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    Reviews

    REVIEW: Alice + Whittles Minimal, Sustainable Rain Boots

    February 22, 2018

    For someone who has lived in Oregon for more than two-thirds of her life, it took me an unusually long time to get my first pair of rain boots. That’s because, if I were to wear boots every time it rained, I’d live in rubber boots. Not my idea of fun nor sartorial pleasure. Over time, I’ve essentially made most of my shoe wardrobe rain-friendly. Basically, if it can’t hold up to the rain, I think about twice as hard before I buy it.

    But in recent years, moving to Portland has meant spending more time outside in the rain, which has driven me to spring for my own pairs of rubber boots. A few seasons ago I thrifted a pair of rubber chelsea boots to keep my feet dry in heavy rain. (Turns out they’re actually PVC, eek! No wonder my feet get so hot in them.)

    However, tall, wellie-style boots have always been absent from my rain-ready lineup. I’ve never been into Hunter Boots for three main reasons 1) they are so popular, and I hate conforming (most of the time), 2) they don’t fit me anyway, I’m between sizes, with the 10 being too large and wobbly on me and the 9 being too small, and 3) I have no clue about the manufacturing situation in terms of ethics or sustainability.

    This means on one ultra rainy halloween, I got soaked; on the soccer field sidelines, I get muddy; and on uber rainy days, my legs just don’t stay as dry as I’d like.

    Until…

    I am currently the proud owner of a pair of tall, knee length rain boots by Alice + Whittles. They sent me this pair to review for you guys, and after putting them to the test for a few weeks, I am eager to share more.

    I first learned about the brand’s story when I read Ellie’s (Selflessly Styled) interview with the founders. Their story stuck with me because they didn’t start out as fashion designers, but instead saw a problem, and set out to fix it, using apparel. In their own words:

    Alice + Whittles was born from our experiences on the frontline while in Tunisia. It is one possible solution to a world starving for ideas (among other things). A lifestyle brand, it favours transparency, ethical manufacturing practices and worker empowerment as a means of creating long-lasting, positive change.

    They created their company as a vehicle for making a difference. On top of that, they created a unique product that doesn’t compromise style for ethics. Alice + Whittles’Β lineup of minimalist rain boots is ultra sleek, one of a kind, and really comfortable.

    In fact, calling them ‘rain boots’ doesn’t seem quite fair. They are sleek and comfortable enough to wear beyond just the rainy days. My friend Ellie, who has a pair of the shorties, tells me she wears hers to the dog park because they’re easy to clean off. I like my tall ones so much, that when my PVC booties need replacing, I’m going to go for a pair of the minimalist black or the minimalist white and black booties.

    But let’s talk about these tall ones.

    STATS:

    100% Natural Rubber

    Handmade in Sri Lanka in a trusted, family-run factory.

    Supply chain closely monitored by Alice + Whittles all the way back to the raw materials.

    Fair Trade

    FSC Certified – this means the rubber is harvested from responsibly managed forests.

    FIT:

    I did not expect these to fit when I ordered them. The website recommends sizing up, but 10 is their biggest size, so I took the gamble. They are a narrow-fitting shoe with a slim shaft. I do not have slim calves, so I did not expect them to fit in this regard either. Much to my delight they fit both my feet and calves comfortably. I can’t wear thick or chunky socks, so I just stick to thin cotton or wool ones.

    PROS:

    These boots a very fitted and not floppy. When I wear them around they feel like a regular shoe, not a rain boot. They fit more like a leather boot, then a tactical boot, which I really like. But of course, they perform like the latter.

    They are very comfortable. They have a flat, squishy sole, and wearing them reminds me of walking around barefoot.

    The boots are extremely lightweight, especially compared to heavy Hunter boots. This makes them easy to wear for several hours at a time, because they are pretty much weightless on my feet.

    I like howΒ attractive the boots look when wearing them. They are very sleek and streamlined.

    CONS:

    Since the shaft is slim, I can only wear them with about half my jeans, the slimmer-fitting ones, my skinny jeans, and my slim cut modern boyfriend styles. They do not work with my vintage jeans.

    These shoes do run small, which means some people might be sized out of them. Since I am at the top of the range, I need to wear slim socks to keep mine comfortable.

    The natural rubber experiences blooming, which means parts of the boots can look powdery at times. This is more of a potential con since some might consider this a negative, but it doesn’t actually bother me. I like the look of it, and it usually goes away on its own.

    OVERALL:

    I highly recommend them! I am practically begging for rain so I can wear them.

    SHOP:

    In the market for minimalist rain boots? Use the discount code SLOWFASHION to get $15 off your order. I am wearing the Classic Black Riding Boot, and I am crushing on the Minimalist Black and White Ankle Boots.


    Alice + Whittles kindly sent me this pair for review. I found them to be to my liking and eagerly decided to share with you guys. If you make a purchase I may make a commission. Thank you for supporting Seasons + Salt!