Who Invented Gumboots?


Quick Answer

Gumboots, or Wellington boots, were invented in 1817 by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, and his shoemaker. They modified the 18th-century Hessian boot using calfskin and wax to create the waterproof boot.

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Full Answer

The first Wellington boots were crafted out of soft calfskin leather and extended up to a wearer's mid-calf. In 1852, Hiram Hutchinson, utilizing Charles Goodyear's new rubber vulcanization process, created the classic rubber version of the boot. It was this version that later became popular with World War I soldiers because the waterproof rubber was suitable for muddy trench warfare. As of 2015, rubber Wellington boots are still a popular choice of footwear during spring.

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