Skellerup's footwear business grew out of Marathon Rubber Footwear Ltd., a publicly listed company formed in Christchurch, New Zealand by George W Skellerup in 1939. The manufacture of tennis footwear commenced a few days before the Second World War began.
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.
The building of hand-made natural rubber gumboots is a very labour and capital-intensive process requiring multiple handling of most of the components. Most Skellerup gumboot styles have in excess of 19 individual components for each half pair of boots.
There are very few quality manufacturers of hand built natural rubber gumboots in the world. Of those, Skellerup ranks close to the best, if not the best. What makes our gumboots so good?