Wellies, also called rain boots, are good for more than just rain. If you ever worked on a farm, you already know the practical side of these rubber or neoprene shoes. They protect you from sludge, mud, and water better than any other kind of shoe, and they are incredibly easy to clean.
They’re great seasonal shoes for those who walk to work during rainy seasons, and if you like to walk in nature at any time other than high summer, you’ll need wellies to keep away the mud. Many hunters use these shoes, and many beach-lovers keep a pair ready for cold weather. These shoes are durable, long lasting, and can even be pretty stylish. Are the good for walking, though?
What to Look For
Not all wellies are great for long walks. In order to find the best walking wellies, you need to pay attention to several key features. Most wellies and rain boots don’t advertise features that make walking easier, as that is not their primary purpose.
Fortunately, most are easily visible. No matter what size or type of welly you’re looking at, be sure that it has an elevated heel and some level of arch support. These features are easily visible from the outside. This is because, unlike cloth or leather shoes, these boots are made from extremely different materials that are usually fused together rather than sewn. That’s what makes them so waterproof. It also makes it easy to spot features like the elevated heel and arch support mentioned above.
Not all wellies are created the same. Some are short, like ankle boots, and often feature stretchy sides to allow users to put them on and take them off easily. Some are also designed to fit an entirely different shoe inside. Lastly, you have the traditional welly, which is its own full boot. The only things that should fit inside the first and last items on this list are your feet and a good pair of thick socks.
The second option are a bad choice of shoe, especially if you have any preexisting back or foot problems. The fit will be loose, and your feet will slide inside, no matter how good the interior shoes are. Your best bet is to go with a short boot or a traditional welly.
The variety of wellies on the market means you can find a waterproof shoe to fit your individual needs. We’ve compiled a list to help you sort through the best options available.
The Best Wellies for Walkers
Le Chameau Footwear Men’s Belleville Chelsea Boot Product Review
By looking at the outside of this ankle boot, you can see the raised heel and the moderate middle lift that provides arch support. It’s designed to fit possibly better than a tall boot, as a loose ankle boot can easily fly off or get pulled off in the mud. The elastic sides help the boot flex to fit different ankles, and it’s just high enough to provide valuable ankle support. It’s easy to trip or slip in wet areas, and your ankle will need extra protection. This shoe has some hidden features, as well. It has a soft footbed that makes walking easier, and special lining to keep your feet dry and comfortable when they sweat. A dual-density midsole helps protect the vulnerable arches of your feet.
This top brand earned high praise from users. These boots fit like a shoe rather than a boot, according to feedback from previous buyers. Despite their ease of wear, they maintained their waterproof abilities, which is what sets wellies apart.
- Elevated heel
- Evident arch support
- Soft footbed
- Dual-density midsole
- Easy to wear
Polar Women’s Rubber Welly Shoes Product Review
It’s easy to see the elevated heel on these shoes from the outside. On the inside, quick drying fabric provides a comfortable lining. While the design seems to provide a little arch support, it is not extremely pronounced. Unfortunately, wearing orthotic inserts in a welly is an invitation for damp, ruined orthotics. The shoes are designed to go on easily, but they have no ankle support.
Users praised the durability and flexibility of these shoes. Since wellies can be stiff, this is an important feature. Many decided to make these their regular wet weather shoes for all kinds of outings and adventures. Apart from a flood, one user said, the tall boots would remain in the closet. Prospective buyers with wide feet should beware, however. While the shoes fit most users very well, several found them too narrow to wear and had to send them back. Even those who could not wear the shoes, however, praised their construction.
- Easy to wear
- Elevated heel
- Blend with regular clothes
- Too narrow for some users
- No ankle support
- Minimal arch support
Hunter Women’s Original Tall Welly Boot Product Review
These boots feature a noticeable heel but relatively little arch support. These boots are designed to fit well around a foot rather than serve as a rubber tub for your feet. They are ergonomically designed, as you can see even from the exterior. They have phenomenal grip and extra protection at the tip to guard your toes. These shoes are great for hunters and outdoor explorers.
The vast majority of users love these boots and plan to use them regularly. One previous buyer, however, found the boots delaminating after a year in the closet, but this seems to be a singular manufacturing error. Several others said the boots ran a little small.
- Elevated heel
- Designed around your foot
- Extra toe protection
- Plenty of ankle support
- Fit for any activity
- Run small
While either of the ankle boots above would be great for casual wear, the Le Chameau is slightly superior due to its hidden features. It has the most arch support of any welly on our list, and it offers ankle support, too. The Hunter boots are best for those who plan to wade through boggy forests hunting deer or other involved outdoor activities. While they also work just as well for working around the house, they are a bit heavy for long walks into town.