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Puddle jumping essentials – keep little feet dry with a fun pair of kids’ wellies

Puddle jumping essentials – keep little feet dry with a fun pair of kids’ wellies
Make sure your child’s feet stay dry while puddle jumping with the best kids’ wellies from Next, Joules and Hunter Boots

There’s one thing for sure, kids love jumping in muddy puddles. And it’s been one of life’s natural pleasures for years, way before a certain pig graced our screens.

A good pair of wellies are essential, not just for enthusiastic puddle jumping, but for rainy walks and trips to the beach. But what did we look for when eyeing up the very best wellies for kids?

We know that wellies are going to be put through their paces, so durability was high on the list. And while many boots are made from rubber or PVC, many manufacturers are introducing natural rubber, which is of course a more planet-friendly option.

It’s also worth remembering that children’s feet grow in the blink of an eye, so price needs to be considered as these wellies won’t last forever. Naturally, style also comes into it, as sometimes getting your child to wear anything but their pants can be a battle, so we paid close attention to fun prints and bright and bold colours. Lastly, we kept an eye out for handy features such as reflective detailing and pull tabs.

How we tested

Our three and five year old testers didn’t hold back, and took their roles rather seriously. We tested these boots on woodland walks and trips to the beach to see if they were adventure ready.

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The best kids’ wellies for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Start-Rite mudbuster pink girls waterproof wellies: £29.99, Startriteshoes.com
  • Best design – Hunter Boots kids first Peppa Pig muddy puddles wellington boots: Rose metal pink: £50, Hunterboots.com
  • Best for natural materials – Kidly Label rainboot: £18, Kidly.co.uk
  • Best for toddlers – JoJo Maman Bebe kids’ ankle wellies: £18, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
  • Best for fun factor – Grass & Air UV colour revealing wellies: £22, Kidly.co.uk
  • Best for flexibility – Joules roll up flexible printed wellies: £24.95, Joules.com
  • Best for durability – Frugi sail the seas puddle buster wellington boots: From £28, Welovefrugi.com
  • Best for comfort – Polarn O. Pyret striped kids wellies: £26, Polarnopyret.co.uk
  • Best for cute factor – Next charcoal bear warm lined wellies: From £14, Next.co.uk

Start-Rite mudbuster pink girls waterproof wellies

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

These are by far the most robust pair of wellies we tested, as these mudbuster boots come with a chunky durable sole. Fortunately, function is met with form here as the raspberry pink colourway is stylish while the flexible and lightweight sole means they don’t feel clunky underfoot.

Our little tester loved the cosy fleece lining which is great for colder days, and muddy puddle fear is alleviated as the elasticated top and waterproof upper keeps soggy socks at bay. There’s an arch support which avoids that flat to the ground feeling, and a reflective tab at the back to make young explorers visible.

Our only slight concern, and this didn’t affect our reviewer, is due to the lining they are narrower than other wellies, so not an option if your child has wide feet.

Hunter Boots kids first ‘Peppa Pig’ muddy puddles wellington boots: Rose metal pink

Best: Design

Rating: 9/10

When you think of wellington boots, British heritage brand Hunter is a flag bearer. Combine that with the queen of muddy puddles herself, Peppa Pig, and you’ve got yourself a showstopping pair of boots.

This Hunter x Peppa Pig collaboration is genius (there’s also umbrellas, backpacks and wellie socks to swoon over) and our three year old tester is quite infatuated with these limited-edition wellies. We can’t blame her, the illustrations look adorable against the light pink backdrop. Like Peppa once said… “If you are jumping up and down in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots.”

Kidly Label rainboot

Best: For natural materials

Rating: 8/10

Kidly’s own design label – aptly named Kidly Label – is a collection of practical products for kids, and the rainboot certainly showcases this. Available in four stylish pastel colourways with contrasting soles, these rainboots are made from a 100 per cent BPA-free natural rubber, so not only do they look good, they do good too.

Standout features include the easy-to-grab tab, which is helpful for those putting them on independently, and the 100 per cent cotton lining which makes them more breathable. The buckle detail is just for show, but looks smart and there’s plenty of room to tuck trousers in – helpful if your child is donning a puddlesuit. They look and feel incredibly sturdy, but also have a good level of flex for plenty of running and jumping.

JoJo Maman Bebe kids’ ankle wellies

Best: For toddlers

Rating: 8/10

It’s no surprise these ankle wellies are a bestseller from baby and kids’ specialist JoJo Maman Bebe. Available in pink, yellow and blue, this shorter size is perfect for younger ones who are still finding their feet, and our toddler found these the most natural choice to just slip on.

Soft and flexible, these have been made from a natural rubber which is durable and hardwearing. The pull-tab is helpful for putting on independently, and we love the Breton inspired stripe panel which gives some extra stretch too – a godsend if you’re dealing with wriggly feet. The lining is made from anti-sweat cotton, and our reviewer would have happily played in these all day.

Grass & Air UV colour revealing wellies

Best: For fun factor

Rating: 8/10

We fell in love with Grass & Air’s colour-revealing umbrella (£15, Babymori.com) so expectations were high to deliver on these wellies. Opposite to the umbrella which changes colour when it’s wet, these boots change colour in the sun. While the concept might not be quite so instant (it takes a moment or two), it’s still pretty cool, and have earned these wellies some stripes by being coined “magic boots” by our three-year-old tester.

Magic aside, the fun ice cream illustrations are super sweet, as is the peach colouring. There’s a super-soft lining which keeps feet cosy and a reflective strip along the back for visibility, plus they’re strong and sturdy. You’ll also get a free drawstring bag to take these wellies on adventures further afield.

Joules roll up flexible printed wellies

Best: For flexibility

Rating: 7/10

Sharks may be associated with danger, but there’s no risk when choosing these roll up flexible printed wellies from British brand Joules. Incredibly flexible, these wellies are the lightest of all we tested making them very comfy underfoot – in fact they’ve been designed to be rolled up for easy packing.

We struggled to get them off our tester, so we can’t attest for that, but the lightweight nature meant play was the order of the day and these durable boots are certainly up for the challenge. They’re also quite tall so little legs get a larger coverage, while not restricting their movement. Made from a mix of natural rubber, we love the unique hand-drawn print, and the reflective strip detailing to the back is a nice touch.

Frugi sail the seas puddle buster wellington boots

Best: For durability

Rating: 7/10

Frugi is known for its fun, whimsical prints, and we love these sail the seas wellington boots. Durable and adventure ready, these wellies have been made with a natural PVC-free rubber and a cotton lining for extra breathability. The brand has an excellent outerwear collection and these “puddle buster” wellie boots are the perfect companion for a wild muddy mission that’ll keep tiny feet dry and ready to explore.

Polarn O. Pyret striped kids wellies

Best: For comfort

Rating: 7/10

Swedish kidswear brand Polarn O. Pyret delivers every season, and the same can be said with its funky striped wellies. Our five-year-old tester was more than happy splashing around in these, and due to the weighted base, her feet stayed where they should, while the raised arch provided comfort. They look and feel sturdy with a deep-grip sole, which is great for particularly boggy walks. We also praise these on the reflective stripe at the back and the pull tab feature.

Next charcoal bear warm lined wellies

Best: For cute factor

Rating: 6/10

Choosing the right pair of wellies from Next is no easy feat given its expansive range, but we’re rather smitten with these cute bear wellingtons. With adorable bear ears and face detailing, these look beyond cute on our little tester. There’s a striped lining, and a handy material pull tab at the back too.

The verdict: Kids’ wellies

Start-Rite’s mudbuster boots were born for messy adventures in the great outdoors. The cosy lining keeps tiny feet toasty, the arched support is great for comfort and they’re super sturdy too – a worthy winner. We also fell head over heels for the Hunter x Peppa Pig collaboration.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on waterproofs and other kid’s clothing offers, try the below links:

There’s nothing better than striding out for a big walk, so take a read of our review of the best kids’ walking boots so that they can enjoy them too

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.