27th January 2016
Once upon a time, wellington boots were very ugly, a bit boring and usually quite uncomfortable. If you were a farmer, you might wear green ones, otherwise you’d probably steer clear altogether, unless you had a muddy dog walk scheduled.
But oh, how times have changed. For now the humble welly is considered anything but dull and frumpy. In fact you could argue that it has become something of a fashion statement. Today wellies are not just about keeping dry; they’re about getting noticed.
Thanks to Britain’s unpredictable precipitation habits, most of us will have owned a pair at one time or another but few of us will know the origins and science behind them. That’s where our history of wellies comes in…
Named after the ‘Iron’ Duke of Wellington, who most famously defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Nicknamed ‘The Beau’, he always looked immaculately stylish, the Daniel Craig of his day, one might say. His calfskin boots became very popular with fashion conscious gentlemen of the time and became known as ‘Wellington Boots’ in his honour. It wasn’t until a bit later during the 1850’s that people began experimenting with rubber and the first generation of rubber boots were born.
If you thought making wellies must be a relatively simple thing (make a mould, pour in some rubber, decorate the outside?) you’d be wrong. There is a big difference between an ordinary rubber boot and a comfortable, leak-proof, slip-proof pair of Joules wellies.
At Joules our Footwear Buyer, Bil Waring and his team work closely with one of the UK’s best-known shoe making experts to create the perfect ‘last’. This is the unique mould that defines the Joules boot shape and size. We think it’s the most important stage, although the first thing people probably think of is our bright and striking welly designs.
Everyone’s foot and leg shape is different so a big, flappy, oversized boot won’t make the cut at Joules HQ. While we work to the standard shoe size measurements, we’re forever tweaking and polishing the fit of our boot base and calf to create the perfect fit.
The next and arguably most important part of the welly anatomy is the sole. To avoid slipping over in a sudden downpour, every Joules boot sole has dispersal channels built in. Sound a bit technical? Actually, it’s ever so simple. Think of how a car tyre has grooves to help it grip and get rid of any water on the road. The soles built in to every pair of best quality Joules wellies work in much the same way and they’re made of just the right mix of hard and soft rubber, so they grip well and won’t wear out too fast.
Step number three on our list of priorities is creating lots of distinct colours and patterns that you’ll love – we have a special in house team that do just that. As well as our classic plains, we keep coming back with the new spots, stripes and lovely vibrant florals to brighten up the dreariest of downpours.
Doggie designs go down well with our dog walking welly wearers, so we’ll always try and bring in new breeds from season to season to keep the collection fresh.
Whether you’re after men’s wellies or women’s Wellington boots, Joules has a fresh and stylish design that’s sure to make you the envy of all your fellow welly-walkers. Check out our welly style guide to find the perfect pair for you!