16 June 2009

Wellie rapture

The wellie boot is a common sight out here in the countryside were we live, and you can readily spot people in them walking their dogs, going to the market, dropping the kids off at school, browsing the garden center, having a few at the pub, and generally just getting on with life (not to mention tending their gardens) while shod in their wellies. They are so pervasive in British culture that songs about them, both serious and comical, have been written about them, and a “sport”, wellie wanging, has grown up around them. While adult boots are predominantly in a hunter green, brightly colored and patterned wellies are available for the kids. It's hard to spend any time outside of London and not wind up bumping into them in some way or other.

I resisted buying wellies for 6 or 7 years after our arrival here. My wife got some right away and loved how convenient and comfy she said they were. But I was a Timberland leather-work-shoe-and-boot-kind-of-guy, and somehow those big, rubbery-looking things never seemed, well, I don't know...rugged enough? I'm not sure, but they always seemed somehow wrong.

No longer. I finally bought a pair last year, and they've become my favorite around the garden footwear. There's something about them; they slip on easily, there's no lacing/tying, you can scoff at the stinging nettle and not worry about getting them wet, and they're awfully comfortable. My Timberlands now sit moping the boot tray. But I haven't yet got the nerve to wear them to the DIY shop yet.


  1. Hi from Chicago! We need them here right now and they've become very fashionable this year - in very bright colours etc. And, as an improvement on my childhood, they actually keep your feet warm now. I remember having almost frozen toes as a child because they were basically rubber inside!

  2. I sprung for a pair of neoprene-lined Aigles. They're terrific in the winter, although I don't know if they're up to a Chicago winter. I've heard they've become bigger in NYC as well.

  3. I thought wellies were impractical when I first moved here. They seemed like they would slip easily and they had no padding for winter (I grew up in Minnesota). Now? Fantastic and the most practical thing i own (even if they are 'aubergine' coloured). I love my hiking boots but nothing can replace the welly.

  4. I'm pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's developed an (un?)healthy attachment to his wellies. And aubergine! Perhaps a wellie gallery is in order.