Herring Shoes

Celebrating the freedom of wellies

6 November 2023

I do not think the Wellington boot gets enough credit. For years, I have tried to get away with old trainers or tip-toeing around puddles to save my better shoes. Then I tried my trail running shoes, but early morning dew is a very invasive substance. The result was always very wet feet.

Then I invested in some swanky welly boots. They were black, shiny and sported the fancy label, but goodness me, they hurt the back of my heels. The result was that I fell out of love with wellies and ended up putting my, by this point, rotting trail shoes back on.

At the end of the last summer, I bit the bullet and reinvested in wellies. With a rather large and young golden retriever in tow, walking is a daily, if not twice daily, part of my day. Wellies have changed my life.

It does not matter how bleary eyed I am on these darker mornings, I just slip my wellies on (quietly celebrating the lack of laces I need to tie) and off I go. No matter the weather, I know my feet will stay dry. This is the freedom that wellies can give you.

No more tip-toeing! I stride through every puddle, stomp through any amount of mud, skip across all the dewy fields, and wander over countless sandy beaches and shorelines. My feet just stay dry. It is a gift and quite an important one if you are a dog walker. It’s hard enough having to hose down and dry the pooch when you get home without then having to attend to your own needs to avoid getting trench foot.

My new wellies have been a revelation. Derek the dog and I hit the trails and beaches in all weathers. We are champion puddle and wave jumpers!

I swapped my uncomfortable wellies for a pair from Aigle. When I asked Herring customer services for their advice, as I was fearful of buying another painful pair, the reply was: “The French know what they are doing.” And I can confirm, they really do.

Aigle is famous for their contemporary boot designs, incredible comfort and for still being authentic to their roots by continuing to be manufacture their wellies in France using natural rubber.

I chose the Aigletine 2. Made in a dark brown rubber, which looks great with blue jeans, they have an equestrian flair with a contoured fit and an adjustment strap. This style is available in khaki too. If you prefer black, we stock the Cessac, which is slightly shorter in the leg.

There is the Cessac version for the men too, while the equestrian style is called Benyl M and comes in a countryside khaki shade. The crème de la crème of rubber boots for men though is Aigle’s Parcours 2 Vario. This features a triple density anti-fatigue rubber sole which will give you greater comfort meaning you can wear them for long periods. The Parcours 2 Vario has a green upper with a bronze and grey cleated sole, so looks very smart too.

But set aside being smart, for me it is all about comfort and staying dry so Derek and I can set off on our daily adventures without breaking stride. If wellies were something you left behind with your childhood, then I would advise you to engage with this rubberised footwear if you want to experience dry-footed freedom in the great outdoors.

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