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  Q: Was the Wellington Boot always made from rubber?


A: updated (27/02/2012)

It appears not. The Wellington Boot refers more to a style than to a material. The first Wellington boot was a modified version of the Hessian boot - standard issue boot for the military - but was still made from leather. The Wellington Boot was popularised and named after the first Duke of Wellington - Arthur Wellesley - who led the British army to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in the early nineteenth century.

Only later was the Wellington boot made from rubber, and then from PVC. The advantage of these materials being their waterproof attribute, in comparison to leather - a porous material. The decade when Wellington boots began to be made from rubber was in the 1850's, when Charles Goodyear - an American inventor - developed a vulcanization process to make rubber more stable. Present day the Wellington boot is worn across the globe - usually for outdoor manual work - and is often referred to as a "welly".


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