Blog & Season Trends

The history behind Chelsea Boots.

2 March 2017

The boots that are now known as the Chelsea boot have Victorian roots. The design and invention of the Chelsea boot is attributed to J. Sparkes-Hall, boot maker to Queen Victoria. 

Characteristics of Chelsea Boots:

1. Ankle Lenght

2. Have rounded toes.

3. Low heels.

4. Two parts each made from a single piece of leather: the vamp and the quarters.

5. The vamp and the quarters meet near the ankle where they are joined by a strip of vulcanized rubber or elastic.

6. The strip of elastic extends to just below the ankle but not all the way down to the sole (just above the welt).

7. The vamp and quarters are not sewn one on top of the other. Instead, they are sewn together in one plain below the ankle.

While the Chelsea boots share their first four characteristics with the Jodhpur boots, the remaining three distinguish them from the Jodhpur boots.

How Chelsea Boots got their name? 

According to J. Sparkes-Hall, the Chelsea boot was initially used by both men and women as walking shoes. Some sources state that they were initially used for horse riding; however, riding breeches in those days were designed to be worn with tall boots. Ankle boots, on the other hand, were a dominant form of men’s daytime footwear, and it is thus safe to conclude that the Chelsea boot was first used for walking and then made the transition to riding.

Some even claim they were referred to as Paddock boots at one point in time. In any case, the style remained a staple until WWI. In the mid-1950s, a group consisting of young artists, film directors, and socialists started frequenting the King´s Road, area in West London. This group was named the ‘Chelsea Set’ by the media, and they made the name ‘Chelsea’ synonymous with a new way of living and dressing. This group, which included well-known fashion icons Mary Quant and Jean Shrimpton, started favoring the Paddock boots and soon they began to be considered the ultimate leisure accessory and hence were renamed to Chelsea Boots.

Chelsea Boots Today. 

The Chelsea boots today are extremely popular due to their simplistic and classic look.  They can be dressed up, down, and then back again very easily. Chelsea boots give a man timeless charm and signals heritage – some would even say old fashion alpha male power.

Chelsea boots are extremely versatile and can be worn with both formal and casual outfits. Most men will like the fact that they can combine the same pair of boots with jeans or a suit. Their simple and clean lines compliment most outfits.

Chelsea boots have been featured in the collections of most leading designers, and you should feel free to experiment with whichever style you are comfortable with. Although chunky, thick soled Chelsea boots are available, slim soled styles are preferable. 

Chelsea boots were made for men that love power and love to walk with style. 


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