Stylish and practical ankle wellies for gardening and walking

The best ankle wellies to protect you from mud, rain and cold.

Ankle boots

by Ellen Kinsey |

Wellies are absolutely essential items of clothing if you are someone that loves a walk in the countryside, enjoys a spot of gardening or are an annual festival go-er. Wearing the right footwear makes your life easier and safer, and when it comes to gardening, ankle wellies make the job all the more easier and comfortable.

We've found the best ankle wellies on the market with some expert advice and product selections from gardening and horticultural expert and Gardening Editor of Garden Answers and Garden News, Geoff Hodge, on what we should be wearing in the garden.

When it comes to living in the UK, a pair of wellington boots can be the make or break between a great day out and a foot full of blisters. To avoid soaking your feet after a long day of adventuring, you'll want to ensure you have the best wellies for gardening or walking.

According to Geoff, it is important to consider if the wellies will stand up to the weather conditions you’ll be wearing them in. "Whether it’s very cold or very hot, footwear with cotton or mesh lining keeps feet warm or less clammy if you start to perspire. Or go for neoprene, which doesn’t degrade as quickly as other rubberised materials, is UV-resistant, maintains its flexibility over a wide temperature range, and is waterproof but breathable and warming.

"Some suppliers provide comfort ratings with the range of temperatures they’re comfortable to wear in. If you need them to be waterproof, check for seams or fastenings that could let in water. Made from rubber, synthetic rubber, rubberised material or plastic, they’ll keep your feet and legs dry and, especially if they’re lined or contain neoprene, warm."

What to look out for when buying a new pair of ankle wellies

Sizes: Check the sizes available, so they are a comfortable fit and keep in mind that some are true to
size, while others fit large or small. If there are reviews, have a little read-through to see if any comments have been made regarding the sizing. Ensure they fit correctly in length and width and are comfortable even when wearing thick socks in colder weather.

Materials: The type of material the boot is made with will contribute significantly to how comfortable and weatherproof they are; just as Geoff mentioned, boots constructed from rubber, synthetic rubber, rubberised material or plastic will keep your feet and legs dry and even better if they’re lined or contain neoprene.

Sole: It is really essential that you have a boot with a flexible sole as it makes the footwear more comfortable to wear. Look for a sole with a good, deep tread and tread pattern to keep you upright on slippery ground and offer insulation against frozen soil. A flexible sole also can bend more effortlessly with your foot, making it much more comfortable over long periods. Additionally, deeper treads and good tread patterns on the sole are better on slippery ground and in winter.

Platform: Footwear with a thick platform is better for keeping out sharp sticks and thorns, and boots with reinforcement beneath the arch help a lot when you are pushing down on spades and garden forks.

Best ankle wellies for gardening

Leon Garden Ankle Ultralite Green Boots

Editor's choice
Leon Garden Ankle Ultralite Green Boots

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The boots are made of EVA polymer and a removable liner which are made with direct injection moulding technology making these unique boots one of the most durable and most comfortable wellies on the market. It features a sole thickness ranging from 25mm at the heel to 20mm at the front, making it completely shock absorbent. Each boot weighs 212g and can be worn with or without the liners. They can withstand very low temperatures of up to -20 degrees with no liner and - 30 degrees with the liner. If you are looking for an excellent lightweight all-rounder, this is a great choice.

Colours available: Green, black, and yellow
Sizes available: 3-8
Material: EVA polymer

Review: "Great boots with a removable and machine-washable warm liner."

BOGS Women's Vijay Patch Ankle Wellington Boots

Best sustainable ankle wellies for gardening
BOGS Womens Vijay Patch Ankle Wellington Boots

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These are 100 per cent waterproof and are made from Bloom materials which utilise the power of natural resources like algae to collect and sequester CO2, sealing it up in valuable products. This material is environmentally-friendly and acts as a high-performance replacement for traditional petroleum-based EVAs. It has a built-in heel kick for hands-free removal and BOGS Max-Wick, which evaporates sweat to keep feet dry.

Colours available: Yellow and black
Sizes available: 4-7
Material: Sustainable rubber

Review: "These are the best footwear for gardening. They are easy to pull on with the loops at the top and the hands-free removal using the ledges on each heel. But the best part about these boots is their comfort and foot protection as I slog through damp/wet grass, puddles, dirt and mud. And they are so stylish; I cab wear them to the local grocery store and post office."

Short Height Printed Wellibobs

Best stylish ankle wellies for gardening
Short Height Printed Wellibobs

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These Joules Wellibobs are entirely waterproof with a water-dispersing outsole and are made from 100 per cent easy-to-wipe and clean rubber, so keeping them in tip-top condition will be no issue. The ankle height and elasticated rubber gusset make them great for throwing on in a hurry, removable EVA insoles with shock-absorbing footbeds and the removable faux fur insoles add an extra layer of warmth to the boot for those chillier days. In Joules' style, each pair is finished off with a cute print (we love these black gold bee ones), and they have a one-year guarantee.

Colours available: 7 colours
Sizes available: 3-9
Material: Rubber

Review: "I bought these recently and have managed to test them out after a downpour. I walked through some puddles, and I found them to be comfortable, waterproof and a great fit; they look good too."

Women's RHS Muckster II short boots

Best versatile ankle wellies for gardening

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These fun and functional boots are made from rubber and lined with neoprene for a comfortable fit. Endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, these boots feature 4mm neoprene, which can be rolled up to show the vegetable print, or rolled down and worn as an ankle boot. The rubber outsole helps you work away in the garden in muddy conditions, and the breathable air mesh lining keeps your feet cool on warmer days. The Muck Root Company recommends that half sizes order a size up.

Colours available: Green Veggie Print
Sizes available: 3-9
Material: Rubber

Review: "The boots are a little expensive but well worth the investment if you walk as often as I do with a dog. I had previously purchased an expensive pair of wellies, but they just weren't comfortable for extended walks, but these are. I am very pleased with them."

Women's Harper Cosy Ankle Wellies - Navy Floral

Best faux-fur ankle wellies for gardening
Women's Harper Cosy Ankle Wellies - Navy Floral

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These short, faux fur-lined boots are perfect for pottering about in the garden, heading to a festival, or going on short walks where you might need protection from puddles and muddy paths. Featuring vulcanised natural rubber, these wellies provide complete weather protection and are not only comfortable and have a lovely floral print too.

Colours available: Navy floral, black, thyme leaf green, and navy.
Sizes available: 3-8
Material: Rubber

Men's Gardener Short Wellington Boots

Best men's ankle wellies for gardening
Men's Gardener Short Wellington Boots

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Specially designed for gardening in mind, these dark green Men’s Gardener Short Boots from the renowned boot brand Hunter are 100 per cent waterproof and made from natural rubber with a dig pad on the sole to help with digging. It features a wider calf for comfort and ease of foot entry, a wide tread sole with a zig-zag structure which allows quick and easy mud release, while the thickened ankle patch provides extra protection when using spades. It is handcrafted from natural rubber, and if you are in-between sizes, Hunter recommends to size down.

Colours available: Dark Olive
Sizes available: 6-12
Material: Rubber

Review: "These boots are excellent; they have a wider top which makes it possible for people with big legs to get the boot on. Well made and comfortable."

Women's Play Short Neoprene Wellington Boots

Best designer ankle wellies for gardening
Hunter Women's Play Short Neoprene Wellington Boots

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The Hunter's Women’s PLAY Neoprene Boot is lightweight is made from their signature natural, vegan rubber with water-resistant, insulating and flexible neoprene for ease of movement. This boot features a 100 per cent recycled polyester lining and insole. The neoprene upper is not waterproof. You can also get the classic fully waterproof non-neoprene lined boots here.

Colours available: Moss, black, red and grey
Sizes available: 3-9
Material: Rubber

Review: "I love these boots. I am actually using them as summer muck boots around the barn! I really wanted a short boot to beat the heat, but could only find "duck boot" heel styles. I love that these offer a bit more stability."


What is the main difference between ankle wellies and normal wellies?

According to Geoff Hodge, "Many people prefer ankle boots and shoes, which don’t cover your calves, over wellies. They don’t make your legs feel as sweaty and can provide just as much foot protection. Many look like and are basically cut-down wellingtons. Ankle boots, shoes and clogs are better than wellingtons for doing any job that involves kneeling in the garden, such as hand weeding or planting bedding plants and bulbs, because wellies can rub on your calves and restrict blood circulation, leading to discomfort when kneeling."

How tight should wellington boots be?

Wellies are supposed to be tight enough to prevent your feet from slipping out but loose enough to fit with thick socks without pinching any part of your feet or legs. Don't try to stretch your rubber boots if they don't fit – this could damage the rubber.

How do you dry wellies quickly?

The simplest trick to dry your boots fast is to fill your boots with rolled-up newspaper as the water is absorbed into the newspaper very easily and all you need to do is keep replacing it.

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Modern Gardens magazine

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