Or at least to a picnic? Here’s some first impressions of hiking wellingtons.
There was a time when wellingtons were a crucial part of a Finnish hike, mainly because those were the only option available.
My previous solutions for rain
I used to wear Hai boots in the city whenever it rained but they never grew on me and I would never wear them for a longer hike. I need more support for my ankles.
I’ve counted on my trusty Hanwag Tatra hiking boots, rain or shine. And they worked fine for a year or so but last autumn I started suspecting they’re leaking a bit. But I didn’t really face stormy conditions so a conclusive test was never done.
When we were in Lapland, however, it rained and I realized that my Hanwags were, in fact, leaking.
And it’s not even the biggest issue. Not drying up is. No matter what I did this summer, my boots were wet even after three days of hiking.
It’s a shame that I bought expensive hiking boots thinking I’d get to use them for years and years. But as it turned out, they’ll remain as dry weather footwear.
Protip: use your new shoes a lot and especially on rainy days. This way you’ll notice any issues they might have when the warranty is still valid.
What about lighter footwear?
Juhani Metsäpelto wrote a pretty in-depth article about lighter footwear in hiking. Back then I was skeptical about trading my sturdy boots for anything that seemed less supportive. And even if I still rely on hiking boots, I think his perspective is fresh and worth looking into.
Buying new hiking boots or trail running shoes needs to be postponed until Fall anyway and until then I’m sort of between shoes.
Wellingtons are a sizable jump to the wrong direction if you’re looking for lighter footwear but one needs them from time to time.
So what did I choose?
This article is about first impressions. I’ll write a more in-depth review once I’ve used them for a while.
I bought hiking rubber boots – branded Viking Trophy II. They’re heavy but feel comfy.
I have short legs, I’m chubby and my calves are wide, so ordering wellingtons online rarely pans out.
Calf size is almost never announced on websites, so it’s a bit of a gamble every time.
This time around I saved time by browsing the web and going to an actual store to try shoes on.
You should never buy shoes that are too small and you’ll know they’re too small on your first downhill walk.
So in short, I say hiking wellingtons are good for day trips. They’re sturdy yet heavy, so long distances aren’t recommended. You should also keep in mind that rubber soles aren’t suited for rocky surfaces.