The navy blue Wellibob that we tested isn't offered any longer. See a current offering above.June 2020
Joules Wellibob Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Joules Wellibob is an ankle-high rubber boot and is fully lined with synthetic fur. The molded design is 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 (possibly a manufacturer's defect). While we're not quite sure why the pair we received made this sound, it is something that developed by the end of the review period. Nonetheless, style and relative comfort are strong aspects.
Since this competitor only rises about 6 inches from the ground, the pair doesn't offer much protection when it comes to stomping through puddles, snow, or when wading across a stream. Even though this model yields a taller flood height than several of the other ankle-height boots, it still isn't as competitive as the much taller, far more protective boots. But, depending on your desired uses, having a fully waterproof foot box may be all you need.
With slightly above-average scoring for comfort, the biggest concern came with all-day wear for us. Their distinct heel had our own heels feeling fatigued throughout the day, as you would expect from wearing any shoe with a significant heel. The footbed itself also felt hard. On the plus side, they do have removable (furry) insoles, so there is the option to add after-market insoles if you so choose.
We also experienced heel slippage, but not enough to create hot spots. The lining does, thankfully, make for a cozy foot box. Weighing in at 2.35 lbs for the size 7 pair we tested, they are one of the heaviest of the ankle-height class and almost as heavy as some of the mid-heights. Despite this fact, they are still easy to carry around, pack, put on, and take off, particularly with the aid of the looped pull tabs.
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, they performed very well. They also were reliable across all wet or dry flat surfaces we encountered. Because of this, it's best to contemplate what environments you'll be using the Wellibob in. We do not recommend them for use in snow, mud, or on rugged terrain.
The synthetic fur lining inside the Wellibob is soft and offers a bit of added warmth for temperatures below 50F. However, these boots are fairly basic and non-technical, and the lining failed to keep body heat when temperatures dropped closer to freezing. The foot box itself is fairly low-volume, allowing heat to escape through conduction. On the other hand, on much warmer days, the lining helped somewhat to mitigate any sweat from feeling overwhelming but was not enough to prevent sweaty feet in the first place.
This model comes off as very urban but with hiker-like lugs. Essentially being an ankle-boot with pull tabs at the back of the shaft, the style metric is where these boots shone the most. Notable accents and patterns, in tandem with the fur lining, give them 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, which might be preferable since the synthetic fur can stick to socks, pull out, and leave white fibers everywhere.
This model only comes in whole sizes from 5-10. According to user comments, they run large, 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. With the size we tested, there is room for thick socks and an aftermarket insole, but they still felt baggy overall.
Based in Great Britain and manufactured in China, these boots list for a moderate price. For a low-top boot of a trendy caliber, we feel it is of fair value for the practical use they provide, but there are options that provide more bang for your buck out there, such as a couple of the other ankle-height boots we've tested.
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 are ultimately outperformed by others.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More