The welly – or the more historically correct 'Wellington boot' – might be a tried-and-tested stalwart of the outdoor wardrobe, but improvements have been made over the years thanks to modern technology and design.
Outdoor footwear: Alternatives to explore
That means today's best wellies offer much more than just a waterproof layer for your feet and lower legs. There's insulation, odour-prevention, better breathability and vastly-improved sole technology (the kind that wouldn't be out of place on a pair of the best hiking boots). This last is particularly important for cold-weather welly wearers, who will all be all-too familiar with the gradual sense of cold seeping through thin soles.
Such discomforts have now been thoroughly banished from the best wellies on the market today, which now come in all shapes and sizes, for every purpose imaginable. And there's no need to choose between comfort and style, either. From the classic brands such as Hunter and Barbour, through to the established challengers like The Original Muck Boot Company, there will be a brand, style and purpose that fits you to a tee – as well as keeping you dry and warm to boot!
While you're upgrading your outdoor kit, you might also want to check out our guides to the best walking trousers and the best waterproof jackets too. But now let's dive into our ranking of the best wellies around right now.
What are the best wellies for men right now?
Sometimes wellies need to just work without attracting attention, and these Decathlon r900s do exactly that, which is why they're our no-nonsense pick for the best wellies right now. In lo-fi brown there's nothing to shout about visually, but plenty of highly practical design makes these well worth considering. Firstly, there's a very high cut here, ideal for dense undergrowth and very boggy ground, as well as a sole unit that's specifically designed for walking. That not only keeps your toes insulated and warm on long winter days, but also means muddy banks and other obstructions can be taken in your stride with ease.
The 5mm tread assists with grip considerably, and a reinforced instep and shock-absorbing insole means that mileage is no barrier to enjoyment, a problem that lesser, baggy-fitting wellies will soon demonstrate. Decathlon rates these as suitable for walking 20km in difficult conditions, which is a fair day out by anyone's standards. Although these aren't the cheapest wellies around, their design means they're among the most comfortable and robust available, and don't involve any compromises in the comfort stakes.
If you're looking for a wellington boot that is heaped with function and style, these Le Chameau beauties could be the best wellies for you. Although seemingly expensive, the Vierzonord, available for men and women, are built to last, so expect a robust and durable build straight out of the box.
If you work outdoors, they will see you through many years of slogging away in mud and heavy rain, thanks to their durable natural rubber upper and hard-wearing rubber sole. But you don't have to work outdoors to enjoy them – they're also perfect for dog walking and muddy country strolls
The Vierzonord wellies have an adjustable snap-fastening buckle on the side so that you can wear them comfortably over jeans, trousers and leggings; those with wider calves may appreciate the adjustable fit. The Marron Fonce is our favourite colour, but any traditionalists among you will probably prefer the green hues.
The fast-drying 3mm neoprene keeps your feet dry and makes these wellies comfort rated to temperatures as low as -15°C. The neoprene does take a little getting used to at first, especially when it comes to tugging off the wellies, but we found that rolling the boots down a little helped us to get them off easier. They also wipe clean in a jiffy, with mud and dirt washing straight off.
If you have the budget and want a stunning pair of wellies that will last, definitely check out these out. The Vierzonord men's wellies and Vierzonord women's wellies can be purchased directly from the Le Chameau outdoor clothing and footwear website.
If you're looking for a pair of wellies you can keep in your car, for wearing on dog walks and for getting out and about in the mud, these Dunlops are the best wellies for you. While they don't match the more expensive wellies in terms of material (the outer material is synthetic, not rubber), they're still fully waterproof and come with a 3cm heel for cushioning on unstable ground. Plus, with wellies for wider calves being quite tricky to come by without a hike in price, these boots really are budget-friendly. If you require a cheap and cheerful pair of wellington boots because you don't want fancy forking out on a pair of Hunters, we heartily recommend these Dunlops.
The Muck Boot Apex is a welly boot for people who don't like wellies. More akin to a traditional hiking boot, the Apex melds high-performance welly-esque rubber and 5mm neoprene with a mid-ankle boot design, resulting in a close-fitting, highly flexible waterproof boot. There's plenty of breathability built in to combat the inevitable internal clagginess, as well as a antimicrobial footbed insert to beat the pong.
The outsole is designed for use on loose and soft ground, making these perfect for high-performance activities in soggy conditions, as well as ingenious 'stealth' wellies for those times when the dress code isn't obvious. That front lock-down waterproof zipper and screen collar help to keep the boot securely on the foot, as well as prevent debris from sneaking in and ruining your day. Overall, these are the perfect welly for active folk that want to go anywhere, do anything – without worrying about their feet getting damp.
Ariat's wellies are some of the best in the business, and these beauties are packed with fantastic features, including a shock-absorbing EVA mid-sole for maximum comfort. Then there's the moisture-wicking layer – but it doesn't just repel moisture. Agion technology (a silver-based antimicrobial solution) minimises the risk of whiffy wellies, and something known as a Smart Rebound heel pad provides shock absorption where you need it most. However, don't make the mistake of assuming these wellies are designed purely with cold, wet weather in mind – base layer air vents ensure your feet stay cool on warmer days, too.
For a classic welly that will serve you well when mucking about in deep mud most days, we recommend our number one choice's taller counterpart: the Original Tall Wellington Boot from Hunter. They're a great all-round welly, but most importantly the full calf coverage will you keep your feet, ankle and calves dry no matter how much it rains, or how deep a puddle of mud you stand in. You'll have the rugged durability that comes with the Hunter name and promises to keep your feet warm and dry in deep mud or rainfall.
Call us fickle, but we're especially keen on these boots' bright orange (Blaze Orange, to give it its official name) liner, which is revealed when the tops of the boots are rolled down. It's designed to ensure high visibility for those working in areas such as forests, but in a world dominated by olive-green wellies, we're all for a splash of colour. However, don't make the mistake of thinking these boots prioritise style over substance – they're packed with features which make life that little bit easier, but which so many other boots lack. Examples include the generously-sized, reflective pull tab for easy removal, quadruple rubber heel reinforcement and a steel shank for structural support.
A new entry to our list, these fur-lined boots from Stormwells are the best wellies for men looking to stay warm and dry in snowy, icy conditions. While they do look a bit like waders, which isn't our favourite look, the tie top fastening will keep out snow and rain, while the faux fur lining keeps your toes warm and toasty in colder conditions. The Hi-Grip sole helps keep you upright and moving in icy conditions, making these the perfect choice for extreme weather wellies.
If you are a construction worker, or do other manual labour on a regular basis, finding wellies that are ideal for work can be pretty tricky. These boots from Buckler are the best wellies for men – or women – who work outside or in garages, where something tougher than standard wellies is required. These boots come with steel toe caps and are heat, oil and slip resistant, which means they can be worn in a variety of working environments. The colour may not be your top choice for weekend wear, but they certainly stand out. What's more, they come with detachable insoles for easy cleaning. If your biggest concern when choosing wellies is protecting your feet from harm, these are the ideal choice for you.
With the luxury riding boot styling, these boots from Caldene almost don’t look like wellies at all. They are a unisex boot that come up to the knee, so for men with wider feet or calves they may feel a little snug. That said, if you have been trawling the web for the best stylish wellies for men and have been disappointed with the 'same old' green rubber boots, these Bramham Country Wellingtons have a designer look that’s certainly worth the money.