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Hands-on Gear Review
Joules Wellibob Review
Cons: Basic foot support, traction could be better
Bottom line: Cute and quick to put on, these low-top boots are great for the casual, urban outing.
The Joules Wellibob is one of the shorter boots we tested, with a cute ankle-boot look. They have a small heel, and the model we tested was the dark navy color. They are also easily paired with jeans and other wardrobes; in fact, a perk over the taller boots is that they do not get in the way of pants. The white, synthetic fur lining provides ample warmth for the cooler days, and the traction is ideal for a casual trek across town. While they performed reasonably average as compared to the others, they are still a great boot for the low-top class.
RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Rain Boots for Women
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Joules Wellibob is an ankle-high rubber boot, fully lined with white, synthetic fur. It comes in two color schemes (French Navy and Navy Spot), and both have a navy base color for the rubber and bright pink highlights up the back and for the logos. The molded design is very classy, and the tread is defined by narrow ruts, which are best suited for flat, urban surfaces. Something we found concerning was a strange popping noise in the toe of the right boot; we're not quite sure why it makes this sound, but it is something that developed by the end of the review period. Style was one of the most significant features. Read on to learn why these boots received average performance scores when it came to functionality.
The taller the boot, the more weather protection. Unfortunately, since they rise only 6.5 inches from the ground, the Wellibobs were physically the shortest in our fleet. If you find yourself stomping through the snow, having to cross a stream, or splashing through puddles, such a short shaft won't do very well to keep your legs and feet dry. The Sperry Saltwater Duck had some design issues that diminished weather protection to that of 4.25 inches (from 7.5), ranking them lower than the Wellibob for this metric. Strap on some gaiters and waterproof pants, and you've got a fine combination. Perhaps you want a taller model; if this is the case, we recommend the Hunter Original or the mid-height Kamik Heidi for overall high performance.
With above average scoring for comfort, the biggest shortcoming came with all-day wear. Their distinct heel had our heels feeling fatigued throughout the day, as you would encounter wearing any shoe with a heel. The footbed itself also felt hard. On the plus side, they do have removable (furry) insoles so that you could add your alternative insole, should you choose to do so.
We experienced heel slippage, but it wasn't enough to establish hot spots. The lining does, however, make for a comfortable footbox, which is also roomy for thick socks. Weighing in at 2.35 lbs for the size 7 pair we tested, they were the heaviest of the low-top class and almost as heavy as the mid-height Kamik Heidi. Despite this fact, they were still easy to carry around, pack, put on, and take off.
This model comes off as very urban with the hiker-like lugs, ankle-height attraction, and pull tab at the back of the shaft. The style metric is where these boots carried the most weight. Coming in either French Navy or Navy Spot color schemes, the pink accents for the logo and stripes along the back, in tandem with the white lining, give the pair a happy, feminine vibe. There are similar versions of the Wellibob that come in graphic patterns and other color schemes, but they have a textile lining instead.
Traction was an odd and tricky thing to score for these boots. Snow would pack itself into the narrow ruts, creating the ultimate flat surface and thus a traction-less experience for us. However, in the river environment where water was allowed to flow freely through the tread (and across all other wet or dry, flat surfaces), they performed quite well. Because of this, it's best to contemplate what environments you'll be using them in. We would not recommend these for use in snow, but they will are decent in most settings.
The white, synthetic fur lining is very cozy and offers a bit of added warmth for temperatures above 45F. However, they are fairly basic and non-technical, and the lining failed to keep heat when temperatures dropped. The footbox itself is fairly low-volume, allowing heat to escape through conduction. In the snow and the icy river, they did not insulate at all; this is a drawback for colder climates, but a plus for warmer climates.
This model only comes in whole sizes from 5-10. According to user reviews, it runs, so we sized down and were very happy we did so. Even with a size 7, our lead tester (who is a 7.5) still experienced heel slippage, and if given the opportunity for a half-size, she would consider re-sizing even smaller if only using thin socks. With the size we tested, there is room for thick socks and an aftermarket insole, but they still feel a bit baggy. It might also be because they are an ankle-height model. With something taller, such as the UGG Shaye, the shaft seems to help keep the boot around the foot. Without the presence of a shaft, fit issues were more pronounced.
For running errands around town, going to work, or enjoying a casual dinner with friends, these boots are basic but stylish. We would not recommend these boots for any rugged wear, and they are suited best for temperatures above 50F. If you live in an area that doesn't see much rain and you don't have to worry about wet jeans, the Wellibob is a fun choice, as they're easy to slip on, and fit nicely with pants.
Based in Great Britain and manufactured in China, these boots list for $65. For a low-top boot of trendy caliber, we feel it is of fair value. If you're looking for something taller and even more affordable, the Kamik Heidi is our Best Buy award winner. Otherwise, check out other low-top options, like the Crocs Jaunt Shorty, the cheapest and lightest boot of the bunch.
The Joules Wellibob is a very fashionable choice. They are easy to slip on, you can wear them with a range of outfits, and they are relatively warm for those mild-weather days. With the fundamentals covered, weather protection, comfort, and traction are where they were outperformed by others. Inspired by British lifestyle, they make a neat addition to the wardrobe.
— Sara Aranda
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