A lace-less boot?

Chelsea boots weren’t conceived as stylish attire, although a popular fashion icon today, but rather as a pragmatic boot. The original Chelsea boot was characterised by its ankle height, rounded toes and low heel, however it was the elasticated sides that differentiated the boot from its predecessors. The design would not have been possible without Charles Goodyear’s invention of vulcanised rubber. This new material enabled the development of elastic gussets, subsequently removing the need for laces and making it easier to pull the boot on and off.


The notion of a lace-less boot came around in 1837, by which time Queen Victoria had become increasingly frustrated with her shoe laces getting caught in her riding stirrups. It was J. Sparks-Hall, cobbler of House of Queen Victoria, who was commissioned to design the lace-less boot. The elastic sides allowed for the boot to be pulled on and off with ease therefore making it popular in the paddock. It was equipped with a loop on the heel to ease this process. Moreover, the Chelsea boot sat perfectly under jodhpurs, and soon became known as the ‘paddock boot’.

Moving on up

Owing to the comfort and practicality of the Paddock Boot, it soon became part of England’s street fashion. The Chelsea boot was a favourite choice for men’s walking shoes across the West by the late 1840’s. Although dipping in popularity during the first world war, by the time of the swinging sixties, the Chelsea boot was in full resurgence. It didn’t discriminate between men and women, and the style rose in popularity for both male and female fashion.

By the 1960’s, there wasn’t a street in the United Kingdom that hadn’t been touched by the ankle boot. And soon enough even the trend setting Chelsea Set was striding along King’s road with their own versions of the boot. The Chelsea Set were a group of stylists, artists, musicians and socialites, who were highly influential with regards to fashion trends. And from here on out, the boot was known as the Chelsea Boot.

A firm favourite

However, it didn’t end there. Multiple variations of the Chelsea boot were made and the style grew rather quickly. The Beatles added a Cuban heel and the Beatles boot was born, a favourite with bands like the Rolling Stones. Society didn’t shy away from the trend, dressing the, up or down, they were an icon of the times.

In contemporary times, the iconic Chelsea boot is a firm favourite owing to it’s stylish simplicity. The always-ready-to-go boot style remains popular with men and women alike, boasting a fashionable versatility. The pull on nature of the boot makes for a leisurely and comfortable style that can handle your day-to-day with confidence.

legion Chelsea Boots



The iconic Chelsea boot has you covered for that late night dinner date and early morning office meeting.