Wellington Boots Buyers’ Guide

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Wellies are no longer just for farmers and gardeners, so it’s possible to have dry feet and be fashionable whatever the weather – be it for a short stroll, walking the dog, or digging your way out of the snow.

Tread pattern

Make sure the tread will keep you upright in mud and on ice.

Sole thickness

The thinner the sole, the more flexible the boot and more grippy, but uneven surfaces will hurt your feet after a while.

Fit

For winter use, buy oversized boots so you can add an insulating insole plus a thick pair of thermal socks, or some felt bootees (I made these from some 1/8in felt).

Slim-fit boots are available if you want a close fit, but wide-fit boots are available too for those who find ordinary sizes pinch, and wider legged boots, often with an adjusting strap, are useful for getting in and out of easily.

Walking comfort

If you’ll be in wellies all day, avoid aching feet by choosing a good make that has a reinforced sole to support your foot. Farmers’ boots made by Hunters, and Nokian Trimmi boots (used to be called Bogtrotters) are good examples.

Safety

Steel toe-capped wellies are available – very necessary if handling heavy items.  You won’t find many floral versions of these though.

Leg length

Look for welly shoes or clogs if you don’t need to protect your legs or trousers – they are quick and easy to slip on and their thick soles keep you out of the worst of the wet.

There are short and tall wellington boots too, but welly manufacturers seem to think that if you have small feet, then water, mud and snow somehow won’t be quite so deep for you.  Most boots under size 6 mean you’re looking at mid-calf height, annoyingly.

Fashion boots

Calf-ache can be avoided with wedge heels for women who haven’t worn flat shoes forever.   And there are now colour combinations to clash or tone in tastefully with most outfits.

Durability

The cheap ones made from PVC will probably split quite soon, but hey, you can stay up to date with fashion this way.  Otherwise head for Dunlops, Hunters or other time-honoured quality brands that use heavier-duty rubber.

 

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