Two years ago I wrote this post about my search for the perfect pair of comfortable supportive wellies. When you live in the countryside and have two dogs to walk you unavoidably spend a fair bit of time over the winter months wearing wellies and there is nothing more maddening than a pair that lack decent grip on the sole or start to leak after a few months. Back in 2014 I wrote a list of some of the popular brands and shared my knowledge and experiences of them and I thought I’d update it to include amongst other things, my latest pair of premium boots from Bogs Footwear…
Hunter – My welly tale begins with a pair of yellow Hunters which I bought in 2001 and which lasted me for about 10 years. Unfortunately I learned the hard way, that the current standard Hunters are not the same as the old ones. The firm into administration in 2006 and the newer wellies 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. Hunter do make their own premium wellies called Balmorals (£80+) and Jim has had a pair for a couple of years which seem to last longer than the standard range.
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.
Joules – Come in a range of colours and designs, with a fit and grip that are similar to Hunters. I was initially put off buying a pair because I saw several reviews online where people complained they had started to leak and in fact I have actually witnessed two people returning them in stores. Joules offer a twelve month guarantee which made me decide to try them out anyway. Sadly my £45 pair started to leak after 18 months (it’s actually possible they leaked earlier, but I only discovered it when I went in the sea). Not good.
Aigle – Aigle are a French brand (est. 1853) and were recommended by a dog walker friend. After reading countless positive reviews online I bought a pair of Parcours 2 ISO. They fit true to size and are neoprene lined, but are very pricey and if I’m honest not particulary stylish. Mine came from Amazon and cost £135. Although initially very comfortable I found them very hard to get on and off and my socks (even thick hiking ones) constantly fell down in them. Several months after I bought them they were stolen from outside my house, although rather galling after I’d spent all that money, I found I missed them less than I anticipated.
Le Chameau – Another French wellington boot 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.
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 so I had to send them back. 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 a few months.
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