Like I need an excuse to shop! But seriously, there really is nothing like a change in season for me to convince myself exactly that! And this week after a few too many early mornings taking our new puppy out on rather dewy wet grass I was definitely in the market for something a little more practical than my Jimmy Choo’s for keeping those toes warm and more importantly, dry!
And what could be a more appropriate British Product for the time of year? A pair of Wellington boots of course.
Yes, the Wellington boot was first fashioned in the UK following a request from Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, to his boot maker, Mr George Hoby of St James Street in the early 1800’s.
The adaptation of a more practice boot, that would be more appropriate with the latest trouser fashion and the Wellington boot was born.
With Wellington’s success at the Battle of Victoria and then the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Duke quickly became a fashion icon, with many adopting his style of boot and it popularity leading to the boots being named the ‘Wellingtons’.
By the 1830’s, the Dukes rise in the political files, which lead to him becoming Prime Minister in 1828, often saw him depicted by cartoonists as a Wellington Boot, with a face.
The Wellington boot continued to be fashionable until the Dukes death in 1853, when popularity declined and shorter alternatives became popular.
However, Wellington’s remained popular for military use.
In 1856 the North British Rubber Company, based in Edinburgh began manufacturing the first rubber version of the boot. Continuing to use the name Wellington for its patriotic roots.
In 1916, the North British Rubber Company was commissioned to manufacture over a million pairs of the boots for use by the British Army during World War I, to prevent trench foot. Following the war, there popularity grew as soldiers returned and the were quickly adopted for use on farms, in the gardens and for general outdoor use.
The North British Rubber Company continued to provide boots to the military in World War II.
In 1956, they created the Original Green Wellington, which later became know as simply, the Original and overtime, the North British Rubber Company was renamed Hunter.
Today Hunter holds 2 Royal Warrants, one from HRH Duke of Edinburgh in 1977 and later from HM The Queen in 1986.
Hunter boots were also rather iconically worn by Lady Diana in her engagements photos with Prince Charles in 1981.
Today hunter are probably best known as the wardrobe essential of every festival fashionista, after they were rather famously worn by Kate Moss at Glastonbury several years ago and which have been a staple ever since.
So it goes without saying, on my quest for dry feet on my early morning walks with the pup there was only one choice and that was Hunter!
Yes, what better excuse did I need for a little seasonal retail therapy and an excuse to buy another great British Product!
And my choice? Well, this was a break from the norm as I have to admit, tucked away in the basements are 2 pairs of Originals (festival use only of course), like I said, like I need an excuse for a little retail therapy but when I came across the rather aptly named Wellesley Jodhpur boot, that I can only describe as the biker boot of wellies it had to be done! My purchase was made and haven’t taken them off since. Yes, when wellies look this good, every day is an outdoor day and I’m one very happy customer!
So what are you waiting for? Give yourself happy feet this autumn and do it in style in a great British Product, a pair of Hunter Wellington Boots. But be warned, one pair is never enough!