A time and a place

Women love their footwear – that’s a well-known fact. Manolos and Choos, sandals and boots, stiletto, wedge, cone and platform… we all know shoes are big business.

We British women, having less clement weather than some other parts of the world, enjoy something of a love affair with boots. The right pair of boots is neither too high nor too low, works with skirts and dresses and under trousers, and with our fleeting summers, can be worn for the most part of the year for almost every occasion.

My favourite boots have had the zips replaced a handful of times, been reheeled and resoled twice, and have lasted more than a decade already. Meanwhile, a pair of sheepskin lined, heeled tan boots I wear when the temperature drops below zero are a hand-me-down from my Mum, and were bought for her for my first Christmas, so that she could push the pram safely shod!

But we Brits also have another love in the boot department, a bright, shiny, colourful lover with whom we can only flirt twice a year. I speak, of course, of The Welly, of our passion for the bright, waterproof foot protectors we only bring out for festivals – and in the snow.

At the station today 99% of women I saw were wearing wellies. Ok, one woman was teetering on high-heeled knee boots, and a further two in court shoes with bare legs… but everyone else I saw slipping and sliding in inappropriate office shoes was unequivocally male. Meanwhile, the wellies were out in force! I saw florals, polka dots, clouds, fleur-de-lys, and Hunters in every colour of the rainbow. For me personally, a pair of Original Hunters in bright shiny, Paddington Bear red are the holy grail of wellies… though I think whether you go for patterned or plain, funky or traditional is a personal choice.

My fantasy wellies would have worked a lot better with today’s dress than my pink ones… but, the pink one’s kept my feet dry and my bones in one piece, so I really can’t complain!


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