The modern definition of the term “boots” is a fitted covering for the foot that usually covers the entire foot and lower leg. Boots are fashionable and on-trend right now, according to its timeless footwear which is suitable for any circumstances. Nowadays, we can see various types of boots on the market; some of them were designed around the 19th century which have existed almost 200 years. Boots were once a strictly practical piece of clothing. Rugged and ready to take on tough terrain, these durable pieces of footwear were about far more than just looking stylish. There is possibly no other of footwear that has a history as long as the boot. In this post, we’ll take a brief look at the history of boots and learn about factors that make them become the fashion accessory today.

Earliest Boots

The oldest known depiction of boots is in a cave painting from Spain, which has been dated between 12,000 and 15,000 BC and depict a man and a woman wearing fur-lined boots made of animal skin. Evidences from Persian funerary jars; were made in the shape of boots suggest that the people of Persia wore boots which date from around 3,000 BC. Boots were also found in the tomb of Khnumhotep around 2140-1785 BC in Egypt. Ancient Greek soldiers were also known for wearing for wearing baggy pieces of raw twine. All over the world, in cultures ranging from the Asiatic and the Arctic, there is evidence that people have been wearing boots for centuries. As society developed, leather was a costly material that average people couldn’t afford. Thus, leather boots were mostly worn by soldiers and other members of the military.

In the ancient world, boots represented ruling power and higher class. Emperors and kings wore ornate and colourful shoes; this was a significant distinction when the civilians or majority of the population went barefoot. Boots have been constantly worn and developed by each era, passing the “Roman Empire” to the “Middle Ages” until now.

Boots During The Roman Empire

The Roman empire was remarkably expansive and spread mostly in Europe. Due to their intelligent footwear choices, they have a long period of success and expansion. The boot were held together with metal tracks which make it durable, rugged and allowed soldiers to repair their shoes. This revolutionary footwear was first invented by the Etruscans, but was eventually adopted and perfected by the Romans. Many historian consider these boots the reason that Romans were able to travel by foot for long period of time, which assisted in their expansion from the Mediterranean to northern parts of the continent. Footwear called “Caligae” was another popular boot-like shoe that was worn during the reign of the Romans which is a durable thick-soled  pair of boots featured an open top worn by Roman cavalrymen and foot-soldiers.

Boots During Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the boots established by the ancient world continued. Courtiers of the Carolingian period were depicted wearing high boots laced halfway up to the leg. Many of boots were crafted from durable pieces of leather and they were stitched together using thick thread or leather stands. It’s also been suggested that Goodyear welting was used to create boots. In Europe during this time, many civilians wore short , ankle-style boots to protect their feet from disease and insanity city conditions. During the twelfth through fourteenth centuries, a short, soft boot called the estivaux was popular. Toward the middle of the fourteenth century, people often wore soled hose, which precluded the need for shoes and boots.

Boots During the 19th Century

The vogue for democratic, British style dress had made the boot more popular than ever. The shape and design of the boot inevitably shifted with fashion. During the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s, the Duke of Wellington modified the popular style of boots at the time to better fit his preferences since the tassels and braid of the Hassian were difficult to wear with the newly fashionable trousers. Instead of a baggy leather style that could be folded down , he designed a tight-fitting leather boot that extended to the middle of the calf. Made of shiny leather and boasting a slight 1-inch heel, wearing with trousers tucked into the tops. These Wellington boots eventually dominated menswear in the first quarter of the nineteenth century and became the standard footwear worn by the United States Calvary during the Civil War.

Boots During the 20th Century

In the early years of the twentieth century, boots were abandoned as fashionable dress in the 1920s. In this period, boots returned to their functional role, and traditional remained in use for specific military and sport activities. You can see in historical documentaries or on media that soldiers worn boots during that time as WW1 and WW2. The exception to this was the vogue among women for knee-high leather Russian boots which featured relatively high heels and a side zipper for a close fit. In the second half of the twentieth century, many adaptations of these historic boots became popular among the public caused by celebrities; as singers or acting stars and media as Western films significantly. Now, people often pair their tight, ankle-length leather boots with skinny or slim-fit jeans when creating casual cold-weather outfits mostly for a fashion purpose.

Form and Function

While traditional forms of boots continue to be worn throughout the world for particular functions, they have also played an essential role in fashion throughout history.

Types of Boots

Let’s first review the variety of boots which constantly on-trend until these days and learn how they being developed and popular.

1. Chelsea Boots

THE CHELSEA BOOT COMPANY dates back to the Victorian era and was first established in the year of 1851.

The first boots were made by J.Sparkes-Hall for the House of Queen Victoria after the creation of vulcanised rubber, refers to the elastic on the sides, which is a pair of boots that being made without laces. The boots were initially called “Paddock boots” as they were man=inly used while riding. They picked up their name when London’s Chelsea teenagers started sporting them. The Beatles were soon wearing them, and then The Rolling Stones which gain status and remained firmly in agricultural fashion for people all over the world ever since.

2. Work Boots

Work boots or safety boots can be traced back to the beginning of the twentieth century at a time when people started addressing industrial safety issues. This type of boots has focused on durable materials.

The most iconic work boots like, the Timberland Yellow Boot, Red Wing’s classic moc toe which have remain almost unchanged for decades. Hip-hop culture along with hip-hop artists and Hollywood celebrities are significant parts that elevate this type of boots to become more popular and prevalent.

3. Trench Boots

The Trench Boot was born nearly a year after the U.S. had officially declared war on Germany and entered into the war. The boot was outfitted with thick leather, waterproofing, and thick soles. It was often referred to as the Pershing boot according to General John Pershing who approved a series of changes to the current shoe at that time.

The trench boots become popular by celebrities and media as Western films, such as biker or action films according to its all-around and masculine-looking boots. That’s why people started to sport them as everyday shoes.

4. Brogue Boots

The name originates from the Gallic word, “brog” as the style was originally popular with the nineteenth century farmers in Scotland and Ireland. They were designed for utility, with the perforated holes at the front to perform the task of draining bog water away from farmers’ feet as they worked the land and walk over boggy, wet terrain.

Brogues were still considered to be a practical, country shoe. Until as the 1920s, it was the arrival of the Jazz age, and because of Jazz culture which was first felt in the United States following its birth in New Orleans and was then followed by a European movement that helped to transform the perception of brogues from the purely practical to the fashionable.

The Analysis

In my perspective, the crucial factor that still get the boot on the road is how media use it to make stereotype of people perception, how? Because when we talk or think about boots, we will think about solidity and masculinity. Although the boots are not that popular as the past according to the boots which are not as comfortable as trainers or sneakers nowadays, when we’re looking for the shoes that we can jump off to everywhere whether camping, hiking or wondering around the city; boots would be the best choice for it. As I mentioned, boots are masculine but not as always. The boot industries now have launched a lot of products which are unisex for everyone. Some of products are designed by adding more colourful coating and details which men and women can choose their own preferences.