the outdoors as for lifestyle, the 917 sole and outsole are comfortable enough for hours of hiking, and the waterproof Gore-tex membrane will have you protected in any weather. It’s really for that person that wants the old school look, but with the modern technology you’d expect from a boot in 2024. They are also fully recraftable, Danner can put new soles on them, replace the Gore-tex liner, fix any issues you might encounter so there is never any need to be precious with them, and they’ll stand up to years and years of wear. 

This was a brand new style for Danner, meaning they had to create a whole new last, fit test and wear test, putting it through their extremely rigorous process in order to ensure it met their standards of quality.

Travis: How would you style this boot? 

Drew: I’d style them with some work pants, ripstop cargo pants, or sturdy denim. Something I can move around in but pairs back to that old school vibe. As it gets warmer I’d even throw these on with a pair of shorts for my summer hiking boot option. 

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Travis: How do you feel about the final product?

Drew: Love it, the Danner team did such an amazing job bringing our vision to life and re-inventing a classic. Danner was the first American hiking boot brand, so it’s really awesome getting to tell some of that story with the product.

Travis: Will this boot be around for sale for a while or is this a limited run?

Drew: While we made as much as possible to meet demand, they’re selling even faster than expected and we have no plans to re-stock, so once they’re gone, they’re gone! 

Huckberry x Danner Mountain Moc 917

The original 1960s Canoe Moc is now reinvented into the Mountain Moc 917, for limited release

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