These days there are alternatives that will keep you comfortable whilst you do your duty.
Wellington boots have come a long way in a relatively short period of time and can cope with those freezing winter days or even those damp days of summer where wellies are the only option.
There are many boots on the market today that employ neoprene as a lining. Neoprene is a form of ‘blown’ rubber which is soft and spongy to the touch and insulates, making a previously cold rubber boot warm and toasty. Different manufacturers use different thicknesses of neoprene, with the most popular being Le Chameau offering 3mm as standard in their best-selling Vierzonord model and Aigle a sumptuous 4.5mm in the Parcours 2 ISO. The likes of Muck Boots and Grubs actually manufacture a neoprene booty which then has the natural rubber outer added afterwards and leaves part of the neoprene on the leg exposed. This has the advantage of a soft and stretchy leg that will fit almost everybody whilst remaining waterproof.
There are those of us to consider that are likely to overheat in a rubber boot, rather than freeze. If you don’t tend to have chilly toes when you’re out and about in your wellies, the simple answer is to go for a boot with a standard cotton lining. Allow a small amount of room when you buy your wellies to allow for a quality sock in case the temperature plummets and you are dragged outside! There are alternatives to this…
Some of the quality manufacturers offer models with a leather lining. Leather is a natural insulator (cows seems to manage!) and will give a little breathability whilst taking the shape of your feet making for extremely comfortable footwear. The aspirational Le Chameau Chasseur with its full length zip is the market leader. Aigle have their stylish Parcours 2 Signature model whilst newer manufacturers like Arxus also offer a quality leather-lined model.
Finally, if you thought leather was the ultimate in a lowly rubber boot, take a moment to consider ‘Outlast’. Originally developed to line space suits, this incredible material will actually regulate the temperature and hold it at a comfortable level regardless of the weather! This means that you can wear your boots in the depths of winter and the height of summer and stay comfortable. Aigle currently employ this lining in their Parcours 2 Outlast boot, whilst Le Chameau used Outlast in their Veganord model that has now been discontinued.
Many welly makers have experimented with linings that vent heat to stop you overheating, but this makes the boots very cold in the winter. We have spoken to customers who have purchased neoprene-lined boots and overheated, making their feet sweat which in turn makes them cold! A lined boot that is too tight will not help as all linings need a tiny air gap for the lining to work effectively.