We could argue all day and all night for the virtues of various wardrobe staples. There’s the little black dress, of course, the classic trench coat, and that pair of killer heels, but there’s one absolute must-have that we can all agree on: a good pair of wellies.
As nice as it would be to live in Miami or Los Angeles and rock sandals all year round, the grim truth is that in most places on earth, the weather can be a tad more unpredictable than that, and that’s where our round-up of the best ladies’ wellington boots comes in. As a wet-weather contingency plan they’re among the more pleasant, keeping sensitive feet warm, dry, and comfortable even in a downpour.
They needn’t just be practical, either. Famous festival-goers can be credited with popularising a lot of trends (some of them questionable), but the rise of wellies as statement footwear is something we’re thankful for. From polka dots to slogans, and even the ubiquitous glitter, they’re certainly not just for the farm anymore.
Which brings us onto our big question: what do you need your wellies for? If it’s for frequent camping or walks in the country, apocalyptically muddy music festivals, or working outside, we advise going for an established brand with proven weatherproof credentials, and a style that hits higher up the leg for maximum mud protection and dry legs. If they’re for pounding the pavement or going for not-too-demanding walks in everyday wet weather, you could consider a more fanciful style on a waterproof ankle or shin-height boot. Whatever your needs, we cordially invite you to read on through our list, and give it some welly.
Stop us if we’re being dramatic, but we’re pretty sure these are the Rolls Royce of wellies. Kate Middleton has been known to rock them repeatedly, and we don’t blame her one bit — lightweight but tough, warm in cold temperatures but not clammy when it starts getting warm, these boots might be expensive, but for the high quality and longevity they make a great investment. If you work outdoors or walk every weekend, these are the ones for you.
Hunter wellies are an enduring classic among everyone from the country set to Glastonbury-goers, and little wonder. They’re very comfortable, with an instantly recognisable classic look that can be shown off in almost every colour imaginable from Captain Birdseye yellow to Kate Moss olive green. Reviewers have noted that they come up quite small and can be tight on the calf, so for a more generous fit, consider sizing up.
These ankle boot wellingtons (sorry, “wellibobs”) are just as cute as their name denotes, with their distinctive polka-dotted design and bright magenta detailing. They’re great throw-on-and-go boots that slip on easily, making them ideal for the school run or last-minute adventures, or anyone who has trouble with their hands, especially in cold weather. They’re also fur-lined, for extra cosy factor, but unfortunately this means they’re not ideal on humid days — consider the equally cute, but lighter polycotton-lined Emma Bridgewater booties for a year-round alternative.
These riding-style boots really look the business, but it’s their rugged nature which makes them a winner for us, so if you’re heading out on the trail to the campsite, heading to the stables or just walking the dog, go for these. Their combination of rubber and neoprene makes them quick to dry and easy to clean, they’re well insulated to keep toes thawed on cold days, and they’re the most comfortable on our list, meaning you can happily ramble for miles. They also come in tall and ankle-height, for wear in less demanding weather.
These smart wellington boots cut a dashing figure out on the trail, in the back garden, or just heading out on errands — we’re particularly taken with the cherry red colour, which looks lovely and festive for Boxing Day walks with the family. As well as looking elegant, they’re supremely comfortable, and the 1-inch heel and gum rubber sole are impressively grippy no matter the weather. A lovely ankle boot from a trusted brand, but if you need a bit more protection from the elements, consider the Vierzonord Calf Boots, also from Le Chameau.
If there’s a lady in your life whose china shelf groans under the weight of Emma Bridgewater designs, this is the perfect gift (and if it’s you, might we say, you have excellent taste). Ideal for dog lovers taking Fido out for a walk in less-than-ideal conditions, these boots hit at calf height to guard against splashes from overenthusiastic pooches, and the sweet design is sure to draw admiring glances from fellow walkers.
For someone who wouldn’t be seen dead in a gumboot, but balks at the idea of stepping out in their regular shoes in wet weather, Lemon Jelly have the solution: a rain boot that looks like a Chelsea boot. Hurrah! The sharp shape keeps them looking stylish and nimble rather than bulky, and the glittery side panels inject an unexpected bit of bling. Never thought you’d be showing off your wellies? Think again. These are undoubtedly best for urban streets, so for country walks, consider something taller and sturdier, such as the Muck boot.
Kit the kids out too with our pick of the Best Kids Wellies