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Rain boots (?)

Leaving May 15 for my first ever vacation in London. I understand that it's very likely to be rainy. How can I keep my feet feet reasonably dry? Do folks wear wellies all the time? Thanks for your experienced advice.

Posted by
8889 posts

That's 2 weeks away. Nobody can predict the weather that far in advance in England. But it can rain on any day of the year, totally random.
People don't wear wellies in towns, just if you are going to be tramping across muddy fields. Just make sure you have at least one pair of waterproof shoes.
London (and the south-east in general) is actually the driest part of the country.

Posted by
9707 posts

Do have 2 pairs of shoes... so if one pair does get wet you have something to wear while the others dry. But I do that wherever I travel, not just London.

Posted by
27720 posts

I don't own a pair of rain boots. I do own a pair of wellies, they get infrequent use. If it is too mucky I use all season paths - I'm a wuss.

In London - never. Just a decent pair of - here's the important part - well broken in hiking boots or trainers or other supportive foot ware. And an umbrella.

If it is raining too hard you'll be in London so you will be going inside somewhere, right?

In my experience May can often be a pretty dry month. This year has been a pretty dry one, relatively.

This weekend we have a bit of rain, but not much. Scotland is much wetter as is Wales. Here in the East we've had virtually no rain all Spring and very little in the Winter. It has been mild, too.

2 weeks from now, who knows.... but not Wellies.

Posted by
5784 posts

Wellies are for walking across sheep pastures soon after the field had been rolled.

For London wear what you would wear in any modern North America city during rain season (different story for northern North American snow season). London for all its history is pretty modern with pavement for walking and curbs, gutters and storm water drainage systems for roadways. No need for a gentleman to throw a cape across the gutter these days.

A different story for fell walking and crossing the moors.

Posted by
332 posts

When you suggest "waterproof shoes"....do you have a particular suggestion?
I live in California (drought) and would benefit from a recommendation.
I'm from New England and at one time had a pair of LL Bean waterproof boots, but no longer...and they were not what I imagine I would clump around with in London, so would like to hear ideas.
Thanks to all,

SuzieeQQ
San Diego

Posted by
5784 posts

Re: When you suggest "waterproof shoes"....do you have a particular suggestion?

For walking around London, just use Nikwax, a water repelling treatment " invented" in the UK.

Born in 1954, Nick Brown was brought up in Kent and was introduced to
trekking in the Peaks with his father, through the YHA, from the age
of ten. Nick walked in Scotland every year and being dissatisfied with
the waterproofing products available, he created his own recipe for
preserving his boots. It was important to make them waterproof without
softening them and losing their essential supportive features. Nick's
wax (hence the name Nikwax) was the beginning of a remarkable success
story.

http://www.nikwax-usa.com/en-us/productselector/waterproofing.php#

I have no financial interest in this but am a satisfied user. That said, nothing works when crossing the moors in a downpour.

Posted by
27720 posts

not many moors in Hyde Park or in Piccadilly.

Posted by
5697 posts

You can get Nikwax at REI. I used it to waterproof some leather shoes for a winter trip to Austria last December.

If you have water sandals (Keens H20) the water will just run out.

Posted by
1889 posts

It is not as rainy as some people think. London has on average less rain per year than Sydney. In fact, no rain seems to have fallen over much of the UK - including Scotland & Wales - for most of the last 4 weeks. However, about 4 days ago, the weather pattern changed and rain bands moved in from the Atlantic Ocean. So, it could be bone dry or you could get rain. Best to check the weather forecasts and time museum visits for times when rain is predicted. Also check this site before you leave:>
http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/London/forecasts/latest

Good quality shoes will be fine but do not purchase those with leather soles as the leather absorbs water. Test out your shoes and rainwear at home in the rain - if possible. More weather sites:>http://www.sat24.com/gb?ir=true
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast/map/#?map=CloudAndRain&fcTime=1430694000&zoom=6&lon=-4.00&lat=52.65

Posted by
27720 posts

The two best apps I have seen, and I use on a daily basis, are the BBC Weather app and the WeatherUnderground app.

Both run in the notification area of iPhone and Android phones. The WU app shows a superimposed graph of the temperature forecast by hour and the precipitation forecast by hour and is very accurate. I have found that if it says showers at 11 then the showers come at 11.

If you have data on - be careful of which plan you have - or if you are in a wifi area it will localise on exactly where you are.

Posted by
11450 posts

Gosh.. I went in March one year.. it rained , and sleeted. I just wore my normal shoes like I do at home.. you are walking on sidewalks.. not fields. I had two pairs of shoes.. so just alternated them. Its not like you are going into a monsoon.

Posted by
2 posts

Wow! Thank you for all of the advice! I'm a farm girl and thought I might need to drag the all-weather footwear just as here at home. Your very practical suggestions have eased my mind, and the weight of my luggage, immensely.

Posted by
6349 posts

Just be certain the shoes you do decide to travel with are worn in and comfortable. London has great public transport but is also very walkable. Have a wonderful first time visit!!

Posted by
5669 posts

I was really interested to see what Nigel and Emma had to say, as one of the things that I've noticed about NYC is that everyone seems to own rain boots! I was almost going to get my own pair, but I lost my job, so forget it! I don't think I would ever take them to London. NYC does tend to have massive puddles at the street corners and that may be why the women wear them here, as come to think of it, I don't think I have ever seen a man wearing them--or even those over the shoe totes that my dad used to carry everywhere to protect his shoes. :)

Pam

Posted by
4685 posts

Average rainfall in London is only a bit over half that of NYC, with broadly the same number of rain days. Not to say you might not experience an intense shower. Just have more than 1 pair of shoes.

Posted by
5669 posts

Emma, yes, my experience in the UK is definitely to be prepared for rain, but that it should never stop you as, unless it's a big black cloud it will change shortly. :)

I'm originally from the middle of the country--Wisconsin--and when I moved to NYC I was quite surprised by how mild the winters are and how hot and humid the summers are. This past year was the first proper winter in the city since I moved here. We actually had sustainable weather below freezing. And one night it crept down toward 0 Fahrenheit. In the midwest, we get multiple nights of near 0 and often multiple rounds of it. My heart went out to Boston. They got over 100 inches of snow in 6 weeks. We got over 100 inches of snow in Madison one year, but it started in December and accumulated all winter long through much of March. Poor Boston got it all in February and March!

If anyone is thinking of coming to NYC, I still wouldn't bother with the rain boots unless you want to make a fashion statement. :)

Pam