This is a question that many, if not most, interested individuals ask when choosing from among dozens of rain boots. This isn’t a surprising question considering that rain bots aren’t usually fitted like typical footwear, such as sneakers, loafers, and even hiking boots. There are also several types of Wellington boots, from ankle-length to knee-high, from working boots to city boots, and from boots with narrower profiles to boots with wider toes.
But back to the question: Which is the better choice between tight and loose rain boots?
Let’s take a look at the factors that will likely affect your final choice so that we can have a better picture. Keep in mind that these factors are equal in importance in the general sense although you will probably assign more importance to a few over the others.
Most rain boots don’t have the standard closure features as other types of footwear. These closure features include zippers, laces and Velcro straps, to name a few, which are also useful in adjusting the fit over the top of the feet and/or ankles.
In contrast, most Wellington boots have a slip-on feature – just position your foot over the boot’s top opening, slip it into the boot’s interior, and adjust the position of your foot and leg; repeat for the other foot and leg. The top of the boots will then either have a snug fit or a loose fit in relation to the boot socks or the pants’ legs, whichever comes into direct contact with the interiors.
But there are also rain boots with some types of closure, such as an adjustable side buckle or lace-ups that can be adjusted to fit. These are preferred by people who want a tighter fit over the boots’ tops, especially when there’s plenty of walking planned for the day. Most fashionable wellingtons also have a tighter fit than working rain boots since a slimmer profile is more desirable in the former.
The type of interior support in the rain boots will also have an impact on their tight or loose fit. In Wellingtons with thinner EVA cushioned midsole and the like, the fit will likely be looser on the feet. But in case the fit is too loose or the cushion too thin, you can buy aftermarket insoles to tighten the fit and thicken the existing insole.
Of course, you may also skip on the thicker built-in insole or the aftermarket insole if you prefer a looser fit on the feet area. Just keep in mind that the fit also affects the inside traction between your feet and the boots’ interior. Too loose and your feet will constantly be slipping around; too tight and your feet will be unable to walk well from the pressure.
Instead, we suggest a comfortable yet snug fit so that you can walk well when using your rain boots. This is especially true when you’re planning on using the boots for an entire day, whether it’s running errands in the city or working in the farm.
Regardless of your choice in tight or loose rain boots on the top part, you should always ensure that the boots come in your size. This is easier said than done for many reasons, such as the different sizing methods used by manufacturers. While many boot models run true to size, many more either run small or large so there’s an added complication.
You may, for example, choose a size larger than your usual shoe size when the boots run smaller. The reverse is also true – you may have to choose a size smaller than your normal shoe size when the boots run larger. We suggest reading the manufacturer’s description, consulting the sizing chart provided, and reading the reviews just to be sure.
Better yet, you should measure your feet, ankles and legs in certain places to ensure that you can get your desired fit. These measurements include the leg length and calf circumference aside from the feet size. You must then check your measurements against the size chart, top opening of the boots, and leg length, among others.
With this method, you can reduce the wasted time and effort spent on finding the pair that will give your desired fit from your toes to your legs. You can then use the final size you have chosen for the next purchases, in case you’re still buying from the same manufacturer. You may have to go up or down a size if you’re buying another pair of boots from a separate manufacturer.
In the end, your decision to choose tight or loose rain boots will be based on your personal preference. But there are general guidelines that can be remembered when getting the right fit from Wellingtons:
- Always ensure that there’s space between the end of your boots and your toes
- Check that your heel slightly lifts up when you take a step, which is a normal occurrence with rain boots. If you feel like your boot will come off with each step, you should consider getting a smaller size.
Have a great time choosing your durable, practical and beautiful rain boots!