Le Chameau's Wellington boots have been around since 1965, and have something of an iconic status in the field and country world. They're now regularly seen on members of the royal family, and are, we're informed, Kate Middleton's wellies of choice.
As you might expect for a heritage brand that hand-crafts its boots, the Le Chameau Wellingtons sit at the top end of the market. The jersey-lined Vierzon Wellingtons we tested out have a ticket price of £150, while the neoprene-lined Vierzonord are £180, and the Vierzonord Prestige have an RRP of £260. They're all available in men's and women's iterations. So what do these boots do to elevate them from the rest of the best wellies for men? Read on for our full Le Chameau Vierzon Wellington boots review.
Le Chameau Vierzon boots review: design and features
Le Chameau Vierzon boots are hand-crafted from natural chamolux rubber that's attractively matte, feels breathable yet insulating, and generally gives off a premium vibe. There's no sweaty plastickiness here.
The leg section is noticeably thinner and more flexible than we've come across before, including on other higher-end boots from the likes of Barbour and Hunter. These boots stand up by themselves, but only just, and you'll need to hold firmly to the top of the boot to pull them on. Your initial reaction might be that this thinner style will provide less protection, but in fact the softness enables the boot to flex easily as you move around, making them feel less restrictive than a firmer welly, while still shielding you from prickly shrubbery.
Moving down to the foot section, the Le Chameau Vierzon Wellington boots boast an abrasion-resistant, dual-density outsole designed to absorb shock, as well as a reinforced shank for added stability. You'll be grateful for all these features if you're wearing them for long periods of time and on hard or rocky surfaces, as they help prevent fatigue in your feet. In fact, these boots are super comfy in use, providing the right balance of flexibility, padding and support on a range of terrains, and decent grip in slippery mud.
The Vierzon version of these boots have a thin, tartan patterned, polycotton jersey liner, which is fast-drying and soft to touch. Le Chameau says they'll keep you comfy in temperatures down to 0°C. Other boots in the range, such as the Vierzonord, swap in a neoprene lining that will bump up the thickness and add some extra insulation, if you need it. On the leg there's a waterproof gusset that can be adjusted to fit different calf sizes, or to accommodate bulkier trousers.
We only have a couple of minor quibbles on the design front. First, and not unusually, there's also nothing to lever against to help you get these off (all hail Barbour's genius 'kick spur'). When it comes time to head back indoors, you'll need to do the familiar hop-dance, or find yourself a willing accomplice, to wrangle these off.
Second, the thinner rubber means these boots tend to pucker out a little round the ankles. This, combined with the fairly bulky adjustable sections around the calves, mean the Vierzons don't have such a smart and streamlined profile as other wellies. It's purely a preference thing, though.
Le Chameau Vierzon Wellington boots review: verdict
The Le Chameau Vierzon Wellington boots don't come cheap, but we maintain that if you're wearing wellies regularly, it is worth investing in a high-quality boot. The Le Chameau Vierzon boots look and feel premium, and the sole is supportive yet cushioning, perfect for long days of wear. The thinner, more flexible leg section won't be to everyone's taste, but there's no denying it makes these easier to move around freely in.
You are paying a premium for the name, and the fact they're hand-crafted – you'll find a similar level of performance in the likes of the Barbour Bede Wellingtons (although these are much thicker). But if you're looking for a top-quality boot with a side-order of prestige, the Le Chameau Vierzon Wellingtons won't let you down.