When it comes to buying a pair of traditional quality wellington boots, there are only a small handful of brand competing for supremacy, and there is a strong Anglo French rivalry running through the market, but the good news is the British are winning the fight back.
Let’s start with the French brands, and first up is the market leader in the shooting field, Le Chameau. Their Vierzonord boot is probably the best selling neoprene lined boot in the country, and their range is by far the biggest, with every variation of cotton, neoprene and leather lined boot, and with varied soles, calf fittings and colours. For the shooting people Le Chameau are the clear winner, and you’ll often find up to 8 out of 10 guns in them.
Rivalling them in the French contingent is Aigle. Again a brand popular with shooting people, and they also offer a huge range. The quality is arguably better, and certainly the quality of the natural rubber they use is exceptionally nice. In the UK they are certainly second to Le Chameau in terms of market share, but the product is every bit as good.
Moving to the British brands, and there is one name that stands out, Hunter. Times have been tough at Hunter in recent years, when production was moved to China and it went so badly wrong the company ended up going bankrupt, but in the last 2 years they have fought back to be in as strong a position as ever. The quality has improved hugely, and they finally have a great range of boots for the shooting field. The horsey set has always been loyal to Hunter, but it is in the fashion stakes that they are now the clear winner. From festivals to Oxford street, Hunter are trendy, and they are making boots in hundreds of colours, and even have a collaboration with Jimmy Choo, that means they have a boot to suit, whatever the look.
Hunter are definitely the dominant British brand once more, but there are a few young pretenders. The farmers have become fond of a more rugged looking boot from Muck Boot, which performs much as the name suggests. Another newcomer is Seeland, a Scandinavian brand who offer a great value product, with a high end look, and whilst their market share is small, it is certainly growing. My personal favourite of the newcomers is Musto. It’s a great British Brand, and they’ve produced a country welly that in a few short months has started to rival it’s more illustrious counterparts, so if you’re looking for a change look no further.
So there you have it. A quick guide to who’s who of wellington boots, with no clear winner, but plenty of choice depending on what you want to do and who you want to be seen by.