It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s spent a considerable amount of time with children that universal favourite outdoor pastimes are a) jumping in puddles and b) getting themselves into as much of a mess as humanly possible. So why not keep them happy, and keep your own sanity, by arming them with a solid pair of kids’ wellies?
They might not be quite as magical as William’s Wish Wellingtons (the reference would be wasted on them anyway), but our round-up of the best wellies on the market can offer a surprising range of services: they keep socks dry and clean, toes warm and snug, and most importantly of all, growing feet in optimum position.
Even if they’re not wearing them very often, or for very long, even one pair of ill-fitting shoes can be detrimental to the overall development of little bones, and that goes for wellies, too. All of the boots on our list are certified comfy and sturdy by reviewers, so they won’t bunch up their toes or make them walk like they’re in a Monty Python sketch, but our picks all offer their own particular charms, so think about your child’s needs, preferences, and stages of development before you head to the checkout.
Cute character wellies, the likes of Star Wars and Peppa Pig, will take some of the tantrums out of getting ready with their appealing designs; give them the gift of comfort and stability with sturdy flat-soled boots made specifically for first-time walkers, and independence with easy-on boots they can do themselves. Your mini-me can even match you in scaled-down kids’ versions of your favourite classic wellies from Hunter, Crocs, and Muck — although you do run the risk of looking a little like a Glastonbury-going Von Trapp family, it’s worth it just to keep the photos for social media blackmail later on.
When out and about with the family, kids like to feel like one of the team, and these just-like-the-grown-ups welly boots from iconic brand Hunter will do just that. These are classic unisex boots for all ages, and they last forever, so they’re perfect for handing down through the family when they’re grown out of by your eldest. You can also rest assured that they’ll look after growing feet with their sturdy and comfortable 28-piece construction.
These girls’ wellies from Joules are nothing short of adorable. We particularly like the popular unicorn design, but there’s a good range to choose from, including cute kitty cats and just-like-Mum stripes, florals, and polka dots. A fine meeting of novelty and practicality, these boots look sweet but are still built to last, as you’d expect from established country outfitters Joules. Really, the only problem you’ll have with these is resisting the urge to buy a pair for yourself.
These character wellies are just the thing to tempt Star Wars-mad kids into donning their boots on rainy days. Admittedly, they’re not built to last forever, but at least you know they’ll be loved to death, with their cool all-over stormtrooper print, and you can rest assured that the grippy grooved sole will keep them upright. Of course, choosing these particular wellies does mean they’re aligning themselves with the Empire, but then we can’t have everything...
The sturdy, cheerful little boots do more than just keep their feet dry, they encourage independence by helping small people put their boots on by themselves — parents, grandparents, guardians: you’re welcome. With helpful handles, enabling little ones to put the finishing touch to their own outfit is easy, and they’ll be chuffed with themselves too. With unbeatable waterproofing, these are just as happy walking in a downpour as pottering around the garden after Grandad.
Another winning design from classic brand Hunter, these boots are specifically engineered for little feet, making them our best wellies for toddlers. They have a flatter sole and rounder foot than other Hunter boots, making them sturdy, stable, and easy to walk in for kids who are just getting started on two feet. The wide leg opening means easy on-and-off, and gives them freedom of movement when they want to dart around. If your kids aren’t quite ready for original Hunters, this is a wonderful way to get them started.
For the kid who has Peppa Pig everything, here’s one more loveable, giftable item — sorry parents! The cute design will keep them happy and cut short tantrums when they really, really don’t want to put shoes on (we don’t blame them, sometimes we don’t want to either), and they’re impressively sturdy and waterproof to guard against deceptively deep puddles. For cheerful, good-quality character wellingtons, look no further.
For kids and teenagers who like to make a splash — literally — on their outdoor adventures, these unique and indestructible boots are our best buy. Just like the grown-up version, these boots have a durable rubber sole and quick-drying neoprene panels to handle anything the weather, or your little terrors, can throw at them. For adventurous kids and families who take extreme outdoor pursuits in their stride, these are a great choice. If they don’t need as much protection as the Muck offers, the Hunter Original boots are a sensible option for around the same price.