The Heritage behind the Hunter Boot

photo by Frank Mayne

As I get older, I find that I want to accumulate only things that I love. I enjoy the thrill of finding a good bargain, but have come to realize that it’s only a GREAT bargain if I love the item and would be willing to pay full price for it. Otherwise, even if it’s $5, that is $5 wasted if I’m buying it only for the low price and not for the fact that I will go to any lengths to obtain said item! Which brings me to the Hunter Wellington boots…

While many look at the boot and say “it’s just a rubber rain boot!” I look at them and see more. They are well-made, nostalgic, functional and classic.

The creation of the Wellington boot came before the Hunters, making its appearance in 1817. Men were swapping out their knickers for longer pants, and were in need of shoes that would accommodate the change.   Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington instructed his cobbler to modify the current wares and ta-da, the Wellington boot was born, named aptly after the man who commissioned the creation.

The North British Riding Company, which later became The Hunter Boot, Ltd., began in 1856 and was launched by an American, Henry Lee Norris in Scotland. During World War I, the company was approached and asked to create and produce a boot that would keep the soldiers feet dry while in the flooded trenches.  The once fashionable boot created for the Duke of Wellington was now created purely for function, and carried the soldiers through WWII.

My coveted favorite, and the most popular Welly, is the original Green Hunter, the first orthopedic boot made by the company.  In 1977, after supplying boots to the Royal Family for over 100 years, the company was awarded a Royal Warrant from Her Royal Highness (HRH) the Duke of Edinburgh.  A few years later, in 1986, the company was once again bestowed a great honor, when a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty (HM) The Queen was given.

The heritage and craftsmanship of the company goes back years, but the company continues to create new designs to meet the demands of all ages, demographics and needs.  The Hunter boots comes in different colors, heights and sizes to accommodate workers in the field or city-dwellers on a rainy, wet day. The company has added bags, leather boots and children’s wares to its line over the years.

While some may find the price point high for rubber boots, remember that they are created with the durability to last a lifetime.  And for me, personally, I have enough “stuff”… I want pieces that are classic and sustainable, and ones that I’ll enjoy for years to come… like the Green Hunter Welly!

3 thoughts on “The Heritage behind the Hunter Boot

  1. I love Wellies! When the time came to pick a rainboot to head off to England this year, I chose the classic. Knowing more about them after this post it looks like I chose correctly!

    –Alexandra

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