The distinguishing features of the boots are the elasticated side panels, or gussets, in place
of laces or other fastenings. This was a very innovative design at the time, as it allowed the
Victorian woman to slip on her tight fitted ankle-boots more easily.
J. Sparkes-Hall, bootmaker to Queen Victoria back in 1837 is credited with inventing what we now know as the Chelsea boot. The development of vulcanized rubber gave him the idea to produce an elastic sided boot that could be slipped in and out of with minimal effort.
In the patent Sparkes-Hall filed for his creation in 1851, he claimed ‘She (Queen Victoria) walks in them daily and thus gives the strongest proof of the value she attaches to the invention’.
The Chelsea boot has become a staple in any decent gent’s footwear wardrobe. They are stylish, comfortable, sporty, and look damn sexy. Add to this they are super easy to slip on and off, and fit snug during wear, and you’ll understand why owning several pairs is not excessive, but mandatory.
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Article first published as Gentlemens Boots – The Chelsea on Technorati.