For years I searched for the perfect inclement-weather boots. As a shoe fanatic, I have more than a dozen pairs of fashion boots — knee-high, thigh-high, ankle-high, booties, in black, brown, suede, kid, patent, plus more pairs of Uggs than one woman could ever wear . . . — so many boots, but nothing to wear when it’s cold and wet — or just wet. I mean, seriously, I lovelovelove my Uggs. They’re like fluffy bedroom slippers I can wear to the mall — but in the rain or snow? Well, let’s just say that no one would ever lug wet sheep as ankle weights . . . . So here I was, ultra-fashionable yet completely unprepared for the one occasion when boots are unequivocally required. Finally, after many uncomfortable moments with several pairs of allegedly waterproof fashion boots, Hunter Wellington boots stepped into my life.
Ah, Wellies. Such a functional, fashionable boot. Though mine are in basic black with a matte finish, you’ve probably noticed them on the feet of strangers, or in relatively upscale department stores, in an assortment of colors and styles. The tall ones look just like riding boots — in fact, if I still rode, I would wear them to the barn (still in black, of course), because they’re waterproof and rubber AND they have a little heel to keep your feet in the stirrups, so you could ride in them and then, even if they get mucked up, they’re easy to clean.
But you probably don’t need a barn-proof boot that keeps your feet from sliding out of the stirrups of a saddle. You only need a boot that enables you to commute more confidently in the damp, drizzly, humid weather that climate change will apparently force us to endure for the rest of our lives, no matter where we live.
These are the boots for you. They are toasty in cool, wet weather, but not so hot that your feet swelter in warmer temps. Inside the top of the boot, you’ll notice the Royal Warrant, “By Appointment of Her Majesty the Queen,” and you must assume the Windsors know something about all-weather boots.
No wonder the Queen loves them: their timeless classic style, their seamless water resistance, their pillow-like rubber sole (you know, like those awful Crocs, but SO much more stylish) . . . what’s not to love? Hunter Wellingtons come in multiple colors and have an endless assortment of fleece liners to keep you both dry and warm and to coordinate with any outfit or mood.
In black, brown, or navy, matte or glossy, Wellies are conservative enough to ease a sloppy work slog through wet or slushy city streets. In the rainbow of alternative colors, they can illuminate the most dreary weekend. Either way, once you have them, the liberating walk straight through a puddle instead of the ginger step over it might restore your youthful exuberance to the point that you actually look forward to the rain.