Red Band gumboots
The Red Band Boot, an adaptable boot for a number of occupations, has become a Kiwiana icon alongside the Buzzy Bee, the jandal and Edmonds baking powder. Traditionally gumboots ended just below the knee. However, in 1958 the staff of Marathon Rubber Footwear – the forerunner of Skellerup – created New Zealand’s first mid-calf gumboot. Marathon was confident their new boot was assured of a good demand. And they were right – the style has become New Zealand’s most popular gumboot. The gumboot, with its distinctive red band and cap was modified from a Canadian original to meet New Zealand conditions and to accommodate the wider Kiwi foot. Apart from an additional sponge inner, the gumboot design hasn’t changed in over 50 years. Read more about wearing the colour black in the New Zealand Fashion Museum publication Black: The history of black in fashion, society and culture in New Zealand.