Whilst they might not be your favourite footwear to wear, wellies are undeniably one of the most practical pairs of boots you will ever own. They’re easy to clean, perfect for muddy walks and working outdoors, and they can be more comfortable than you might think. It used to be recommended that you buy wellies in a bigger size but that’s usually what makes them more uncomfortable as you clench your feet trying to keep them on.
At Rydale, we’ve done a lot of work around extending our range of wellington boots as well as adapting the range to add in extra comfort properties. Because of this, it means you no longer have to size up when you buy a pair of wellies. If you will be wearing extra thick socks or layering two pairs, you might want to go up half a size, but otherwise, purchase your regular size.
In this guide, we’ll be looking out how to stretch wellies so when it comes to wearing them outside, they’ll be as comfortable as they can possibly be! Wearing them in might seem obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people still don’t do this when they buy a new pair of footwear! None of our tips involve putting them in the freezer either so you don’t need to clear anything out!
Wear them with thick socks to begin with
To wear them in, wear your thickest socks or a couple of pairs to stretch them out. You only need to do this whilst you get comfortable wearing them and they conform to your feet. Always wear them around the house a few times first. You’ll get a feel for them on your feet and whether they’re comfortable enough or not for you. If you feel like you need a different size then, you’ll still be able to exchange them. Wear them outside and you won’t be able to. Make sure to keep the box and packaging in case you do return them though!
Use newspaper to keep the shape
Again, it probably seems straight-forward but when you’re not wearing your boots, you need them to hold their shape. An inexpensive way to do this is using old newspapers (or any paper really). Scrunch it up and push it right through to the toes. You’ll want to pad out the entire boot too, not just the foot. Alternatively, most shoes come with some kind of stuffing so you could always keep this instead!
Get yourself a set of boot stretcher
If you wear your wellies a lot, it could be worth investing in a boot stretcher. When you’ve invested in quality footwear, it needs to be maintained or they won’t last them as long. As much as you’ll clean the outside frequently, a boot stretcher will take care of the insides instead.
Don’t store them in the box
If you have the space, store your wellies on a shoe rack or storage of some sort. Leaving them in the box means firstly, you’ll forget you have them if they’re stored away and secondly, they can lose their shape laid down constantly. Keeping them in the box can make them smell as they’re not getting much contact with fresh air, especially if you wear them regularly. Also, how annoying is it to take them out and then back into the box on a daily/weekly basis? Leaving them out means you’ll wear them more too!
Let them air every so often
Whilst you want your wellies to maintain their shape, it’s also important to let them breathe every once in a while. We recommend after a thorough cleaning on the outside every month, find your favourite way to stop them from smelling on the inside. Sprinkling in baking powder, using a specialist spray or leave smell sachets inside to counteract it. We also recommend cleaning them inside with a mixture of detergent and hot water every so often too. Give them a quick scrub inside and leave them to fully dry, at least 24 hours.
It can be a slow process but that’s why you’ve invested in a pair of quality wellies, instead of buying a cheaper pair. Rubber takes a while to conform to your feet so will start off a little rigid and inflexible. The more you wear them, the more the rubber will loosen up. That’s why we recommend wearing them indoors a few times first. This allows them to conform to your feet whilst you get used to wearing them as well as finding how comfortable they can be.
Buying the perfect pair of wellies
Following on from our top tips, we thought we’d show you a quick look at our range of wellies for ladies, gentlemen and children. Keep reading for our favourite pairs!
Ladies - Our range of mid-calf and knee-high wellies are full of colours and patterns. All you need to do is pick your favourite style! Both versions come with a cushioned inner sole and adjustable side buckles at the top of the boot to secure it to your calves. We’ve improved the tread on the soles too so you’ll get extra grip outdoors too.
If you work outdoors regularly or need something more substantial, our neoprene lined wellies might be more suitable for you. Coming in a practical olive or navy colour, they offer a deeper tread and sole for extra traction when outside. There is also a concealed zip and extra buckle at the top of the boot so you don’t have to ever worry that they’ll fall off your feet!
Gentlemen - Similarly to the ladies, working outdoors requires a more specialised pair of wellies and our neoprene lined wellies will do the job. In fact, all of the qualities above are exactly the same in the men’s pair. They’re a universal pair for any gender but the men’s pair have a slightly wider fit.
For a pair that are just as practical but not as specialised, our classic wellies are still perfect for the great outdoors. With a Rydale country checked lining, a flexible but durable tread and a buckle to secure the boot to your calf, they’re the best footwear for walks and general countryside living!
Children - Keep their feet dry with a pair of patterned wellies. With three sets of designs to choose from, they can pick their favourite colours and patterns for themselves! With super handy pull-on loops so they can put them on themselves, any child will love how comfortable they are. We just can’t guarantee that the rest of them will stay dry, even if their feet are!
For older children, they might want something a little more grown up. We’ve designed a smaller version of our adult Ripon wellies for children. With a high gloss finish, they’ll look like a mini me of their parents!
Long gone are the days when wellies were considered uncomfortable and an emergency only pair of footwear. With these tips, you’ll be able to stretch them properly and feel extra comfortable when discovering the great outdoors, whether it’s on your doorstep or across the UK. Investing in good quality socks and wellies will see you through for years so make sure to look after them properly!