by Mike Tyler Fashion Enthusiast


An Autumn / Winter collection staple in the Barker collection is the Chelsea boot, an iconic shoe design that has existed for over 200 years and has been worn by Victorian royalty and Sixties rock and roll bands during this time. 

The history of the Chelsea boot traces back to the 1800s when cobbler J. Sparkes-Hall designed the first Chelsea boot for Queen Victoria in 1837. Known at the time as ‘paddock boots’ the time-saving elastic sides were made from vulcanised rubber, an invention which saw sulphur added to rubber to make it more resistant, elasticated, and vital for the creation of the Chelsea boot. 

Sparkes-Hall’s concept of an elastic sided boot at the time was an significant breakthrough in footwear design compared to the traditional lace up boots. Sparkes-Hall patented the ‘elastic ankle boots’ in 1851 where it soon became an essential boot for country and equestrian life. Remaining a firm favourite in country fashion the Chelsea boot also became a fashion statement in London’s vibrant youth scene. By the mid-1950s, the Chelsea boot was a regular on the fashionable King’s Road area in Chelsea, West London which is where the boots name comes from. The ‘Chelsea set’, a group of artists, designers and socialites, started wearing the boots regularly, and the boots soon became known by the renowned name of Chelsea boots.  

Several Chelsea boots feature in the current Barker range in the Archive, Creative and Professional collections. A timeless Barker Chelsea boot that is reminiscent of the polished boots worn yesteryear is the Bedale. Made on the 469 last from premium hi-shine leather, the Bedale features tonal elasticated sides and a full leather sole with a low heel. 

A new ankle boot additions to the Barker Of Earls Barton Archive collection is the Harrowick, named after one of the streets in Earls Barton where the Barker factory proudly stands. Made on the 460 last, the F Fitting Harrowick is made from premium grain leather with a storm Goodyear welted construction on a Dainite rubber sole. 

A firm favourite in the Professional collection is the Mansfield Chelsea boot which you’ll find in all of the Barker London flagship stores. Mansfield is made on the 486 last from premium calf, grain and burnished suedes in a variety of colours (Black, Brown, Cherry) on a choice of full leather or Dainite rubber soles. 

Within the Creative collection, you’ll discover the Hopper Chelsea boot which is made on the 446 last from premium calf leather with contrast elastic for a playful take on this ankle boot staple. Hopper colourways include the Cedar Calf / Navy Elastic and Dark Walnut Calf / Burgundy Elastic. A new Creative collection style for Autumn / Winter 2021 is the Fred Chelsea boot which features a lightweight and functional XL EXTRALIGHT EVA sole. Available in several colourways online and in-store. 

The Men's Chelsea boot is a versatile boot option when it comes to styling as it can be worn formally but looks equally as good on foot when worn with denim jeans and chino trousers especially the grain and burnished suede styles. 


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About Mike Tyler Freshman   Fashion Enthusiast

6 connections, 0 recommendations, 43 honor points.
Joined APSense since, July 18th, 2020, From Sydney, Australia.

Created on Oct 5th 2021 06:47. Viewed 66 times.


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