By Gemma Vidal
The rain doesn’t have to embitter the day, or your outfit! Remember when you were a child and you jumped in puddles without fear of getting wet? That pleasure isn’t limited only to children; rubber boots are the ideal footwear for autumn and rainy days — for the young and the not-so-young alike. After all, nobody likes wet feet!
Wellington boots, also called wellies or rubber boots, began to be used for its practicality —mainly by soldiers and farmers. Later on, they started to be used by children, and eventually evolved and became fashionable for adults as well.
In the last years, Hunter has been the brand that has popularized them. Its flagship model, the Original Hunter, was released in 1955. According to the company, each pair is handmade from 28 pieces (you can watch a short video overview here).
In 2010 the company collaborated with the designer Jimmy Choo, creating a unique model. The boots kept their shape but were made with crocodile skin texture, leopard print lining, golden buckle and metal rivets. Its price was about $350 and had a waiting list for its sale.
But Hunter isn’t the only rain boots brand. Le Chameau boots have been manufactured in northern France for the last eight decades. They are the favorites of Kate Middleton and Chef Jamie Oliver; and, as always happens with the “Kate effect”, since the Duchess was seen with them, the popularity of this brand has grown like wildfire —a pair can cost about $450.
Another brand that you may have heard about is Joules. Its most characteristic model has a bow on the back and is usually around $120.
You can also find more affordable brands at any shoe store or market. They come in all colors, prints and prices. No matter the brand you buy, you must learn to take care of them and clean them properly, so you can enjoy your boots for a long time. Here’s a little guide:
1. The first thing is to clean the dirt off the boots —you can use a damp cloth for this. If they are really dirty, use a mild detergent, but you have to do it carefully so the boots won’t lose brightness and color.
2. Dry them thoroughly with a rag or let them air dry. Remember to keep them away from heat sources —don’t forget that they are made with rubber and the heat could damage them.
3. White spots can be removed by using specific products. Some brands sell their own, but if you can’t get them, then tire polishes are a good alternative.
Of course, they are very easy to combine: with jeans, leggings, dresses, coats, etc. Many celebrities have followed this trend due to the variety of designs and its practicality. Kate Moss was the first to start wearing these boots, but now Rachel Bilson, Leighton Meester, Liv Tyler, etc., are on it too.