Red Bands - A Kiwi Icon
Traditionally gumboots have always come up to just below the knee. However in 1958 staff at Marathon Rubber Footwear – the forerunner to Skellerup - decided to create a shorter boot and on 21st October the first pair of Red Band Gumboots rolled off the production line and became an instant hit around the country.
In 2018 the wide-topped mid-calf step in boot with its recognisable red bands and toe cap celebrates 60 years in production.
In all that time, apart from the inclusion of a sponge insole for added comfort, Red Bands haven’t changed a bit and are still a staple in most rural New Zealand households.
Natural rubber compounds with built in UV inhibitors that can withstand New Zealand’s harsh environment and its heavy-duty non-clog cleated sole are just two of the boot’s many features that make the Red Band Gumboot brand so popular.
They also use heavy-duty 100% cotton canvas to which the rubber is bonded, to give the boots greater strength, flexibility and protection. Plus, they are still hand-made to the original specifications and formulations that were created 60 years ago, with each boot made up of 19 individual components with at least six different rubber formulations.
They have become part of the Kiwi landscape. After all, in the immortal words of Fred Dagg, “If it weren’t for your gumboots where would you be?”