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The Bag

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History of the Galosh

A Norwegian student strolls through the rain-soaked streets of Manhattan wearing his grandfather’s old galoshes. That’s where it all began.

SWIMS was founded in Oslo in 2006 with a mission to breathe life into the almost-forgotten galosh. We set out to transform a purely practical utility into a stylish accessory with a bold personality. More than 10 years later, the SWIMS Classic Galosh remains a bestseller — and its design ethos has shaped everything we create, from our loafers to outerwear.

According to legend, galoshes were invented by an Englishman named Radley who suffered from rheumatism and wanted to keep his feet dry. While reading “De Bello Gallico” by Julius Ceasar he found a reference to a protective cloth overshoe called a “gallicae.” He decided to explore the idea and created a rubber overshoe to keep his feet dry on wet days.

Whether the story is true or not, galoshes became an essential for stylish men and women who wanted to protect their best shoes. But they were never really seen as a fashion statement until SWIMS came along.

Hogtown Rake, a Canadian fashion blog, sampled the SWIMS Classic Galosh and confirmed that – even after a few years of regular wear – shoes and feet stayed dry, warm and happy while safely tucked inside the Classic Galosh. “Thanks to SWIMS … perhaps we can all agree that it’s time to start wearing galoshes again,” they said in a review of the SWIMS Classic Galosh.

You can make a statement with your Classic Galosh by choosing a bold color, or go more incognito with traditional brown or black, which can blend in with your normal shoe. Our galoshes have an anti-slip grip sole that keeps you from slipping in the rain, slush and snow. The flocked inner layer has a dual purpose: It makes it easy to put on or take off your galoshes, and it acts as a natural buffer, polishing your shoes each time you wear them. 

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