Smart sneakers and sandals may have been mainstays in our summer wardrobes but, as the mercury drops and the nights draw in, only robust footwear will do. And, for something that’s guaranteed to protect your feet against the more challenging elements, you can’t go wrong with a pair of quality Chelsea boots.
Chelsea boots first appeared in the Victorian era. It came with a sleek and sophisticated design, with elasticated panels on the side to keep them close-fitting but comfortable. Chelsea boots are the most timeless and stylish women’s boots for every fall and winter wardrobe.
Firstly, let’s define what a Chelsea boot is. A Chelsea boot is one of the most popular and best boots styles that features no laces on the front and instead features two elasticated panels on either ankle that stretch to accommodate your foot. Chelsea boots are crafted in all different types of material. They also come in a broad range of designs and styles from sleek and simple to rugged and workwear inspired. So, let’s discuss the history that’s made them so iconic.History
The origins of the Chelsea boot date back to 1851 when Queen Victoria’s cobbler, J. Sparkes-Hall, designed the boot for the Queen who was a regular horse rider. Known at the time as Paddock Boots they were designed to be a lot easier to slide in and out of than the long-laced boots that were fashionable at the time. They were quickly adopted by high society as riding and walking boots, and then later the working class, as practical and sturdy boots that could withstand their farm-based lifestyles.
It wasn’t until the 1950s with the opening of the UK’s first café to serve espresso, the Fantasie café. This invited an explosion of Designers, bohemians, musicians, writers, revolutionaries, and artists to the area, which was of course Chelsea in England. The area became so well known it was named the “Chelsea Set” by the media. The elasticated ankle boot was synonymous with the style and the lifestyle of these fashionable people and the area of Chelsea. Eventually, they became known as the Chelsea Boot.
From Queens to Kings, The Beatles were often seen wearing their own version of the Chelsea boot, The Beatle Boot. This boot was fitted with a High Cuban heel and a more pronounced toe, more like what you’d see on an American Cowboy boot today. This of course meant that with the wild popularity of The Beatles through the 1960s the Chelsea Boot remained synonymous with popular counterculture. They were even worn by Storm Troopers in the Star Wars movies broadening their appeal past the Stage and onto the screen. It was around the 80s that they were recognized as a fantastic boot for riding a motorcycle and were often worn by Punk rockers and through heavy metal fandoms, further expanding their use case and appeal.
With this in mind, we at London Rag have compiled a list of the best chelsea boots to pull on this season, which promise to take you seamlessly and stylishly from the office to after-work drinks.
The Chelsea Boot comes from Royal beginnings but have always been used as a practical and comfortable alternative to whatever the popular footwear style was at the time. The winter boots have been hugely impacted by popular culture through the 1950s and through the 80s, where they appealed to a massive range of cultures and subcultures. Because of this range of uses and styles that the Chelsea boot has to offer, it has become the perfect boot for all occasions. From the boardroom to the garden, a quality Chelsea boot will be comfortable and look fantastic the whole time.