|Rubber boots are styled after the very popular
Wellington Boot, which was popularized by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of
Wellington. The original Wellington Boot was styled after the Hessian
Boot and was made of soft calfskin leather.
In 1852, Hiram Hutchinson met Charles Goodyear who had just invented
the vulcanization process for natural rubber. While Goodyear decided
to manufacture tires, Hutchinson bought the patent to manufacture
footwear and moved to France to establish "A l'Aigle" in 1853 ("To the Eagle,"
to honor his home country. The company today is simply called "AIGLE", "Eagle").
In a country where 95% of the population were working on fields with wooden
clogs as it had been for generations, the introduction of the Wellington type
rubber boot became an immediate success: farmers were finally able to come
home with their feet dry and mud-free.
Rubber "Wellington boots" (or "Wellies") are usually worn when walking
on wet or muddy ground, or to protect the wearer from heavy showers.
In Britain, there is a light-hearted sport, known as wellie wanging,
which involves throwing Wellington boots as far as possible.