Rubber boots are back with a vengeance! Neatly stepping into the history of boots has been looked into in this article. Here you will find all the facts, trivia, and intriguing insights on rubber boots. 

The History of Rubber Boots:

In 1819, a French scientist called Charles Goodyear accidentally discovered what makes rubber so resistant to breaking down and tearing. He had been experimenting with various ways to use latex from different plants when he poured a mixture of rubber and sulfur onto a hot stove. The mixture turned hard, but when he later cooled it down and tried to tear it, not only did it resist tearing but also bounced back into shape. It was the birth of vulcanization — adding sulfur during the boiling process that gives rubber its toughness and elasticity. Rubber was first patented by Brooklyn chemist Charles Goodyear in 1839. By 1844, rubber was being commercialized by American Charles Goodyear Jr., who called it “vulcanite” on account of its resemblance to that material, which was known for its ability to withstand heat and pressure that leather could not. Charles Goodyear’s accidental discovery of vulcanization dates back to 1839 when he accidentally spilled some sulfur onto some rubber in his home laboratory in Ohio. The mixture hardened into a tough, elastic substance that proved impervious to heat and wear.

The 1800s

In 1823, Thomas Hancock discovered the process of vulcanization. He noticed that rubber became much more resistant to water after being treated with sulfur. Charles Goodyear patented the first commercial rubber boots in 1844.  In 1926, rubber boots were manufactured in Great Britain by Charles Knight Ltd., an umbrella maker based in London, England. Their manufacturing facility had its chemical plant. They attained a 20% rubber content by using sulfur to cure their rubbers before being sent through a series of pumps and filters to be vulcanized into shape then shaped into boots with a flat sole to be pounded into shape.

The 1930s – 1990s

In 1937, the U.S. Rubber Company created the “Original Boot.” It came with a steel shank and a non-skid outer sole that was designed with a flexible tread. In 1944, they then created a new model that became popularly known as “The Army Boot” because of its popularity with the U.S. Army during World War II and ensuing years of service in the military and civilian sectors of society up to the present time on some models for work boots. In 1979, international sales of rubber boots exceeded one million pairs annually for the first time. In 1993, the U.S. Rubber Company was acquired by Italian-based Pirelli and agreed with the Cavanagh Company to manufacture rubber boots in the United States.

In 1995, sales of rubber boots exceeded 3 million pairs worldwide. The United States accounted for 65% of worldwide sales that year. The primary market is an apparel and apparel repair shops, such as shoe repair outlets and mail order companies such as Sears. It is because many people purchase their footwear from these types of sources for various reasons, including cost savings, convenience, selection availability, and comfort, to name a few. Since 1995, rubber boot sales have doubled within ten years. It is believed that the trend of purchasing by mail order has dramatically affected the U.S. Rubber Company’s growth in sales of rubber boots.

The 2000s 

In 2004, sales of rubber boots reached 4 million pairs annually in the U.S., U.K., and Canadian markets. The leading market share of sales was in the apparel industry with 42% for men’s and 41% for women’s footwear sales on average for each market which was more on shoes rather than boots. The United States led retail sales with a 30% share, followed by Canada with 11% percent and the United Kingdom with 8%. In 2008, the U.S. Rubber Company had reached an annual six million pair of rubber boots on its U.S. market. Its primary market was in the apparel industry, with 53% men’s and 66% of women’s footwear sales on average for each market which was more on shoes rather than boots. The United States led retail sales with a 40% share, followed by Canada with 8% percent and the United Kingdom with 6%.

Rubber boots today are designed with the needs of the modern woman in mind. From rain, mud and streams to rugged terrains, rubber boots are made with comfort in mind. Here is a brief history on how rubber boots came to be. The most common type of rubber boot is the Wellington style which started out in 1817 when Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (the Iron Duke) borrowed some over-shoes or Wellies from his servant’s child for his portrait. This photograph became an iconic symbol associated with Britishness across the world and it also marks when this style of shoe was first worn by soldiers who referred to them as “Wellington Boots”.

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After reading this article, you can grasp a brief history of rubber boots. Moreover, you can also get knowledge about different types of shoes. 


What are Work boots? 
Work Boots are used to protecting the foot while performing labor-related activities. Work Boots have a thick outsole, which provides shock absorption and protects the foot from injuries. There are three general categories for this type of footwear:
Casual Work Boots (leather boots or synthetic boots): Casual work boots are great for industrial settings like factories, construction sites, lumber yards, etc. They are sturdy and made of durable materials. They are also lightweight compared to other types of work boots. The sole is usually made of rubber or mesh material.
Durable Work Boots: Durable work boots are durable, sturdy, and designed to hold up under heavy use. They are also made of leather or rubber outsole to provide shock absorption and protect the foot from injuries during heavy use. 
Ballet Work Boots: This type of footwear is ideal if you need a lot of support for your feet while dancing on stage or practicing moves with other dancers in a ballet studio. This type of work boot is made for precision, so you might find it difficult to walk or move around in them. 

What is a rain boot?
Rain boots are footwear that protects your feet from rain and dampness without completely covering them. Boots usually have a rubber, textile, or plastic outsole and water-resistant upper to keep you dry. You can also find boots with removable fleece uppers to make them more suitable for warmer weather.

What are waterproof boots?
A waterproof boot is a boot with an outer rubber layer to keep water out. It makes waterproof boots perfect for those wet and rainy days, as well as those snowstorms where you know it’s going to be one of those days.

What are waterproof work boots?
A waterproof work boot is a type of footwear designed to protect the wearer’s feet from weather conditions.

What is a wellington boot?
Wellingtons boots are the standard footwear for hiking, backpacking, trekking, or any other outdoor activity. Wellington boots are typically heavy-duty leather with a steel toe and weigh around 1 pound per boot.