Ready to make a splash? The best wellies for all budgets will keep your feet warm, dry and comfy in style
The best wellington boots are not just for getting you home from mud-soaked festivals. A great pair of wellies will keep your feet warm and dry in the garden, look great for trips to the shops, and even provide support and protection when you’re out for a hike. Forget the foot-shredding wellies you once forked out a fortune for at Glastonbury. The best wellington boots are made to wear for hours and last for years.
There are plenty of types of wellies to choose from, too. The perfect boot for you will depend on how and why you’ll be wearing it. Do you need a short pair of slip-on wellies for taking out the bins? A warm, comfy pair that’ll protect your legs when walking the dog in the woods? Or a stylish, weatherproof, fully adjustable pair of wellies that are equally at home striding around the city and hiking up and down muddy hills?
In a moment, we’ll reveal the best wellington boots you can buy now, whatever your need and budget. But first, here’s a quick guide to the different types of welly you can buy, and the key features to bear in mind.
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Best wellington boots: At a glance
- Best budget wellies: Dunlop Pricemaster Wellington Boots | Buy now
- Best wellies for gardening: Joules Molly Welly Wellington Boots | Buy now
- Best all-rounders for women: Hunter Original Tall Wellingtons | Buy now
- Best wellies for comfort: Aigle Parcours 2 Tall Wellies | Buy now
- Best wellies for city living: Cotton Traders Ankle Wellington Boots | Buy now
- Best wellies for kids: Hunter Kids Grab Handle Boot | Buy now
- Best short wellies for all-day comfort: UGG Chevonne Rainboot | Buy now
How to choose the best wellington boots for you
What wellington boots do I need?
If you just need a pair of boots to keep by the back door, for the odd foray into the garden, then a simple pair of rubber wellingtons with cotton lining will do you fine. You’ll find both short and tall wellies on the market: short designs give you more flexibility for jobs such as gardening, and are the better bet for anyone with wide calves. Tall models are good for rougher terrain, as you’re less likely to get wet if you stumble into a deep puddle or have to wade across a stream.
Standard wellingtons are ideal for festivals and warmer weather, but they don’t offer much warmth. If you want waterproof boots for working outside or for wear on freezing winter days, pick something heavy-duty and insulated.
And remember that the thick rubber used to waterproof wellingtons means your feet will eventually get hot and sweaty, which can lead to uncomfortable rubbing. If you’re planning on trekking across long distances, waterproof hiking boots might be a better bet.
What features should I look for when buying wellies?
Here are the main features to look out for.
Waterproofing. That’s what wellies are for, after all. All our recommended wellington boots are waterproof, although a couple do have fabric sections on their uppers and calf sections. So, while they’ll keep water off your feet, they’re not waders! For maximum waterproofness, go for a rubber upper and sole, and Gore-Tex lining.
Grip is almost as important as waterproofing if you’re intending to walk through mud. Dog walks in rainy conditions can be hazardous affairs if you don’t have boots with grippy rubber soles. The more nodes and bumps the soles have, the better they’ll be at gripping to a surface. That’ll make them more comfortable to walk in, too, because you don’t have to work so hard to stay upright! However, a narrower tread makes for easier walking on a hard surface. The very best wellies combine both types of tread.
Comfort and support are also important unless you want your wellies to end up gathering dust in the loft. Look for a supportive sole that doesn’t over-flex, while also being flexible enough to not feel too “stompy”.
Reinforced toes are a feature of safety wellies. Nice idea, but you’re unlikely to need these unless you work on a construction site.
For more information on fit as well as the different materials available, see the extended buyer’s guide below our roundup.
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The best wellington boots to buy in 2023
1. Dunlop Pricemaster Wellington Boots: Best budget wellies
Price: £15 | Buy now from Millets
If you’re simply after a pair of wellies to keep your feet dry and mud-free, there’s really no need to spend hundred of pounds on a pair of designer boots.
Dunlop are a trusted brand when it comes to boots, and the Pricemaster wellies are no exception. Yes, they might look a bit “floppy” and are perhaps not as rugged as some of the more expensive options we have listed, nor do they have quite as impressive a grip as, say, a pair of Rockfish Groundhog wellies. But they’re comfortable, sturdy enough to withstand a ramble in the mud, and they’ll only cost you just over a tenner.
Key features – Material: Polyurethane upper, PVC sole; Height: Mid; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 4-11
2. Hunter Original Tall Wellingtons: Best all-rounders for women
Price: £125 | Buy now from Hunter Boots
Hunters are a classic for a reason. These tall, elegant wellingtons are comfortable and extremely durable – invest in one pair and they’ll last you a lifetime, which makes their steep price easy to swallow. In recent years they’ve become a bit of a fashion statement too, with myriad colours and pastel, matt and even glittery incarnations now on the market, making them as popular at festivals as they are on farms. The only caveat is that Hunters are very comfortable for narrow and regular feet: if you have wide feet you may want to look for a roomier model.
Although we’ve listed the Hunter Original Tall wellies here as the best all-rounders for women, it’s also worth mentioning that they’re also available in men’s sizes.
Key features – Material: Natural rubber upper and sole; polyester lining; Height: Tall; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 3-9
3. Joules Women’s Molly Wellington Boots: Best wellies for gardening
Price: From £55 | Buy now from Joules
These extremely cute short wellies from UK outdoor clothing company Joules offer fabulous style and quality for a great price. Their mid-calf cut and generous width make them perfect for wider calves and, with plenty of room to move, they’re brilliant for gardening. The rubber soles give great grip without weighing you down, and the wonderful pattern choices are guaranteed to cheer up the stormiest day.
Key features – Material: Rubber upper and sole; polyester lining; Height: Mid; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 3-9
4. Aigle Parcours 2 Tall Wellies: Most comfortable tall wellies
Price: £100 | Buy now from Decathlon
These wellies from French company Aigle are made from a tough, abrasion resistant multi-layer rubber, making them a durable boot for when you’re out and about in the muddiest conditions.
Aigle wellies are designed as hunting boots, meaning they’re built to be comfortable in the long run (whether or not you’re actually out hunting or just walking the dog). The cushioned soles are designed to combat fatigue, and the shock-absorbing grips are well-suited for longer walks on uneven terrain.
Key features – Material: Rubber upper and sole; soft rubber midsole; Height: Tall; Other colours available? No; Sizes available: UK 5-11
5. Rockfish Groundhog wellingtons: Best wellies for cold weather
Price: £125 | Buy now from Rockfish
The no-nonsense Groundhog is far more technical than your average wellie boot. These handsome, handmade work boots sport a 5mm neoprene lining, giving the same warmth to your legs and feet as a winter wetsuit would. Outside, there’s a thick yet flexible rubber overlay which is resistant to horse urine (for what that’s worth). The big rubber soles are comfortable and bouncy, yet tough enough to take on challenging environments. There’s comfort as well as performance here, too – the contoured insoles make the Groundhog a good choice if you find that walking in cheap flat wellingtons tends to hurt your feet.
Key features – Material: Rubber upper and sole; EVA (soft rubber) midsole, neoprene lining; Height: Tall; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 4-13
6. Cotton Traders Ankle Wellington Boots: Best wellies for city living
Price: From £30 | Buy now from Cotton Traders
If you don’t anticipate romping through wet marshlands, and just want to keep your feet dry as you travel from A to B, then ankle wellies are a lot less restrictive than tall wellingtons. They’re easier to pull on and off, too, and these boots also sport elasticated gussets at the ankles that give them a smart, Chelsea boot appeal. They’re perfect for odd jobs in the garden, for walking the dog or for keeping in the boot of the car in case the heavens open. And not only are they perfect for anyone who thinks they hate wellies – they’re very affordable too.
Key features – Material: Rubber upper and sole; textile lining; Height: Ankle; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 4-12
7. Hunter Kids Grab Handle Boot: Best Wellies for kids
Price: From £45 | Buy now from Hunter Boots
Trying to get your wellies on is infuriating when you’re a child. That’s why Hunter has designed these with a big handle on the top, which also doubles as a carry handle, so your little one can get their wellies on with ease.
Made from vulcanised rubber with a matte finish and a soft cotton inner, you’re certainly not losing out on the Hunter quality. The brand’s kids wellies are available in a range of colours and patterns.
Key features – Material: Rubber upper and sole; soft cotton lining; Height: Mid; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 1-13
8. UGG Chevonne Rainboot: Best short wellies for all-day comfort
Price: £70 | Buy now from Office
These fantastic new ankle rainboots from Ugg will keep your feet dry, warm and incredibly comfy, all day long. They’re the perfect welly for when you don’t want to wear wellies: fully waterproof soles and foot cover, with a chunky tread to keep you upright on even the slippiest of rain-drenched footpaths, plus stretchy fabric lining for comfort, style and fit. Unlike traditional wellies they’re really easy to slip on and off, and they don’t feel heavy or inconvenient. You won’t have to worry about what to do with your trousers or jeans, either, because they’re so well-fitted that all trouser legs fall comfortably over them. Say what you like about Uggs, we absolutely love these boots.
Key features – Material: Synthetic upper and lining, rubber sole; Height: Ankle; Other colours available? Yes; Sizes available: UK 3-8
What’s the best material for wellington boots?
The best material for the outer layer, lining and sole of your wellies depends on what you’ll be using the boots for, how much use they’re going to get, and how much you want to spend. Here are some of the materials you’ll encounter while shopping.
Rubber is extremely durable and waterproof, making it the ideal material for wellington boots. It varies in price, depending on the type and origin of the rubber used. Soft, natural, expensive rubber is so mouldable it often turns up as inner layers of high-end wellington boots. Mid-priced rubber is still very durable but can feel a bit stiff, so make sure there’s enough room inside for thick comfy socks.
Polyurethane is used to make cheap synthetic rubber, a mainstay of budget wellies. It does a fine job of keeping the rain out and letting you stride through deep mud and puddles at festivals and while camping, but it’s not suitable for long-term use or hiking.
Leather makes for durable and hard-wearing boots. Manufacturers often treat leather with a protective coating to ensure it stays soft and waterproof for years. It’s warm, breathable, flexible and luxurious, but you’re looking at a higher price tag.
Gore-Tex is a patented lining that’s 100% waterproof and completely breathable. It’s ingenious: the membrane stops water from getting through from the outside, but does allow water vapour (eg sweat) out the other way. As well as keeping your feet dry, this also ensures comfort by cutting down on clamminess and chafing. Fab stuff.
Neoprene is an insulating lining material for winter wellies. It’s soft, superbly waterproof, and very warm. A bit too warm for summer wellies, in fact. And it can get pricey. Fleece is a budget (and less waterproof) alternative to neoprene.
Cotton or polyester is used to line budget or mid-price wellies. This lining helps to keep the water out, but won’t quite stand up to tough conditions or extended periods of wear. Cotton/polyester-lined wellies are much easier to pull off than neoprene or soft rubber, though (they don’t stick to your feet, ew!), and they leave more room for socks. And on warm summer days in the garden or woods, you’ll find cool cotton-lined wellies more comfy than thicker insulated linings.
Sheepskin and wool turn up occasionally as welly linings. They’re supremely warm but also hard to clean, and won’t smell particularly nice when your boots get wet.
How do I get the right fit?
Buying wellies to fit is more complicated than buying shoes to fit. There are three measurements to consider: your shoe size (taking thick socks into account), your lower leg length, and your calf size.
Wellies should ideally give you plenty of room to wiggle your toes, and feel snug enough at the heel not to rub up and down. Many of our recommended wellies are available on the high street, so it might be worth nipping in to try on a pair, then coming back here to click the link and buy for a better price!
Anything longer than an ankle boot will need to feel comfortable on your calves. Look for a snug fit that doesn’t wobble around while you walk, but which isn’t so tight that you can’t move comfortably. Look out for wellies with an adjustable strap on the calf, so you can change the width of the wellies depending on your own calf size. A couple of our recommended wellies have adjustable straps and flexible gussets to help you get the perfect fit. Also look for zips to help you get long wellies on and off.
Wellies tend to come in three main lengths – ankle, mid-calf and full size. Longer wellies are ideal for protecting your clothes from mud, splashes and thorns when you’re out walking, but make sure the boot isn’t too tall to allow you to crouch or kneel. Shorter wellies tend to be easier to walk in, so they may be a better bet for footpaths and campsites.