Home family In search of good dog walking wellies…

In search of good dog walking wellies…

by Clare Mansell
In search of good dog walking wellies…
Over the past few weeks I have learned more than most people will in a lifetime about wellington boots. I have ordered pairs and sent them back, I have researched manufacturing practices and read countless online reviews and finally I have made a purchase. After all the false starts, dead ends and another-sodding-dog-walk-with-wet-feet, I decided I should share what I learned with you…

Urban dwellers or occasional wellie wearers are probably wondering what all the fuss is about, but my wellington boots are the most worn items of footwear in my wardrobe. I walk about 20 miles a week in them. That’s 500 miles just over the winter months, so I need decent boots.

Hunter – My welly tale begins with a pair of Hunters which I bought in 2001 and which lasted me through the extreme heat of Cyprus and the extreme cold of Canada. Unfortunately I learned the hard way that old Hunters are not the same as new ones. The firm into administration in 2006 and the newer wellies (I bought a second pair in 2012) do not have the same durability. If you start reading around online you’ll see similar reports from other Hunter owners. My second pair (ironically more expensive than the first) lasted as many months as the first pair had lasted years. It is with a very heavy heart that I had to turn my back on the wonderful selection of colours they sell in favour of something longer-lasting.

Muck Boots – Muck have been around since 1999. The boots are part rubber and part neoprene. They sell for £80 and upwards and were a close contender for my final selection, but I wasn’t convinced by how easy the neoprene part of the boot would be to keep clean.

Dunlop – Costing somewhere between £15 and £20 a pair, Dunlops are very popular, however they are unisex and I found the pair I ordered had extremely wide calves (more suited to men) and quite hard unyielding rubber. Definitely not boots I could imagine walking any distance in.

Croc Boots – Sold in bright colours and made of part rubber and part neoprene, the big failing with these wellies is that they are only waterproof up to the stitch line around the ankle which rather defeats the object of wearing wellingtons!

Lowther – Made by Hunter with a very similar look and fit (though not as much colour choice) and vastly cheaper price tag (£35) if you can’t bear to be parted from the style of Hunters these are a great bet without the fashionable price tag. Just don’t blame me if they leak after 18 months.

Joules – Come in a range of colours and designs, with a fit and grip that are similar to Hunters. I have been put off buying these because of a number of reviews I have seen online which say they have developed a leak after several weeks or months.

Aigle – Aigle are a French brand (est. 1853) and seem to have filled the void left by Hunter for high quality wellies. They were recommended by a dog walker friend and after reading countless positive reviews online I settled for a pair of Parcours 2 ISO. They fit true to size and are neoprene lined, but are pricey. Mine came from Amazon and cost £135. I also reluctantly have to admit that they are not as attractive as Hunters, but they feel wonderful to wear and are more comfortable than my slippers! UPDATE : 11/10/15 – My Aigle wellies were recently stolen from outside my house, a downside to having a desirable brand I guess. I decided against buying another pair as I found them very hard to get on and off and my socks (even hiking ones) constantly fell down in them. I am currently trialing a pair of Joules wellies and you can read about that in this post

Le Chameau – Another French wellington boot (did you guess) with a price very similar to Aigles. They come up a little big, but are also fantastically comfortable to wear. The Duchess of Cornwall has a pair, so does Prince Harry apparently.

Also worth considering are Barbour and Mallard neither of which I have any experience of.

Further Reading…

Guardian Newspaper Which Wellies Should I Buy (read the comments)
Telegraph Will Kate Kick Off A War Of The Wellies

Please leave a comment if you have anything to add on the welly debate it will help others looking for info!

PS – I wouldn’t have been able to purchase my amazing new wellies at all were it not for some fabulous good luck winning £500 of Amazon vouchers in a competition hosted by Jen at Mum In The Mad House with Two Little Fleas. So a HUGE thank you to them for allowing me to splash out on my Aigles! I know it’s not a very rock and roll thing to spend the money on, but I do love them…

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14 comments

Donna November 19, 2014 - 11:31 pm

Yellow Hunters are my all time favourite wellies. They make winter so much brighter! x

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pennydog November 20, 2014 - 12:08 pm

I used to work for Town and Country and our books had all the features of the higher end Hunters but for a lot less. I have a pair of the Neoprene lined ones and I’m very happy with them, but everyone finds the fit different- my husband says they’re too narrow in the leg for him.

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Clare Mansell November 20, 2014 - 12:24 pm

That is really interesting. I do think neoprene lined is the way forward for serious walkers though.

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Kate Gardiner November 20, 2014 - 12:23 pm

Your yellow Hunter wellies look fab but it’s such a shame that they aren’t as durable as they used to be. I really wanted a pair of Hunter wellies but your review (and the price!) has made me reconsider. They are so expensive now and if they’re not built to last I can’t really justify a pair. I’m impressed that the Aigle boots are more comfortable than your slippers!

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AliceMegan November 20, 2014 - 12:23 pm

Wow! I can not imagine walking that far in wellies, glad you found a pair that will keep up with you!
AliceMegan

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Lynsey Ward November 20, 2014 - 12:36 pm

I love hunter wellies but my current pair are an lovely blue and white pair from Joules and they are amazing quality. They get used frequently and are lasting well.

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Clare Mansell November 20, 2014 - 2:05 pm

That’s interesting to know Lynsey. I was very tempted by Joules wellies as they do some great ones with dogs on, but I read a review from someone who said their pair only lasted 18 months…

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Carie November 21, 2014 - 8:58 am

With that kind of mileage you definitely need good wellies! Have you any experience of Barbour wellies? I bought a pair of Barbour boots recently and they’ve just been amazingly comfy and warm though I’ve not tried the wellies (yet!)

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Carie November 21, 2014 - 9:03 am

And clearly the sleep deprivation is strong with me this morning! You mentioned Barbour and I missed it so all I’ll say is based on their boots I think they could be worth investigating!! And now back to sleep haze!

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Clare Mansell November 21, 2014 - 11:32 am

Ha, ha… we’ve all been there! 🙂

Barbour would have been my choice had I not won the Amazon voucher! Their coats are so good I should think there is half a chance the wellies would be too.

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Linda November 22, 2014 - 5:42 pm

I sadly had to say goodbye recently to my green Ross Shooter wellies that I’d had for 30 years….I bought them in Elgin when I was a student, and it was only in the past couple of years that the rubber began to split beyond repair. They were so comfortable 🙁 The company doesn’t exist any more – I think it specialised in wellies for rural wear. I was horrified when I bought a replacement pair from Hunter that they were not guaranteed for ‘heavy’ wear, which seemed to consist of walking the dog. We’ll see if they last 30 years.

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Clare Mansell November 22, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Now THAT is how long a pair of wellies should last! I think my husband still has a pair of (old) Hunters from his teens somewhere, so they are 20 years old!

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HillyFilly November 23, 2014 - 7:05 pm

My old Hunters died & are currently replaced with a pair of Joules…. Built for looks not endurance I fear….. My problem area is the ankle… Too little support – after 4 days at a soggy festival one pair nearly gouged through my Achilles…… Ouch! Took ages to repair. I like the look of the Aigles… Shaped at the ankle & a sturdy sole….

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My winter footwear purchases » Maybush Studio October 14, 2015 - 6:06 am

[…] you read my original post you’ll see I explored nearly all of the big brands of wellies before I made my choice and […]

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