In the United Kingdom, wellies are our primary piece of footwear. Through rain, wind, and the most excruciating dog walks, they are there to keep our feet warm, dry, and comfortable. Hunter is the most popular brand in the United Kingdom, and have been providing us with wellies for well over a hundred years. With a range of styles and prices, there is something for everyone in the Hunter store. However, the question as to whether they are worth the money still remains. This Hunter wellies review will take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of these popular wellies to determine whether or not they are.
A Little History
Before we delve into the features of Hunter wellies, it is important to take a look at their origins and how they have evolved into the company they are today. Founded in 1856, by American entrepreneur Henry Lee Norris. Their manufacturing was boosted massively during World War One as the need for Wellington boots increased.
When World War Two struck, their production was boosted dramatically once again so that every soldier could be well booted and ready for the perils that were ahead. During this period the manufacture of these wellies moved to a larger factory in order to keep up with the demands for new boots.
In 2006, after decades of popularity, they found themselves in administration and it seemed as though Hunter’s time was over. However, they were bought out and work quickly began on building the company up to its former glory. It is around this time that production was moved to China, instead of the Scottish factories where Hunter wellies had always been manufactured.
This caused arguments among customers and has since remained a controversial and debated topic. However, since its rebranding we have also seen an increase in the number of models and a great variation in designs. They are distributed in over 30 countries, and have certainly climbed back up to the top of the ladder in terms of success and popularity.
The Advantages of Hunter Wellies
Hunter wellies have a great reputation across the world as being reliable and hardwearing. They come in sizes for men and women, but also in different models for those who need something that is either light for walking or a little more heavy duty for farm work and the like. Having a wide variety makes them suitable for everyone.
They are very well fitted to your leg, making them light and flexible to wear on all of your excursions. Many of them also come with a neoprene lining for added warmth during the winter months so that your toes are protected and kept toasty. Plus, it makes the boot a little more breathable, especially when it comes to wearing them in the summer.
For those with narrow calves and ankles, they are the perfect fit. There are no gaps so your boot will fit perfectly, almost moulded to your leg. It is difficult to find wellies for those with narrow calves and ankles, but Hunter Originals are perfectly crafted to accommodate this. Plus, even with their slim fit, they are incredibly flexible when you walk or run, so you can keep moving without hindrance.
Other ranges, such as the Balmoral, have been designed with the working man or woman in mind. The rubber is much thicker than other boots, making it more sturdy and durable than the Originals. They are perfect for farm and yard work, and have been made to keep your feet going strong through even the longest working day so you don’t end up with sore feet.
The Disadvantages of Hunter Wellies
The main disadvantage to Hunter wellies is the decline in their quality. Before the relocation of their factories to China, these wellies were able to last for decades – with some people wearing the same pair nearly every day for 25 years.
This outstanding level of quality is what gave Hunter its fantastic reputation as a durable and reliable boot. However, in recent years many people have found it surprising if the boot manages to last a year without ripping or tearing. This has been hugely disappointing for new and old customers.
Plus, they only really come in one size – narrow. Those with wide feet or calves have no options when it comes to this brand. They are tight and leave no room for jeans to be tucked or thick socks. This is a huge shame for those who have average or slightly larger calves. There are some wider options, but these are very limited in terms of models, and not much larger than the regular boots.
It’s hard to say if Hunter wellies are worth the money. On the one hand, their overall quality has massively declined in recent years and they don’t seem to last half as long as they used to. On the other hand, they are excellent for those who need them for farm and yard work, as they are quite comfortable and tend to be made from thicker rubber – which means more durability.
A lot of it depends on your needs, and your opinion as well as experiences. In some senses, it is easy to say they are not worth the money based on the general quality decline and the narrow fit. However, for those who are using the stronger models for work or extensive walking, then they could be the right choice.
If you are undecided about Hunter wellies, then Aigle are an excellent and affordable alternative brand. They offer a stylish look and incredibly comfortable feel. Plus, they were designed for farm work and extensive use – so you know they are going to last and keep your feet protected. There are many brands of wellies out there so we put together a guide so that you can find the best wellington for your need.
What do you think of Hunter wellies? Do you agree with the opinions here, or do you have your own views on this popular welly? Leave a message in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.