Originally Posted by DWFII
Not many people know this but "Congress" boots (very similar), made with elastic
, go back to the mid 19th century.
I've never heard the term “Congress" boots (maybe an Americanism).
J.Sparkes Hall of Regent Street London is credited with the invention of the side-elastic boot. sometime in the 1840s.(the advert is from 1852). It must have needed the invention of fabric woven from rubber-threads, which must have been a novelty back then.
In Victorian times, this style of boot was known as the “Elasticated Jemiah” (not sure about the spelling).
The low (shoe version) is traditionally known in England as a “Cambridge" shoe.
To quote Sir Michael Caine's immortal words: "Not many people know this".