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Brief History of Boots

Heels on boots and shoes began to appear during the reign of queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603 AD). Often, embellishments to clothing appear in times of prosperity which accompany long stretches of peace time within a nation. Queen Elizabeth was remembered for revitalizing England, taking a bankrupt, backward nation and turning it into one of the leading political powers of its time.

Heels were found to be an excellent addition for riding, as they helped the feet of the horseman to stay steady in the stirrup. Boots with low heels quickly became the standard for riding, and for military usage.

Higher boots protected the calf and leg. Boots which were slit down the back, or which were looser on top so that they could be folded down over the bottom so that the knee was free to bend were the most popular.

By the time of the English Civil War, (1642–1651) boots (such as the ones on sale here) with large tops had become very popular. One group of people who were against excess in all forms, including excess leather at the top and excess room at the toes of boots, called themselves "Puritans". The followers of supporters of Royalty, known as the Royalists, did not like pinched toes and did not mind using extra leather, nicer fabrics, etc. Thus, during this time your choice of boots would show your political affiliation.

This era was also the time of the so called "Golden age of Piracy", so these boots are also commonly seen in depictions of Pirates, especially the classical buccaneer or swashbucklers.

Boots continue to this day to be the footwear of choice for military applications. The style shown here or similar styles remained in use for civilian and military usage until the mid 18th Century.

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