The Chelsea Boot: A Rose by Many Other Names

The Paddock, the Dealer, the Baba, and the Beatle – the Chelsea boot has had its fair share of aliases over the course of its 160 year history, but its appeal is as persistent and pervasive as ever. Originally conceived as a horse riding boot, the trademark elastic band on the Chelsea constituted the latest development in fashion tech when the style was first patented in 1851. This feature was made possible by the advent of Charles Goodyear’s vulcanized rubber in 1839. At the time, the boots were still widely known as “Dealer boots.”

It wasn’t until the 20th century when a small group of London artists known as the “Chelsea Set” became inextricably linked to the understated, ankle-high boots they were known for sporting. Before long, the Chelsea boot had established itself as a staple of mod fashion sensibilities.

Then, in the early 1960’s, the Chelsea boot earned itself yet another moniker and a new degree of pop-culture recognition when the Fab Four adopted them as a part of their wardrobe. In October 1961, Lennon and McCartney stopped into Anello & Davide’s London shoe shop and purchased two pairs of what would come to be known as Beatle Boots. The Anello & Davide boot, known at the time as the Baba, was a slight variation on the classic Chelsea, featuring a high Cuban heel that appealed to the fashion-forward Beatles.

Dean ChelseaLater, in 1979, the Chelsea boot made an unlikely cameo as the Imperial Stormtroopers’ footwear of choice in Star Wars: A New Hope. The boots were spray painted white and partially concealed under the armor of Emperor Palpatine’s aim-impaired grunts, but the Chelseas from a galaxy far, far away were nonetheless instantly identifiable to earthbound fashion gurus.                                                                                                                                                                   Our take on the Chelsea Boot was designed with versatility in mind. After all, these boots were born in the stirrups and bred on the Death Star. The Dean Chelsea looks great when paired with your favorite blue jeans, and every bit as good when accompanied by a suit. The simple, sleek design effortlessly lends itself to mixing-and-matching, and the snug fit afforded by its elastic upper components guarantees long-lasting comfort. Best of all, the Dean comes at a fraction of the price of comparably constructed boots. Check it out, and browse our entire collection here.