which wellies are better? Hunter or Barbour Wellies?
I would like some wellies for my birthday but don't know which are the better make! Help!!!
- Anonymous9 years agoFavourite answer
Hunter and its predecessor companies have a tradition of making boots for other firms as well as themselves. Barbour is in the waxed jacket/country clothing business and for many decades it has had its Barbour brand wellies made by Hunter or its predecessor Gates. If you place a Hunter Original and a Barbour Town and Country wellie next to one another you will notice very little difference other than the label. The top binding and the sole pattern will be identical, as will the upper detail.
However, Hunter and Barbour wellies do differ when you flex them. Hunters vary a lot in the way they flex as you walk in them. Some models are soft and pliable, but others have a stiffer, almost cardboardy feel to them, making them feel disagreeably like vinyl. Barbour wellies have invariably supple uppers, flexing as you walk in them, and you almost forget you have them on your feet.
There are more Hunter styles than Barbour styles when it comes to wellies, so that may be a consideration, but if you are on the horns of a dilemma between Hunter Originals
and Barbour Town and Country wellies
then I would go for the Barbours because they have softer rubber uppers, making them more comfortable to wear and walk in. An additional recommendation is that Barbours tend to be a little cheaper than Hunters, but without a loss of quality. You pay a premium for the Hunter label on the front of the boot, but you can be confident in having purchased Barbour wellies because they are made to a high standard by Hunter which rebrands them as Barbour.
- 4 years ago
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- Anonymous4 years ago
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Hunter wellies used to be made in Scotland, first in Edinburgh and then in Dumfries, but now they are all manufactured abroad. The company marketing them outsourced all production to China in the case of Hunter wellies and to the European country of Serbia in the case of Barbour and Century wellies, which the original firm also produced. You can tell whether Hunter wellies are made in China by looking at the heels; "Made in China" will be embossed on the instep side. Hunter wellies are no longer made anywhere in Scotland or any part of the UK for that matter. Hunter wellies made in China do differ from those made years ago in Scotland. At one time, the Scottish-made boots had very flexible legs, which made the wellies a pleasure to wear on long walks because you almost forgot you were wearing them. Later, however, the Scottish manufacturers decided to dip the boots in latex after calendering them from pre-cut sections of rubber on a boot last. The latex coating was designed to make the boots more sturdy and durable but also made them less flexible and left them with a "plasticky" feel. When production moved to China, the latex coating process was discontinued but the boots retained their "plasticky" feel. Whether China-made Hunters are less sturdy than their Scottish predecessors is a matter of conjecture and the evidence is anecdotal. We Brits get very nostalgic about our national institutions, of which Hunters are one. Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave President Obama's two daughters a present of a pair of Hunter wellington boots each. I don't know whether those boots were made in Scotland or China, but I can say that the China-made versions can be seen everywhere on both men's and women's feet in the UK, even on the rare occasions when it isn't raining or snowing here! They have really caught on as a fashion item over recent years, while a decade or so ago the Scottish-made boots were regarded as utilitarian items worn mainly by farmers or by people walking through snowdrifts. I own pairs of Scottish-made and Chinese-made Hunter wellies and my opinion is that though different in flexibility, they are equally sturdy and likely to see years of service under normal conditions. Even Scottish-made wellies had to be looked after carefully, however, to ensure those years of use. Anybody intending to wear Hunter wellies for heavy use or in challenging conditions would be better off wearing other kinds of rubber boots made in China by the Hunter Company, such as Argylls or Bullseyes, thicker, sturdier boots specifically designed for agricultural wear. For street wear, Hunter wellies are perfectly serviceable boots that will last years as long as they are not treated roughly and are allowed to dry away from direct heat and light, both of which can shorten the life of the rubber. Another advantage of the new Chinese-made wellies is the huge range of different kinds of boots now available, in all sorts of colours. So I would encourage you to purchase a pair of Hunter wellies with confidence, whether new ones made in China or a used Scottish-made pair bought on eBay. I have been a couple of times to Seattle, where I quickly became aware that weather-wise it's the Manchester of the USA, because we associate our own northern English city of Manchester with perpetual rainfall. I'm sure that they will not only keep your feet dry there but cheer up other people when they see their bright colours on dull-sky days. Look after them and they will give you years of loyal service.