April showers are only a month away, and there are bound to be some March puddles to practice in too. And as all fans of Peppa Pig know, if you’re going to jump in muddy puddles then you must wear your boots. Here are some of our favourites – they might not be quite what Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the man who gave the boots his name, envisaged – but we’re sure that if putting dinosaurs on boots was commonplace in those days then he’d have embraced them with gusto too. Our little testers stomped through mud and puddles to give these their seal of approval.
1. JoJo Maman Bébé Rainbow Children’s Wellies (sizes 3-11): £17, JoJo Maman Bébé
So the key property of a wellington boot is that it keeps your feet warm and dry, and is comfortable enough to wear for a country walk. No one said anything about making you smile. Still, that is exactly what these rainbow boots from JoJo Maman Bébé do. If they did them in adult sizes I’d buy myself a pair, which is probably why they don’t. Can’t have people smiling at each other….
2. Blackfox Snug-Boot Wellies, (sizes 7-2, adult sizes also available): £26.95, Cuckooland
These clever boots don’t look like wellies, they look like sheepskin, yet the fleecey lining is wrapped in a brushed PVC outer that only gives away it’s welly-ness up close when other adults attempt to stop your child jumping in a puddle while wearing them. These are the most stylish, and comfortable, wellies we’ve seen. Available in five muted colours.
3. Baby Mud Buster, Red Water resistant Wellies (size European 20-26): £24, Start Rite
These are fleece-lined with an elasticated sole but above all they are red, glorious bright, look-at-me-red (though also available in navy). The elasticated top makes splashes reaching the child’s socks that bit more unlikely. Wellies like these are what wellies in picture books look like.
4. My K Cloud Wellies (to fit children up to aged 8): From £12, Mothercare
Part of the Myleene Klass range of Mothercare clothes and accessories, these are boots for tantrums, perfectly depicting the range of emotions your toddler and tween can go through in an afternoon, from sunshine and light to cloudy storms. They’re for baby goths who don’t yet realise that’s who they are. Oh, and, they’re machine washable and can go in the tumble dryer.
5. Joules Blue Shark Attack Wellies, (size from childrens 8 to junior 7): From £24.95, Joules
It is my usual policy not to perpetuate sexism and feature any items in my round-ups that are marked just for boys or just for girls, unless they have something to do with boys’ bits or girls’ bits. Still, I’ll give Joules the benefit of the doubt here and say that perhaps a digital marketing intern messed up and put it in the boy section rather than the unisex one. Because really, what boy or girl wouldn’t want their legs to look like they are being bitten by sharks?
6. Hunter Original Kids Metal Wellington Boots (Sizes 7-11, but similar style also available in larger sizes): From £45, Hunter
Who said wellies can’t be bling? Still, if you want bling you’re going to have to pay for bling, and these shiny feet aint cheap. Still, that buys you a silver welly with a strap to get the best possible fit, and a slight heel making them good for horse or bike riding, and a prominent Hunter label. They do look great though.
7. Baby Bogs Waterproof Boots (size European 21-26), £37, Bogs Footwear
These six inch high boots for small kids are just right for cold snowy weather. The handles mean even the smallest child should be able to put them on themselves and they come in a variety of fab patterns – we love the bears. Machine washable.
8. Bogs North Hampton Solid Kids' Insulated Rain Boots (size European 23-29), £43: Bogs Footwear
This particular style is available in black, red, purple and pink, and combines shiny patent material with stretchier insulated material – they’re what you might call “statement wellies’”. They also promise to be non-marking and to harness materials that helps fight against odours. The handles again make them easy to pull on and off
9. Crocs Kids’ Handle It Rain Boot, (size 6-3): £19.99, Crocs
Available in yellow, green, pink and purple, kids who live in their crocs all summer won’t be disappointed the rest of the year. Like their summer counterparts, these crocs are lightweight and comfortable and likely to last more than one hand me down.
10. Deichmann Reflective Skull Print Welly (sizes European 28-35): £9.99, Deichmann
These are cheap and cheerful (as cheerful as a skull and crossbones can be), with a toggle at the top to keep out any raindrops. The best bit though are that the skulls and crossbones are reflective, making it easier to see your little one on those dark winter walks home. Once again, these are billed as being for boys – do ignore that.
11. The Original Muck Boot Company Kids Hale Hasbro (sizes 6-4): £49, The Original Muck Boot Company
Muck Boots are tough waterproof wellies that are more comfortable than the average rubber boot. Its Hale design is super-easy for kids to get on and off and the grippy sole means they won’t slip over in the mud. The neoprene insulation keeps little feet snug, while the breathable lining stops things getting too hot. The Hale comes in eight colour combos and also, as part of a collaboration with Hasbro, in Transformer and My Little Pony designs.
The Verdict: Kids’ wellies
At some point in the last thirty years, wellies became fun as well as practical. So fun in fact that it’s hard to choose a favourite – our testers adored the Blackfox Snug-Boot Wellies, but for cheerfulness alone, the rainbow stripes from JoJo Maman Bébé are our winner.
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