9 best festival wellies for men to keep your feet dry and your spirits high
Don’t get stuck in the mud this summer – invest in a pair of reliable boots
Don’t you just love the feeling of mud between your toes? How about that carefree sensation of mucky water inundating your shoes and socks, where it may linger for hours or even days?
If you’re reading this article, we’re guessing you don’t much care for that sort of thing. A good pair of wellies is a must at Britain’s routinely rain-sodden festivals. By keeping your feet dry, they’ll lift your mood and keep you dancing.
We’ve reviewed 10 of the best and most eye-catching wellington boots on the market, with a view to keeping you dry, and in some cases, elevating your festival fashion.
Some of the boots featured here are more focused on one side of that equation than the other, and we’ll be sure to flag that up in our reviews.
Mountain Warehouse neoprene mucker boot: £29.99, Mountain Warehouse
Now then, mucker! Mountain Warehouse’s neoprene boots are a steal at their current reduced price, offering a level of long-term comfort that far surpasses most of their competitors. This is largely due to the soft, neoprene fabric of the uppers, which doesn’t wear on the shins quite so much as wellies made of stiffer material do after a long day’s wear.
A slip-off design, steel-shank-supported structure and waterproof material make these boots a brilliantly practical choice.
Novesta Chelsea boot 517: £78.50, Novesta
We’ve only gone and fallen in love with a pair of wellies. Well, they’re sort of wellies. Novesta’s Peta-approved, vegan-friendly rubber Chelsea boots are a thing of beauty, recasting a classic silhouette in six lovely colours of rubber: green, dark green, blue, yellow, black and red. These would not be the best wellies to wear in deep mud or otherwise appalling conditions – but if you’re expecting your climatic challenges to be strictly below-the-ankle, these boots will do a great job. Comfy, well-made and perhaps even a little bit iconic, Novesta’s Chelsea boots warrant a place in your wardrobe all year round.
Aigle men’s bison work wellingtons: £70, Aigle
These fabulously eccentric Bison rubber ankle boots by Aigle are a bit country-western-meets-rural-France, and have well and truly lassoed our hearts. They’re made of rubber, but look like they’re made of high-grade leather.
The bisons are, in our opinion, the softest and comfiest boots we’ve tested for this roundup. They are supremely kind on the legs, yet manage to be sturdy and supportive. Their unusual height – somewhere between the ankle and the middle of the shin – is a great compromise between the protectiveness of a higher boot, and the ease-of-wear you tend to get with lower ones. Your favourite country/Americana artist or Followill brother probably owns a pair too.
Dunlop wellington boots: £11.95, Outdoorgear
Dunlop has been a bit of an indie staple since the mid-noughties, when the venerable sportswear brand’s shoulder bags were de rigueur. The label also has a deep-running history as a maker of good, affordable wellies, and these bargain boots are a prime example.
With thick, grippy soles and a tall, narrow design, Dunlop’s wellingtons do a great job of keeping the wearer dry and vertical in sodden conditions. Their PVC material proved perfectly waterproof in our testing. These may not have quite as much flair as some of the other wellies we’ve tested, but from a practical standpoint, they’re up there with the best.
Ariat burford boots: £120, Ariat
Think of the most sensible person you know. This is the pair of wellies they’d want you to buy. Ariat’s burford boots are a product of supremely high quality, built for long, regular wear. The material on the inside is wonderfully soft, and the detailing – especially the suede adjustor and buckle on the side of the boot – is excellent.
You’re probably not going to want to get these beautiful boots trampled over in a mosh pit. However, if you like to keep your festival experiences relatively civilised and think you might need a pair of wellies at other times as well, these would be an exquisite choice.
Stutterheim Chelsea rainwalker rain boot: £129, Stutterheim
Chic Swedish brand Stutterheim has teamed up with Novara, makers of the other rubber Chelsea boot featured in this roundup, to create the singularly stylish item you see before you.
The Chelsea rainwalker rain boots would look almost too good to traipse through the mud – were it not for the fact they wipe clean so easily. Stutterheim’s design innovation, the addition of a coloured sole to Novara’s black boot, creates a distinct aesthetic, with white, red, grey, black, pale pink, yellow and green colourways providing ample scope to find a boot to suit your style.
Fashion-forward festival-goers, look no further. Unless the weather is really bad, in which case you should get some taller wellies instead.
Balmoral men’s wide fit wellingtons: £134.99, Sports Direct
These are the kind of wellies that would politely remind you the proper name is wellingtons. Hunter’s balmoral rubber boots are outstandingly well made, with a nice thickness of tread that gives you plenty of grip while keeping you in touch with terra firma.
The legs are wide fit, ideal for the stout-of-calf, but understandably less so for narrow-legged folk. The buckle and adjustor towards the top of the boot goes some way towards accommodating narrower legs, but really, these boots are best reserved for those who need or prefer the advertised wider fit. We think they look great in black, as shown above.
Dunlop men’s blizzard winter boots: £36, Go Outdoors
If you plan on attending a festival towards the earlier or later days of the season, you might consider purchasing a pair of these.
As you may have inferred from their name, Dunlop’s blizzard boots are extremely warm. This is thanks to their lovely fleece lining and padded collars – the latter of which has the additional benefit of making the boots comfier to wear for long periods.
On a cold day, in a cold field, you’ll love these wellies to bits. On a hot day, in a packed arena, you may come to regard them less favourably. Wear them wisely.
Joules rainwell tan short Chelsea boot wellies: £54.95, Joules
Joules’ rainwell boots in tan bear more than a passing resemblance to a pair of moccasin-style leather boots. They’re actually made entirely of rubber, and so are easy to wipe clean, even after mucky festival forays.
Brilliantly comfortable and quite reasonably priced for such a stylish shoe, the rainwell is one of our favourite boots for use in moderate weather conditions. Like Stutterheim and Novara’s Chelsea boots, they do not fare well in deep mud, so bear that in mind if you’re planning on going somewhere extreme such as the peat bogs of the western Siberian lowlands, or Leeds Fest.
The verdict: Men’s festival wellies
Mountain Warehouse’s black neoprene mucker boots are our pick of the bunch, offering a combination of waterproofness, comfort and affordability that should suit most festivalgoers’ needs. For a higher-fashion, lower-legged alternative, we recommend Novesta’s superb rubber Chelsea boots.
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