Sadly, Covid put the kibosh on our autumn ’21 relaunch: Our Slovakian factory reopened in the summer but with reduced capacity due to lack of staff and one less production line, which means their big brands have block-booked production slots for months ahead and everyone else has been squeezed out until 2023. After 18 months of sampling with them and investment into products, website and digital assets, we are naturally GUTTED. But you can’t put a good boot down… so we’re moving …
Hello Sri Lanka…
We’ve spent the past few months searching for other sustainable rubber boot factories in Europe. They proved hard to find. So we've gone back to our Sri Lanka factory (who have been closed to new business since March 2020 until recently). They are an FSC-certified factory who we know can make our boots with Fair Rubber to a high standard. As SL has recently come out of lockdown, it will be spring 2022 before they can schedule us in. Being sustainable and small is not an advantage in terms of production economics. The other silver lining is that by 2022, shipping costs will not be so high and it will be easier to ship to the EU.
Earlybird discount will remain secure until we can relaunch. Click HERE to get on the waitlist.
The UK lockdown restrictions have eased this month, but unfortunately many countries are still in the midst of corona chaos and a strict lockdown - including Slovakia which is where our new production partner for eco SPATS is based.
Due to a massive Covid backlog at the European factory, which has been closed to production since October, we have lost our hotly-anticipated slot for eco SPATS in May 2021 to bigger customers with, frankly, orders 20 times the size of our initial order with them and many times the clout. We're gutted ;-( Doubly so, because our lovely contact there is fighting the virus and has been off work for months...
But the picture is not all gloomy... the factory are doing their best to fit us in on a limited, "specialist line" in the autumn. We've therefore decided to delay the launch of our crowdfunding campaign until later this summer when we have a more realistic production date and price point for our customers and Earlybirds.
If you're on our Earlybird's list, your discount remains secure!
Thanks to all our loyal customers and supporters who have stuck with us - we hope you can hang on just a little bit longer for the new, improved SPATS made with only sustainably-sourced natural rubber...
Outdoor living in my new eco SPATS (October – December 2020)
OK, so I’m the founder, which doesn't exactly make me the most impartial reviewer, but since I’ve been wearing them for over a decade – and have experienced 2 years of making them in an Indian factory (2008-2011) and 4 years of making them in China (2013-2017) – I’m definitely the most experienced Spats tester around. And that counts for something!
Hooray! Our first samples have arrived from the new European factory! These eco SPATS are made with 80% natural, sustainably sourced rubber.
You can tell the difference in quality because the rubber uppers are soft as butter to put your feet into. The new monk strap buckle style wear like leather shoes.
The ghost white SPATS are already an instant hit with our neighbours from London Fields! Here our sales manager Irina tries them on.
Understanding sustainability and the welly market... and what SPATS are doing to improve sustainability...
How to choose your welly boots
1. The right shoes for the job. For deep mud and wading, full length wellingtons are best but many women find tall wellies uncomfortable on long walks as they can put strain on the knees, especially when they become clogged with mud. Calf or ankle wellies are lighter and more comfortable for walking and you can always accessorize with waterproof gaiters to keep those splashes off. Do bear in mind though that rubber boots are not generally designed for hiking or hilly terrain. Short wellies and galoshes come into their own when gardening, camping, dog walking or jobs like mucking out as they can be easily slipped on and off.
3. Choose for comfort. Everyone's feet, ankles and calves are different, therefore one brand will suit you better than another. Try before you buy is the golden rule, if you can. To avoid rubbing or chafing make sure you wear your rubber boots with suitable socks (elasticated and covering the leg) or welly warmers. Also bear in mind that most rain boots have hard rubber outsoles and are not cushioned (unless specified). If you're planning to wear them for protracted periods of time, insoles will provide extra padding and warmth.
4. Get a grip. For safety, it's better to buy wellies which have an articulated sole for grip and a good heel. There's no point in buying rain boots which you will slip around in on an icy day. Spats heels are 1.8-2cm high and the tread is 0.5-0.7cm.
5. Love natural rubber. There's a reason why PVC or plastics-based wellington boots are cheap: they are mass-produced by injection moulding. But the fact is plastic isn't as comfortable, breathable or even as durable as vulcanised natural rubber. Your plastics won't last as long as you'll be throwing them out in a year when they split or spring a leak and adding to the mountain of non-biodegradable plastic waste. If you want footwear that's sustainable, buy rubber.
6. Size matters. It is often advised that you buy wellies a size up so you can wear them with thick socks. This might be true of a make like Dunlop but its not true of every brand. Rubber boots are made on special metal lasts and every brand is slightly different and unique when it comes to length, width, ball and heel girth etc. We always advise that you try the boots on in store before buying but sometimes this is not possible. With Spats Boots we recommend you go for your usual shoe size. If you’re a half size, however, we recommend buying the size up and getting a pair of insoles. Spats Boots come with removable EVA insoles. Sheepskin insoles provide extra padding and are half price when bought with a pair of ankle Spats on this website.
7. Love the rain. Finally, make sure your welly boots make you smile on even the most miserable of days.
Spats – original rubber boots are available in women's (Eu) sizes 36 (UK 3), 37 (UK 4), 38 (UK 5), 39 (UK 6), 40 (UK 6.5- 7) , 41 (UK 8) and 42 (UK 9).
Please refer to our Terms of Sale for our exchange policy.