There's nothing quite so vital to life in the countryside as a decent pair of wellies. Country Life's luxury editor Hetty Chidwick makes her pick of the best you can buy.

With April showers on the horizon, now is the time to invest in a quality pair of wellington boots to see you through to winter and beyond – and maybe via a summer festival or two.


Country Life Top 10: Wellies

Hunter wellies

Hunter

Not just for the fashion and music set at festivals throughout the summer – although the light and flexible rubber does lend them to packing into a rucksack, or wearing them solidly for a whole weekend. Hunter produce some extremely fine field wear wellingtons too, such as the Balmoral at £150.

www.hunterboots.com

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Le Chameau wellies

Le Chameau

The Rolls Royce of the wellington world, Le Chameau’s Vierzon boots (from £125) are the Royal choice, favoured by The Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry alike.

But it’s the Chasseur style that gets my vote. Somewhat pricier at £340, the leather lined are top of the range and the style is over 40 years old – the first boot to offer multiple calf sizes. Their all-terrain grip resists wear and is ever popular with the shooting crowd.

www.lechameau.com

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Seals wellies

Seals

‘Always warm & dry’ is their slogan, and this is due to their neoprene lining, providing excellent insulation from +15 to -15 degrees. They also have arched supports, which are said to reduce back stress.

These Thermax Gusset Boots are an all-round style which function in winter under harsh conditions but are just as useful in spring and autumn. You can find stockists here, or they are £94.80 through Abbeydale Direct.

www.sealsdistributor.com

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Dubarry wellies

Dubarry

I’m slightly biased, as I own a pair of these myself – gents can wear them too, but I just think they are better suited to a lady’s leg.

This Galway style, £329, is available in extra fit and slim fit and they are perfect for a long walk but stylish enough to keep on for the pub lunch afterwards. They must be cared for properly, so aim to get some leather protector and suede spray.

www.dubarryboots.com

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RHS Muckster wellies

The Original Muck Boot Company

Perfect for slipping on before you attack the weeds in the garden, These Muckster II ankle boots (£70) are part of the limited edition collection endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.

www.muckbootcompany.co.uk

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Joules wellies

Joules

Here you’ll find very jolly designs for adults too, but I love the children’s designs. This shark attack pair (£24.95) will make puddle splashing even more fun.

www.joules.com

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Aigle wellies

Aigle

The Brea Botte (£100) is a classic nautical boot, the non-slip sole is suited to boating conditions and they are extremely strong and durable. One for the sailing fanatic.

www.aigle.com

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Musto wellies

Musto

The Brampton side-zip boot (£175) will keep your feet dry in all conditions. They are hand-made and have the unique Musto sole, which prevents mud clogging.

www.musto.com

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Barbour wellies

Barbour

A simple classic for a gent who prefers navy, these Bede wellies (£64.95) have a Barbour tartan lining and are made from vulcanised rubber and have a ‘kick spur’ at the back to help you get them off easily.

www.barbour.com

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Hunter wellies

 Hunter

No apologies for including two pairs from Hunter – these Wellesley rubber riding boots at £175 are stylish and elegant.

www.hunterboots.com

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wellies

Givenchy: Our bonus 11th welly

More for the city-dweller than the countrside, these Givenchy chain rubber boots (£295) are not ones you’d want to get covered in mud, but ones that you could get covered in mud. High fashion can be practical too, it turns out.

www.givenchy.com

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Barbour boot bag

Now you’ve picked out your perfect wellies, you’ll want something to keep them in – and this Barbour boot bag (£27.95)  is spot on.

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 More Country Life Top 10s:

Country Life Top 10: Fireplaces – The best hearths and fireplaces

Country Life Top 10: Stoves – The best log burners you can buy

Country Life Top 10: Lighting – The best lamps, chandeliers and lights you can buy

Country Life Top 10: Beds – The best night’s sleep you can buy