Splashing in puddles surely has to be one of the best bits about being a kid.
And now in autumn – with plenty of showers to splash in and leaves to kick – the humble wellington boot again becomes an essential part of any little one’s wardrobe.
But when buying a pair of wellies, we don’t just want them to be waterproof – that’s a given – we also need them to have robust, thick soles, so they don’t tear and leak, good grip, and a decent lining to prevent cold toes.
Additional extras and features to look out for include thick fur lining, reflective details, illuminated soles and elasticated toggles around the cuff.
We tested these wellies in the mud on forest walks and on wet days in the park. Some have proved so popular they’ve been worn whatever the weather.
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Reima kids wellies twinkle: £22.80, Alex and Alexa
A brilliant design, these twinkle wellies from Finnish kids brand Reima are strong, sturdy and cosy. The sole is really tough without being overly heavy and is lined with aluminium, to help keep the cold out. The boots are lined with synthetic fur – but not too much so they’re not too thick. There’s a pull cord round the top to further keep the cold and wet at bay, and they’re a decent mid height. Most pleasing to our young tester is the LED light in the heel that blinks on every step. These will last and last, as is the company’s ethos for them. Available in black too.
Crocs kids’ handle it rain boot: £13.99, Crocs
Based on the same design as the classic Crocs shoes, these rain boots are wonderfully simple but comfortable with good support. They are the only pair here to not be lined, they’re extremely light and have a roomy fit. Huge grab handles make them easy to tug on, and the soles are grippy and firm. There’s a reflective Crocs logo on the heel. They’re also available in green, pale pink, bright pink, bright blue and pale blue.
Frugi puddle buster wellington boots: £24, Frugi
Frugi comes up trumps again with its cute designs – these puddle busters are available in gender-neutral polar bears and igloos, cars and lorries or rhino prints, and are so cheerful. Made from natural rubber and lined with cotton, they’ll keep mild chills at bay but cold days may require an extra pair of socks. The soles have enough flexibility for lots of running and playing, but are dense enough to not feel every little pebble or bump through.
Grass & Air kids colour-revealing wellies: £18, Beyond the Stork
We love the fun idea of these wellies, where the raindrops change from white to multicoloured when they get wet, a feature that hasn’t failed to entertain our tester every time they’ve been worn in the rain. Lined with cosy brushed fleece, they’re warm without being overly bulky, and are robust yet relatively lightweight. Another nice touch, encouraging kids to learn their left and right, is the illustration on the insoles that joins up when you put the boots side by side. Available in coral, green, yellow, pink and navy.
Hunter original kids first Peppa Pig grab handle wellington boots: £40, Hunter
This Hunter x Peppa Pig collaboration has been a huge hit with our little tester, often wanting to wear them on even the sunniest of days. A pared back design disguises the sturdy build; the soles are surprisingly grippy despite appearances. The grab handles make these a cinch to pull on and the cotton lining is soft to the touch. Made from natural vulcanised rubber, these boots are very flexible and light. The Peppa Pig collaboration is limited edition, but you can get the same classic grab handle boot withour the print for £35. Also available in pink and blue.
JoJo Maman Bebe kids ankle wellies: £17, JoJo Maman Bebe
A shorter height than most, these ankle wellies are ideal for showers on warmer days or for playing on the beach. Made from natural rubber, they’re flexible, durable and have an anti-sweat cotton liner. Lighter than full-length pairs, they’re comfy to wear all day and have a ridged, grippy sole. They’re vegan friendly – the glue is a synthetic bond. Available in navy or fuchsia.
Joules roll up wellies grey floral: £14.95, Joules
Taller than the majority of wellington boots included here, these pretty puddle stompers from Joules are designed to be rolled down and folded up, so they’re easier to carry about and have to hand if unexpectedly needed. It seems a bit of an unnecessary gimmick, as all the boots featured here will fold up, but these at least do so the easiest (NB don’t store them rolled up). Despite the tall design, these are one of the lightest pairs we tested and our tester found them to to be wonderfully comfy. Lined with thin cotton, they’re another pair to feature a reflective strip down the back. Also available in antique gold, khaki camo, dark blue dinos, navy stripes and navy sharks.
Muddy Puddles puddlestomper wellies raindrop print: £24.50, Muddy Puddles
The tallest boots reviewed here, the puddlestompers from Muddy Puddles, have long been a best-seller. This year, the design has been tweaked – there’s now a reflective strip on the back for improved visibility, and soft padded insoles have been added. They’re hardwearing and comfortable, and have a soft cotton lining. Unlike the rest featured here, they have a small heel – but our tester didn’t notice any difference. Also available in a yellow sea urchin design.
Polarn O.Pyret stripe wellies: £28, Polarn O.Pyret
A chunky sole make these PO.P wellies a reliable choice, and the distinctive stripes are complemented with a reflective strip down the back. The PVC-free rubber outer is lined with cotton, and the insole is also cotton and can be taken out and washed separately. There are little pull tabs at the rear to encourage children to put them on themselves, but our tester found them too small and fiddly to use, and would just wriggle them on like any other. Also available in navy.
RNLI kids yellow welly: £15, RNLI
Ideal for budding lifeboat volunteers, these RNLI wellies are just like the ones the grown ups wear at sea. Strong and dependable, these rubber wellies have a thin cotton liner and a comfy sole. Great for the beach, they’re lightweight and straightforward, and all proceeds go to supporting the RNLI’s work. Also available in navy with red logo.
Solognac glenarm warm kids low hunting wellies black: £12.99, Decathlon
Fantastic value, these wellies have a warm fleece lining that can be removed if necessary – to easily wash, for example. They’re not as exciting as some of the other designs here but they’re very functional, lightweight and non-slip, as you’d expect from Solognac’s parent brand Decathlon. The little pull-tab at the back of the boot is attached to the inner sock, so tugging them on kept everything in place. For the price, they’re hard to beat.
The verdict: Kids wellies
Top marks go to the Reima twinkle wellies – exceptionally well designed and made, they will last and last, and the flashing lights in the heels gave them the winning vote from our young tester. Also commended are the Grass & Air colour-revealing ones, for their fun design, and the great value Solognacs from Decathlon.
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