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9 best women’s wellies that are winter-proof and stylish to boot

From ankle boots to classic knee-highs, give it some welly with our favourite pairs for winter

Stephanie Sofokleous
Wednesday 12 January 2022 15:13
<p>We put these through their paces in the rain, wind and snow, but some were so stylish you could wear them everyday </p>

We put these through their paces in the rain, wind and snow, but some were so stylish you could wear them everyday

It’s the season of getting wet and muddy. Granted, we’d much prefer sunshine and rainbows right now, but there are still some beautiful outdoor adventures to be had even when the weather’s a bit bleak.

With proper footwear and a can-do attitude, you can tackle everything from muddy fields to puddle-strewn streets without a care in the world. Enter the trusty wellies.

Wellies have come a long way from the bog-standard sludgy-green pair your dad would keep in the garden shed. Not only is there a pair to suit every terrain, but they now also come in different lengths and a range of styles.

Some are so stylish you could easily get away with wearing them as an everyday boot. No, really.

How we tested

We pulled on various styles, shapes and fabrics in the rain, wind and snow to give you the best wellie breakdown. We tried them out on all types of surfaces and walked for a range of distances to analyse comfort and durability.

Read more:

The best wellies for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Lakeland red wellington boots: £49.95,
  • Best ankle boot – Boden Chelsea wellington boots: £60,
  • Best quilted boot – Joules coniston comfort wellies: £99.95,
  • Best knee-high boot – Hunter original tall wellington boots: £115,
  • Best for spring walks with the dog – Regatta lady harper ankle wellies: £25,
  • Best lace-up boots – Joules Ashby premium lace-up chelsea boots: £44.95,
  • Best lined boots – Seasalt Cornwall storm chaser wellies: £45,
  • Best printed boots – Wilton wellingtons: £49.95,
  • Best zip-up boot – Madewell zip rain boot: £35.74,

Lakeland red wellington boots

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

Sadly, wellies aren’t particularly eco-friendly. They’re hard to make, and finding a pair made from environmentally friendly materials is even more challenging. Natural rubber from renewable resources is a good step in the right direction, but there are usually non-renewable materials added into the process, and the mixing of these materials means they can’t be recycled. So, a completely eco-friendly wellington boot is not a thing, yet. But we do live in a country where rain and snow make waterproof footwear a necessity, so we need to compromise and instead look for ethically produced wellies.

We introduce to you Lakeland Footwear. Its boots are made from FSC certified natural rubber and lined with organic cotton. They are ethically made in Sri Lanka, using plantations that have reforestation and social responsibility at their core.

This is a great essential pair of wellies, and they are super comfy, too, thanks to contoured footbeds. But most importantly, Lakeland seems to be a brand that cares, and takes steps to ensure the production of their wellies impacts the earth and the community as little as possible.

Boden Chelsea wellington boots

Best: Ankle boot

Rating: 8/10

Boden may not be the first brand that springs to mind when you’re considering purchasing a pair of wellies, but they may well be when it comes to style. The brand is known for its eccentrically British flair, with ditsy florals and twee knits (very apt for rural settings), so when they started doing wellies, it just seemed to make sense.

Of course, these weren’t your average wellies. The chelsea wellington boots are clearly inspired by the very British chelsea boots, making them an incredibly stylish pair. Sitting at a practical ankle height with a slight heel and featuring the chelsea boot’s iconic elasticated panels, they are an easy pair to pop on. The upper part of the boot is rubber with a matte finish, meaning they can easily pass for a normal boot (they wouldn’t look out of place with your fave jeans), but this also means they’re easy to clean.

They’re a snug fit, but there’s enough room to add a thick pair of socks if needed. What surprised us the most, however, was the comfort. We first tried them with a relatively thin pair of socks, and the cushioning made it feel like we were walking on a cloud. We walked for about an hour in these on a frosty morning, and they were comfortable throughout, while the grip saw us through any slippery patches without a worry.

Joules coniston comfort wellies

Best: Quilted boot

Rating: 7/10

Joules is a brand you can rely on for outdoor wear. It knows its way around a rainy weekend and produces the perfect attire to get you through. Its brightly coloured raincoats are super popular, and its wellies tick all the boxes too.

New to the brand’s range is the coniston comfort wellies. Traditional wellington boots aren’t known for their warmth, which is why we resort to piling on the socks. But with this pair, the warmth of a million layered socks comes in the form of a fleece insulated lining. The quilting around the calf is thick but soft to give you flexibility, and the foam insole gives a cosy, cushioned tread.

These are perfect for walking through snow or for horribly chilly days where the cold seems to get through to your bones. However, they do come up quite snug and can take some effort to get on, but it’s a bug in a rug scenario once you’re in. There are also adjustable toggles at the top to stop even the slightest breeze from getting in. You’ll be so toasty you won’t want to take them off.

Hunter original tall wellington boots

Best: Knee-high boot

Rating: 8/10

These are the OGs of wellies. A classic style we know and love, and for good reason too. There are no bells and whistles with this pair, but they get the job done and sometimes that’s all you need. At the heart of the Hunter brand since 1956, this style has stood the test of time. Worn by the chicest of celebs at festivals such as Glastonbury and Coachella, they’re even considered a fashion item and bring a surprisingly trendy touch to a raincoat and leggings.

This classic style is available in a wide range of colours, allowing you to coordinate your look (we adore the red) and fits true to size. But if you sit in between sizes, have a wider calf or want the option of wearing thick socks, we recommend you go for a size up.

The cleated sole and slight heel protect your feet from the harshness of the ground, creating a comfy cushioning, while the curve of the foot and contouring panels allow for natural movement and prevent stiffness. The adjustable strap is also handy to avoid the classic wellie slap at the back of the calves and ensure a perfect fit every time.

Sitting at the more expensive end of the scale, we see these as an investment pair. Not only will the style forever be on-trend, but the craftsmanship and two-year warranty ensure you will get your money’s worth.

Regatta lady Harper ankle wellies

Best: For spring walks with the dog

Rating: 7/10

Low styles like these are perfect for spring. Warmth isn’t that much of a worry, and the weather has eased up a bit, allowing you to reduce the coverage and slip on a pair of ankle boots for a quick dog walk or mooch around the park. Still sporting a chunky heel and cleated sole for grip, as well as a patent finish for cleaning purposes, this pair is a handy addition to your outdoor wardrobe. What makes them extra special is the EVA footbed, which has special cushioning properties to ensure every step is gently absorbed, making every walk a dream.

Joules ashby premium lace-up chelsea boots

Best: Lace-up boots

Rating: 9/10

Joules are at it again with another brill pair. The ashby chelsea boots bring a unique feature to the wellington – laces. It makes so much sense when you think about it. This pair sits at a nice ankle height, and the addition of laces allows you to tighten for extra ankle support. The grooved outer sole provides grip, and the sturdy gold eyelets not only look expensive but give a stronghold to the laces, meaning they won’t loosen as you walk.

We also love the print on this pair. We didn’t think it was possible to make wellies look pretty, but the subtle floral print gives them a lovely bohemian touch. They’re perfect for festivals and look brilliant with a long flow boho dress.

Seasalt Cornwall storm chaser wellies

Best: Lined boots

Rating: 8/10

Warmth has been a theme in this round-up, so a lined pair of wellies had to make it on here. And these from Seasalt Cornwall are divine. They’re minimal, which actually makes them look quite chic, and they are available in black, navy and khaki. But it’s the fluffy lining that makes these so special, mimicking shearling. Teamed with the deep treaded soles and extra comfy insoles, these feel like walking on memory foam. There is still room for added socks if you like, but one look at these and venturing outside doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Barbour wilton wellingtons

Best: Printed boots

Rating: 8/10

If you’re looking for outdoor wear that’s strong and tough, look to Barbour. Renowned for pieces designed to withstand the elements of the British countryside, you know a product from this brand will see you through a lifetime of adventures.

The wilton wellingtons are a great pair of boots. They’re hardwearing with a durable sole that can easily tackle most terrains and are lined with cotton twill to prevent feet from sweating. They’ve even added a nifty kick spur on the heel to make them easy to take off (genius). Prints are a clever way to bring a fashionable twist to your wellies, and with Barbour’s signature tartan, you’ll always look the part.

Madewell zip rain boot

Best: Zip-up boot

Rating: 9/10

We are delighted to find that zip-up wellies are officially a thing. Say farewell to the struggle of pulling your feet out of a rubbery vacuum. Just unzip, and you’re done. These are not only a breeze to get on and off, but they’ll win you bonus fashion points too. The colour block makes these a great statement piece to have in your winter wardrobe, and the neutral colours mean they’ll go with almost anything. Plus, the chunky cleated sole and rounded toes match that of the biker boots that are everywhere at the moment. With a pair that look this good, you’ll probably be tempted to wear them on dry days too.

The verdict: Women’s wellies

If you want to get out and about in all weathers, we hope we’ve given you a varied and informative breakdown that allows you to find your perfect pair of wellies. A brand that encourages a low-carbon footprint will always get our vote, so look to Lakeland for a conscious pair for all your outdoor endeavours.

Or, if it’s style you’re looking for, we enjoyed pairing Boden’s Chelsea wellington boot with our day-to-day outfits and not having to worry about steering clear of muddy areas. If you want to tap into the chunky boot trend, Madewell’s pair merges the practical with the fashionable.

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For more outdoor adventure gear, check out our round up of the best women’s hiking boots

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