We know Chelsea boots look great, but have you ever wondered how they became so popular? The robust and comfortable boot has certainly made a name for itself in the fashion world – with some of the biggest celebrities walking around in it. Even when worn by the average joe, the Chelsea boot still manages to exude a touch of style. Let’s dive a little into the past to get an insight into how this iconic boot came to be…
The History of the Iconic Chelsea Boot
Chelsea boots have been popular for decades and you may be surprised to know that the early versions of these boots go back about 200 years, although in the early days they were simply called Paddock Boots.
It all started at the end of the 1830s, in England. When Queen Victoria became frustrated with the laces getting caught while riding, she had her shoemaker ditch a pair of laceless boots to fix the problem. Around this time vulcanized rubber was discovered (although its original inventor is up for debate), a material that made it possible to create the useful elastic covering on the boot, to squeeze tight without laces.
Many years later (around the 1960s), the Paddock Boot had a resurgence in popularity when fashionistas started wearing them in a certain London borough. Anyone dare to try? Right, in Chelsea. It was the yuppies who wore them (mods, rebellious types). That’s about the time people went crazy for the Chelsea boot because bands like The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix and The Beatles wore them.
Global Styles Collide
This is where it gets really interesting – while this was all happening in the UK, similar functional and laceless boots, known as Bush Boots, were already popular in Australia for workers and Jodhpur boots in India (similar to the design of a riding boot). The popular Blundstone brand proudly advertises that the company was founded in 1870 when they started making Australian work boots.
It’s hard to find clear timelines here, but it’s easy to see that people all over the world loved the simplicity and practicality of laceless boots. Eventually, all these variations began to overlap and merge more and more. Today the term “Chelsea Boot” stands for the London paddock boot, the riding boots from India and the Bush Boots from Down Under.
Why are Chelsea Boots still so popular today?
It’s that simple: Chelsea Boots can be worn with any style. They can be dressed up or down and never look out of place. Heck, even put on shorts and Chelsea boots and you’ll still look cool – something that shouldn’t even be possible. Because Chelsea Boots were so popular and successful worldwide, they have been worn by so many icons and celebrities that it is impossible to turn back the fashion clock. They were iconic decades ago and they are iconic today.
Keep these things in mind when shopping
If you’ve never worn a pair of Chelsea Boots before, we recommend going to a store to try them on, purely because the lack of laces might put you off a bit when it comes to size. This is especially true if you choose a new brand that you have not worn before.
In terms of style and color (or finish), you really can’t go wrong here. Take a look at your pants and see what colors you have. Brown boots look great with blue jeans and black boots look great with more formal outfits or black jeans.
If you’re not sure which brand to go for, do yourself a favor and pay a little extra for premium quality. Don’t settle for the average high-street brands, they will fall apart in no time. You want quality materials for your boots – they will not only be more comfortable, but they will also look better. What are you waiting for, go get some!
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