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Which are the best wellies for walking the dog?

by Clare Mansell
Which are the best wellies for walking the dog?

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.

doddle2a

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.

winterwellie

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.

Bogs Footwear – We were first introduced to Bogs when they sent us a kids pair for Theo to try. They are Neoprene lined, fully waterproof, have handles to help you pull them on and they have a guarantee that you can return your boots if your purchase fails to meet “the high standards that you expect”. My Canadian friend says they have been buying them for their kids for years and they are a very popular brand there. Earlier this month I joined the Bogs crew when they kindly offered to let me try a pair of their Crandall boots. They have a slip-resistant sole and are lined with a fluffy thermal lining. Crucially my socks stay up in them and I find them easy to get on and off. *** Update 21/4/17 – I’ve now worn these all winter on most days walking 3 or 4 miles a day and I’m seriously impressed with them. Alice has been through two pairs (as she grows) and they’ve also been great for her.

bogsboots

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.

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

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2 comments

Stephanie Moore October 26, 2016 - 12:34 pm

So helpful as I’m trying to find a pair of wellies for dog walking. I stupidly purchased hunters too!!

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Wellie fan October 24, 2017 - 2:38 pm

I walk a minimum of 6 miles a day and more like 12 at the weekends and have tried wellies from Asda, Dunlop, Karrimor, Barbour and Le Chameau. For comfort, grip and dry feet you can’t beat the Condor LCX boots from Le Chameau, also their Country Vibram boot is brilliant. The Barbour boots are also brilliant, but with a less technical sole.

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