A tale of rags to riches
Throughout history, footwear has been an indication of status, thus worn by the Noble. Up until the 19th century, men’s footwear had been dominated by tall and embellished heeled boots. From Wellingtons and Hessians to high-legged cavalier boots – no footwear fell below the knee. The taller and more elborate the boot – the higher your social status and wealth. Owing to this, lower cut boots were more often used by labourers and the lower-working class. It was only in 1817 that a low cut boot rose in popularity as a casual and sportswear shoe. This ankle boot was known as the Blucher, and stemmed from an 18th century labourer’s boot. Typically, the Blucher was a largely practical shoe, with a front lace up and reached ankle height.
The noble Knights took to the shorter styled boot before it became popular in society. Ankle boots offered the knights immense comfort and a good fit whilst horse back riding. And they proved most pratical for agility when fighting. By the 1860’s the ankle boot had overtaken the previously favouted, much taller counterpart, the Wellington, and so began the new fashion of the day. These basic low-cut boots became known as high-lows.