We’ve spent the summer selling wellies for the upcoming autumn/winter season and now that the winter season is here, we’d thought we’d give you a quick run down on the best wellies for the cold, winter months.
It’s all about the lining! Wellies are either insulated or non-insulated. Boot makers will insulate their boots with neoprene (most popular), wool or faux-fur and the non-insulated welly boots are usually lined with a cotton lining or polyester (or something similar). Obviously, in the cold weather you’ll need an insulated boot.
Handy-tip:- Most welly boots are now true-to-size so you don’t need to order the size up. Generally speaking if you’re a size 6 in your shoes, you’ll be a size 6 in wellies. You don’t need to “go up a size for a thick sock”. The neoprene lining does the job of a thick welly sock so you only need thin or medium-weight socks.
As mentioned, neoprene is the most popular choice for insulating a welly. It’s a synthetic rubber that has great insulating properties so it keeps your feet warm. There are two “styles” of welly. The first style is a “full rubber welly”;
Full Rubber Welly
As the name suggests, the rubber on this boot extends up the leg and the neoprene is on the inside of the rubber; it’s a proper looking welly! The second style is a “part rubber/part neoprene”
Part Rubber / Part Neoprene
As you can see this style has a rubber foot and then the neoprene lining extends up the leg. A question we get all the time is; “Is the boot fully waterproof?” The answer is YES, the neoprene is waterproof.
|Full rubber boot||The rubber protects more of the leg. Important if you’re walking through thick undergrowth/brambles etc.|
Arguably a nicer looking boot, but this is subjective
|More rubber means more weight, so they tend to be heavier|
Tend to be more expensive as rubber is expensive.
|Part Neoprene / Part Rubber||Usually lighter, as there is less heavy rubber|
Tend to be cheaper, less rubber means less cost.
|Some people just like a proper, full rubber welly.|
The final thing to note is the thickness of the neoprene. The thickness ranges from 3mm to a whopping 8.5mm. 3mm – 4.5mm is found on the full rubber boots and 5mm – 8.5mm is found on the neoprene top boots. Obviously, the thicker the neoprene, the warmer the boot. But a 3mm lined full rubber boot, can be as warm as a 5mm neoprene topped welly as the layer of rubber on the leg traps the warmth in.
When choosing a welly you need to think about Who, What, When and Where.
Who? – Do you suffer from cold feet? If you do then you obviously need a thicker neoprene
What? – What are you doing? Are you stationary in a hide, or are you dog walking? The former would need a thicker neoprene and the latter a thinner.
When? – What time of year will you be wearing your boots? The depths of winter or wet autumnal (milder) days?
Where? – Are you on the balmy south-coast or the hills of Scotland? Or, you may want them for a trip to the Arctic circle (we do have super insulated boots for these types of trips call the “Aigle Parcours 2 Siberia”).
Now you know everything there is to know about the world of wellies. Here’s our top 10 list of winter wellies:
1. Aigle Parcours 2 Iso. – 4.5mm neoprene lining
Top of the pops is the Aigle Parcours 2 Iso. This boot is a unisex fit so it’s great for men and ladies. If you’re a lady with… ahem… more athletic calves (big)… then this is the boot for you as it’s generous around the calf (if you have super athletic calves (huge) then the boot for you is the Grub’s Frostline). Similarly, for men the Parcours 2 Iso are a great fit. These boots are hand-made in France, so they are arguably the highest quality boots on the market (no wellies are made in the UK anymore; it’s weird how the closer the boots are made to the UK the better the quality is perceived to be), also, these boots come with a 2 year warranty. They have a 4.5mm neoprene lining so they are nice and warm. The 4.5mm lining is doubled up in the sole so they are super comfortable to wear.
2. Le Chameau Vierzonord – 3mm neoprene
A close second is the Le Chameau Vierzonord. This French brand has the iconic Vierzonord boot (Le Chameau are a French brand and the boots are hand-made in Morocco by a single master bootmaker, these boots come with a 2 year warranty). This boot has been in production since 1965 and it’s favoured by our very own Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. One of the best things about this boot is the fit. They are made as men’s Vierzonord and Ladies’ Vierzonord. So if you’re a lady with slim calves, then this boot has an elegant pencil-shaped leg, creating a really neat looking welly. Featuring a 3mm neoprene lining, they are a warm boot which is also super comfortable “ohhhh, they’re like slippers” is a common reaction when people try these on.
3. Aigle Parcours 2 Iso Open – 4.5mm neoprene
The Parcours 2 is the main family of boots from Aigle. It’s essentially the same boot, but with different linings (polyester, neoprene etc.) and openings (gusset, zip etc.). So, the Parcours 2 Iso Open is the same boot at the Parcours 2 Iso, but the ‘Open’ basically means it’s got a zip on it. So it’s the same spec as the Parcours 2 Iso; 4.5mm neoprene, French-made, 2 year warranty but these have a zip! If you’re concerned about the zip failing and the boot letting water in, don’t be! The zip is a high-quality water-proof zip and it has a gusset inside too, so there are 2 barriers keeping the water at bay. The 2 year warranty also covers the zip. The main thing to remember is to keep the zip up, if you don’t, then mud/grit can get in to the zip and break it, this is not then covered by the warranty. Anyway, if you’ve ever struggled to get a welly off, GET A ZIPPED ONE! The only reason this boot is in 3rd place is because this boot is a men’s boot that starts at a UK 6.5.
4. Hound Racefield – 4mm neoperene
The Aigle Parcours 2 and the Le Chameau are the best boots. The Hound Racefield is the best value boot. The Racefield is still hand-made (in Romania, so still within the EU), but it’s a fraction of the cost. Whereas the Aigle and Le Chameau come in at around £150, the Hound comes in at £80 and it’s still a hand-made boot that comes with a 1 year warranty. The neoprene is 4mm on this boot so it’s in the region of both Le Chameau and Aigle. This unisex boot is a nice fitting boot too, which is pinched in at the ankles to improve the overall fit. A great option, especially if you want to keep the price under £100.
5. Le Chameau Chasseur Neo – 3mm neoprene
The Le Chameau Chasseur Neo is a very classy looking boot. It features a 3mm thick neoprene lining and has a full-length zip. Similar to the Aigle Parcours 2 Iso Open, the full length zip is a high-quality zip and it has an inside gusset so there’s no need to worry about the boots letting water in. Like the Vierzonord, these boots are made as men’s and ladies so they are a beautifully fitted boot. The only calf size option for the ladies boot is 38cm. The men’s boot come as a 41cm standard but other calf sizes are available to order. Unlucky ladies!
6. Muck Muckmaster – 5mm neoprene
The first 5 boots on the list are all full rubber boots. If you prefer the half rubber / half neoprene boots, then we reckon the Muck Muckmaster is the best on the market. It features a great off-road sole (perfect for grass, gravel, mud but not designed for wet concrete i.e. dairy yards/stable yards). This boot is a unisex boot that features a 5mm neoprene lining making it very comfortable and warm.
7. Grub’s Frostline – 5mm neoprene
Grub’s are a British brand (Bolton-based), which make their boots in the Far East (China) and they come with a 1 year warranty. Grubs is owned by the Foster family, who have been making boots since 1776, so they know a thing or two about making footwear! Anyway, the Frostline is a unisex boot that’s made in many colours, the green and black are unisex, whereas the Fuchsia, Violet, Ocean and Scarlett are made in ladies sizes. If you say “I can’t wear wellies as they don’t fit around my calves” then these are the boots for you. All you do is simply roll the neoprene over, Stick your foot in and then pull the neoprene up over your leg. Due to the stretchiness of the neoprene it accommodates any calf size. We have literally changed people’s lives with these boots
8. Muck Arctic Sport II Tall (Ladies) – 5mm neoprene
If the unisex Muckmaster is a little bit too masculine for you, then the Arctic Sport II Tall is a ladies boot. This boot has many fantastic features It has a great grip, 5mm of neoprene with a thin fleece lining, making the boot warm and extra comfortable. The rubber extends further up the leg, thus protecting more of the neoprene, this means it’s great for walking through undergrowth. All Muck boots come with a 1 year warranty.
9. BOGS Essential Tall Light (Ladies) – 4mm neoprene
We LOVE the Bogs essential tall light. It’s a streamlined ladies boot, which hugs the calves and is available in 4 classy colours. It features a 4mm neoprene lining and a good tread. The best thing about these boots is the price, a great boot at a great price.
10. Percussion Sologne – 3mm neoprene
Last, but by no means least, is the Percussion Sologne. This boot is similar to the Hound Racefield in that it is a great value boot. It’s mass-made in China and it comes with a one-year warranty, however in the time that we’ve been selling this boot we have had very few returns so don’t let the fact that it’s Chinese-made put you off. Percussion is a French shooting brand that have been making clothing for over 25 years and they’ve been making wellies since 2012. This boot has a 3mm neoprene lining so it is warm and comfortable. The boot is unisex, however, please be advised, these boots are large fitting. So, we would recommend going down 1 size to get a better fit. The large sizing is the main reason it’s down in tenth position on our list and not higher.
WOW! You made it to the end. Thank you for reading and I hope I’ve been able to help you choose the right welly for you. If you do need any further advice or have any more questions, please get in touch with customer services. You can email them; email@example.com or call 0161 850 4880.