10 best festival wellies for men
Don't get stuck in the mud this summer - invest in a pair of reliable boots
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If it's a British festival you're headed off to this summer, a humble pair of trainers just won't do it. As the same old patch of ground gets trampled and the rain begins to fall, you'll need a pair of sturdy, reliable wellies to stay and dry and un-muddy.
We've picked out a range of pairs, some of which are at the lower end of the price spectrum, and will therefore do the job if you'll only be wearing them for the festival, while the pricier boots will last for years.
We tested them all for comfort, durability and waterproofing – tick all those boxes and you won't be afflicted by the dreaded soggy festival foot. Some of them come in the classic brown or green, while others have jazzier colour schemes (they'll all end up caked in mud, anyway).
1. Rockfish Black Walkabout: £99.95, Rockfish
Here’s a supremely comfortable, snug pair – so snug, in fact, that if you’re planning on wearing thick socks, you’ll want to go a size up from your usual. The padding is extremely forgiving and will stay that way over the whole festival. With sturdy grip and four layers of natural rubber giving it full waterproofing, there is a gusset which is perfect for extra ventilation on any particularly hot days. They’re available in a range of glossier colours too, should you so desire. The brand also assures us on its website that these are resistant to horse urine, although we weren’t able to test that...
2. Helly Hansen Midsund 2: £40, Helly Hansen
These fully waterproof rubber boots from the Norwegian outdoor specialist Helly Hansen are excellent if you’re after a lightweight pair for the summer. That lack of weight is mainly down to the length of the boots, which cuts off an inch or so below the knee. The sole isn’t the most cushioned underfoot, but remains comfortable and snug when wearing socks, and the outer sole gives reassuring grip. There’s enough space to tuck trousers in, or to give good ventilation when wearing shorts, and the boots slip on and off easily. We think the navy, almost nautical-looking design is best for festivals.
3. Mountain Warehouse Neoprene Mucker Men’s Long Boot: £39.99, Mountain Warehouse
These boots stand out from most of our picks thanks to the neoprene upper, which excels in a number of ways – it’s waterproof, it’s breathable, and it’s foam-like texture means it gives the boots great flexibility for those cross-festival treks. The foot is made of sturdy, durable rubber, which is great for when the ground underfoot is rough, while the ridged sole means you won’t be slipping and sliding. The ridged step on the heel of the boots can be stood on by the other boot when you’re taking them off – a big help after a long day.
4. Regatta Mumford Welly Dark Olive: £29.95, Regatta
You can always count on Regatta for great outdoor gear at an even better price, and such is the case with these wellies. With a no-nonsense design – it’s as if they’re begging to be caked in mud – they give good grip and, although the padding isn’t as forgiving as some other boots on our list, they’re still comfortable and lightweight, which is what you need for a festival. The leg is pleasingly flexible which means you shouldn’t be aching too much after any lengthy walks. (Whether or not these are named after a festival-favourite folk-pop band, we can’t confirm).
5. Hunter Men’s Original Two Tone Short Wellington Boots: £85, Hunter
There probably aren’t many better known brands for wellies than Hunter – it was in 1986 awarded a Royal Warrant by Appointment to The Queen, no less. And there’s something of a regal feel to these hand-crafted, short-cut boots, with the blue stripe design and sophisticated-looking buckle on the side. Fully waterproof, the boots give just enough space around the leg, and a cushioned, snug fit around the foot (so snug in fact that they’re a slight struggle to take off). The heel is larger than most on our list, but it contributes to a steady footing along with the ridged sole design.
6. Joules Matt Wellies: £59.95, Joules
We think these are the most comfortable wellies on our list, thanks to the hugely supportive cushioning on the inner sole. It does mean that these feel like one of the heaviest, however, but they’re flexible and durable, and are certainly roomy enough for a thick pair of socks to be worn inside. The grip is excellent, with a solid heel. The addition of an adjustable gusset is particularly handy when you’re taking them off. Only available in this classic green.
7. Barbour Bede Wellingtons: £64.95, John Lewis
This is another excellent pair from a brand well-known for its wellies. With a large heel and strong grip, the fit is slightly tight, but this works to its favour, as our feet didn’t rub against the material as much as they do with some pairs – which is good, because blisters hardly contribute to those festival vibes. There’s a tartan lining inside – a surefire sign of a Barbour product – and the rubber outer is fully waterproof. The gusset, while good for helping to take off, is especially good for tightening around the lower leg.
8. Dunlop Purofort Comfort Grip: £83.06, Brookes
These boots are designed for professionals, with electrical insulation, resistance to chemicals and more. Not that you’ll need that at any festival, but it proves how hard-wearing these steel-toed boots are. They feel surprisingly lightweight on the foot, and while they’re not as cushioned as some others on our list, they still score highly for comfort. They’re 100 per cent waterproof and claim to survive temperatures as low as minus –20C. We hope the weather at your festival isn’t that bad, but these might be ones to take to an event that is on the colder side.
9. Muck Boot Edgewater II: £80, The Original Muck Boot Company
This is the latest version of one of the Original Muck Boot Company’s most popular wellies. A neoprene upper provides breathability, flexibility and waterproofing, while the rubber lower is sturdy enough for the unpredictable festival ground. The underfoot grooves wrap around the sides of your feet, providing even more grip. The fit is tight, but not overly so, and the foam sole is just spongy enough. Available in brown, green or black.
10. Trespass Recon X Men's Wellingtons: £21.99, Trespass
These are the cheapest wellies on our list, but if you're looking for a pair that will last three of four days for a festival and then won't get worn afterwards, they're and excellent choice. Fully waterproof with a mid-cut height, they can't rival the cushioning or support of the pairs here that are four times as expensive, but they're by no means uncomfortable. They'll certainly benefit from a thick pair of socks, though. Available in black or brown.
The Verdict: Festival wellies for men
We think the Joules pair is one the most comfortable you'll find at that price, while the Helly Hansen pair is excellent in terms of comfort and how lightweight they are. But our Best Buy goes to Rockfish, which tick all the boxes, and will still be in good shape for your festivals in a year's time.
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