Red White & Denim

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A Guide to Buying Hunter Boots

A Guide To Buying Hunter Boots

Hunter Boots

There is only one brand that dominates the world of “wellies”. A brand that has become synonymous with rain boots. A brand that after 150 years, only continues to increase in popularity. That brand is Hunter. The British based company was not always about making fashionable rain gear – they started out making rubber boots for soldiers in the army. These purely functional boots eventually became fashionable when they were seen gracing the feet of some high profile women – Princess Diana and Kate Moss to name a few. Thanks to their practicality, classic design and impeccable quality, Hunter boots continue to soar in popularity across the world.

I love Hunter boots for both function and fashion. They’re comfortable, easy to wear and affordably priced. They’re also my number 1 solution for all-weather footwear. These waterproof boots work just as well in the snow as they do the rain. I bought my first pair of Hunter boots about 4 years ago and am still wearing them today. There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy these boots for years to come – so the question is, what style should you buy? Hunter is famous for their Original boot – a design that has remained unchanged over the past 50+ years. To keep up with current trends, they’ve introduced new colors, finishes and a few new styles featuring modifications to the Original boot. I’m breaking down some of the decisions you’ll have to make when purchasing a pair of Hunter boots and giving you my best advice on how to choose. So here it is – A Guide to Buying Hunter Boots.

ORIGINAL versus REFINED: Due to its popularity, it’s likely you’ve see the Original Hunter boot or know what it looks like. The Refined style is similar to the Original Hunter boot, with some slight modifications (improvements in my opinion.) The Original style is shorter (about 3″) and bulkier. The Refined boot takes the classic style and tailors it to create a taller and more polished silhouette. One that is slimmer, sleeker and more chic. The curve of the toe is also reduced for a less rounded look. I’ve actually never owned a pair of Original Hunters, they just don’t look good on me. The Refined style however, is sure to be flattering on anyone.

GLOSSY versus MATTE: Both Original and Refined styles come in a gloss or matte finish and both are equally attractive. For me, the difference is in the maintenance. The first pair of Hunters I purchased were glossy. To my surprise that beautiful glossy finish deteriorated fairly quickly and my shiny new boots became dull within a matter of weeks. There are a few tips and tricks to keeping them glossy (Hunter sells a buffer spray and boot shiner), but unfortunately I don’t have the time for that! I personally prefer the more understated matte look and find them easier to care for.

TALL versus SHORT: Both the Original and Refined boots come in tall and short styles. I own both and think they each have their advantages. Simply put, the tall are more stylish and the short are more practical.  The tall boots are more flattering and easy to style. They’ll also come in handy if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow. On the flips side, the shorter style is easier to put on and take off. The lighter and more compact design also makes them more portable and easier to carry around or travel with. It all depends on what you want them for. Keep in mind that depending on the style you choose, the boot could vary slightly in height. The height also gets taller as you increase in size so refer to size charts.

SIZE UP versus SIZE DOWN: Hunter boots are made in whole sizes only. If you buy the Originals style, size down (they run big). If you buy the Refined style (my preference) I suggest purchasing your normal size or a ½ size up if you can. It’s always nice to have a little extra wiggle room and the option to line them with thick cozy socks. You’ll want that extra warmth when you’re wearing them in the snow! I’m a size 7.5 and ordered the 8. If you’re a whole size, stick to it.

I hope my Guide To Buying Hunter Boots will help in the decision making process. You can purchase your boots from Hunter, Zappos or Nordstrom. All retailers have great return/exchange policies and a wide selection to choose from. I’ve linked both the Original and the Refined styles in my Shop the Post section below so you can compare and choose! If Hunter boots aren’t your style, check out my post on Bean Boots – another classic!

A Guide To Buying Hunter Boots





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  1. I love those short hunters!! I need a pair! I agree, the matte are the way to go. :-*

    xx, Taylor |

  2. I don’t know why I never realized there were short hunter boots?! Love them and love the matte!!

    xo Megan |

  3. Julie

    Do the hunter boots have removable insoles? If you have custom orthotics should you size up?

    • jendaddario

      Hi Julie!
      Yes, the sole is removable! I would order your normal size (in the regular style) if you plan on adding custom orthotics! If you order the refined style, order up! Hope that helps 🙂

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