Hunter wellington boots are the practical, comfortable and fashionable choice for royalty and festival goers alike.
After some found that their Hunter Original boots (pictured on the left) weren't lasting as long as they hoped, Hunter had a rethink and have brought out a new design for 2014/15. The Norris Field Boots (pictured on the right) are just as comfortable and equally stylish, but promise to handle the rugged outdoors better than their predecessors. Find out what we thought when we compared them…
The biggest and most important difference between the Original and Norris Field ranges is the material used. When customers found the Original boots were wearing out, Hunter had a look at the rubber they were using. The new soft rubber compound is strong and flexible, making Norris Field boots much more hardwearing.
The Argyll sole of the Field Norris boots is also sturdier than the Originals, with improved grip.
A reinforced panel has also been added to the Field Norris range, improving the structure and support of the boots.
The weight of footwear is an important consideration as it can impact comfort and how tired you get.
When tested, wellies in the Hunter Original range weighed exactly the same as their equivalent Norris Field boots. The Unisex Original Tall weighed the same as the Norris Field, and the Unisex Original Adjustable, the same as the Norris Field Adjustable.
This is despite the Norris Field range being more hard wearing.
All of the boots reviewed feature a strap and buckle. On the Hunter Unisex Original Tall and Hunter Norris Field, the strap is mostly for aesthetics, but it is much more important for the adjustable versions of each.
Some customers found that the rubber strap on the Original (left) range broke and so we're pleased to see that Hunter have addressed this in their new Norris Field designs (right). On both the Norris Field and Norris Field Adjustable boots, Hunter have replaced the rubber strap with a tough webbing version. It is much harder wearing and will certainly last longer than its rubber predecessor.
The Original metal buckle has also gone, exchanged for a plastic version which doesn't slip. Overall, the new strap and buckle design is far superior to the previous one and something that customers will instantly notice as a great improvement.
Hunter boots are known for their snug, close-fitting design. It's because of this that they're comfortable and stylish. However, many find them too tight around the calf and so the adjustable versions always prove most popular.
The Hunter Unisex Original Adjustable welly boots feature a discreet gusset at the outside calf. It is adjusted with a rubber strap and metal buckle to achieve a perfect fit, while making the boot easy to get on and off.
The Norris Field Adjustable also has this gusset, offering the same amount of adjustability as the Original. Apart from the Norris' superior strap and buckle (see above) the other difference is that the material of the Norris gusset is thinner, softer and more flexible. This makes them more comfortable against your leg, while still giving a perfect, waterproof fit.
Note: The Original Tall and Norris Field do not feature a gusset.
At a glance, customers will notice very little difference between the Original and Norris Field boots. The equivalent boots in each range fit the same, with the iconic Hunter logo at the top.
Looking closely, the rubber of the Original range has a smoother finish, but you wouldn't realise unless the boots were side-by-side. The slightly textured finish of the Norris Field boots is due to the harder-wearing rubber used - definitely a good thing, in my opinion!
As mentioned, the strap and buckle is different but, overall, the ranges are aesthetically very similar.
There seems to be no reason to choose the Hunter Original wellies over the Field Norris alternatives. The latter are more durable and equally comfortable while offering almost identical aesthetic style. There is very little difference in price between the ranges despite the Field Norris' enhanced performance.
If you want wellies purely for fashion purposes, then the Original Hunters will be fine. If you're looking for boots that will perform better while still looking great, Field Norris wellies are the logical choice.
Winter 2015 update: The field boots now come with the new green Hunter logo! This looks really great on the field boots and helps distinguish them from the originals. At the time of writing there is still a mixture of green and red versions available.
Note: For a Hunter wellington boot that will last even longer, designed for serious outdoor use, consider the Hunter Balmoral range.
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