The Story Behind the Rain Boot -- aka The Wellington
If there is one wardrobe staple every girl needs in April, it's rain boots. Whether you're walking on slippery sidewalks or jumping puddles, the rain boot is key to staying dry. Unlike the high heel, which was invented in the late 16th century, the rain boot was only invented less than two centuries ago!
A Brief History:
In early 19th century England, Arthur Wellesly, the First Duke of Wellington could not stop wearing his favorite pair of shoes known as Hessian boots. The tall, tasseled boots for men were given to him by the Hessians, a group of German soldiers hired by the British Empire. The Duke loved his shoes so much, he instructed his shoe maker to modify the boots by removing the tassels and making the boot more form-fitting. Looking to emulate the Duke, aristocrats in England began wearing this type of boot and it became known as the "Wellington."
In 1853, Hiram Hutchinson introduced rubber to the Wellington boot. The rubber Wellington's were first given to french farmers who needed protection in the wet fields. From then on, the "Wellington" became a staple on farms and in cities around Europe.
The "Wellington" became popular in the United States in the early 20th century. Known as the rain boot, little has changed between the original "Wellington" and the rain boot that we know today. The main difference is in the color. The British version is traditionally green and has remained this color since its inception but the United States version comes in a variety of colors, most strikingly, yellow.
If there is one fan of the traditional "Wellington" it's the royal family! We take a look at some of their best moments in these iconic British shoes.