John Hammond gives his advice on choosing 'wellies'
What should you look for most when buying a boot and why?
A good pair of boots is probably the most important item of outdoor equipment.
It is essential to acheive a good stability and as much support to the feet as possible when choosing a pair of boots.
If you wear a 'weak' boot all day, you will be very sore by the day's end.
A boot with insufficient insulation will quickly become uncomfortable on a cold day.
With the right support, stability and insulation you will find that at the end of the day you remain comfortable and less tired.
A boot made of a minimum 2mm thick natural rubber will provide performance and long service.
The internal comfort is a very important part, as this is the first opinion that the buyer will form when trying on the boot.
Good ground clearance and insulation provided by the sole and inner boot lining is also essential.
The sole design is vital, and to achieve a non – slip sole for a variety of terrain an X – grip pattern with a hardness of rubber neither too soft nor too hard is ideal. The sole also needs to be a minimum of 5mm thick at the thinnest point to provide protection from standing on sharp objects.
A sole which spreads outwards slightly when walking not only provides optimum grip, but also absorbs shock.
A removable inner sole is also very useful since when removed it increases the internal boot volume by around half a shoe size, which allows room for different thicknesses of socks.
All buyers appreciate an attractive design, and for hunting and shooting it is important to have the right tone of green. A dark tone of green seems to give the boots more of an appearance of quality than a lighter tone.
A pair of good looking boots with practical design features makes the wearer feel more self–confident, and good boots are for many people more important than the rest of their outfit.
Buckle or no buckle on the side? Why do some models have them and some don't?
It is definitely better to have a side buckle. Those models which don't have them are cheaper models, so they sacrifice practicality for low price.
The purpose of a buckle when attached to a retaining strap is to enable the wearer to adjust the tightness of the boot shaft to the leg. A retaining strap which runs around the whole boot shaft, together with a metal clamping buckle that cannot open itself is also the best way of providing support, and if you are wading through high water, this can stop water coming in over the boot top.
Other manufacturers use a strap that is only on the side of the boot, and is glued at both ends. This can break when put under strain. Other manufacturers also tend to fit plastic buckles to their boots which open outwards, resulting in them coming open by themselves, and they are also easy to break.
It is the quality of materials, unique design features and superior construction that sets Arxus apart from other boot brands.