The unspoken rules of welly wearing - For men


What's the common feature between farmers? A flat cap or the use of a pen knife to cut things down? Experienced, worn faces or tough hands? Possibly. But in a moist climate such as ours, surely the one thing they all do is wear wearing wellies

Every time we go to a farm there they are, on everyone's feet. Everyone, that is, except for the people who think they can get away with boots. You can almost hear the chorus of disapproval when wearing boots on a farm,

At a guess, we could say the dominant brand is Dunlop, especially the thermally lined Purofort but also evident were Bekina, Steelite. Sometimes you may even see a few pairs of Hunter wellies.

But what does what wellies you wear say about you? Now that wellies are commonly worn at outdoor festivals. For male farmers, most couldn't care less about the brand name on the welly. The only thing that matters to them is that they fit and keep you dry. However, while not many farmers would claim to be a fashionista, most, perhaps unaware, stick to strict rules of manly welly wearing.

Usually the purchase of wellies is a pretty unceremonious event. You walk into your local farm supply store and say: "Can I have a bag of nuts, a spade and a pair of size 10 wellies?" If there is a choice on the colour, it is usually black or green.

Sometimes you will see a man - it is always a man - wearing wellies so wide they are like buckets. What kind of feet does he have? Shrek's? Or maybe he just likes a bit of room.

Except on brand new wellies, there is almost always a trace of dried-in mud stretching from the top edge down as far as the owner feels they can comfortably point the garden hose. Then, there are some people who, no matter what they do, can't seem to stop the dirt riding up over the tops of their wellies on to their clothing.
But the one thing that is often surprising about farmers, given how prudent they usually are, is how wasteful they can be when it comes to wellies.

It's not often we get a new pair of wellies until something happens to the old pair. Usually this is a hole somehwere, or the smell. However, both wellies rarely hole at the same time. Given that the old wellies are often replaced with a new pair that is exactly the same, is there not an argument for just using one from the new pair and keep the other one until the next time? Unless, of course, you are a serial left-leg or right-leg welly-holer.

mens welliesLots of people continue to wear a pair of wellies even after one has holed. It has taken them so long to break them in that they just can not be bothered to start the job all over again. So when they come to a wet spot try to only step in it with the good-welly-foot.
Discarded wellies have their uses, too, for example, as plant pots.

During summertime mid-calf wellies might do the job yet they are seen as the lighter choice of gardening grannies and most farmers or men in general wouldn't be caught dead in those.

But what seems to me to be the most curious aspect of all of wellies are the raised patterns on the rubber. Sometimes you even get what look like spur ridges, like what you might see on riding boots. What is their purpose? For aerodynamics or corrugation? Or a way of standing out? Surely they are just aesthetical.

However, it seems that when it comes to music festivals these days the rules of manly welly wearing are almost discarded as quickly as the morals of festival goers once they have passed through the entry gates.