Well, the heavens have opened this week and there’s been lots of dodging puddles on the path! Or perhaps not, if you’re wearing appropriate footwear!
It’s no surprise that I’m being asked about wellies, so here’s a rundown of some of my favourite tried and tested brands and what to look out for when buying a pair for your little one.
Walking in wellies can take a bit of getting used to, as they don’t hold the foot in the same way as a pair of fitted shoes. I would only recommend wellies once your little one is stable and confident on their feet and definitely try before buying, as some children don’t take to them at all!
Just like other footwear, the fit of wellies varies considerably, so you might have to try a few to find the right ones.
Here’s a few pointers that might help. It’s usually easier to feel the toes in wellies and you don’t risk damaging the structure by pressing around the toes, so have a good feel and check there’s room for their toes to flex and wriggle, with about 1cm of growing room when they’re new.
If you saw my video on social media recently, you’ll know that a high instep can make putting on boots a bit of a challenge. So check their feet slip in relatively easily and that the boot isn’t tight across the top of their foot. Also check the fit around their legs allows freedom of movement.
Next, lift their foot off the floor and tug on the heel of the boot, if there’s a lot of movement, the wellies are too big, either in length, width or depth, and they will struggle to keep control of the boots when they’re on the move.
If they’re a bit loose, the fit can be adjusted by a pair of welly socks, or thick socks, which has the added benefit of keeping tiny toes warm as the temperature drops. Also remember to double check that welly socks don't make the boots too tight.
Check the size of their wellies each time you have their feet measured. Chances are they’ll be so keen to go and jump in muddy puddles they won’t mention their wellies don’t feel comfortable.
And what about if they love their wellies so much they want to wear them all the time? Think you know what I'm going to say! It's not good for their feet. Wellies are fine for short periods, but wearing them all the time could affect their walking pattern, muscle development and body posture. They're also not breathable, so provide the perfect environment for fungal infections.
So which brands do I recommend? These are the ones that have our personal stamp of approval. The Warm Welly Company, with a neoprene lining for those who, like Cecily, suffer with cold feet; Grass & Air, super cute colour-changing wellies, also available with a thicker fleece lining; Joules and Muddy Puddles, both proved to be hard-wearing; and finally, Chipmunks, which suit wider feet and legs.
Other brands I’ve heard good things about include Hatley, Igor and Bogs. If you have another recommendation, do let me know!
And finally, if your little one struggles to walk in wellies or they spend a lot of time outside, another option is to buy a pair of waterproof boots as their everyday shoes, and that is something I can definitely help with!
(These are my recommendations, I have no affiliation with the brands mentioned above)