Information about the Wellington Boot, history and style

Giving Wellys

The history of the Wellington Boot and the story of the events that led to the production of one of the world's most popular boots is as familiar as a favorite blanket, drawn from the footlocker. The success of the first duke of Wellington against Napoleon at Waterloo, the custom designed boot that he asked of his cobbler, and the highly modified design that has been handed down over generations is a well told tale of struggle and success that needs little retelling, yet still bears up under the retelling regardless.

After the famous creation of the boots for the duke of Wellington, the popularity of the boots that bore his name soared as the war hero was emulated by his thankful and adoring public. Demand for the new style of low cut boots could be directly attributed to the changing fashions of the day, as the trousers and pants of the modern day began to supplant the frilly breeches and leggings of a bygone era. Once firmly established in European culture, the Wellington style of manufacturing boots enjoyed an explosion in numbers as World War I and trench warfare created a need for 1.2 million pairs of Hunter Wellington Rubber Boots for troops in squalid and muddy conditions in the trenches of rain swept battle fields of Europe.

The North British Rubber Company, also known as the Wellington Rubber Boot Company, had good fortune and continued to do well commercially, introducing both Royal Hunter and green Hunter Wellingtons to the consumers in 1954. Commercial reaction to the new colors was initially very slow and a purchase of forty pairs was considered as a tremendous success in that time. But the company did not give up in their efforts to promote the Wellington rubber boot and presented the boots at an endless succession of fairs and shows.

North British Rubber Company changed their company name in 1966, changing the name to Uniroyal Limited, which remained a name for some time afterwards. The popularity of the Wellington rubber boot was undiminished of course and sales remained strong despite the change. Later, in 1986, the Gates Rubber Company bought UniRoyal and one year later the name of the Wellington rubber boot company based in Scotland was changed to Gates Rubber Company as well. In 1996,Tomkins PLC of London purchased in whole the Gates Rubber Company and immediately sold it to Interfloor, a large carpet underlayment manufacturer. The Hunter management bought the footwear division from Interfloor, the carpet underlayment company, and for the only time since it's inception, the business was a stand-alone, completely independent company in 2004.

To celebrate the 50th Birthday of the Hunter Wellington Boot Company, North British Rubber and Uniroyal, Hunter launched the Giving Welly charity campaign, a unique program designed to assist a host of charitable organizations that work together to increase solicited donations for charitable interests from the sale of the seven specially colored Hunter Wellington boots, each color dedicated for the various charities. By participating in the purchase and sale of these seven special colored boots, buyers can help the Hunter Wellington Rubber Boot company help others, by donating the proceeds of the sales of these special custom colored boots to an assortment of charities and fund drives that assist those in need.