From knee highs to ankle grazers, wellingtons to western styles, there is no such thing as a bad boot. However, with its effortless adaptability and iconic status there may just be one that would claim the top spot if there was a ‘best boots’ chart. All hail the enduring appeal of the Chelsea boot.
This beautiful, adaptable boot has a long and prestigious history. As with many of today’s best-loved and longest-standing inventions, it was those visionary Victorians who first strode forth in this style. In fact, it was Queen Victoria’s cobbler who created the boot, although they were initially called a Paddock Boot and were primarily worn by riders or while out walking.
Their current title came about in the 1950s after they became a style staple for a band of avant-garde trailblazers named after the area of London they chose as their stomping ground. The notorious Chelsea Set included writers and artists, as well as aristocrats and musicians, and they were the influencers of their day. Written about in newspapers and magazines, they led the UK’s fashion renaissance and really kick started the Chelsea boot trend.
Revered by superstars everywhere, including The Beatles and Andy Warhol, the boot quickly became an icon – one that could be worn by anyone. For the slightly more daring, they replaced the brogue in the 1960s workplace, while for many they were really the only style to be seen in on a night out. Today the Chelsea boot is still seen as a footwear favourite for style connoisseurs and is celebrated by modern-day icons, from Kate Moss to Victoria Beckham.