Best in Show: The Origin of the Riding Boot
As October becomes more official with each turning leaf, it’s time to shift our footwear selection to complement the season – boot season, that is. And making an annual return to cover our legs in buttery leather is the classic English-style riding boot. But before we walk the walk, let’s talk about the origin of the coveted equestrian style.
Originally part of military attire, the riding boot was first worn in the 17th century by English cavalry. The style didn’t become popular with civilians until around 1815, after the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. In order to praise their military hero, the public dubbed the duke’s famed footwear the “Wellington boot.” Thereafter, the knee-skimming style became a staple for English aristocracy, who wore it to hunt and horseback ride.
Today, the riding boot is still worn for sport. But we prefer to think of it as the benchmark boot for fall.
By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer
Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Tuesday.
Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.