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As someone who camps and attends festivals every Summer, wellies have always been an unavoidable form of footwear for me. This was a shame, as I've always found them very uncomfortable. It's a nightmare when it's hot but there is mud on the ground and the last thing I want to wear become a necessity. Boots made from rubber which are almost knee-high and usually have to be worn with something under them really aren't ideal Summer attire.
Up until recently I had always bought wellies for about £15 - £20, usually brightly coloured or featuring some kind of pattern printed on them. These would need replacing every three years or so, depending on how much use they had that particular year.
I've always had my eye on getting a pair of Hunter wellies, but begrudged paying over the odds for something I didn't really like wearing anyway...this year it suddenly clicked...'maybe if I buy some good quality wellington boots they won't be as uncomfortable and will last me years and years so it'll actually work out cheaper!' We all know that if you buy cheap, you often buy twice (or actually multiple times as can be the case).
Based in Edinburgh, Hunter Boot Ltd describe their products as being 'timeless British style'; a description I completely agree with. They have been making footwear for over 150 years and without a doubt their wellies are the thing the brand is most famous for. They are worn by a massive range of people, and the fact that they are a fusion of fashion and functionality means they're loved by almost everyone from festival-goers like me, to people who actually need a decent boot, such as farmers and other outdoor workers.
Hunter even supply waterproof footwear to HM the Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh!
The company started out as North British Rubber Company in 1856 and the demand of World War I meant that they had to dramatically increase their production of wellington boots.
Nowadays they manufacture and sell wellies, socks, other footwear, umbrellas and other accessories such as hats and scarves.
**CHOOSING MY PAIR**
Hunter boots come in not only several colours, but several styles also.
Some of the styles include:
*Colour block: the top half off the boot is a different colour to the bottom
*Back adjustable: a rather self-explanatory style; there is a part at the back of the boot where you can adjust the width of them
*Side adjustable: as above, but the adjusting is done at the side
*Original gloss wellie: plain boots with a gloss finish
There are other styles too and loads of colours including navy, light blue, orange, classic green, red, black and more. They make them for kids, men and women.
My first thought was (as it usually is) to go for the brightest coloured ones available. I was pretty into some orange ones, which were quite vibrant and glossy. After a bit of time spent browsing the various styles available, the small part of me that is 'sensible' decided to go for a more classic colour, so that I wouldn't go off them, and also they would look ok with any clothes.
Black just wasn't quite doing it for me, but I had seen a few pairs of navy blue ones, which I found much more appealing.
The pair I eventually settled on were just called 'Hunter Original Tall Wellies' and I ordered them in navy blue. A classic pair that I couldn't really go wrong with!
**THE ARRIVAL OF THE BOOTS**
My Hunter wellies arrived in a large, flat, square glossy black box which featured a large Hunter logo printed onto it. I was immediately impressed (it doesn't take much does it?) as I already felt as though I was receiving a high-end product, and I hadn't even opened the packaging yet.
The box contained just the boots and a small information card about caring for them. There was a bit of packaging around each boot as well as a cardboard insert in each one to stop them from becoming squashed. There was not an excess of wasteful packaging as is often the case when I have footwear delivered (the shoes I buy are not exactly made of porcelain so I don't understand the need for all this wrapping).
Upon unwrapping the boots from their minimal packaging I could tell at once that they were much nicer quality that any wellies I had owned before. They are made from a soft, matt rubber rather than the nasty, cheap, plastic-like material my previous wellies have been made from. The reason I didn't opt for the 'gloss' style boots was that I felt this could cheapen the look of them somewhat.
The boots are a simple, classic design with the only stand-out feature being the famous black and red logo across the front of each boot which you will find on every pair of Hunters. There's a buckled strap on the side of each boot also. Despite being plain in appearance I immediately loved the look of them and couldn't wait to put them on.
The little 'care card' that had been placed in the box is again a black glossy item, with the Hunter logo across the front. It opens up into a mini three part piece of literature which tells me about the history of the brand, how to clean my new boots, and other advice and recommendations about caring for them. It also lets me know the boots come with a 12 month warranty.
**THE WEARING OF THE BOOTS**
Most of my current shoes are a size six, with the occasional pair of sevens in my collection too. I usually find wellies need to be slightly bigger than other shoe-types I went for the size sevens, which are a perfect fit.
I find it easier to get these boots on than I have with other boots in the past. I can pretty much slide my foot straight in but once I've done this they are a perfect fit and don't feel loose at all. I was worried about the fit on my calves as although my legs aren't massive, I also don't have skinny legs. Some manufacturers of female wellies do tend to presume that all women have stick-thin calves. These fit just fine although I think had my legs been much wider I'd struggle to get them on (bear in mind my legs are pretty normal in size). If this had been the case I would have probably exchanged for an adjustable-width pair.
The inside of wellies can often feel uncomfortable or itchy, but the soft lining on these boots means this is not the case at all. They come right up to just below my knees and still feel completely comfortable on both the foot and leg.
One thing I did notice about these is that they make my feet look a lot smaller than normal! This is never a bad thing and it just adds to how much I like to look of these boots. The heel of each boot is almost an inch thick so I feel pretty tall in these and it helps to make them comfortable and easy to walk in.
I've been out in my new wellies a few times and not experienced any kind of rubbing or soreness as I have often done in the past with cheap pairs.
The grip on the soles of these is fantastic and when I got them it was nice and wet outside so I went for a walk with my Mum's dogs and made sure to go in as many puddles as possible just to make sure they are waterproof. Of course they are perfectly so.
From more of a 'looking good' point of view, these boots tick that box too. With them being navy blue they go with just about anything and I love wearing them with a dress and jacket, or with jeans tucked into them when it's colder. In summer I will wear them with shorts too; they are so versatile.
**CARING FOR THE BOOTS**
As I said the boots do come with a 'care card'. This contains fairly basic information, and so far I have just followed the part which advises to clean the boots with just lukewarm water and soap. I did this after going out in them and all the muck came off easily. I'm sure in a few months time I will not really bother cleaning them and will just give them the occasional wipe when they get particularly filthy - after all mud-less wellies just look a bit wrong don't they?
**WHERE FROM AND HOW MUCH?**
I paid £67.50 for my Hunter boots, which was less than I was expecting to pay. I ordered from http://www.wellie-web.co.uk/ where they stock sizes 3 - 12 in this style. They were selling at £75 but I had a 10% discount code which made them £67.50.
I had originally seen them at £85 in quite a few places (including on the official Hunter website) which is why I thought I would end up paying more that the £67.50 they actually cost me.
They are also available online at many other outlets including Amazon and Very.
What can I say? They've turned a wellington boot-hater to someone who is basically in love with them. I'm currently trying to think of more situations in my life where wearing wellies can be incorporated. I may have suggested to my fiancé that when we get married next year (we're having an outdoor marquee wedding) I will probably have to wear them under my dress just in case of mud. Pretty certain he thinks I'm ridiculous.
I give these 5/5, they are comfortable, excellent quality, they look good, they make my feet look smaller, I am proud to wear the Hunter brand, and they have made this year's level of Glastonbury excitement go up even more than I thought possible.
Obviously having not had these long I can't comment on how long they will last, but the material is thick and there is no part that seems as though it will break or come apart any time soon. They seem very durable and hard-wearing. Also there is the 12 month warranty in place in case they are faulty in some way.
I've not got a bad word to say about them, I can't even fault the price as I think it's worth it, especially as I did think I'd be looking at nearer £100 but ended up paying less than £70.
I love my Hunter wellies, they are great for walking, splashing in puddles, going in mud. I'd heard about hunters for ages and although a little pricey, they seemed to last a long time, and I had been recommend a pair. So off I went to purchase a pair, and I saw these gorgeous pink ones and I said YES! Ive GOT to have some.
I bought the classic tall ones, mainly because I didn't want my legs getting muddy and the height was really helpful, they came to just under the knee. The first thing I noticed was the ease, getting them on and off, no tugging whatsoever. They just slid off. The soles are really comfy too so long walks are not a problem, padded and super soft.
If you don't fancy pink it comes in many colours, although they are a little pricey. I think about £85 from Hunter but cheaper online. It may seem a lot but these wellies last a long time, so totally worth it, and you can walk in the mud in style!
I have cheap wellies that are bright and colourful that I like to wear around town when it is raining but I also have a pair of more expensive Hunter wellies that I paid a lot more for a couple of years ago. These are proper wellies for outdoor use and not just for playing around in puddles with.
The wellies are made of rubber but you can tell they aren't just cheap wellies as the rubber is thick and they just look well made if that makes sense. There is no obvious stitching and even in the two years I have owned mine none of the seams even remotely look like they are coming loose.
The tread on these wellies is absolutely amazing and they keep grip with the ground so well. I use these to take my dog walks over muddy fields and I never feel as though I am going to slip even coming up and down wet slopes. They have a slight heel on them which not only looks good but also helps with the grip as it helps to dig in when walking over rough terrain.
These are quite high wellies and as such they manage to keep my feet so dry. Absolutely no water is coming through these even if I submerge them in rivers, streams and snow the inside of them stays dry. They are also really comfortable to wear and unlike with my cheaper wellies even if I walk in the river the rubber doesn't get that cold on the inside. I nearly always wear welly socks but even if I didn't have a pair on I am confident that my feet would stay relatively warm even on the coldest day.
I think the fit of these wellies is fantastic and really comfortable. They are true to size as usually with wellies I have to wear a size up to allow for thicker socks but these fit well but still have enough room in them for socks without me needing to go up and size. They also fit nicely on the calf.
I really do think that Hunter is the crème de la crème of wellington boots and for good reason. They are amazing quality and also comfortable. Mine might also be green and sensible looking but they aren't ugly and are actually pretty attractive as far as green wellington boots go. They are great for any outdoor activity when you know the terrain will be wet but they are just as at home in the town when it is raining or when the snow is out and the grip on them will definitely minimize the risk of falling over in the snow.