While fashion may be important to many women, practicality while on the allotment is essential. After all, what good is a fashion boot if your feet are soggy and wet or you slip due to poor tread?
Finding good quality boots that are waterproof and have good solid tread is difficult sometimes.
Finding ones that last is even harder. Yet without them working on your allotment is much harder and can even be dangerous.
So what do you need in a quality boot and which ones will actually do the job?
- 1 Wellie Boots and Me – Why The Right Wellies are a Must
- 2 What to look for in a quality Boot
- 3 Boot Colour, Does it Really Matter?
- 4 Simple Practicalities
- 5 Wellie Boot Alternatives
Wellie Boots and Me – Why The Right Wellies are a Must
I grew up in the countryside and when we were young wellingtons were simple. We had green! They were sturdy and practical and although didn’t cost the earth were made to last. Dad had ones with steel toe caps as he worked outside. I remember one year having to borrow my parent’s boots to walk four miles each way in the snow to get some basic supplies like milk and bread. This experience taught me the importance of a well fitting boot!
Imagine my joy when I went to get a new pair and there were some fantastic designs and colours. When I started my allotment mum treated me to a pair of blue ones with polka dots on them. Now. I know from my sister’s reaction to polka dots that it is a bit like Dr Who’s (Matt Smiths) love of bow ties. He is often saying that “Bow ties are really cool.” His long-suffering friends sigh in exasperation and tell him they are not. Well, I am under no illusion and know that polka dots are not cool. But I love them anyway (should I really admit to that?)
But alas my love of my new boots only lasted a few weeks at which point they started to leak. First by a small amount then they split right up the back. So they
lingered unused and getting dusty until I had to admit defeat and throw them out.
So my search for the perfect wellies started in earnest and this is what I found:
What to look for in a quality Boot
Leaking seems to be an issue with many of the boots I researched, even the more popular ones. The options seem to be, pay a lot more or get boots where the fewest people have complained about it. Or get some hope for the best and hope your local shoe repair person can repair them. Though if they are badly joined if they are repaired they are probably only going to leak elsewhere too.
A Great All Season Hard Wearing Boot from Dunlop
These are one of the most popular boots. Although only the basic green of old they are a good well made all year round boot which you would expect from Dunlop. They are also made of rubber.
What I particularly like about these boots is that there are only a few complaints about leakage and most people are happy with them. Also, the price is within everyone’s budget.
So a good value and hard wearing boot that is a great all rounder.
The Importance of Tread and Soles
Having had two very bad falls, one that laid me up for several months non-slip is essential. I don’t know what your allotment site is like, but ours gets very muddy and very slippery. (Though this year we are raising money to reduce this and put in paths). So non-slip soles are important in all my footwear.
Now I found out in walking boots that shaped soles, the tread is best described as arrows put out mud the best and reduce slippage.
Comfort from your Wellington Boots is Key
Comfort is important although wellies are not the most comfortable footwear around anyway getting the right shape for your instep helps. My family has a high instep which means getting things like boots on can be difficult often resulting in buying something too big in order to get it on. In this case. an alternative type of boot might be preferred for ease of use.
Remember that you may be wearing socks of different sizes too.
Winter Warmth is Vital
Wellington’s are not the warmest of boots and they can feel quite chilly when in wet cold weather. A great way to keep your feet warm is to wear either thermal socks or boot liners.
Easy to get on and off
Wellington boots are not easy for some to get on and off. They are difficult if you have a high instep or poorly feet. Some people will not be able to use them. My mum is like that, for ages she wore either slip on shoes or Croc’s, both really dangerous and slippery in my view. And since she had already damaged her hips in a fall we harassed her to get something more suitable. She can’t get most things on her foot so settled for a gardening shoe instead.
If this is you then there are many alternatives.
Boot Colour, Does it Really Matter?
It shouldn’t be the main concern. However, many women like to be smart even when practical and it is great to have a choice. However, (as you saw from my experience) be very wary of fashion boots if you are gardening in them. As they may just not cut it. Check carefully any reviews.
And the tread is self-cleaning which saves fighting wet muddy grass stuck boots needed to be cleaned. And I am thinking this might help with avoiding slippage too.
So far these are still made with quality in mind which is worth a bit extra. There are other boots on the market that are selling by a good name but now with inferior materials, which is a shame.
Let’s face it when we go to the allotment we want to be comfortable, dry and warm (in chilly weather). However, we have another concern that fashion boots just don’t stand up to – we need to be able to dig! Now apart from that when the ground is very wet we shouldn’t be digging anyway, sometimes needs must, or it is just the allotment ground that is wet (I have raised beds and they are often workable when the bottom of the site is waterlogged).
Wellie Boot Alternatives
Although many people just stick to the good old Wellington while researching for my wellies I came up with some alternatives that might suit some people better.
There are the digging boots and the garden boot that might be better if you have high insteps or other issues with the Wellington.