Friday 30 June 2023

Hemingway in Paris / VIDEO: Hemingway's Paris - Chronicles of Old Paris

Hemingway in Paris: Parisian Walks for the Literary

by Noel Riley Fitch


Carlos Baker, Hemingway's first biographer, believes that while Anderson suggested Paris because "the monetary exchange rate" made it an inexpensive place to live, more importantly it was where "the most interesting people in the world" lived. In Paris, Hemingway met American writer and art collector Gertrude Stein, Irish novelist James Joyce, American poet Ezra Pound (who "could help a young writer up the rungs of a career" and other writers.


The Hemingway of the early Paris years was a "tall, handsome, muscular, broad-shouldered, brown-eyed, rosy-cheeked, square-jawed, soft-voiced young man." He and Hadley lived in a small walk-up at 74 rue du Cardinal Lemoine in the Latin Quarter, and he worked in a rented room in a nearby building. Stein, who was the bastion of modernism in Paris,[30] became Hemingway's mentor and godmother to his son Jack; she introduced him to the expatriate artists and writers of the Montparnasse Quarter, whom she referred to as the "Lost Generation"—a term Hemingway popularized with the publication of The Sun Also Rises. A regular at Stein's salon, Hemingway met influential painters such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Juan Gris. He eventually withdrew from Stein's influence, and their relationship deteriorated into a literary quarrel that spanned decades.While living in Paris in 1922, Hemingway befriended artist Henry Strater who painted two portraits of him.


Ezra Pound met Hemingway by chance at Sylvia Beach's bookshop Shakespeare and Company in 1922. The two toured Italy in 1923 and lived on the same street in 1924.They forged a strong friendship, and in Hemingway, Pound recognized and fostered a young talent. Pound introduced Hemingway to James Joyce, with whom Hemingway frequently embarked on "alcoholic sprees".


During his first 20 months in Paris, Hemingway filed 88 stories for the Toronto Star newspaper. He covered the Greco-Turkish War, where he witnessed the burning of Smyrna, and wrote travel pieces such as "Tuna Fishing in Spain" and "Trout Fishing All Across Europe: Spain Has the Best, Then Germany".


Hemingway was devastated on learning that Hadley had lost a suitcase filled with his manuscripts at the Gare de Lyon as she was traveling to Geneva to meet him in December 1922. In the following September the couple returned to Toronto, where their son John Hadley Nicanor was born on October 10, 1923. During their absence, Hemingway's first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems, was published. Two of the stories it contained were all that remained after the loss of the suitcase, and the third had been written early the previous year in Italy. Within months a second volume, in our time (without capitals), was published. The small volume included six vignettes and a dozen stories Hemingway had written the previous summer during his first visit to Spain, where he discovered the thrill of the corrida. He missed Paris, considered Toronto boring, and wanted to return to the life of a writer, rather than live the life of a journalist.


Hemingway, Hadley and their son (nicknamed Bumby) returned to Paris in January 1924 and moved into a new apartment on the rue Notre-Dame des Champs.[40] Hemingway helped Ford Madox Ford edit The Transatlantic Review, which published works by Pound, John Dos Passos, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, and Stein, as well as some of Hemingway's own early stories such as "Indian Camp". When In Our Time was published in 1925, the dust jacket bore comments from Ford. "Indian Camp" received considerable praise; Ford saw it as an important early story by a young writer, and critics in the United States praised Hemingway for reinvigorating the short story genre with his crisp style and use of declarative sentences] Six months earlier, Hemingway had met F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the pair formed a friendship of "admiration and hostility".Fitzgerald had published The Great Gatsby the same year: Hemingway read it, liked it, and decided his next work had to be a novel.


With his wife Hadley, Hemingway first visited the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain, in 1923, where he became fascinated by bullfighting. It is at this time that he began to be referred to as "Papa", even by much older friends. Hadley would much later recall that Hemingway had his own nicknames for everyone and that he often did things for his friends; she suggested that he liked to be looked up to. She did not remember precisely how the nickname came into being; however, it certainly stuck. The Hemingways returned to Pamplona in 1924 and a third time in June 1925; that year they brought with them a group of American and British expatriates: Hemingway's Michigan boyhood friend Bill Smith, Donald Ogden Stewart, Lady Duff Twysden (recently divorced), her lover Pat Guthrie, and Harold Loeb.[ A few days after the fiesta ended, on his birthday (July 21), he began to write the draft of what would become The Sun Also Rises, finishing eight weeks later. A few months later, in December 1925, the Hemingways left to spend the winter in Schruns, Austria, where Hemingway began revising the manuscript extensively. Pauline Pfeiffer joined them in January and against Hadley's advice, urged Hemingway to sign a contract with Scribner's. He left Austria for a quick trip to New York to meet with the publishers, and on his return, during a stop in Paris, began an affair with Pfeiffer, before returning to Schruns to finish the revisions in March. The manuscript arrived in New York in April; he corrected the final proof in Paris in August 1926, and Scribner's published the novel in October.


The Sun Also Rises epitomized the post-war expatriate generation,[58] received good reviews and is "recognized as Hemingway's greatest work".[59] Hemingway himself later wrote to his editor Max Perkins that the "point of the book" was not so much about a generation being lost, but that "the earth abideth forever"; he believed the characters in The Sun Also Rises may have been "battered" but were not lost.


Hemingway's marriage to Hadley deteriorated as he was working on The Sun Also Rises.[57] In early 1926, Hadley became aware of his affair with Pfeiffer, who came to Pamplona with them that July. On their return to Paris, Hadley asked for a separation; in November she formally requested a divorce. They split their possessions while Hadley accepted Hemingway's offer of the proceeds from The Sun Also Rises.The couple were divorced in January 1927, and Hemingway married Pfeiffer in May.


Pfeiffer, who was from a wealthy Catholic Arkansas family, had moved to Paris to work for Vogue magazine. Before their marriage, Hemingway converted to Catholicism.They honeymooned in Le Grau-du-Roi, where he contracted anthrax, and he planned his next collection of short stories,Men Without Women, which was published in October 1927, and included his boxing story "Fifty Grand". Cosmopolitan magazine editor-in-chief Ray Long praised "Fifty Grand", calling it, "one of the best short stories that ever came to my hands ... the best prize-fight story I ever read ... a remarkable piece of realism."


By the end of the year Pauline, who was pregnant, wanted to move back to America. John Dos Passos recommended Key West, and they left Paris in March 1928. Hemingway suffered a severe injury in their Paris bathroom when he pulled a skylight down on his head thinking he was pulling on a toilet chain. This left him with a prominent forehead scar, which he carried for the rest of his life. When Hemingway was asked about the scar, he was reluctant to answer. After his departure from Paris, Hemingway "never again lived in a big city".

Thursday 29 June 2023

THE FALL of Meghan and Harry


 Terrible ideas, tedious shows, zero talent: Meghan and Harry’s trainwreck podcast career


From Prince Harry’s deluded plan to interview Putin to a Meghan Markle podcast so insufferable Taylor Swift refused to appear, it’s been one disaster after another. No wonder they’ve been canned


Stuart Heritage


Wed 28 Jun 2023 10.29 BST


By and large, if there is one thing that the world absolutely does not need any more of, it’s podcasts. And yet the death of Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex’s Spotify deal – as public and messy as it was – has by all accounts deprived us of an absolute corker.


Last week, Bloomberg reported that one podcast idea seriously mooted by Harry was to make an entire series about childhood trauma. Not just his own trauma, because he has obviously got enough mileage out of that elsewhere, but the trauma of a group best described as “world baddies”. As Bloomberg wrote, the concept of the show was as follows: “Harry would interview a procession of controversial guests, such as Vladimir Putin, Mark Zuckerberg and Donald Trump, about their early formative years and how those experiences resulted in the adults they are today.”


This is the best idea in all of history – convincing a fleet of powerful and dangerous men to abandon every instinct that brought them to power in the first place, so that they can discuss how sad they are about never being hugged by their fathers, with Prince Harry, for a podcast. Sadly, perhaps because Vladimir Putin has been too busy threatening the world with nuclear annihilation to discuss how badly he got bullied at school, the project came to naught.


Of course, it was inevitable that Harry’s bad ideas would eventually leak to the press, after Spotify executive Bill Simmons teased some of them on air recently. Labelling Harry and Meghan as a pair of “fucking grifters”, Simmons said: “I have got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories … Fuck them. The grifters.”


The tragedy is, though, that the news of these terrible ideas got lost in the din of other people rushing to trash the couple. As well as Simmons, Jeremy Zimmer – chief executive of the United Talent Agency – mentioned the collapse of the deal during an advertising festival in Cannes, saying “Turns out Meghan Markle was not a great audio talent, or necessarily any kind of talent. And, you know, just because you’re famous doesn’t make you great at something.” Taylor Swift was apparently unimpressed enough at Meghan’s Archetypes podcast that she reportedly turned down a personal invitation to appear on the show.


And then, just to heap even more on top, Netflix is apparently getting ready to give Harry and Meghan the chop, refusing to pay them tens of millions of dollars unless they came up with a hit as successful as their recent six-part documentary. Which they won’t, presumably, because that documentary was literally the sum total of their entire lives. Also, it doesn’t help that their other ideas don’t sound particularly compelling; one is a reimagining of Great Expectations where Miss Havisham is now “a strong woman living in a patriarchal society,” and another is described as “Emily in Paris, but about a man.”


Their current woes, it seems, come from giving up the good stuff too early. As an entity, Harry and Meghan are only interesting for as long as they can destabilise the monarchy. Their Oprah interview did that. Their documentary did that. Harry’s book Spare did that. Archetypes did not do that, and as such was roughly as interesting as listening to changing-room chatter in the world’s most insufferable yoga studio. As such, it is increasingly clear that only fumes are left in the tank. It might be time for Harry and Meghan to go away for a while and work out who they actually want to be now.


This isn’t to say that we should write them off, of course. The Duchess of Sussex has signed with a talent agency and, depending on who you listen to, either wants to revive her blog as a Goop-style wellness hub or become US president. Any of these ventures might boost the family coffers, something that would give Harry a bit more freedom to go and chase down Putin for that interview.


Spotify executive calls Harry and Meghan ‘grifters’ after podcast deal ends


Bill Simmons, head of podcast innovation and monetisation at Spotify, spoke out after the couple’s $20m deal with the company ended prematurely


Sian Cain


Mon 19 Jun 2023 05.31 BST


Spotify’s head of podcast innovation and monetisation has labelled Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex “grifters” after their $20m, multi-year deal to make podcasts with the streaming platform came to an end after they made just 12 episodes.


Ringer podcast network founder Bill Simmons – who sold his company to Spotify for $196m in 2020 and gained a leadership role at the company in the deal – criticised Harry and Meghan on his own podcast, following the announcement that the Sussexes’ audio production company, Archewell, had severed ties with Spotify. The couple signed a $20m deal with Spotify in 2020.


The Archetypes podcast, which was hosted by Meghan, featured conversations with friends and celebrities including Serena Williams, Mariah Carey and Trevor Noah. It topped the podcast charts for Spotify in a number of markets, but only 12 episodes were made.


Last week, Spotify and Archewell Audio released a joint statement saying they had “mutually agreed to part ways and are proud of the series we made together”. However, sources close to Spotify have said the royal couple did not meet the productivity benchmark required to receive the full headline payout from the deal, having only produced one 12-episode series, the Wall Street Journal reported.


“I wish I had been involved in the ‘Meghan and Harry leave Spotify’ negotiation. ‘The Fucking Grifters.’ That’s the podcast we should have launched with them,” Simmons said on his podcast, the Bill Simmons podcast. “I have got to get drunk one night and tell the story of the Zoom I had with Harry to try and help him with a podcast idea. It’s one of my best stories … Fuck them. The grifters.”


The Guardian has approached Archewell for comment.


Simmons had previously said he was annoyed he had to “share” Spotify with Prince Harry.


In a January 2022 episode of his podcast, he said: “You live in fucking Montecito and you just sell documentaries and podcasts and nobody cares what you have to say about anything unless you talk about the royal family and you just complain about them.”


Spotify’s deals with Simmons and the Duke and Duchess were a part of the company’s expansion into podcasting, after its success with Joe Rogan. However, the Stockholm-based streaming company is now facing investor pressure to improve its performance after making a net loss of €430m (£367m) last year.


Earlier this year, Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek admitted that the company had made some mistakes with the $1bn spent in its push to establish itself as a key player in podcasting.


“You’re right in calling out the overpaying and overinvesting,” he told financial analysts on a conference call.


“We’re going to be very diligent in how we invest in future content deals,” he added. “And the ones that aren’t performing, obviously, we won’t renew.


“And the ones that are performing, we will obviously look at those on a case-by-case basis on the relative value.”


Earlier this month, Spotify announced it would be making 200 job cuts in its podcasting business.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox


Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour

by Kate Fox


In WATCHING THE ENGLISH anthropologist Kate Fox takes a revealing look at the quirks, habits and foibles of the English people. She puts the English national character under her anthropological microscope, and finds a strange and fascinating culture, governed by complex sets of unspoken rules and byzantine codes of behaviour.


The rules of weather-speak. The ironic-gnome rule. The reflex apology rule. The paranoid-pantomime rule. Class indicators and class anxiety tests. The money-talk taboo and many more . . .


Through a mixture of anthropological analysis and her own unorthodox experiments (using herself as a reluctant guinea-pig), Kate Fox discovers what these unwritten behaviour codes tell us about Englishness.



The awkward squad

Kate Fox tells how awkwardness and hypocrisy rule a nation in Watching the English. Catherine Bennett isn't so sure

Catherine Bennett

Catherine Bennett

Sat 24 Jul 2004 01.34 BST


It was quite a consolation to finish Kate Fox's analysis of Englishness in the departure lounge of Heraklion airport, where, in what resembled some mass audition for Wifeswap, a few hundred English people were unselfconsciously squabbling and cursing and barging into one another. For Fox says we are not like that at all. "Social dis-ease", she decides, is the "central core of Englishness". She holds this congenital awkwardness responsible for everything from our "obsession with privacy" to our celebrated courtesy, famous reserve and infinite capacity for embarrassment. "We do everything in moderation," she believes.



Fox's curiosity about English behaviour, which she attempts to reduce, in this prodigously long investigation, into key constituent parts, is matched only by her regret that we are not a more free and easy nationality. You gather that Fox and her fiancé Henry (both prominent figures in her research findings) prefer the dashing and riotous to the stilted and cautious behaviour which, her report claims, continues to dominate English social proceedings. For instance, we say "sorry" when someone else bumps into us, and take too much notice of queueing while pretending not to. But then, as well as being almost deranged with embarrassment, we are also "hypocrites". We are, in fact, "the most repressed and inhibited people on earth". Which must make us even more repressed and inhibited than the Japanese royal family and the monks of Mount Athos.


Since Fox is a leading social anthropologist, we must believe her when she tells us that our rites of passage also leave a good deal to be desired. It "seems a shame", she says, "that there is no special ritual to mark the completion of secondary education". Maybe we're too mean to pay for them. Contemplating the cautious attitudes of young English people towards work and money, Fox professes herself "disappointed" to find them planning for the future and "not much cheered" to discover an early aversion to being in debt. This is not, you take it, Fox's recommended approach to being young, English and affluent. Where will it end, she frets, this "worrying trend" of "risk aversion and obsession with safety"? I don't know. Hull? Somewhere in the opposite direction from that other English trend of remortgaging and devil-may-care credit-card spending?


If Fox's casual flourishes - "but, hey ...", girlish hyperbole, and reliance on the word "umpteen" - are unlikely to do much for her academic reputation, the chicklittish attempts to ingratiate suggest that it is not Bronislaw Malinowksi she wants to be, but the next Peter York (who did, at least, introduce us to the Sloane Ranger). Fox, on the other hand, is happy to expose the working-class habit of saying things like "nuffink" and "serviette" along with other mannerisms more succinctly summarised in Betjeman's "How to Get on in Society": "Phone for the fishknives Norman ... " Still, one day her exhaustive observations on these "hidden" rules may prove invaluable to visitors from another planet. They may not know that "M&S is a sort of department store", or realise that "some working class people ... still believe in starting the day with a 'cooked breakfast' ... this feast may often be eaten in a 'caff' rather than at home ..."


Fox has worked so hard to be charming and fun that she seems to lack the energy, or invention, that would be required to reconcile her theory of an inhibited and "dis-eased" nation with the evidence of increasingly unbuttoned, culturally diverse and unpredictable forms of Englishness. Or Europeanness. A good many of Fox's selected "English" traits - love of privacy, clubs, DIY and talking about the weather - seem remarkably similar to the French or German love of privacy, clubs, DIY and talking about the weather. But, as the author often reminds us, it's her book, and what interests her are "the causes of good behaviour". So what are these causes? "To be honest, I don't know why the English are the way we are - and nor, if they are being honest, does anyone else." Fanks for nuffink, as working-class people sometimes say, on finishing a generous but far from nutritious feast of "social anthropology".


Watching the English by Kate Fox, book review: Simplified views of a vibrant race


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Thursday 24 April 2014 16:30


I read this book when it was first published in 2004. It was amusing, chatty, bursting with flavour and zesty as an energy drink, but, as a study, neither illuminating nor convincing. Fox is a leading anthropologist who seems to have decided that her subject is just too dreary and needs to lighten up. She metaphorically burnt her blue stockings, donned cocktail dresses and heels and wrote a populist, skittish tract. She has not sobered up in the new, updated edition.


The English are, for the first time ever, searching for and shaping a meaningful cultural and political identity. They are apprehensive about devolution, the European Union and globalisation. Fox agrees but then breezily concludes it's just a "wobble". Really? Significant opinion shifts, Ukip, the English Defence League are no more than that? These momentous times deserved a more considered account.


The author is observant, particularly about what she calls "the grammar of behaviour", like, for example, English "onedownship", the false modesty not found among the more direct Germans, Indians or Americans, and the nation's unique sense of irony. But these remain endearing unexamined curiosities. Jeremy Paxman's portrait of the English was witty and deep, so too Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island. Fox's book is not deep.


Much patronising guff is aimed at outsiders: M&S is "a sort of department store" we are told and "pleased to meet you", still used in the higher social classes, is best avoided. Talk about the weather is fine, but foreigners must not criticise the Royals or ask people what they do. They must understand that "... the bar counter is the only area in which mainstream rules on talking to strangers may be broken ...[but] such conversations are conducted in accordance with strict and quite complex rules". I can imagine a Goodness Gracious Me sketch of social climbing Indians following this useful advice.


Englanders in the book are pre-war caricatures – repressed, ultra-cautious, risk-averse, hypocrites.


Some folk may still be buttoned up, but most are free, adventurous and culturally voracious. England is where the swinging Sixties broke out, where the Paralympics started, where Marx lived for 30 years, where curry is the national dish, where gambling and drunkenness are rife, where we have more mixed-race relationships than anywhere in the western world, where the Jeremy Kyle show is on every day, where you find edgy fashion and music and hyper-sexuality too.


For all her vaunted research, Fox missed or left out these characteristics. Like she cares. The original Watching the English was a bestseller, as she informs us several times. Grayson Perry and Jennifer Saunders loved it. Professors did too – hilarious, they said, and brilliant. Her cup runneth over. Smart lady.

Monday 26 June 2023

Why Hunter, Britain’s Best Known Wellie, Fell From Grace


Why Hunter, Britain’s Best Known Wellie, Fell From Grace


Blaming supply chains, inflation and changing weather patterns, the Wellington boot brand stumbled toward the brink of extinction this week. Can it be saved by a new (American) owner?


Elizabeth Paton

By Elizabeth Paton

Published June 24, 2023

Updated June 25, 2023


For decades, one fashion accessory was more synonymous with Britain’s most famous music festival, Glastonbury, than any other: Hunter Wellington boots.


Paparazzi photographs of the likes of Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Alexa Chung wearing their Hunters in the early aughts propelled what were once functional footwear favorites of country life into cool style statements with broad global appeal. To many, Hunter — which held a royal warrant, and was established in Edinburgh as the North British Rubber Company in 1856 — became a brand as quintessentially British as afternoon tea, queuing and talking about the weather.


But this week, days before this year’s (uncharacteristically sun-soaked) Glastonbury got underway, Hunter was forced to file for administration, the British equivalent of bankruptcy, owing creditors about $146 million. Pandemic-related supply chain problems, Brexit and inflation all played their part. However the company largely blamed the dry-up in demand to unseasonably warm weather in its largest market: the United States. Online, however, some customers also aired their theories on what had gone wrong. Namely, that Hunter’s offshoring of production to China had led to stumbles in quality control, resulting in split rubber and sodden toes. Today, prices for the tall rain boots start at around $175.


 “Part of the Hunter magic was that they were built to last, and so were also built to become a part of your life,” bemoaned Anna Murphy, fashion director of The Times of London, who said that she had spent the earnings from her first job on a pair. “They equated to permanence, to being in and of the land, and not just any old land but this particular one.”


Similar to brands like Burberry and Barbour, Hunter capitalized heavily on its British roots when it sought to shake off a dowdy reputation and reinvent itself as a 21st century fashion powerhouse. Beyond their more recent adoption on the festival scene, Hunter wellies (as Wellington boots are affectionately known in Britain) were also a longtime mainstay of both working farmyards and aristocratic piles, worn by everyone from Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth to those cleaning out the stables. For all their ever-increasing colors and styles, it was that tie to British life that held such considerable appeal to newer customers from Boston to Beijing.


“In America there has always been a sizable group of shoppers fueled by Anglophilia and a fascination with English lifestyle pursuits, particularly those of the upper classes,” said Daisy Shaw-Ellis, accessories director at Vanity Fair. “People don’t tend to walk across muddy fields in the drizzle for fun in America, they just get in their car and drive. But they also love that quintessential English country aesthetic, and the Hunter Wellington boot is a major symbol of that here.”


Alasdhair Willis, who is married to the fashion designer Stella McCartney, served as Hunter’s creative director between 2013 and 2020, and for a time the brand showed at London Fashion Week. But competition in the premium rubber boot business also grew stiffer, with niche brands like Le Chameau and Aigle as well as major fashion players like Prada and Balenciaga gaining ground as the latest social signifier to stomp in for those in the know. And when the United States had some of its warmest and driest winters on record in recent years, sales tumbled dramatically.


That said, Hunter now looks to be stepping toward a lifeline and a possible next chapter. A current statement on the company website, accompanied by the signature red white and black logo, reads: “We’re creating a new experience for you. Sign up below to be notified when we launch!”


Hunter’s intellectual property was sold to Authentic Brands Group and announced earlier this month. An American company, Authentic Brands also owns the rights to other once-beleaguered household-name brands like Brooks Brothers in the United States and Ted Baker in Britain in order to license them out to partners. Now, it believes it can breathe fresh life into Hunter.


“Our business is built on the premise that there are amazing brands that mean a lot to people that have been operating on inefficient or broken models for years, and Hunter falls into that camp,” said Authentic’s chief marketing officer and president, Nick Woodhouse. “But whatever country you are in, Hunter is the first name you think of when it comes to the Wellington boot, and that is so powerful. It is intrinsically and whimsically British, and we think exporting that around the world still has huge, untapped value.”


An American partner, Marc Fisher, and European partner, the Batra group, have already been chosen to design and develop footwear and run wholesale and e-commerce operations in those territories. But if Hunter is no longer owned and based in Britain, can it retain authentic meaning and value in its story?


“Hunter is so close to the hearts of so many people and has so many positive associations, from Glastonbury to the late Queen,” Mr. Woodhouse said. “But with all due respect, sometimes Britishness is better done outside Britain. We are not running away from Britain, and we have a big office in London. We are getting ready to bring Hunter, and ideas of what it means to be British, to a whole new group of consumers.”


Elizabeth Paton

Elizabeth Paton is a reporter for the Styles section, covering the fashion and luxury sectors in Europe. Before joining The Times in 2015, she was a reporter at the Financial Times both in London and New York. More about Elizabeth Paton

The mysterious ways of fashion ... The recognition of a functional classic : The Wellington Boots and the "come back"of "Hunters"

Around Chistmas many European countries were touched by the "mixed"blessings of a White Christmas ... Time to get your "Wellis" out of the closet ... but since a couple of years, the Wellington boots and its most sophisticated version, in quality and form, got a remarkable recognition from "trendy" people ... when the "timeless" meets real functional quality, the problem of style gets a natural affirmation, capable even to resist the erosion of fashion ...

The Duke of Wellington instructed his shoemaker, Hoby of St. James's Street, London, to modify the 18th-century Hessian boot. The resulting new boot was fabricated in soft calfskin leather, had the trim removed and was cut to fit more closely around the leg. The heels were low cut, stacked around an inch (2.5 centimetres), and the boot stopped at mid-calf. It was suitably hard-wearing for battle, yet comfortable for the evening. The boot was dubbed the Wellington and the name has stuck in British English language ever since. The Duke can be seen wearing his namesake boots, which are tasseled, in an 1815 portrait by James Lonsdale.[2]

Wellington's dashing new boots quickly caught on with patriotic British gentlemen eager to emulate their war hero. Considered fashionable and foppish in the best circles and worn by dandies, such as Beau Brummell, they remained the main fashion for men through the 1840s. In the 1850s they were more commonly made in the calf-high version, and in the 1860s they were both superseded by the ankle boot, except for riding. Wellington is one of only two British Prime Ministers to have given his name to an item of clothing, the other being Anthony Eden (his distinctive Homburg hat).[3]

Wellington boots were at first made of leather. However in 1852 Hiram Hutchinson met Charles Goodyear, who had just invented the vulcanization process for natural rubber. While Goodyear decided to manufacture tyres, Hutchinson bought the patent to manufacture footwear and moved to France to establish "A l'Aigle" ("To the Eagle") in 1853, to honour his home country. The company today is simply called "AIGLE", "Eagle"). In a country where 95% of the population were working on fields with wooden clogs as they had been for generations, the introduction of the wholly water-proof Wellington-type rubber boot became an instant success: farmers would be able to come back home with clean, dry feet.

Production of the Wellington boot was dramatically boosted with the advent of World War I and a requirement for footwear suitable for the conditions in Europe's flooded trenches. The North British Rubber Company (now Hunter Boot Ltd) was asked by the War Office to construct a boot suitable for such conditions. The mills ran day and night to produce immense quantities of these trench boots. In total, 1,185,036 pairs were made to meet the British Army's demands.

In World War II, Hunter Boot was again requested to supply vast quantities of Wellington and thigh boots. 80% of production was of war materials - from (rubber) ground sheets to life belts and gas masks. In Holland, the British forces were working in flooded conditions which demanded Wellingtons and thigh boots in vast supplies.

By the end of the war in 1945, the Wellington had become popular among men, women and children for wet weather wear. The boot had developed to become far roomier with a thick sole and rounded toe. Also, with the rationing of that time, labourers began to use them for daily work.

The lower cost and ease of rubber "Wellington" boot manufacture, and being entirely water-proof, lent itself immediately to being the preferred protective shoe to leather in all forms of industry. Increased attention to occupational health and safety requirements led to the steel toe or steel-capped Wellington: a protective (commonly internal) toe capping to protect the foot from crush and puncture injuries. Although traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement may be a composite or a plastic material such as ThermoPlastic Polyurethane (TPU). Such steel-toe Wellingtons are nearly indispensable in an enormous range of industry and are often mandatory wear to meet local occupational health and safety legislation or insurance requirements.

Hunter History
1817 was the year the wellington first made its appearance. At this time men's fashion was going through major changes as gentlemen everywhere discarded their knee breeches in favour of trousers. This however, led to a problem regarding comfortable footwear. The previously popular Hessian boot, worn with breeches, was styled with a curvy turned-down top and heavy metallic braid - totally unsuitable for wearing under trousers.

To this end, Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington, instructed his shoemaker, Hoby of St. James Street, London, to modify the 18th century boot. The resulting new boot designed in soft calfskin leather had the trim removed and was cut closer around the leg. It was hard wearing for battle yet comfortable for the evening. The Iron Duke didn't know what he'd started - the boot was dubbed the Wellington and the name has stuck ever since.

These boots quickly caught on with patriotic British gentlemen eager to emulate their war hero. Considered fashionable and foppish in the best circles, they remained the main fashion for men through the 1840's. In the 50's they were more commonly made in the calf high version and in the 60's they were both superseded by the ankle boot, except for riding.

All these boots were made of leather, however in America, where there was more experimentation in shoemaking, producers were beginning to manufacture with rubber. One such entrepreneur, Mr. Henry Lee Norris, came to Scotland in search of a suitable site to produce rubber footwear.

Having acquired a block of buildings in Edinburgh, known as the Castle Silk Mills, the North British Rubber Company was registered as a limited liability company in September 1856.

Mr. Norris then had to find employees skilled in the manufacture of rubber footwear. This was no simple task for such a new industry. The problem was solved by importing labour. Four adventurous individuals from New York set sail on a ship laden with manufacturing machinery bound to become pioneers of the rubber industry in Scotland. They were employed not only to make the boots, but also to instruct others in the process.

Although this company began its life as a manufacturer of rubber boots and shoes, it quickly expanded to produce an extensive range of rubber products. These included tyres, conveyor belts, combs, golf balls, hot water bottles and rubber flooring - to name just a few.

Initially the rubber boot was produced in a limited number but production was dramatically boosted with the advent of World War I. The North British Rubber Company was asked by the War Office to construct a sturdy boot suitable for the conditions in flooded trenches. The mills ran day and night to produce immense quantities of these trench boots. In total, 1,185,036 pairs were made to cope with the Army's demands. This fashionable boot was now a functional necessity.

Again the company made an important contribution during World War II. At the outbreak of war in September 1939, 80% of the entire output consisted of war materials. The list of contributions was extensive, including ground sheets, life belts, bomb covers, gas masks and wellington boots.

Although trench warfare was not a feature of the war, the wellington still played an important role. Those forces assigned the task of clearing Holland of the enemy had to work in terrible flooded conditions. Thus The North British Rubber Company was called upon to supply vast quantities of wellingtons and thigh boots.

By the end of the war the wellington had become popular among men, women and children for wear in wet weather. The boot had developed to become far roomier with a thick sole and rounded toe. Also, with the rationing of that time, labourers began to use them for daily work.

To deal with this success the company extended their manufacturing premises in 1946, acquiring an extensive factory in Dumfriesshire. This factory, known as Heathhall, had been built in 1912 originally to manufacture car and aeronautical engines.

The North British Rubber Company continued to prosper introducing both the Green Hunter and Royal Hunter wellingtons into the market in 1958. Trade reaction was very slow - an order of 36 pairs was regarded as quite an achievement. However, the company persisted in their promotion taking them to county shows.

In 1966, The North British Rubber Company underwent a name change and from that date operated under the name of Uniroyal Limited. In 1978, the golf ball production side of the business was sold off. This was shortly followed by the sale of the tyre factory at Newbridge near Edinburgh to Continental.

In 1986 The Gates Rubber Company Limited of Colorado, Denver bought Uniroyal and the following year the name of the Scottish company was changed to The Gates Rubber Company Ltd. In 1996 Gates was bought by Tomkins PLC of London and then later Hunter became the Hunter Division of Interfloor.

In 2004 the management of the Hunter Division of Interfloor, together with external investors, funded a management buy-out of the company and the company became the Hunter Rubber Co. Ltd.

In 2006 the ownership of the company changed and it now trades as Hunter Boot Limited.

During its long lifespan, the Hunter wellington boot has undergone a major revolution ... From being a solely practical item it has now become an extremely popular fashion brand.

The Wellington Boot / VIDEO: How It’s Made: Wellington Boots


The lower cost and ease of rubber "Wellington" boot manufacture, and being entirely waterproof, lent itself immediately to being the preferred protective material to leather in all forms of industry. Increased attention to occupational health and safety requirements led to the steel toe or steel-capped Wellington: a protective (commonly internal) toe-capping to protect the foot from crush and puncture injuries. Although traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement may be a composite or a plastic material such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Such steel-toe Wellingtons are nearly indispensable in an enormous range of industry and are often mandatory wear to meet local occupational health and safety legislation or insurance requirements.

In July 1956, the Monopolies and Restrictive Practices Commission published its Report on the Supply of Certain Rubber Footwear, which covered rubber boots of all kinds including wellingtons and overboots. This 107-page official publication addressed contemporary concerns about unfair pricing of rubber footwear manufactured in the UK or imported from overseas. The appendices include lists of rubber footwear manufacturers and price-lists of each company's range of wellington boots available in the mid-1950s.

Green Wellington boots, introduced by Hunter Boot Ltd in 1955, gradually became a shorthand for "country life" in the UK. In 1980, sales of their boots skyrocketed after Lady Diana Spencer (future Princess Diana) was pictured wearing a pair on the Balmoral estate during her courtship with Prince Charles.

What your wellies say about you

Hunter, Le Chameau, or Joules? David Cameron was right about some wellington boot brands being "posh". He just got the wrong one...

By Harry Wallop5:10PM BST 01 Sep 2015

Is there an item of clothing more loaded with class assumptions than the Wellington boot? The flat cap, tweed jacket and even the ugly Ugg boot are able to put a toe across Britain’s social fault lines. But a pair of rubber boots designed to keep the rain from your feet says more about you than the school you attended or whether you phone for the fish knives.

This is something David Cameron is acutely aware of. Which is why during the floods of 2014 – en route to visit the Somerset Levels – he eschewed his own pair of Hunter green wellies. Instead, he sent an aide to Asda to buy a simple pair of Dunlops. This delicious detail has come out of Cameron at 10, Anthony Seldon and Peter Snowdon’s new book, which is published next week.

Rather than worrying whether the government was doing enough to help beleaguered householders knee-deep in sewage, he fretted that his footwear would make him seem irredeemably posh.

But though his class antennae may be well-attuned, he clearly has a blind spot when it comes to wellies. Because, as every aristo knows, Hunter wellies have suffered from dramatic “prole drift”, that marvellously snobby term Paul Fussell coined for when an upmarket product is sweatily embraced by the masses. Think of Molton Brown soap, Barbour quilted jackets, salted caramels, the girl’s name Ava.

Once championed by Lady Di (as she was then), a pair of green Hunters were the weekend uniform of Sloane Rangers, worn on the moors of Scotland and the damp turf of the Hurlingham club.

But their reputation as unpretentious, decent, well-made (if pricey) boots for the huntin’ shootin’ fishin’ set was damaged when, first, the company fell into administration and then the new owners desperately pushed its fashion credentials. So, Kate Moss was spotted wearing them twinned with silver hot pants at Glastonbury. Before long, the private-equity owners were selling gold versions, faux-crocodile wellies designed by Jimmy Choo and, at the end of last year, they opened a flagship store on Regent Street. Here, customers were invited to put on headphones “to listen to curated soundtracks that evoke experiences associated with product within the space”. No, me neither.

Hunters are no longer posh. They are plain naff.

Their place in the affections of the mwah-mwah brigade has been taken by a bewildering array of boots, all of which have subtle different class connotations.

First up, is Le Chameau, a French company. The boots are exceptionally well made, with a side fastening to allow those with county-sized calves to slip in, and they are lined in neoprene, the material used in wetsuits, which make them very warm. Helped by the patronage of the Duchess of Cambridge, these are the truest green-welly inheritors: practical, understated, smart – and, at up to £340 a pair, stupidly expensive.

But they are not as flash as Dubarry, an Irish brand. They make rather a chunky leather and GoreTex boot. To you or me they look ugly, if sturdy, but they are worn with relish at point to points by the raspberry-trousered Made in Chelsea crowd and their girlfriends, whom they invariably describe as “damn fine fillies”. These too will set you back £300 or so.

For unabashed upturned-rugby-shirt-collar poshness, none of these can quite match Joules. This is a small British retailer, whose twee country casual look makes Cath Kidston’s patterns look like austere brutalism. It sells tweed waistcoats lined in pictures of cocker spaniels, National Trust headscarves and has a whole section dedicated to “posh wellies”. These boots are not expensive (most are less than £40), but they are unremittingly jolly hockey sticks. They come in Breton stripes, polka dots or sprayed with images of bees, corgis and roses. The company describe them as ideal “for a jaunt outdoors when puddles are present”, but inexplicably has added a huge grosgrain ribbon to the back of one pair of wellies for “elegance”.

Impractical they may be, but these wellington boots, have helped Joules become one of the biggest successes on the high street. In its annual results, published this week, profits jumped 36 per cent to £5 million, as the company announced it was opening its 100th shop.

Jolly, jolly Joules

Britain, it would appear, are in love with “posh wellies”, the more colourful and sillier the better. We can’t all afford an Eton education or black Labrador, but we can buy the accompanying footwear.

The irony of David Cameron’s sleight-of-boot, was that it backfired. Lynton Crosby, the Tories’ election guru, discovered that one reason voters gave for believing that the PM was too posh was “seeing him on television during the floods wearing a shiny new pair of black wellingtons”.

The electorate cannot be fooled. Especially when it comes to wellies and what they say about you.

The best wellington boots for autumn

Hunters have long had control of the more expensive end of the wellies market – but there are other excellent options out there, such as Le Chameau

 Madeleine Howell
2 JANUARY 2020 • 11:06AM

As we leave the warmth of summer behind us and look ahead to months of rain and mud and general splashing around in our wellington boots, now is the time to invest in a new pair of wellies.

Over the past decade, Hunter's have become the boots to be seen in; not just when working the land, but also when at festivals, where the wellies are now so commonplace they almost look like a uniform. Undoubtedly, Hunter pulled off an incredible marketing job (the company reported an 85pc year-on-year sales increase in 2007, just a year after it went into administration and was bought out by a private consortium) – but now that the wellies are so ubiquitous, it's worth asking: are they still the best?

After reviewing various market leading wellies to find the best, I'd reply in the affirmative – with a caveat. Hunter still makes a great pair of wellies, and they're top of my list. However, there are other contenders for your boot room worth considering, and some of them arguably do just as good a job when it comes to keeping your feet warm, dry, stylish and supported.

But before I get into all that, a note about material.

Wellingtons are normally composed of either natural rubber, PVC, or Gore-Tex. Natural rubber is an extremely waterproof agricultural product that comes from the latex sap of certain plants and trees in the tropics, and is known for being flexible and comfortable. (Rubber is also known as gum elastic – hence why wellies are known as gumboots.)

The best wellingtons boots for walking
Calm your boots: we've tried and tested the very best wellingtons available, to set you up whatever the weather
PVC is a man-made plastic that is lighter and much more affordable, and also incredibly watertight. However, it has an eventual impact on the environment in the form of plastic waste. It's also less kind to the skin and the shape of the human form, and less supportive and durable. PVC boots are often a case of 'buy cheap, buy twice'.

Gore-Tex, lastly, is amazing: a breathable membrane that repels water and wind, it's often used for high-performance outdoor wear. The drawback? You've guessed it: Gore-Tex products tend to be the most expensive of the lot.

Whatever you decide, here’s our pick of the very best wellies, tried and tested...

1. Hunter Field Balmoral wellington boot
Why we like them: A sturdy boot for rugged terrain

Available from Hunter Boots, in men's (£150) and women's (£150), in navy, olive or black

Hunter wellies
A good sole: the Balmoral boots are perfect for intrepid expeditions in the field
There’s a reason why Hunter, which holds two Royal Warrants of Appointment to HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and was founded in 1856, remains enduringly popular. They're some of the very best boots on the market; and they cater for a wide array of tastes. Hunter now has two categories: Hunter Original, the fashion leg of the business (check them out if you want to make a statement in ankle wellies, or with pink, red, or yellow wellies), and Hunter Field, which is their technical collection and the subject of my testing.

Design-wise, hunter boots look classic, and are crafted with natural, softer-than-soft rubber. They're snug and well-fitting, but with room for toe-wriggling and thick socks; and their “Newflex Vibram” outsole has impressive cleats for extra grip (Vibram is probably the world leader in high performance rubber soles for sport and outdoorsy pursuits – so you can trust the ground you tread on). On uneven, slippery, and muddy ground, I feel far less likely to slip and fall in drizzling rain than in any other pair. That's a big plus mark to these products, and one of the primary reasons why I liked them the most of all that I reviewed.

 hunter wellies
Give it some welly: the Hunter Field Balmoral boots were strong and stable
The Hunter Field Balmoral boot is also customizable, depending on the sort of fit you’re after. You can choose between three different linings, neoprene, bamboo carbon or leather. All three boast different properties for the wearer. The neoprene lining is insulating, resilient and waterproof; bamboo is moisture-wicking and cooling; leather is warm but can take some breaking in.

Why are they my favourite? Simply because they felt the most sturdy, protective, insulating and sure-footed of all the boots I tried. It's worth saying that at least in part this solidity is achieved because they're heavy: the soles are thick and the heel is substantial. That may put you off – some of the runners up, below, are lighter, if that's what you're looking for – but to me the heaviness is reassuring. It suggests this pair of Hunter's will last for many years, through all sorts of adventures.

Buy now: men's (£150) and women's (£150)

2. Le Chameau Vierzonord neoprene lined boots
Why we like them: If they're good enough for Kate, they're good enough for us

Available from Amazon, in men's (£137.64 - £191.99) and women's (£179.95), in dark green, light green or brown

Le Chameau Vierzonord
Le Chameau Vierzonord
French brand Le Chameau has been stomping its way across all terrains since 1965; their rain boots are famously built to last – which is probably why the Duchess of Cambridge is regularly pictured walking around in hers.

Each is handmade by an individual "maître bottier" (master bootmaker). They're tall, so these kept my calves nicely snug during a leisurely stroll to the village pub.

What makes them so good? The rubber is natural, which gets a big tick from me, and the 3mm neoprene lining keeps my feet and calves warm until I find the roaring fire and pint which I seek. The gussets on the outer sides are waterproof, and adjustable with the help of a quick, easy snap-fastening buckle, which ensures that they hug whatever size leg they adorn.

The “anti-fatigue” technology of the dual-density sole also means that I get the most out of the day out; they absorb shock, keep my feet stable and support my arches. Even post-pint, the abrasion-resistant outersole keeps me fairly sure-footed.

Not as heavy-duty as the Hunter Balmorals, the Vierzonord is the best all-rounder for the widest range of activities: lightweight enough for frolicking, but thick and sure-soled enough to provide stability during more serious country pursuits.

Le Chameau wellies
They're comfortable, supportive, durable, and sure-footed. I also like the look of the boot: sculpted without being fussy, with a bright blue easy-to-spot lining.

In case you disagree, they come with a free returns policy and a 2-year warranty.

Buy now: men's (£129.95 - £186.99) and women's (£179.99)

3. The Original Muck Boot Company “Chore” boots
Why we like them: A practical, functional, comfortable pair

Available from Amazon, in men's (£70- £120), and unisex (£70- £120), in moss green or black

The "Chore" wellingtons are incredibly comfortable; available in moss green or black
The "Chore" wellingtons are incredibly comfortable; available in moss green or black
Like the Le Chameau Vierzonords and the Hunter Balmorals, the Chore range of boots by The Original Muck Boot Company are made of natural rubber, plus some neoprene. The women's Chore XF tall boots that I tried boast an adjustable waterproof gusset for a secure fit around the calf (it extends up to 7cm, or 3 inches, so there’s plenty of room for fluctuations in weight). They're the easiest to slip on and off of all the boots I tried, but still fit snugly around my feet.

The boots are bendy and lightweight, and allow me to move with ease even when kneeling and clambering around. But they also seem toughtough, thanks to the thick rubber overlay, and reinforced heels and toes (that said, the shape of the foot is oddly bulbous, less sleek looking). Even in heavy rain I find that I remain blissfully dry.

Muck Boot Company wellies
The shank (supportive structure between the insole and outsole) is made of steel, supporting even my ridiculously high arches, which need all the relief they can get. Meanwhile, the neoprene lining is even thicker than that of the Le Chameau’s, with 5mm worth of glorious cushioning. Despite that, when the sun does deign to come out, the breathable air mesh does its job and keep me warm.

If you're looking for a wellington boot that's suited to snow, I'd also recommend checking out their "Arctic" range, with even more grip (ideal for après-ski). And if you love The Original Muck Boot Company but fancy something that will look a bit more stylish at the pub, they've also recently collaborated with British countryside-inspired textiles artist Emily Bond to create a sleeker pair with a labrador or daschhund print (£110,

Buy now: men's (£57 - £120), and unisex (£57 - £120)

4. Dubarry Galway boot
Available from Amazon, in women's (£327.08- £340.38), and from Dubarry of Ireland in men's (£329) in black, black/brown, olive and walnut

Dubarry Galway boots
Gore-Tex, the material used to line Dubarry of Ireland’s iconic Galway's leather boots, is highly recommend. The microporous fabric ‘membrane’ is waterproof (accredited Gore-Tex products come with a guarantee to keep you dry) and windproof, yet lightweight and breathable.

Coupled with leather, it makes a fearsome package: cool in warm conditions, warm in cold conditions, incredibly long-lasting and always as dry as a bone. Unlike the other wellies featured here, these add leather into the mix: like human skin, leather is completely waterproof, yet breathable. It's just as hardy against water, but also hardier against abrasion (though it's worth investing in leather creams, conditioners and protectors to make sure they last even longer).

Leather can be notoriously hard to break in, but these fit perfectly (and prove blister-free) right from the start. This is nubuck leather rather than full-grain, which means it's a finer, lighter leather that resembles suede – and that it dries off fast.

So, this is a very, very good wellington boot. The only reason I didn't pick them as one of my top recommendations? The price tag! If you're happy to spend upwards of £300 on a pair of wellies, and leather is your thing, you can't go wrong with the Dubarry; but you can definitely get seriously good wellies for significantly less.

Buy now: from Amazon, in women's (£330.05 - £340.38), and from Dubarry of Ireland in men's (£329) in black, black/brown, olive and walnut

5. Dunlop Purofort boots
Available from Amazon, in unisex (£37.68 - £57.15), in dark green

Dunlop wellies
Gets the job done: we were impressed with Dunlop
Dunlop is a byword for working boots – but there’s nothing to stop you from marching around a few fields in them, or slinging them in the car en route to the festival circuit. They’re not a global leader in affordable protective boots for nothing.

At the very cheap end of the welly market, Dunlop sell perfectly serviceable – if not entirely eco-friendly – PVC boots for about the same price as a pub lunch. You probably wouldn't want to go for long walks in them, but they'll do for the garden.

However, not too much more money gets you a far better product. Purofort is a synthetic material, developed by Dunlop back in 1980, that consists of evenly distributed air pockets, which is why it’s lightweight and thermally insulating, and a cross-linked structure, which is why it's flexible and strong. The actual recipe is a secret, but it's some form of polyurethane (so it is plastic, but in fairness, it’s very good plastic).

You're still not getting a premium welly boot here – the Puroforts I reviewed were pliable and floppy, offering zero ankle support – but on the plus side they're light and surprisingly comfortable. I like their lack of ostentation too: they're the type of boot you fling into the back of the car, for a rainy day.

For the price, they'll do nicely.

Buy now: in unisex (£49.93 - £56.83)

6. Ilse Jacobsen rain boot
Available from Amazon,  in women's (£133)

Ilse Jacobsen rain boots
Oh, Scandinavia, how we worship you. Ilse Jacobsen is a lifestyle brand (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year) which specialises in rainwear, and which hails from the Danish seaside resort of Hornbæk. The company's rainboot is made of 80pc pure, natural rubber and the other 20pc is a secret recipe (I’ve learnt that this isn’t unusual in wellies: Dunlop’s “welly recipe” is also a closely guarded secret). The lace-up detail is cotton; which looks great, but unfortunately proved impossible to clean, and offers little in terms of adjustment; and while they can happily withstand rain, they're not so great for muddy conditions.

For me, this is a fashion-first boot, more for strolling in the city or along a promenade than for practicality in the field (they're so featherlight and loose-fitting that I feel like I'm walking on air). Unlike the Dunlop Purofort boots, I don't think they'd pass muster with agricultural workers.

That's not to say they're not warm: the soles are made of made of oil-resistant lightweight EVA, which can withstand temperatures down to -40 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the rubber uppers withstand temperatures down to -20 degrees Celsius. And they definitely look good.

Buy now: from Amazon, in women's (£86.60 - £107.00)

7. Barbour “Bede” wellies
Available from Barbour, in women's (£64.95) in aubergine, rustic, raspberry, berry pink, navy or black ; and men's (£64.95), in navy, olive or black

£64.95, John Lewis

Barbour Bede wellies
These boots do a fair job. They're less expensive compared to most of others in this list, due, I suspect, to the materials: they’re composed of 55pc rubber and 45pc “other materials” (my bet is something plasticky).

There's also far less to them –  the entire boot is much thinner than the others, they feel slightly floppy, and they don't keep me very warm at all.

Barbour boots
Despite this, they perform well in mild weather conditions, and they feel comfortable enough, so I'd back them as a good affordable option with more style than substance, if you're going for walks in urban parks or doing a not-too-taxing ramble in the countryside.

Buy now: in women's (£64.95 - in aubergine, rustic, raspberry, berry pink, navy or black ) and men's (£64.95), in navy, olive or black

8. Joules printed wellies (for kids)
Available at Joules for boys (£24.95) and girls (£24.95)

Joules wellington boots
Realistically, kids will grow out of their wellies fast. So while I’d like to recommend you check out Petit Chameau’s kids wellies by Le Chameau for the ultimate school gate bragging rights, allow me to point you instead to trusty Joules for both boys and girls.

Their range of puddle-jumpers are available in an array of bright, fun, expressive hand-drawn prints. Plus, they’re made of natural rubber, with removable insoles, and are covered by a one-year welly guarantee. I like the “Inky Ditzy” (above) and "Navy Acorn Dot" prints. If only they made them in adult sizes...