So this actually stems from the fact my last two pairs of wellington boots have split - as have my husbands, and his were a different brand - my boots were both Joules (~£45 so low-mid range boots) and the second pair were a free replacement.

I tend to use my wellies to walk the dog in the morning, go on beaches, etc, or anywhere my walking boots will get flooded so I can't use them (mid calf water etc).

They seem to get little splits around the front of the boot on the seam / on the side of the front of the foot, or up the back of the leg. I believe it may be due to the material of the boot.

What qualities to look for in a pair of wellington boots?

Edit: They're stored in our hallway, or by the backdoor in the kitchen, both rooms have a radiator in, but the wellies are only near it in the hallway.

  • 3
    If anyone was also wondering: Wellington boots are also called rubber boots :)
    – imsodin
    Oct 4, 2019 at 11:24
  • 2
    and also known as gumboots (NZ/Aus) and rainboots (southern USA)
    – bob1
    Oct 5, 2019 at 8:19
  • Are they creasing near the start of your toes? That could lead to cracking at the side of the foot, and might suggest poor fit
    – Chris H
    Oct 7, 2019 at 20:10
  • 1
    I'm not sure where you're based but you might get more wear (for less money too) buying them at the sort of shop that sells farming essentials.
    – Chris H
    Oct 7, 2019 at 20:15
  • 1
    BTW they're usually PVC, and here's a kids' TV show with how they're made (2nd half, maybe UK viewers only).
    – Chris H
    Oct 8, 2019 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


I have had several pairs of wellies, but none ever split, not even in freezing weather – only the soles wore out, or I punctured one.

However I did have a pair a sandals that mysteriously disintegrated on the way home from a (chlorinated) swimming pool.

The fact that multiple pairs of different makes have split, suggests it might be to do with where they are kept, for example in a cupboard with cleaning solvents etc.

If that is the case, it might be worth storing the boots somewhere else.


As one of the comments above said, buy them from a store that sells to farmers (or builders/workmen etc) - they will be the ones that are designed to last rather than to look fashionable.

I've got a cheap pair of Dunlops (around £10) that I've had for years, and they show no signs of wear at all.


I'd consider following:

  1. Should be made of sustainable material. May be latex rubber instead of petroleum-based rubber?
  2. Grip: From my experience hard rubber provides poor grip on wet surfaces. A sole with Semi-hard rubber material with more block-like pattern than line-patterns should offer better grip.
  3. Leg room (pun intended!): Heavily depends on usage. As you stated, mid-calf water levels, you don't want to by a pair bigger than what your usual shoe size. For someone who is intending to wear socks and going to use gumboots over a longer period of time, a larger pair is recommended.

As a side-note: I started seeing cracks on my gumboots around the toe and bottom of heel specifically when I started to keep them in broad daylight for drying immediately after usage. May be the rubber quality was not that great. Also, I used to leave the small stones trapped in the grip unattended. Later, the grip would start cracking around the same spot.

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