The story of the Wellington boot begins in England in the early 19th century. The Duke of Wellington commissioned famed London shoemaker Hoby of St James to modify his military Hessian boots. These first boots, the Duke's namesake style, were made of leather, cut close to the calf and were designed as a fashion item.
1856 marks the creation of the North British Rubber Company, later to become known as Hunter Boot Ltd. Using the newly patented vulcanisation process, the company manufactured rubber boots and overshoes, alongside waterproof clothing, tyres and other durable rubber products.
In 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the company was commissioned by the War Office to produce sturdy rubber boots to shield British soldiers from conditions in the flooded trenches.
By the end of the war, rubber boots had become popular for wear in wet weather and the Original Green Wellington, now known as the Original Boot, was introduced in 1956. Handcrafted from 28 parts, this iconic design was carefully hand assembled on a last for exceptional fit and comfort.
Craftsmanship is central to Hunter, and today our wellies are still handcrafted using many of the same techniques, including the Original last from 1956.
Watch the making of our iconic design:
The Original boot continues to inspire the Hunter Original collection. Key elements feature in the design of our boots, outerwear and accessories, including the moustache detail and the signature Hunter tread.