Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was the first to wear rain boots. He was used to wearing Hessian boots, which were standard issue in the military and popular among gentlemen at the time. He thought that he could improve upon them, so he had his shoemaker remove the trim, shorten the heel, and cut the boot closer around the leg. The resulting boots became known as Wellingtons or “wellies” – British names for rain boots that are still popular today! The original Wellingtons were made from leather, but in the mid-19th century, Hiram Hutchinson began creating rubber Wellingtons. The new rubber boots gained immediate popularity, especially among farmers who could now enjoy dry feet while working! The Wellington rain boot became even more popular after the World Wars, since it helped keep feet warm and dry. In fact, Hunter Boot, the company that made the British Army’s boots during both wars, still sells their rain boots to this day! While rain boots were originally only available in a few basic colors – olive green, yellow, and black – today they are manufactured in every color imaginable and feature fun patterns like plaids, florals, and more!