Best walking wellies 2024 | Tested and reviewed

Our pick of the best walking wellies with an optimum balance of comfort, warmth and durability.

Walking wellies: tested

by Fliss Freeborn |
Updated on

Walking wellies are growing in popularity as the UK embraces squelchy winter dog walks and casual Sunday pub rambles which don’t require technical walking boots. We put eight of the best walking wellies to the test to see which ones stand up to the challenge, and which ones get stuck in the mud.

Any fisherman will tell you that all wellies should be tough, durable and of course, completely waterproof. However, beyond being fashionable North Sea attire, wellies are a popular choice for dog walking and other longer, boggier endeavours. The best walking wellies simply have to be comfortable, allowing your feet to breathe and move without feeling like they’re trapped in a stiff rubber tube.

What are the best walking wellies of 2024?

Best in Test: Dunlop Snugboots

Best Value: Decathlon Solongnac Warm PVC Wellies

Best for comfort: Muck Boots Arctic Sport II Tall Boots

Insulation is also an important point when it comes to choosing the best wellies for walking: you don’t want your toes to be falling off from the cold, but nor do you want to be sloshing about in a sea of sweat if you’re covering longer distances. Plus, if you’re using your wellies for dog walking, you want them to fit snugly so you’re not pulled out of them as soon as your pooch gets a whiff of something potent.

Best walking wellies reviewed

Best in test

LFTO

The Dunlop Snugboots really do live up to their name. By far the most ergonomic of the wellies on test, they immediately mold to your feet, making them feel supported and - well - loved, from the first insertion. They’re designed with movement in mind, so perform incredibly well forwalking, and their waterproofing is second to none.

They have chunky soles for excellent grip, and because of the form-fitting interior, they don’t slop about at all on the feet, making them feel more like walking boots than wellies. They’re also breathable while staying warm, and due to the wide calf fit, are easy to get on and off without your socks being left behind. 

They are the chunkiest boots of the lot, however, weighing in at over 800g each. You’ll be anchored down in a hurricane, no doubt. They also look incredibly industrial, so don’t win points on style for the most part (but you’re guaranteed a ruggedness which doesn't come with some of the more fashionable brands).

The other thing to say about the Snugboots is that they’re slightly shorter than the rest of the wellies on test, but unless you’re planning to romp through fast-flowing rivers on the daily, then it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Pros

  • Outrageously comfortable over long distances
  • Good value
  • Breathable
  • Industrially durable

Cons

  • Very chunky
  • Not as stylish as other wellies

Best value

LFTO

The cheapest pair on test, these Warm PVC wellies from Decathlon offer surprising levels of comfort, and warmth, as well as having excellent grip. They come in two sizes rolled into one (I’m wearing the 37/38) which might be a problem if you’re bang-on either size. However, at a solid size 4.5, these fit me well, if a little snugly around the calves when wearing my merino socks. Without any adjustability - the boots are rubber the whole way, rather than being cut with neoprene - this could pose a problem for larger-calved people. 

In terms of walking, however, the snug fit actually makes them pretty comfortable, without much in the way of heel lift. There's good ankle flexibility too, but like some of the other pairs on test, this is double edged sword: they're comfortable over short distances but lacking the foot support you'll need for longer hikes. These boots will suit anyone with narrow or average feet; if you have unnaturally wide clompers, you may be off with the Dunlop Blizzards (below). On the plus side, the lining is toasty in cold weather, and they’re flexible enough not to restrict blood flow - the worst thing for your feet when it’s chilly out. 

For a budget welly which isn’t just a big rubber sheath for your feet and lower legs, these are pretty great: soft, warm, comfy enough over distances under 5km, and they seem pretty robust so far, not letting in any water. They’re also a decent length; not too long to impede knee movement, but tall enough to conquer the majority of muddy puddles. And sure, sludge-brown isn’t anyone’s first choice of colour, but at under £25, we’re not going to complain.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Warm
  • Flexible for walking

Cons

  • Not great for wide feer
  • Less than optimal colour choice

Price: £37.95 (RRP £50)

outdoorgear.co.uk

Think of the Dunlop Blizzard as more of an outdoor slipper. They’re a mid-calf level boot with a supremely comfortable fleece lining, foam footbed and soft drawstring close. However, what the Blizzards have in comfort, they lack in structure; the outer layer is floppy and bendable, with the most flex of any boot on test by a long way.

This is a double-edged sword, as for shorter distances, the Blizzards seem very comfortable due to their supreme ankle flexibility. However, over the 3-4 km mark, your feet will be asking for a little more in the way of support, with the boots beginning to feel a little sloppy - which could lead to foot pain or blisters over time. 

As one of the less expensive boots though, they represent good value in the walking welly category. Additionally, because of their flex, they fold down well for traveling with, and are one of the lighter boots on test. Dunlop is also a solid brand in terms of quality, so these should have plenty of life in them for years, and the fleece lining hasn’t compacted too much over time, so should stay toasty for a while.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • High flexibility
  • Good value

Cons

  • Not much foot support

Available in some slightly more exciting colours than your bog-standard green, the Lakeland Active Rydal offers a comfortable - if slightly wide - fit. More importantly however, after putting the Rydal through some arduous dog-walking, this boot stays tough, durable and completely waterproof.

Features include a handy kick-rim and material tag for taking them on and off, a steel shank (footplate) for rigidity, and a waterproof neoprene upper. The soles have deep lugs but still maintain an element of responsiveness to the ground underfoot which some of the other boots on test lacked.

In terms of comfort, these score pretty highly, with a bouncy sole, flexible upper to accommodate a wide range of calf sizes, and optional removable insoles. However, even for someone with wide feet, they do have a slightly sloppier fit than some others in the test, so undertaking miles upon miles of walking per week without your ankle being held in place properly might have blistery consequences, depending on the size of your instep.

Buying a separate pair of more structured insoles would solve any heel-lift issues over longer periods of time, but for walks less than 5km or so, the Rydals stand up to the task well.

Check out the men's version here

Pros

  • Great colour choices
  • Neoprene uppers
  • Durable

Cons

  • Sloppy on narrower feet

LFTO

Rrp: $169.95

Price: $91.92
Alternative retailers
Tractor Supply$189.99View offer

Tall, stylish and incredibly form-fitting, the Women's Arctic Sport II Tall from Muck Boots are everything you’d want in a walking welly - provided you’re over 5 '2'', with slim-ish calves . As the name suggests, they’re the tallest boot of the bunch, offering complete waterproof protection right up to the knee. They also seem to repel both water and dirt, making them look brand new even after a few weeks of constant wear. 

Performance wise, these were up there with the best in test: doing a section of the West Highland way in pouring rain was no problem for their neoprene waterproofing, and they were incredibly comfortable, with a good amount of foot support. They’re also warm while remaining relatively breathable, and seem to be well-made, offering lots of flex at the ankle when needed, but bouncing back into shape with ease. 

The MuckBoots are one of the more expensive wellies on test, but the quality seems to be high enough to warrant the price, especially when you discover that they’re also suitable Sunday pub lunch attire: complete the look with a waxed green jacket, ruddy cheeks and a tweed hat. However, if you’re a hobbit with melons for calves, either the unisex version of the Arctics, or a different brand, such as the Dunlop SnugBoot, will be a better bet for you.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Neoprene upper
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Slim calf fit

Definitely on the fashionable, rather than practical end of the spectrum here, these Barbour wellies are good for short dog walks, festivals and instagrammable Sunday pub lunches. The tartan lining is a particular highlight: this pair of boots wouldn’t look out of place in a posh lifestyle magazine, next to a couple of mucky spaniels and an appropriately weathered vintage sideboard.

If you’re after a classically shaped welly of decent quality for a price less eye-watering than some of its rival brands in the market, then the Barbour Bedes could be a good bet for you. But if you’re looking for something that’ll keep your tootsies warm in winter, or stand up to long, more intense walking, then you’re better off with a different brand. 

Check out the men's version here

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Good value in comparison to similar brands
  • Kick plate

Cons

  • Not hugely practical over long distances
  • Slim fitting calves
  • Heavy

How do I choose a welly for walking?

The most comfortable walking wellies will always need to have a supportive design with a good amount of flexibility. You'll also want to consider the materials used, the number of seams in the construction, and the flexibility and weight of your welly. Let's get into some more detail:

Neoprene vs rubber

A classic welly (the Decathlon pair, the Le Chameaus and the Barbour pair) will be a piece of rubber formed around a mold, then fitted with a grippy rubber sole. However, many wellies are now integrating neoprene, which is a good idea for three reasons, the first of which is flexibility: having some amount of flex in the calf is great for walking, and will also accommodate different calf sizes.

The second reason is warmth: neoprene is ultimately far warmer than a single piece of rubber, so typically winter wellies will. The third reason is comfort - neoprene is softer than rubber and means you can forgo having to buy expensive welly socks, and it’s much more breathable to boot. If you’ll pardon the pun.

Calf and ankle flexibility

Seeing as you’ll be spending prolonged periods of time in your walking wellies, you’ll want a pair which don’t act like straight jackets for your legs, and have at least some amount of flexibility to the calf and ankle regions. This will enable more natural walking movement and ensure that you’re not stressing your knees or hips in an unusual manner, which can lead to all sorts of problems down the line. However, beware of your wellies being too sloppy: over long distances with varied terrain it'll be all too easy to twist an ankle if you're not supported enough.

As few seams as possible

Some wellies are made so cheaply that you’ll notice water ingress from where the sole joins the upper just about as soon as you jump into your first puddle. To avoid this, you’ll want to look for walking wellies which are stitched as well as glued. When it comes to the sole, the fewer joins there are, the less likely you are to get wet feet.

To size up or to size down?

Seeing as walking wellies have less ankle flexibility and arch support than a standard hiking boot, it might be tempting to size up for comfort and just go for bigger socks. However, socks compress over time so the boot inevitably moves about more on your feet, resulting in blisters. You’re best off finding a pair of wellies that both fit and insulate your feet without you having to go and buy extra thick socks. Failing that, a pair of structured insoles go a long way in making everything more supportive and comfortable, so if you are in any doubt, size up and fit some insoles.

On the other end of the scale, pay attention to whether there are parts of your feet that are being squeezed too much - the last thing you want is to cut off your blood supply in freezing cold weather. Unlike leather walking boots, or even some trail shoes, walking wellies won’t conform to your foot shape over time, so it’s best to shop around for the right fit for you. If you have particularly wide feet, or a high instep you may struggle in some areas, but walking wellies do come in all shapes and sizes; there will be one for you!

Relatively lightweight

Ah, Ye Olde tradeoff for quality vs weight. A good pair of walking wellies shouldn’t feel like having to lug bricks about on your feet. They should be sturdy and supportive, keeping you feeling secure on whatever terrain you’re trudging through, but if you feel like your walking wellies are hindering your flexibility or responsiveness to the ground below, then consider trading them in for a lighter pair.

How we tested wellies

These wellington boots were tested primarily on sections of the West Highland Way in Scotland in January 2024, at the tail end of storm Jocelyn. The author enlisted help from friends with similarly sized feet, and the boots were swapped about periodically between testers for fairness over different foot widths, shapes and calf sizes.

Fliss has also worn each pair of welly boots while walking her in-laws' unruly Hungarian Vizslas, and has also tested them while running errands in her home city of Glasgow, including for shopping, cycling, driving, and going to the pub.

About the Author

Fliss Freeborn LFTO writer

Fliss Freeborn is a Welly Enthusiast who also happens to be a writer for LFTO. She spends most weekends outdoors doing something daft, and always puts her gear to the test in Scotland's unrelenting rain. Not because she enjoys the rain, but because lives in Glasgow and has no other choice.

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