Wellington Boots are now amongst the most popular and versatile items of footwear in the world. From children going to school in the rain, to farmers working in fields, wellies are worn throughout the world.
Wellington boots were invented by the First Duke of Westminster, in 1817, who asked his shoemaker to modify his hessian boots. The modifications resulted in a new boot made from calfskin leather, with a low heel, and fitted round the calf. It allowed for boots that were comfortable enough in battle, yet could still be worn the rest of the time.
Soon, the boots became popular with people who wanted to copy their war hero. After the rubber vulcanisation process was invented, and the patent for Wellington boots was bought, Wellington boots started to be made from rubber, and were made in France for the French farm workers who were still wearing wooden clogs to work. The advent of the rubber boot meant that their feet were warm and dry at the end of the day.
The rubber boot was in high demand during WW1, and the mills ran day and night to keep up with demand. In total, 1,185,036 pairs of Wellington boots were made for the army. WW2 also saw a high demand for the boots. By the end of WW2, Wellingtons had become popular with civilians, and it wasn’t just farm workers who were wearing them.
Although we tend to think of wellies as mainly for children on wet and rainy days, there are many other situations where wellies are invaluable. Wellingtons are the staple footwear of many farmers and those who live, work and play in the countryside. Because of their versatility, anglers, walkers, hunters and visitors to the countryside find their wellies are essential.
For those festival goers who spend their summer weekends in tents, and listening to bands at music festivals, wellies are essential, even if it’s not raining. The grass often soon turns mud and makes walking around quite precarious. By wearing wellington boots, you can protect your feet and still get around whilst staying warm and dry. If it’s raining or muddy to start off with, wellingtons are even more important.
They can be worn by those who are likely to be walking across wet grass, perhaps at amateur sporting events like Sunday League football, or when taking the dog for a walk. If you regularly go to the beach, you might find that your wellies are more use than a pair of trainers or walking shoes. Also, as you’re wearing wellies, you can explore the rock pools, and maybe even paddle when the water’s cold.
It’s a good idea to keep a pair in the car and be prepared, especially in winter. You may have to dig your car out, or abandon your car completely, and it’s much better to walk in wellies than in your work shoes.
Now you know more about wellington boots, isn’t it time you made sure that you and your family have wellies, so that you are prepared, whatever the weather and wherever you go?