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History of The Chelsea Boot

/ Words: Melanie van Berkel

/ Category: History

/ Published: January 2022

History of The Chelsea Boot

The Chelsea Boot is a type of shoe that is so strongly integrated into today’s fashion that you can find countless variations. Chelsea Boots are leather or suede ankle boots with a sturdy sole and an elastic side that serves as a replacement for laces. This makes putting on and taking off easy while staying extremely comfortable. In this article we’ll tell you more about the Chelsea Boot’s origin and evolution.

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The origin of The Chelsea Boot

The Chelsea Boots date from the Victorian era – the mid to the end of the nineteenth century when the English Queen Victoria was in power. Because Queen Victoria was an active horse rider, her laces regularly broke in her stirrups. She asked her personal shoemaker, J. Sparkes-Hall, if he could design a boot without laces. Thanks to the introduction of rubber on the market, it had become possible to develop an elastic side so that people could easily get into their boots. The first version of The Chelsea Boot was born. From that moment on, Chelsea Boots were especially popular among horse riders and hikers because of their comfort and convenience. In those days the boots were simply better known as ‘elastic ankle boots’.

Chelsea Boot: From practical shoe to fashion icon

From 1950 onwards the Chelsea Boots became more and more popular within daily fashion as not only amazones used them any longer. They really became integrated into the fashion scene when the so-called British ‘Mods’ started wearing them. The Mods were young, modern, fashion-conscious jazz lovers that formed a counterculture that led to a cultural revival after the Second World War. To protect their clothes, the Mods wore long parkas while transporting themselves on striking scooters that they adorned with countless lights and mirrors. To finish their outfits, they wore boots with side elastics. The place where the Mods gathered? King’s Road in the Chelsea district of London! That is where the current name of the shoe comes from.

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Chelsea Boots types

Since the adoption of The Chelsea Boots by the Mod’s, countless fashion designers started working with the classic boot design to make their own version. Countless variations of the Chelsea Boot were created. For example, the Beatles have made their own Chelsea Boots which they, very creatively, named The Beatle Boots. The Beatle Boots were slightly more pointed and had a higher, sloping heel than the ordinary Chelsea Boots used for horse riding. The Beatle Boots were wildly popular with rock bands and other artists, from rivals The Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan and Andy Warhol.

Teym – The Chelsea Boot: Comfortable and elegant

At Teym we introduce a modern variant of The Chelsea Boot. When designing The Chelsea Boot we again listened carefully to the wishes of our precious customer base. To make The Chelsea Boot as comfortable as possible, we have opted for a soft insole. This makes The Chelsea Boots much easier to walk on and the chance of blisters is much smaller. For the outer sole we have made the perfect combination between a resistant outer sole and high flexibility, so that you do not lose any walking capacity. The heel of the outer sole is made of both rubber and leather, which provides solid grip while retaining its classic appearance. Easy to put on? Yes, thanks to the leather loop on the backside, you slide into The Chelsea Boot with great ease. The larger sizes of The Chelsea Boots are wider, so there is always a size for both men and women that fits every foot perfectly.

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Sustainable Chelsea Boot

Being a sustainable slow fashion label, Teym strives to produce products that meet our ethical guidelines. The Chelsea Boot is produced in our factory in Portugal, Santo Tirso. We specifically chose this modern factory because it meets all European guidelines and uses the latest technologies. This allows them to produce more efficiently, to use environment friendly dyeing methods and to give their employees a fair salary. But why leather? Leather is still one of the materials used for shoeing with the highest lifespan. A Chelsea Boot, which outer sole you can replace every few years, can easily last 20 years while it’s still good looking. That is why the heel of our Chelsea Boot is made of a replaceable pad, so that the rest of the sole may remain intact during repair. We believe that a product is only truly sustainable when you want to wear it as much as possible. That’s why we introduced a timeless Chelsea Boot without studs, decorations and unnecessary details – one that will stand the test of time.

Discover the factory where we make our Chelsea Boots here.

Are you interested in The Chelsea Boot? Take a look at the product page for men or women.