History of Chelsea Boots - Harvey Ltd

History of Chelsea Boots

There are specific characteristic features that make the Chelsea boot unique. The Chelsea boot is made with a high ankle length and elastic inserts made from vulcanized rubber on both sides of the ankle, instead of laces, and are made from calf leather. Elastic inserts allow the wearer to slip them on and off easily. Chelsea boots have a low heel and a rounded toe as it provides a long appearance compared to some other designs.


In addition to the shape of the boots, the Chelsea boot itself has a unique history when traced back. According to some arguments, the Chelsea boot was first made for Queen Victoria by shoemaker, J. Sparkes-Hall, in 1837. The Queen herself ordered him to design a pair of boots without laces in order to wear them during her daily strolls. Then, J. Sparkes-Hall designed an elastic sided boot in order for the Queen to put them on and off easily.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the elastic sided boots became popular, and this led equestrians to wearing them while riding. These boots started to be known as paddock boots after worn by riders; however, the elastic sided boots or paddock boots weren’t called Chelsea boots until the 1960’s.

In the 1960’s John Lennon and Paul McCartney ordered shoemakers to add a Cuban heel to these paddock boots which became the turning point in the history of the iconic Chelsea boot. Later on, additional variations were made to the original design of the Chelsea boot by shoemakers as they increased the length of the ankle and elongated the toe. As a result of these, Chelsea boots became high in demand and started to be worn with both casual and formal dresses.

From the Queen of England to Star Wars

In 1977, the first Star Wars was released. Believe it or not, the shoe plays a bigger part than you probably may have realized. If you look closely enough, you’ll notice that the Storm Troopers are wearing Chelsea Boots. They are dyed white. of course.

The most important thing is how the paddock boots were renamed as Chelsea boots. At that time, talented artists, painters, architects, authors, photographers, musicians like the members of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, directors, and actors would frequent King’s Road in Chelsea, one of the best and creative areas in West London, with their paddock boots on. The group was called the Chelsea Set by the media as they were associated with a new way of living and style of Chelsea. This story paved the way for these elastic sided boots or paddock boots to be renamed as Chelsea boots.
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