(INTRO: I’ll set the scene…
The other evening in the local pub a hearty discussion broke out among two country locals. It wasn’t over the price of a cock bird, or how much they pay their work lads, it was over their footwear choices. You see one was wearing Aigle wellies and one was wearing Le Chameau wellies. It was highly amusing to watch and made me decide to write up this VERY tongue-in-cheek, not-to-be-taken-too-seriously piece. After all, they’re only wellies and other brands are actually available…)
Not even the great divide between left and right wing has caused such a heated debate as the one between the Aigle wearers and the Chameau people. Which are you? Or have you reached that age where you need to make your welly decisions by yourself, one that could lead to a lifetime of exile or acceptance from your peers?
I tend to get away with being that excruciatingly annoying person who says “don’t get me involved… I have both!” Yep, I feel it’s well worth forking out the not so tiny sum to get a pair from both competitors just so you are able to take a step back and say “I’m on the fence on this one, mate.”
But of course there are pros and cons for each, and it really is important to weigh up your options carefully when spending that amount of money. Here’s a few useful notes that might tip you off that fence and put your wellied feet firmly on one side, or help you make your own mind up about which one is for you. But also remember… wars have been started over less so let’s not take things too seriously.
- Has become more common than a Shoffel fleece gilet (FYI I actually love my Schoffel, this is not an insult. Repeat, this is NOT an insult.) So wear both at a country event and if you get lost there is literally no hope of you being recognised and found. Sorry. Useful tip: Take a whistle and a flag.
- A Le Chameau bottier (yes, that’s a thing) has to go through nine months of intensive training. The factory is now in Casablanca, Morocco, but workers are still Normandy trained.
- Can get boots for different calf fitting.
- Stayed true to that country look – they haven’t tried to go too daring, or modern, or trendy, or – and this one really gets me – catwalk (Hunter, your brand is now akin to blasphemy).
- More flattering for women with the shapely foot and ankle.
- Not as many options, no one seems to want to stray from the one particular style. Not even a shade…
- Different price points, I’ve found some for less than £100 which may not extend at the calf but is a good price for a really decent pair of wellies.
- Neoprene lining = heaven.
- I’ll say it again: neoprene lining. It’s all about that feeling of putting your feet inside little welly clouds.
- Different price points again, however, I once tried a cheaper pair that I just didn’t find as sturdy or hard wearing as the Le Chameau cheaper boot did. Although it could be adjusted.
- Possibly not as flattering on women due to a bulkier foot (although only marginally, and down to personal preference of course) but maybe suits men more because of this.
- Handmade in France.
- Less common than Le Chameaus so don’t carry as many preconceptions.
- A lot of recent products on the website seemed to be steering too far away from a nice traditional country boot.
Basically… they are both well deservedly such popular wellies.