Hunter Play Boots Review

Wedge Sole Rain Boots for Women

Smart looking rain boots with a wedge sole. Great for quickly slipping on to go outside on a wet day to go shopping, walk to school or work. Not so well suited for long walks or wearing for long periods of time. Available in a range of different ‘classic’ Hunter colours, also limited edition colours and prints. 

Value for Money
Build Quality
Comfort
Warmth
Style

Review of Hunter Play Boots - Short Rain Boots

Hunter Play Boots Review
Date of review October 2021 by Richard Cutts 

OVERALL RATING
4.5/5

Our Verdict

WHAT WE LIKE WHAT WE DON’T LIKE 
+ Ideal for wide calves (Play short)Pull tabs come off
+ Comfortable Reports of lining dye running
+ Wedge sole  
+ Fashionable \ Stylish 

If you’re looking for footwear that you can quickly slip on to keep your feet dry when the rain is pouring down, then the Play rain boots might be for you. The Play boots are made by Hunter, who are world famous for producing some of the best rubber boots that money can buy.

We hope this review of the Hunter Play boots will arm you with all the information you need to help you decide if the Play boots are right for you.

Hunter Play Boots: Features

  • Adjustments: None
  • Inside material: Polyester lining
  • Outside material: Natural rubber
  • Fit Type: True to size
  • Wide calves: Suitable for wide calves (Play Short)
  • Heel Type: Platform \ wedge sole
  • Pull tab
  • Waterproof: 100% waterproof
  • Colours: 6 classic colours available + limited editions
  • Sizes (women): 3 UK to 9 UK and 5 US to 11 US

Hunter Play boots are available as Play Short boots and Play Tall boots. The short boots have a leg height of 15cm and the Tall Play boots have a leg height of approximately 29cm.

The only difference between the boots is the leg height, other than that they are exactly the same. Our Play boots review is focused on the ‘short’ boots but is applicable to the ‘tall’ boots.

How Comfortable Are Hunter Play boots

 Compared to other similar priced rain boots that we have reviewed, the Hunter Play boots are among the most comfortable.

Initially, the boots do feel a little tight and restrictive, but after a few short walks the boots begin to ‘relax’ and really start to feel comfortable. 

The boots are made of natural rubber, which provides both support and flexibility. This combination of support and flexibility means that the boots are well suited for walking and feet should not rub or ache. The Play boots are not designed for long distance walking. If you plan on regularly walking over 3 miles, there are other boots that would be better suited.

Due to the wedge soles, the boots are slightly heavier than similar short boots that don’t have a wedged sole. In a size 8 boot, each Play short boot weighs just under 1 1/2 pounds or 680 grams. We didn’t find the weight to be a problem during our tests.

The insole and the wedge sole offer a good degree of cushioning and shock absorption when walking.

The insoles are removable, which is an excellent addition and in our opinion, should really be the standard for all rain boots. The insoles can be removed for drying if they do get wet and they can easily be washed if required. The other benefit of having removable insoles is that they can be replaced with your own insoles, which is especially useful if you have a condition that requires specialist insoles.

Are They Durable

Hunter has a reputation for crafting durable boots and that’s certainly the case here. The Hunter Play rain boots have been vulcanized entirely of natural rubber for a hardened, 100% waterproof fit. They’re lined with polyester to offset the hardening process and provide a more comfortable fit. 

The only weak area we found was that the pull tab at the back of the boot used to help pull the boots on comes off easily. 

Overall the boots look well constructed and have no obvious weak spots and all the joins look good. We would expect the Hunter Play boots to last at least 2 years, but probably longer, depending on use.

Hunter Play boots are available in a range of colours
Hunter Play boots come in different colours

Style

The Play boots definitely have a more streamlined appearance than the Hunter Original Boots, with subtle contours that give them a sleek aesthetic appearance.

The main standout feature of the boots is the wedge sole. This gives the Play boots a fairly unique look that is not often seen in rubber boots. 

The boots come in 6 different Hunter ‘Classic’ colours as well as limited editions with unique finishes, colours and designs.

Limited editions include:

  • Nebula: A more lustrous design inspired by “moonlight” and “glass surfaces.”
  • Speckle: Has a speckled sole that’s the opposite colour from the rest of the boot.
  • Pearlized: A two-tone finish that creates a shimmering appearance when hit by the light from different angles.

Overall, the design is enough to separate the boots from other short boots while not diminishing the fact the Play rain boots are still Hunter boots.

How Good Is The Traction

As the name ‘rain boots’ suggests they are usually worn in wet conditions, so it is important that they provide traction in the wet. Overall we found that on most wet surfaces the Play boots did provide sufficient traction.

The boots did not perform so well on icy surfaces. This is probably to be expected, as the boots do not have studs, which is really the only way good traction can be obtained on ice.

As the boot has a wedge sole, there is no heel. A boot heel can provide additional traction by sinking down into soft surfaces like mud and snow. 

Overall, Hunter Play boot traction is good but nothing special.

Hunter Play Boots Sole Gives Good Traction
Hunter Play Boots - Good Traction

How Warm Are Hunter Play Boots?

The Hunter Play boots are not best suited to cold conditions. The boots have a thin textile lining that provides no insulation. Rubber provides the only insulation and although rubber has good insulation properties, it is not enough to keep feet warm in cold conditions.

Wearing thick socks will help improve the warmth of the boots, but socks will not provide sufficient warmth when temperatures get close to freezing.

UPDATE: Hunter has recently introduced an insulated version of the Play boot. The insulted very of the boot is currently only available in black, but this may change in the future. 

 

If you’re after some boots to keep your feet warm in winter, then check out our boots for winter article.

Final Thoughts

When buying any rubber boots (or in fact any product), it is important to know what you want from the boots. Are you looking for stylish boots, functional boots, warm boots etc

If you are looking for stylish city boots to wear on mild wet days and don’t plan on going on long hikes, then the Hunter Play boots are defiantly worth considering.

BEST SELLING HUNTER PLAY BOOTS

Bestseller No. 1
Hunter Women's Original Play Rain Boot, Black, 7 UK
Hunter Women’s Original Play Rain Boot, Black, 7 UK
The wellies are handmade from the highest quality natural rubber and are 100% waterproof.
Bestseller No. 2
Hunter Women's Play Short Boots, Purple, 6
Hunter Women’s Play Short Boots, Purple, 6
Certified vegan; Moustache detailing to toe; Waterproof; Quick dry lining; Woven pull tab

Last update on 2024-01-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Questions & Answers: Hunter Original Play Boots

Do Hunter Play boots run big or small?

When buying Hunter boots, it is generally advised to buy the boots in your normal shoe size. The Play boots are not available in half size. If you are normally a half size it is recommended to size up.

Is there an insulated version of the Hunter Play boots?

Yes, Hunter have introduced an insulated version of the play boots. A micro fibre fleece lines the inside of the boots to provide insulation from the cold.

Do Hunter Play boots have arch support?

No, the boots do not have arch support. The insole can be removed and replaced with a specialised orthotic insole that provides arch support.

Are Hunter Play boots suitable for wide calves?

Because the boots are short, they are suitable for people with wide calves

Can you wear Hunter socks with Play boots?

Hunter socks are designed for use with Hunter Original boots and are not well suited to being worn with Hunter Play boots.

Do Hunter boots smell?

The boots are made from rubber which does have a slight smell initially. Other than that, the boots do not smell.

 

Richard Cutts

Richard Cutts

I've been working with rubber boots (aka rain boots, wellies) in one way or another, since 2009. So, i've seen a lot of wellington boots in my time. I create most of the content for the website, which i hope you find useful.

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