Review: Hunter Kids Rain Boots for Women (up to sz 38)

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Hunter Youth Rain Boots, big kids sz 4. From left to right: w/ tights, jeans, and tights w/ fleece socks
Jackets from left to right: H&M, Gap, and Burberry (all old)

In the realm of functional, waterproof boots, Hunter is one of the oldest brands that come to mind. The company has a long withstanding history of keeping feet dry and protected (including those of soldiers fighting in flooded trenches during both world wars), and claims the following benefits in its classic wellies:
- watertight design made of vulcanized natural rubber
- quick-drying woven nylon lining
- cushioned insole for arch support and an orthopedic fit

These claims must have some substance, as Hunter boots are loved by farmers to fashionistas alike. I recently picked up a pair of Hunter womens wedges, but cautioned against wearing heels/wedges (even rubber ones) on icy days. Although chunkier flat boots may look less stylish on petite women, it's a small sacrifice to make for safety.
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Hunter Youth Boot, in big kids sz 4, 6+ colors (free overnight shipping & returns)

The womens Original Tall is Hunter's most renowned boot, but for women with shorter calves or very small feet, the Youth boot may be a better option. When I tried on the Original Tall, the shaft hit right at my lower knees and dug in with every step. In comparison, the Youth Original felt much more comfortable. Some differences between the Hunters Women Original Tall vs. Youth boots:

- Sizing: 5 to 11 womens vs. 1 to 6 youth (allegedly converts to a sz 38 womens). Whole sizes only for both. See this kids size conversion chart (second chart down, on the left) for more info.

- Shaft height: 16" inch womens vs. 12.5" youth (not including the ~1" heel). Height will vary with sizing. Womens height was measured on a sz 8, and youth height was measured on a sz 4.

- Shaft circumference: 15" womens vs. 14" youth.

- Reflective patches on the youth only. These were designed to keep kids safe and are great for that purpose. I know many adults who don't mind them, but am personally not a fan. Instagram and Facebook friends suggested solutions ranging from a Sharpie marker, to nail polish or spray paint. I did a small test spot with a Sharpie, but have yet to commit to that route.

- Retail price: $135 womens vs. $75 youth for the boots. Womens fleece liner socks start at $30 vs. $20 for the youth.

I also tried on the Womens Classic Short, which are shorter but wider in the shaft (10" height and 15" circumference) than the youth, and felt truncating on me. Over the holidays, I ended up getting the Youth with fleece socks using a one-time Bloomies coupon thanks to Elle. If interested, keep an eye out for friends & family events or online promos, which sometimes do not exclude Hunter.

Feelin' like Santa Claus in Hunter youth fleece socks, size Medium (Youth 4 - 6)
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With the fleece socks folded over:
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I wear size 5 to 5.5 in womens shoes, and decided on a youth size 4 (converts to womens sz 36). There's some wiggle room both in the length and width of the boots, but they are a snug fit with the fleece socks on. I do love how warm and toasty these sock inserts are, but wonder if there's less expensive alternatives that work just as well.

Shaft-wise, the 12.5" height works well for my legs, although I wouldn't mind an inch taller. The circumference is noticeably roomy on me from the sides, but this is the case with most boots. I initially thought the side tabs would be functional for pulling in the calf width, but they don't hold at all. I later saw on Hunter's website a note that the tabs are for design purposes only. The fleece socks do help create a closer fit, and also conceal the upper reflector patch.

 Side view, without vs. with fleece socks:
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One last note about Hunter boots - as you can see, there is some white film starting to form on these boots. This is called "blooming" and is supposedly part of the rubber's natural oxidation process. You can leave it as-is, or wipe off with a warm, slightly damp cloth and finish with a dab of oil (optional).

Other related posts:
- Elle's review on Hunter vs Le Chameau tall boots
- Vicky's post on getting rid of blooming

Readers - Please share any insight on shopping kids versus adult styles for weather-proof footwear!

52 comments:

  1. I actually got a pair of these spring and they have save me a lot of grief. No more wet feet or socks! I opted for the youth sizing as well because of my height and budget. I did have to buy the liner as well because they were very loose on me. But with the addition of the liner they're a snug fit. I walk to work and I wore them out in about a foot of snow and they held up perfectly. Feet were nice and toasty and dry. I don't wear them all day and change out of them into a pair of flats when I get to work. They are a life saver!

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  2. Where did you get that middle jacket from? It's so cute!

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  3. I have never had a pair of these but from the amazing reviews I have heard I need to buy a pair this spring!

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  4. where did you get all those three jackets? love them all!!

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    1. Thank you! Left to right: H&M, Gap, and Burberry.

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  5. Maybe it's possible to peel off the reflectors w/o damaging the boot? I ordered these from Zappos a few years ago and one of them the reflectors was actually coming off. I had returned them bec of the wideness on the side view. But with the fleece socks they look great and the bottom reflectors are less noticeable.

    I'm currently looking into Keen Laken Boots (http://www.zappos.com/keen-laken-low-boot-wp-black#prdInfo), they have a high and low version. I saw them for really cheap on a sample sale but didn't buy so I can't attest to if they'd be as stylish as the Hunters.

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  6. Thanks for the thoughtful and helpful review as always. I got my sz5 women's at the tannery in Harvard square about a year ago for $50. For comparison, the shaft height on sz5 is 14.75" and circumference is 15"

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  7. The black one looks great on you. I bought the red kids wellies and wore it with jeans but everyone said it looks like fireman costume so now I'm selling them. I guess I should try the more basic colors like black, navy or green first.

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  8. I just bought a pair of cable knit Hunter socks and find I need to size up in order to use them. Another option that I always go with are wool socks (Smart Wool or Wigwam); specifically merino wool since they don't hold any odour if your feet ever sweat and they're super cozy!

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  9. Hi Jean,

    I always love reading your posts...I love it when your sense of humor shines through...Got a good giggle out of your photo and comment about feeling like santa claus! You remind us all that fashion should be fun. :D

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  11. I love Hunter boots! I have a pair of the black Original Tall Gloss, which I personally think you should buy, instead of these kids ones. The shaft height is much too short for your legs (very unflattering) plus the overall shape and reflective patches are too kid-like for such a classy girl like you! But that's just my humble opinion :)

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  12. Thanks for the review! I did not realize that at a size 7 I could fit into kids sizing. Good to know. :)

    I agree with you on the reflective patches. At least the top one gets covered with the socks. I would be too chicken to continue with the Sharpie. :/

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  13. So are you supposed to wear thin socks along with those boot liners? Or do you wear them as socks? I've had my Michael Kors rainboots for over a year now and they have served me well so far. Wish I had thought of the boot liners beforehand so I could've sized up! My boots fit perfectly right now, but I haven't had a need for warmer socks yet.

    I've never even tried Hunter boots, so this review is very helpful for my future rainboot hunt. I think you can find boot liners for much cheaper on e bay : )

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  14. I might have to consider these because of the shorter height. I love my Sperry Topsiders Pelican boot, which has an insulated layer so there is no need for extra socks, but they are too tall for driving. When I drive, the top of the boot is right at my knee and it gets stuck sometimes on the front of my seat, and as I switch my foot back and forth between clutch and brake I sometimes have to really yank the boot away. I've taken to wearing my normal shoes to drive in and switch to the boots for walking outside once I get there - kind of defeats the purpose of boots. The size 6/38 might just fit. Thanks for reviewing the kids boot.

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  15. Great review, such a good alternative for shorter calves. I love Hunters, I have a pair in black in adult sizing. The Hunter socks look so warm and comfortable, I might need to get a pair!

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  16. i love love love your style because to me - it always looks neat. Everything always fits nicely and doesn't have that sloppy frumpy look.

    But, i feel like these boots looks sloppy. They wrinkle and look flappy on your legs. and the shaft height is too short which looks sloppy.

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  17. I like the look of Hunters boots, but can't seem to bring myself to spend $135 or even $75 for rubber boots. All rubber boots, no matter the "quality", are waterproof and will keep your feet dry!

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  18. Do you find that the arch support on the kids' version holds up as well as the adult version's support? I shop kids' shoes often, but I've often noticed that kids' versions of shoes in other brands (Sperry's, Nike running shoes, etc.) don't have as much support.

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  19. wow, i didnt realize those sock liners made such a difference. i'll have to go grab a pair. i've worn mine a total of one time because they're so big

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  20. I have had a few pairs of boots like these and it is great how dry they keep your feet. I did put a pair of gel insoles in mine which made them comfier and I usually wear a pair of wool socks, not the liners. They sell replacement liners in lots of colors and patterns, BTW. If the reflective patch is really bothering you, I would put a very neatly cut piece of black duct tape over it. Since you are a great DIY-er, I am sure you can cut it so precisely, it will look like it belongs on the boot. Also, if you change your mind it will be removable.

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  21. Wished I could have to chance to wear rain boots at where I am! There's plenty of choices for boot socks (with different price ranges) over at Etsy. Meanwhile, stay warm!

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  22. did you end up keeping both the wedged ones and these ones? i had a friend that worked at gap so I got mine for 30% off two years ago. but i left my boots in nyc when i moved back here for work.. luckily we haven't experienced much rain this winter otherwise im doomed. i can't wait to bring them back when i visit this summer.

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  23. I don't think there is an alternative for the Hunter socks that's too much cheaper, but you can try Target. The women's fleece boot liners cost about $16, but I am unsure if they have children's sizing or the price.
    Hunter boots are nice, but I've also seen nice rubber boots at Target for a fraction of the price of Hunters. They work just as well as Hunter's too.

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  24. In the UK my hunter boots are worn constantly. They come in so many different sizes. Looking for another pair this winter.

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  25. This is such a great and extensive review. I don't own a pair of Hunter boots but keep seeing them everywhere. I may have to get a pair this spring.

    -FashionEdible
    http://fashionedible.blogspot.com

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  26. These are super cute, I love the fit of the children boots over the women ones. It looks more flattering. I have the original women hunters and find the fit not as flattering as I am also a petite and stand around 5' 1". Thanks for the blog review.

    xx,

    www.loveandcompanyblog.ca

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  27. Nice boots! I have the original adult ones in dark purple and my sister has the kids' in navy. And I don't really mind the white film, it actually makes them feel worn-in and well-loved!

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  28. Fleece liners make such a difference when wearing rain boots on a cold, wet day!! I got my fleece boot liners last year from Target. I wear them with my J Crew Wellies (with the cuff folded over) which have a ~15-16 inch tall shaft. I think I bought a medium, and I wear a womens size 7 or 8. It looks like Target still has cheap and cute options, as well as a youth option; just search "boot liners." (http://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=boot+liners&category=0%7CAll%7Cmatchallpartial%7Call+categories)

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  29. I ended up with the Original Short (adult) in Aubergine (deep purple) and love them. Since they're supposed to be a bit shorter, they look nice on. Yet they still protect from the elements. This would be a great option for anyone who finds the Original Hunters to be too tall and cumbersome. I tried both the regular Original and the Original Short from Zappo's to see which I liked better. I felt like the Original just swallowed my whole lower leg. The Original Short just look more proportional and were less stiff.

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  30. Jean, do you think the youth's fit is better than the women's? I have the Hunter wedges in a 6 and find it super roomy and enough for two layers of socks (I get cold easily!). I'm usually a 5.5 or 6, but my calves are muscular (15"!!).

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad it's not only me that has small feet and big calves!

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  31. What a great post. I looked at some Hunter boots in my local store recently and also found that the height of the ladies boots were too tall (hitting at mid knee level). The ladies boots also only started at a UK Size 4 (US 6.5) so were too big.

    I'd not considered the junior version but will give them a go along with the Le Chameau boots.

    Thanks for sharing Elle's review on the Chameau boots. These look nice. Has anyone else tried the Chameau boots?

    www.petitestyleonline.com

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  32. The jackets were great especially the middle one and you looked so gorgeous in them.

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  33. I wish i own a pair of hunter boots. you pull them off so well btw!

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  34. I am so happy you did this post! I tried the original Hunter wellies and they were uncomfortably tall on me so I've been eyeing Hunter youth boots since I read that it fits better on petite women. My nordies doesn't sell them so I've been apprehensive about getting them. Now I just have to wait for a coupon to come by, ahhaa.

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  35. Hi! Ive recently been following your blog and twitter...I'm 23, south Korean American, 4"11 and around 100 lbs! I live in new York city, and love reading what you've been doing here. I have a lot of trouble finding clothes that fit also, especially pants! I was wondering if you had strategies for taking up the bottoms of skinny jeans! They make me loom so awkward if they're all bunched at The bottom! Thanks:)

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  36. Hey girls! I have "petite" boots I'm trying to sell on ebay. Size 6 - Petra Firenze Italy Burgandy/Brown Leather Mid-Calf Pointed Toe Boots. Shaft 11.5'' and circumference 13''. I'm 5'1 and these end a couple inches under my knee!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/181068619228?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

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  37. I was wondering if you'd found a way to conceal the reflective patches yet? I just got a pair of kids hunters yesterday and I'd like some advice! Thanks for your post!

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  38. Thank you for posting this. It's quite helpful. :) However, what would you recommend or advice for a petite lady with a US shoe size of 6.5? I am uncertain if I should buy the youth size 4 or 5? :)

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  39. this is SO helpful! i've been trying to decide whether i should buy the youth hunters over the women's since i have sz.6 feet. thanks for the post!

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  40. Me gusta mucho como te quedan las botas, como para empujar vamos.
    Besos.

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  41. In fashion for boys right now is the lace-up builder boot similar to those worn by boy band JLS. Let them tuck their jeans in not only does it look cool but will also prevent the bottom of their jeans from getting soggy.

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  42. I just ordered a pair in kids size! I absolutely loooove them! I have big calves so they fit a bit snug so, I probably won't be able to wear socks with them. I love how you styled your boots! Now this is the only reason why I will ever hope for rain!

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  43. Adore your outfit !! Thank you so much for the rain boot options! Just found your blog, and am very excited! :)

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  44. I have been in look for of some information about it almost three times. You served me a lot indeed and analyzing this your publish I have found many new and useful information about this topic
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  45. Thanks for your Hunter help. I am trying to figure out my first Hunter boot for a icy winter. Is your color navy or black?

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  46. Loved finding this post! I'm in the market for some Hunter boots for this winter, but was weary of the price tag. These look great. Now to just wait until I can fund then I'm black in my size... Nordstrom and zappos look like they're sold out for months :(

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  47. Hi Jean, I was wondering if you have ever tried wearing women's Hunter welly socks with your youth Hunter boots. It's so difficult to find youth Hunter welly socks here in Toronto! I was fairly lucky to get my hands on a pair of the boots my size. Thank you. :)

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  48. Hi Jean! Did you try the size 3.5s? Those convert to size 5.5 :-)

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