I have been testing Merry People vegan Bobbi gumboots. In the interests of transparency I was sent the boots to try without charge and in return for an honest review.
The boots are 100% vegan and made with natural rubber.
What is Merry People?
Merry People was founded in Melbourne, Australia, by young entrepreneur Danielle Holloway in 2014. The main product is the “Bobbi” gumboot, which came about because Danielle couldn’t find a durable and comfortable boot that she could wear for a commute to work.
Growing up on a farm in South Gippsland, Australia, she knew just how useful the traditional gumboot could be but she also wanted a boot that would bridge the gap between country and city life. The Bobbi gumboot was born.
What is Merry People vegan Bobbi gumboot?
The Merry People Bobbi gumboot is vegan and 100% waterproof thanks to the natural rubber outer.
It is also lined with 4mm neoprene for comfort and warmth. They have been tested to offer warmth below freezing temperatures.
The soles of the Bobbie boots are built with arch support and include removable inner-soles to allow for orthotics. The outer soles offer traction in wet and mud.
The boots are meant for walking, as well as doing the gardening or hanging out at festivals.
They offer 12-month warranty on all products.
Prices start from £79.95 for the Bobbi Wellington Boots in six bold colours. See Merry People.
Review: Merry People Bobbi gumboots
By coincidence, when I was asked to test the Merry People Bobbi gumboots, I had been thinking that I needed a pair of fully waterproof slip-on boots for the garden. I knew I had a pair of traditional Wellies somewhere but after the move to the Scottish Highlands I couldn’t find my old boots.
The Bobbi gumboots looked like the perfect product. I often need to pop in and out of the house and garden, for example, to feed the hens in the morning, to water the plants, to walk up the drive to the wheelie bins, to take the dog for a short walk, to mow the lawn or weed the garden etc.
I do have lots of other options of footwear, including running shoes, walking boots and my slippers. What I was looking for was a boot that would be easy to get on and off (ie slip on and no laces), as well as fully waterproof. The grass that I walk across is often wet, or else my feet brush against wet or damp vegetation.
The Merry People Bobbi gumboots are actually pretty perfect. They are very easy to get on and off, yet they still offer good support for my feet. I find traditional wellies can be too loose on my feet to walk very far in them. I should point out that I have a long and narrow foot and most wellies feel too wide and have a lot more volume than I need.
The Bobbi gumboots are very comfortable thanks to the neoprene inners. I have taken the comfort a step up for my feet by adding an extra insole. As I said, my feet are long and narrow. I think they are also quite flat, so the extra insole makes them just a bit more cosy and supporting.
I have found them very comfortable for gardening and short walks. It’s summer just now and walking too far in them makes my feet sweat. I think they will be great in winter though.
I would also choose a more supporting lace-up boot or shoe for longer walks but the Bobbi boots are great for shorter dog walks, especially when it’s wet and muddy, or if you have a short urban commute on foot.
The soles are fairly grippy for low-level trails and mud. The soles are not aggressively grippy.
The boots look like they are made to be long-lasting. I am expecting them to keep going and going. This is a positive for the environment because we are less likely to replace durable products and that means lower impacts of manufacturing.
However, let’s take a closer look at the materials in the Bobbi boots. Ethical Consumer, which rates products according to eco and environmental criteria, reports that natural rubber can be a good material to choose. However, it needs to be natural rubber and FSC-accredited. Read more.
Merry People do use natural rubber but they tell me: “Not all our rubber is FSC accredited yet. We are on the pathway for all our materials (including packaging) to be accredited by the end of 2022.”
Again, you should note that neoprene is criticised for being bad for the environment due to the chemicals created by the process of manufacture. There are alternatives to neoprene that are considered to be more sustainable and green but they are seemingly not as robust, which wouldn’t be good for the inside of a boot.
I guess there is a balance to be had in terms of durability – and therefore longevity – and what products are made from/how they are made.
Merry people also offer a 12-month warranty on all products, stating they “stand by their high quality and function”.
I like these boots as an alternative to traditional wellies and for convenience of being slip-on and slip-off. I am sure they will become my go-to garden and dog strolling boots. They live by the back door of our house and I use them many times a day. They will be a bonus in the winter when temperatures drop and I have already been grateful to own them when gardening or mowing the lawn in wet conditions.