History: In 1817 The Duke of Wellington unintentionally started a new fashion trend that has lasted centuries when he instructed his shoemaker to modify his 18th century Hessian boot to be suitable for battle and appropriate for the evening.
What was created was the Welly, named after The Duke himself, an item that has been a strong member of the fashion world ever since, surviving every trend and fad since its inception due to its practicality, versatility and classic style.
Worn By: When the ‘wellington’ boot was first created, it was worn only by British aristocrats, but today, it is worn worn by everyone from the royals and celebrities to food industry workers and farmers.
Also Known As: Wellington boots have various names in the English language, depending on where you are in the world, such as rubber-boots, wellies, topboots, billy-boots, gumboots, barnboots, muckboots, rainboots, Macintoshes and galoshes.
Interesting Fact: In South Africa, wellies have been incorporated into a form of semi-traditional dance, known as “gumboot music” or “gumboot zydeco”.
The dance was developed by South African gold miners in the late 19th century as a way of communicating after miners were forbidden to speak with one another while they worked.
The workers incorporated a system of communication using their native tribal rhythms and their work attire which included wellies, hard hats and chains.
Today, this dance lives outside the gold mines, even finding its name in lights in 1999 with a musical written by Richile Gumboot Dancers of Soweto Zenzi Mbuli called ‘Gumboots’. The dance is also practiced by dancers all over South Africa and the United States. We love this sweet video of children at Kliptown Youth Center doing the Gumboot Danc (especially the little boy in the front!
Our Favourites: For kids, Wellies are about practicality, but also about fun and personal style, So, we picked our favourites from the collections at www.AlexandAlexa.com for you!