The Ultimate Guide to Walking Wellies

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Walking Wellies Buyers Guide

Wellies are one of those practical items in life that we really couldn’t live without! Whether walking the dogs, taking weekend walks around the park, or even if you are going further afield, you will need something practical, waterproof, sturdy, yet comfortable to walk in!

Best Pick Walking Wellies

Hunter Women Original Tall Wellington Boots
8 Reviews
Hunter Women Original Tall Wellington Boots
  • Waterproof, lacquer finish
  • Built on an Orthopedic last for comfort and fit

Yet so often this seems to go wrong with walking wellies – they will rub your heel, or stop being waterproof after what feels like one walk, or are so flimsy that you end up walking like a penguin! If you take the time to buy the right pair and look after them then you will find your walking wellies will be able to cover many miles with you, which is well worth the time it takes to find them in our opinion.

Only Got 5 Minutes?

There are some key things to look out for when buying walking wellies. Take a walk in our shoes for 5 minutes and you will understand why these features are so important…

Size

There are three main measurements that you need to consider when buying walking wellington boots. You will need your shoe size, the length of your lower leg (to be able to work out the boot length that is right for you), and your calf size (looking at the widest part of your calf) to check that the wellies are going to be wide enough, but also not too wide!

There are some important things to remember when looking at the size of wellies though – such as what socks and trousers you will be wearing underneath the wellies. If you are anything like me then you will want a really thick pair of socks underneath your wellies to keep your feet warm when you are walking. This means that I tend to have to consider purchasing wellies half a size bigger than I would with normal shoes!

Equally, think about the length of boot that appeals to you. Wellies tend to come in three main lengths – ankle, mid-calf and full size (which goes to just below your knee). Obviously, if you are going to be walking in particularly muddy and dirty conditions then a full-size wellie will better protect your clothes from this but maybe unnecessary if your wellies are only going to be used on footpaths and drier ground.

TOP TIP: Look out for wellies with an adjustable strap on the calf which will allow you to change the width of the wellies depending on your own calf size.

Outer Lining

The outer lining of your walking wellies will determine how durable, waterproof and long-lasting they will be. There are four main linings that you can choose from: leather, neoprene, jersey and rubber.

  • Leather lining boots will be durable and hard-wearing. They will often have a protective coating to ensure that they stay soft even after becoming wet and will stay waterproof for a long time.
  • Neoprene lined boots will be super waterproof and able to cope with particularly muddy and damp conditions for a long time before you start to see it taking its toll! They also offer extra insulation so will help to keep your feet toasty and warm through those cold winter months (and summers in the UK!). They also tend to offer more support and comfort than many other wellies. However, due to their insulation, they might not be suitable for hotter summers. They are also not washable.
  • Cotton or ‘Jersey’ lining – This is one of the cheapest of linings that you will find for wellies and is designed for general, everyday use. They are a mix of polyester and cotton, and will be waterproof but will struggle to last as long as other lined models if they are being made to work through particularly difficult conditions. However, there are many benefits, such as them being easier to pull on and off, thinner so more space for thick socks and fast drying! They will be colder though as not quite as comfortable as makes with thicker lining.
  • Rubber lining – Rubber linings on wellies will usually be the cheapest make that you can find, so perfect for if you are not going to be using your wellies very often but still like to have some around for when you DO need them. They are flexible, have plenty of space for thick socks to keep your feet warm (which you will need as they don’t offer much insulation themselves), and will even have space for fleece liners so that you can mix up and change the look of your wellies regularly. But remember that they can be difficult to take off and not the most comfortable of wellies so if you are going to be going for long walks we would recommend you investing in a very decent pair of wellie socks!

Inner Lining

Some wellies will offer inner linings so that they are more comfortable and will keep your feet even warmer. These linings tend to come in wool, sheepskin, or just general fabric padding. The sheepskin and wool linings will be the warmest but these are also the hardest to get clean and will be the smelliest if they get wet, so make sure to consider whether you need to go for comfort or practicality.

Brand

Although in many cases looking for branded items isn’t always the way to go, we would have to say this probably isn’t the case with walking wellies. There are some well-known brands that have been around for over 80 years! So have considerable experience in making wellies that are going to last and be able to do the job. The length of time that these companies have also been around means that you will likely get a better, more comprehensive warranty and customer care after purchase (should anything go wrong!).

Many well-known brands will use the patented Vibram sole, which is a special type of rubber sole that is water-resistant, slip-resistant (due to the specific grip) and long-lasting. Look out for walking wellies that offer a Vibram sole if you want a long-lasting wellie that will be up to the task for many years, as not only is the sole itself well worth the money, but it is a sign of a good quality walking wellie for the rest of the boot!

Grip

The grip on the walking wellies that you choose is going to be very important if you are going to want to stay upright when walking down slippery hills or edging your way through the mud! We all know what dog walks can be like through those winter months and it can make the actual walking part incredibly difficult! I personally am yet to decide what’s worse – ice or a waterlogged, slippery field! Look out for wellies that offer a good grip on the bottom that will make your trips out like a walk in the park! The soles of wellingtons will normally be made out of rubber, which is perfect for walking. The more nodes and bumps that your wellies have on the bottom, usually means the better they will be at gripping to a surface.

Best Budget Walking Wellies

Unisex Dunlop Blizzard Fleece Lined Insulated To -15c Wellington Boots Size 3-13
618 Reviews
Unisex Dunlop Blizzard Fleece Lined Insulated To -15c Wellington Boots Size 3-13
  • 100% waterproof winter wellingtons
  • Padded collar with drawstring tie (Supplied Bagged)

Colour and Design

There are now hundreds of colours and designs for your wellies – you no longer have a choice of just black or green! It really does seem like there is every colour under the sun! Not only this but there are now patterned wellies with bees, dogs, flowers, spots. You name it, they’ve made it! This really is down to personal preference but remember to consider that very pale colours will be more likely to discolour over time if they are left covered in mud for too long!

Walking Wellies Accessories

There are some walking wellie accessories that are well worth considering if you want to make your wellington boots that pair of shoes that you never want to take off!

  • Insoles – Due to the shape of the sole of wellies, it is rare to find a pair that fit perfectly to your feet. Also, rubber or cotton wellies will be much thinner so less comfortable to walk on. This is where insoles come in handy! Insoles will provide warmth, help to protect your feet from the damp, and provide comfort. Depending on the insoles that you purchase they may also provide arch support and be anti-bacterial to stop that well-known smell that wellies give off after a long walk!
  • Welly socks – Wellington socks or fleece linings are well worth their weight in gold! They will add massively to the comfort that you feel in your wellies when walking, will keep your feet warm and protected and also can then be washed so will avoid your wellies from becoming too smelly!
  • An extra accessory that may be worth considering is a wellington boot bag. The main point of walking wellies is to keep your feet from getting muddy and wet – but that, therefore, means that chances are they are going to be muddy and wet themselves when you are done walking! If you are wanting to keep your car clean, or your house when you get home, then a wellington boot bag is the way to go! Made from strong, waterproof materials they will hold your wellies until you are able to clean them. They always come with carrying handles, air vents to stop the wellingtons becoming too damp and are shaped perfectly so your wellies can be easily slotted in and out.

Looking After Your Walking Wellies

Walking wellies will be fantastic at coping with whatever ground surface you throw at them, but only if you look after them in the way that they deserve! There is some general maintenance that you can do with your wellies that won’t take a long time but will keep your wellies going and going. Remember that walking wellies only tend to come with a 12-month warranty so it is important to look after your wellies unless you are wanting to pay out regularly for new ones!

  • Make sure to hose or wash your wellies down after every use, removing any mud or dirt from the sides of the wellies and between the gaps in the tread if you have time.
  • Any stubborn dirt can be removed using a brush providing it is not too tough.
  • Waterproofing lotions can be purchased and rubbed into the outer lining of your wellington boots to help them maintain their waterproof layer and avoid any cracks.
  • Leather walking wellies should be treated with leather cleaner and oil regularly to keep them soft and supple.
  • Regardless of how clean you are (and we’re sure you are!), after hours of walking you will tend to find a bit of a smell coming from your wellies! Obviously your wellies cannot go through the washing machine – so there are certain sprays that you can purchase to clean and refresh the material lining on the inside of your wellies.

Best of the Rest

Aigle Parcours 2 Vario, Unisex Adults’ Work Wellingtons
1 Reviews
Aigle Parcours 2 Vario, Unisex Adults’ Work Wellingtons
  • Polyester quick drying lining with a sanitized antibacterial treatment
  • Triple density anti fatigue shock absorbing sole for stability. finished with a waterproof and adjustable gusset
  • Waterproof gusset adjustable to calf size
  • Calf size- 41 cm. Upper height- 40.0 cm
  • Lining: fast drying
Mens Barbour Bede Winter Waterproof Wellington Snow Rain Mid Calf Boots
67 Reviews
Mens Barbour Bede Winter Waterproof Wellington Snow Rain Mid Calf Boots
  • Barbour Bede Wellingtons
  • Vulcanized Rubber Upper
  • Non Slip Rubber Sole Unit
  • Soft Breathable Textile Lining
  • Single Adjustable Side Buckle

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can I expect a good quality pair of walking wellies to last?

This really depends on how often you use your wellies, what you use them for, and also how much you maintain them. Regularly used, walking wellies that are well maintained should last you for at least 2 years, although some have been known to last upwards of 5 or 6 years if they are regularly treated and cleaned.

What are the best lasting walking wellies?

Wellies that have a neoprene lining (ideally over 3mm) are well suited for people that go out walking regularly in all conditions. Also, look out for wellies that have a rubber sole with a good quality grip.

What is the difference between country boots and walking wellies?

Country boots tend to be just as popular for walking as walking wellies. They are usually made from leather and will have a looser calf than many wellies so allow more space for extra thick socks, or for larger calves. They are extremely durable and are normally seen as more fashionable than walking wellies (although it depends on personal taste) but they can also be considerably more expensive!

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About Francesca Fitton 93 Articles
I have a passion for gardening and being outdoors. I blog about plant care, technology and tools that I love to use outside and invite you along to watch.

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