There is nothing better than your most favourite pair of gumboots! I love how I can slip into them whenever I venture out into the garden or down to the beach at the end of our property. They are so comfortable when you have “worn them in” that they almost feel like a second skin!
In New Zealand, Wellington boots are called “gumboots”, “wellies”, or “Redbands” (after a popular Skellerup brand), and are considered essential foot wear for not only farmers but most rural folk and keen gardeners
Today in New Zealand the Wellington boot or Gumboot is celebrated widely- in Taihape in the middle of the North Island they have a national ‘gumboot throwing contest’ held annually and a large statue of a gumboot, constructed of corrugated iron was built in 2000 to celebrate the millennium.
Most gumboots are black, but those worn by abattoir workers, butchers, fishermen and by hospital operating theatre staff and surgeons are white, and now the industry has branched out with both adult and children’s sizes come in multiple colours.
The term “gum boot” in New Zealand is thought to derive from the 19th-century kauri-gum diggers, who wore this footwear, or perhaps because the boots were made from gum rubber. The term is often abbreviated to “gummies”. New Zealand comedy character Fred Dagg paid tribute to this iconic footwear in his song “Gumboots” as an iconic symbol for New Zealand –‘if it weren’t for your gumboots where would you be?’- A well-known favourite for most New Zealanders.