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Best kids’ wellies 2023: The best rain boots to keep little feet warm, dry and comfortable this winter

Children love splashing in muddy puddles so make sure their footwear is up to the task with our pick of the best kids' wellies

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” – this phrase is often wheeled out by Brits and those in other countries prone to rain and cold, probably because it rings so true.

Wellington boots, to give them their formal name, are a necessity for life in the UK, especially for children who are more prone to splashing about in puddles or wading through mud with glorious abandon.

Wellies should be waterproof – this is their entire reason for being – but they also need to be comfortable and look like something children will want to wear. Here’s our guide to choosing the best kids’ wellies, followed by our selection of the best.

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Best kids’ wellies: At a glance

How to choose the best wellies for your kids

What do they look like?

There are few things more frustrating than a child who simply won’t wear a perfectly decent, functional or expensive item of clothing. That’s why so many wellies boast a playful, bright aesthetic. Also, winter can be bleak and cold, so we think juicy colour wins when it comes to children’s wellies!

Are they comfortable?

How far have the boot’s makers gone to ensure comfort? Footwear that rubs or is difficult to walk in is going to be an absolute non-starter. We recommend looking at the welly top to see how flexible it is – anything rigid will dig into little calves and cause pain and bruising. You want to see a malleable opening and really, we suggest always going for rubber, not plastic.

A thicker sole, as long as it’s not too heavy, will provide plenty of cushioning between your little one’s feet and the hard terrain. You’d be amazed how many rain boots have too thin a sole.

Are they waterproof and sturdy?

Most wellies claim to be waterproof and that’s usually true, but how long for? Those made with lower quality materials will be prone to ripping and tearing, which leads to leaks. As anyone who has ever felt cold water trickle around their toes unexpectedly will tell you, it’s an unwanted sensation and children are likely to literally kick off when they experience it. This is why you should look for a thick rubber and a fairly chunky sole – features that will withstand sharp rocks and the like.

Can they be cleaned easily?

Chances are that yes is the answer because most wellies are made from wipe-down rubber. Be mindful that any fabric accents are going to take a little longer to dry.

Do you want an inbuilt fabric lining?

Fabric linings such as fleece are undoubtedly cosier but not ideal if they get wet. We actually think that a thick pair of socks – like a ski sock – over regular socks is just as good as an inbuilt lining, not least because they are easily removed for washing.

How we test kids’ wellies

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing gives us the best and most complete information about a product. We test all the kids’ wellies we review by engaging the services of a couple of youngsters and, essentially, asking them to run around outside on a rainy day, jumping in plenty of muddy puddles.

Initially, we assess the quality of the boots to get a general sense of their durability and hardiness, looking specifically at the materials used, the seams, and the sole. Once the children have the boots on, we ask about comfort – is the lining hard or cosy? How much flexibility is there in the sole, the vamp (the lower part of the boot, going up over the toe to the instep and around both sides) and around the upper? Although the question of how easy it is to run in the boot is of some importance, we are primarily interested in how good they are at keeping feet dry.

Finally, we detail the available size ranges and colourways.

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The best kids’ wellies to buy in 2023

1. Hunter Big Kids Giant Glitter Wellington Boot: The best overall kids’ wellies

Price: £34 | Check price at Very

Hunter is top of the Wellington game for good reason: its boots have been reliable, brilliantly made and good looking since 1856. These glittery rubber wellies show how easily Hunter moves with current trends while retaining its unique, traditional heritage.

Perfect for older children, these are essentially smaller versions of the original adult welly, complete with the iconic Hunter tread pattern and small heel. We were pleased to see reflective patches on them for safety on darker nights.

These immediately feel like a boot with substance: the rubber manages to feel hardy and tough yet not so much as to be inflexible to the natural movement of walking, running or jumping in puddles. The sole is delightfully thick but didn’t break our tester’s stride by weighing her feet down. These are definitely built to last – and be handed down.

Key specs – Colours available: 4; Size range: UK 12 to UK 4

Check price at Very

2. Frugi Puddle Buster Wellington Boots: The best eco choice

Price: From £28 | Check price at Frugi

With such a jolly print, you’ll have no trouble getting youngsters into these boots, which are made from natural rubber and boast a soft cotton lining.

We were impressed with the sole, which was thick and offered deep grooves that were brilliant when it came to grip in muddy fields. The boots are well put together and the tight seams give a feeling of substance, not weightiness.

Key specs – Colours available: 3; Size range: UK 4 to UK 2

Buy now from Frugi

3. Next Fleece-Lined Wellies: The best bargain kids’ wellies

Price: From £12 | Buy now from Next

These bright and beautiful boots are such a steal, especially as they are lined with gorgeous, comforting warm fleece. The sole is chunky and hardwearing with a decent grip too.

They fit true to size and will keep little feet warm without the need for extra socks. A really good option for people on a budget or children in the midst of a growth spurt.

Key specs – Colours available: 2; Size range: UK 3 to UK 12

Buy now from Next

4. Kidly Rain Boot: The best for kids’ wellies for comfort

Price: £18 | Buy now from Kidly

It might seem strange to call a rain boot “soft”, but bear with us. These BPA-free rubber boots feel bendable and this proved to be a really good thing when it came to running around. Often wellies can be cumbersome, especially for younger children who are only just getting confident with walking, but these are light, lithe and easy to move in.

They’re lovely to look at too – we wish Kidly did an adult range!

Key specs – Colours available: 4; Size range: UK 5 to UK 12

Buy now from Kidly

5. Cosy Lined Drawstring Top Wellies: The best kids’ wellies for keeping warm

Price: £21 | Buy now from Jojo Maman Bébé

These fly off the shelves at Jojo and we can see why – you do get a lot for your money. They’re snug and work just as hard at keeping little ones warm as they do at keeping them dry.

This is in part down to the drawstring top, which acts as the perfect draught excluder, working beautifully with the plush fleece lining. The only downside we can see is that pale fabrics tend to look grubby quickly, especially if they’re exposed to a lot of mud.

The natural rubber is durable yet easy to move in and we found the soles, although not made with deep ridges, offered a great grip even on wet surfaces.

Key specs – Colours available: 1; Size range: UK 5 to UK 12

Buy now from Jojo Maman Bébé