Hessian (boot)

Hessian (/ˈhɛsiən/; from Hesse in Germany) refers to a style of light boot that became popular from the beginning of the 19th century.[1]

History and description

First worn by German soldiers in the 18th century, these military riding boots became popular in England, particularly during the Regency period (1811-1820), with their polished leather and ornamental tassels. Initially used as standard issue footwear for light cavalry regiments, especially hussars, they would become widely worn by civilians as well.[2]

The boots had a low heel, and a semi-pointed toe that made them practical for mounted troops, as they allowed easy use of stirrups.[3] They reached to the knee and had a decorative tassel at the top of each shaft, with a "v" notch in front.[4] The Hessian boot would evolve into the rubber work boots known as "wellies" and the cowboy boot.

See also


  1. Carman, W.Y. A Dictionary of Military Uniform. p. 72. ISBN 0-684-15130-8.
  2. Fiona McDonald (30 July 2006). Shoes and Boots Through History. Gareth Stevens. ISBN 978-0-8368-6857-9. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  3. Chambers's encyclopaedia: a dictionary of universal knowledge. W. & R. Chambers, Limited. 1901. pp. 321–. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  4. Carman, W.Y. A Dictionary of Military Uniform. p. 72. ISBN 0-684-15130-8.
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