Guide to Buying Hunter Boots

Hunter Boots (Another option, and see other styles here) / Barbour Jacket (Old, similar here, and here) / Madewell Tote (Old but similar here.) / Hudson Jeans / Daniel Wellington Watch (c/o, Sold out but similar here.) / J.Crew Chambray Shirt (Old but similar here) and Pearl Earrings (Old but similar here) / Kate Spade Sunglasses (Old, but love this similar pair!)

I love getting e-mails from readers. I may not be the best at responding in a timely fashion–seriously, hit me up again if it’s been a month, haha–but I love it. Connecting with people is the number one reason I love blogging, after all.

Anyway, I get a lot of e-mails about Hunter boots, whether in regard to size, style, fit or finish. And as we’re in the middle of “April Showers,” I figured that it’s the perfect time to post about the topic. So, without further ado, below are my tips for buying Hunters!

Guide to Buying Hunter Boots

Do Hunter Boots Run Big Or Small

1. If in between sizes, go a half size down. I typically wear a size 7.5 in shoes, but I wear a (U.S.) 7 in Hunter boots–and have the right amount of room in them, even with the Welly Socks. If you’re used to wearing super thick socks, I recommend trying them on in store with your thick socks just to make sure. ( If I wore a 7, however, I’d probably stick with the 7. Hunter boots only come in whole sizes, by the way.)

Guide to Buying Hunter Boots

Tall Matte / Tall Glossy

Short Matte / Short Glossy

Tall vs Short Hunter Boots

2. Decide whether you like the “Tall” or “Short” boots. I’m 5’5, for reference, and am wearing the Original/gloss boots in “Tall” and “Short” in the below photos. (Note: the pink boots are no longer available. However, they’re still available in kids. Scroll down to read sizing advice.)

hunter boots tall vs short

The shaft height of the “Tall” rain boots is 16 inches, and the shaft height of the “Short” boots is 10 inches. (Break out a measuring tape and decide! Calf circumferences are the same.) I think the tall version looks a bit better on me, but I find them to be annoying if the rain stops and I have to lug them around the city all day. The shorter boots are also a lot easier to get on and off.

Huntress boots

Do Hunter Boots Fit Wide Calves

3. Consider the “Huntress” version if you have wide calves. The Huntress features a larger, more wide calf circumference–16.5 inches compared to the Original’s 15 inches–and its shaft is 14 inches, which is two inches shorter than the Original’s height. It’s also a bit roomier in the ankles, and has a straighter cut.

Adjustable back boots

4. The adjustable back version is a great alternative for wide calves. It has the height of the Original boot, but a calf circumference that expands from 15 to 17 inches. It also comes in the matte finish.

red glossy adjustable hunter boots

Glossy vs Matte Hunter Boots

5. Choose the glossy or matte finish. I’ve owned both, and I like the glossy finish the best, as I feel like the glossy version doesn’t “bloom” as much as the matte version. (See below for explanation.) But it’s a personal preference, for sure.

6. Realize that your boots will likely acquire a white, powdery film at some point. But don’t worry. It’s normal. It’s called “blooming,” and it’s high-quality rubber’s way of defending itself against the elements. To restore your boots to their original finish, you can use Hunter’s Rubber Boot Buffer Spray (currently sold out everywhere) or–my favorite–a dab of olive oil on a paper towel. (Rub it on your boots, and it’ll leave ’em looking brand new. Just use sparingly.)

Packable “Tour” boots

Hunter Brand Packable Boots

7. Consider the packable “Tour” version if you’re on-the-go often. I go through the dilemma nearly every time I’m about to board a plane (unless we’re going somewhere tropical): Should I bring my Hunters? The answer is almost always no, as they’re really rough to lug around when it’s not raining. But on a couple of occasions, I’ve been completely miserable as a result of that thinking. (Ten days of rain in Ireland will do that do you. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!) Anyway, the “Tour” version is nearly identical to the Original tall boots (currently sold out everywhere), as they’re only a half inch shorter in the shaft and an inch wider in calf circumference–and just as durable. (Frankly, the only reason I don’t own them is because I had a gift certificate to a store that carried the Original boots.) But they roll up, and are much lighter! They also come with a little drawstring bag for packing. (Watch a video of the magic here!) They come in matte, too.

hunter boots zipper

Zipper boots

8. Consider the zipper version (sold out everywhere, but similar here) if you find slip-on boots to be annoying. I love my boots, but I must admit that getting them off isn’t a picnic. It’s an impossible feat while holding a miniature dachshund, at least! The “Original Slim Zipper” boot (sold out everywhere but similar here) makes the process easier, though. And don’t let the name fool you, as they aren’t any slimmer than the Hunter Originals. They have the same fit, but feature a hidden zipper along the outside.

Hunter Boots Size Chart


hunter boots kids vs women 1

9. Consider the kids’ version–$75 compared to $148! If you wear a size 7.5 or smaller, you’re one of the lucky ladies eligible to save mucho monies by going with the kids’ boots. (So many fun colors, too!) On an adult, they’ll look like a cross between the Tall and Short versions, depending on how tall you are. (The shaft is 12 inches high, compared to the Tall’s 16 inches and the Short’s 10 inches. And the calf circumference is 14.5 inches, compared to the Tall’s–and Short’s–15 inches.) But for $75, woo-hoo! They come in matte and rainbow, too. Make sure to select “Big Kids,” and see the above size chart.

Are Hunter Boots Good For Winter

10. Realize that Hunters aren’t winter boots. Like, really realize that. I’ve been known to slip ’em on in the dead of winter for a quick walk around the block with Noodle, or to take the garbage out. But Hunter wellies are not warm, and I’ve paid the price way too many times when I forgot that little fact due to pretty Pinterest photos. They’re fall/spring boots, even if you pair them with the socks.

11. The socks help. You have to keep those feet warm. The socks are not going to magically turn Hunters into boots you can wear in 20-degree weather, but they’re something. And boy, are they adorable. Especially these!

Sorel Joan of Arctic boots

(Looking for true winter boots? I hope not, at this point. But try Sorel if you are. Warmest boots ever. And check Sorel’s website if Nordstrom is sold out. Their inventory usually lasts a bit longer.) I’m also a big fan of chelsea boots, find some here.

12. Buy from a retailer that provides free shipping and free returns, because the above is a lot to take in. My favorite is Nordstrom!

Have additional questions–or insight? Leave your comments below! :)

For more Winter boots, see this guide to buying LL Bean Boots and styling tips.

How To Clean Hunter Boots

Luckily, Hunter Boots are really easy to clean. I’ve performed this cleaning process on my boots (and my families boots) too many times to count. LOL. Here are my top cleaning tips combined with the cleaning tips straight from the Hunter Boots website:

Step One: When your boots get muddy, start by wiping off excess debris and insoluble particles with a dry cloth. If there are patches of blooming (which looks like white dust), wipe your boots down with a damp cleaning cloth. You can also spray warm water with a spray bottle and wipe away evenly.

Step Two: Leave your boots to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Step Three: If your boots still show signs of blooming (which can happen, but luckily it’s not permanent), use the Hunter Rubber Buffer or polish with a cotton cloth in a circular motion. Again, leave your boots dry in a well-ventilated area.

Are Hunter Boots Worth It

Obviously, I am huge fan of Hunter brand Boots. They give such preppy and put-together vibes, and provide great protection from the elements. While I try to refrain from wearing these in the dead of winter, (because like I mentioned earlier they’re not winter boots), I love wearing these boots throughout the spring and fall. And sometimes even summer, if I’m spending time in the yard or if it’s raining outside. Grab a pair of Hunter boots, you won’t regret it.

Red Hunter Boots Tall Glossy
Guide to Buying Hunter Boots
Daniel Wellington watch
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Guide to Buying Hunter Boots
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Guide to Buying Hunter Boots