7 Best Festival Shoes: Footwear for Glastonbury & Other Festivals

Choosing your festival shoes is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to festivals. Your festival footwear has to be perfect.

Do you need wellies for Glastonbury?

Should you take hiking boots instead?

Or would you rather go for fashion on your feet at festivals?

Glastonbury footwear

Number one rule of Glastonbury and all festivals for that matter: your festival feet need to be comfortable.

You will be walking miles. Miles and miles.

Choose the best festival shoes to keep your feet happy.

You need to choose the best footwear for festivals so you don’t end up blistered, moaning and just generally totally annoying to your friends. No one wants to be ‘accidentally’ lost when they pop to the toilet, do they?

So, festival footwear. You need to ask yourself, what would you rather walk ten miles in the mud in?

Wellies, hiking boots, trainers… or other? What are the best shoes for festivals?

Best footwear for festivals

Let’s debate the pros and cons of festival footwear shall we? Gotta get the best shoes for festivals right!

1. Festival footwear: wellies

Footwear at Glastonbury

Wellies are the obvious choice when the famous Glastonbury mud reaches three inches thick. You need that extra length to keep the squelch from getting near your toes. It’s not about having trenchfoot at a festival.

I guarantee as soon as you enter the Glastonbury field you’ll see about 100 people in Hunter wellies. They’re the classic music festival shoes, and the welly of the festival. You can shop Hunter wellies on Amazon.

Footwear for Glastonbury

When I went to Glastonbury in 2012, wellies were an absolute necessity for the first two days. But, all around me people were losing their wellies to the mud suction. I can vividly remember my ex boyfriend losing one of his and then just stood there like a desperate flamingo unable to move, until I pulled it out for him to tread in (shouldn’ta bothered!).

So, wellies are great for thick mud, but they’re also harder to keep on your feet when the sucky mud pulls them down. You can get round that with some well fitting wellies, or ones with laces for a more fitted feel.

Personally I won’t be taking any full size wellies this year. I don’t have any that are broken in, they’re heavier to walk in, they chafe on the top of your toes and where they push against your leg with every step round the top, and they’re bloody heavy to carry if you don’t end up using them.

I just wore black Dunlop wellies that I bought on site from one of the Glastonbury footwear shops. Don’t remember how much I paid but I’m sure that seeing as I only had trainers they were worth every penny.

Pros of wellies as festival footwear

  • Keep your feet dry
  • Can be quite cheap
  • It’s a look
  • Easy to spray down and wash when you get home.

Cons of wellies as your festival shoes

  • So heavy to carry on your feet and in your festival backpack
  • Stuck with them if the weather changes
  • Not the most comfortable
  • They can be cold, bring welly liners too.

2. Festival footwear: hiking boots

Footwear Glastonbury

I love wearing hiking boots to festivals. These would be my festival shoe of choice, and the best festival shoes I’d recommend for you.

I lived in hiking boots when I went to Tanzania, while everyone else was in trainers, leading me to get the nickname ‘SpyGirl’. That was also because they knew I was a blogger though, and joked I was spying on them – mix of the two.

Anyway I’ll wear hiking boots at any opportunity, they’re so comfy, make me feel like I’m going on an adventure and they’re sturdy as.

Glastonbury footwear

The hiking boots I have at the moment are just from Sports Direct – think they were about £30. Oh look the same ones are on Amazon for £40. When I was buying them my friend told the sales assistant I was off to the Costa Rican jungle on assignment, which I kind of was, and the sales assistant was super impressed. I felt like Indiana Jones, or female equivalent.

You can get festival boots for cheap – try TK Maxx, Amazon or the sales area at Millets et al. Or you can search for hiking boots on Amazon.

Footwear for Glastonbury

I like hiking boots for my footwear for festivals because they’re easier to manoeuvre, easy to carry (if you don’t wear them on the way, which I’d recommend) and they’re very comfy. They’re better than trainers because they’re more resistant to the elements – rain, hard ground, rough terrain, festival toilets – and I feel like they give you energy, like you’re ready for action, rather than that laden down feeling of wellies.

I’ll be taking my festival boots this year for sure!

Pros of hiking boots as festival footwear

  • Keep your feet dry and warm
  • Super comfy if you get the right ones
  • Durable in more conditions
  • Easy to spray down and wash when you get home.

Cons of hiking boots as your festival shoes

  • Can be annoying to carry if you don’t wear them to walk in with
  • Stuck with them if the weather changes
  • Might not be the look you were going for.

3. Best festival shoes: fashion

Most of the festival fashion pics you see will feature some sort of black, slightly heeled boots – all for it, if they’re comfy. I wore black heeled boots to Wilderness Festival, some awesome ones, but despite it being dry and sunny for the festival they were ruined by the time I got home.

Glastonbury footwear

I won’t be chancing it with ‘fashion’ footwear. I don’t have any that are broken in and I wouldn’t mind ruining right now, I don’t want to wear trainers and I’m just happy with my hiking boots.

Pros of fashion boots as festival footwear

  • You’ll look cool and they’ll go with your outfit
  • More variety
  • You can wear what you already have.

Cons of fashion shoes as your festival shoes

  • If they’re cheap, they’re not going to have the support you need for the distances you’ll cover
  • You’ll probably ruin them as music festival shoes
  • They might not be good in the variety of weather conditions you’re going to experience, especially at British festivals.

4. Festival shoes: trainers

The other options for the best shoes to wear to festivals are trainers. Your favourite pair of trusty trainers may seem very tempting when you’re trying to decide on the best festival shoes for your weekend.

If the weather is going to be dry then I’d say yes, go for it – great shout.

footwear for festivals

The trouble with trainers at festivals comes when it gets wet, and your trainers get wet, and there’s no way to dry them off and you get trench foot. Also, they can get kinda ruined.

The benefit of hiking boots and wellies at festivals is that they’re so easy to clean afterwards.

I mean, you can put your trainers in the washing machine, but do you really want those trainers that have touched the toilet floors in your washing machine?

Pros of trainers as festival footwear

  • You know they’re comfy and you’re used to them
  • They’re exactly your style
  • Lighter to carry and have on your feet that wellies and hiking boots.

Cons of trainers as your music festival shoes

  • Get wet and they might be ruined
  • Could be useless in the mud
  • Cheap trainers won’t have the support you need for such distances

5. Mid-sleep toilet emergencies

I always take a pair of sliders to wear at night if I need to dash to the toilet. I sleep in socks at festivals so flipflops just aren’t practical and it can take too long to get your boots on properly when you want to dash out quickly.

You can shop sliders at Amazon.

Footwear for Glastonbury

Taking a pair of sliders is especially useful if you decide to go with the boots or wellies option as you don’t want the faff of them if you’re just hanging around your tent for a few hours. Always good to have something on your feet, and sliders are comfy, light and compact.

6. Festival shoes when it’s sunny

Footwear for Glastonbury

Of course I’ll be taking a pair of flip flops too. Despite needing wellies for the first two days of Glastonbury when I went for the first time, for the next few it was boiling hawt. I wasn’t prepared and despite having many pairs of flipflops at home, I ended up buying some horrible GB flag ones, just to have something cool on my feet instead of my hiking boots. Shop for flipflops on Amazon before you go.

You’ve got to be prepared when it comes to footwear at festivals.

7. Light up trainers

Oh my god I actually LOVE these. Are these the best festival shoes? The gold ones remind me of C3PO off Star Wars, but that makes me like theme even more.

I was so jealous when the whole ‘light up shoes’ craze came in for kids, I was just that little bit too old to indulge. This could be my opportunity to play though!

These light up shoes from Padgene come in a range of colours and sizes to suit all. You simply charge them up and they’re good to go. I quite like the idea of the black ones too – nice mature festival gadget for you!

Check out the latest prices for the Padgene light up shoes on Amazon

Footwear for festivals

I think your festival footwear or Glastonbury shoes choice depends on what kind of festival goer you are.

If you just want to stand around looking fabulous, you can wear the kind of festival footwear that lets you stand around looking fabulous.

footwear for festivals

If you want to get stuck into moshpits, everything the festival has to offer and not to have to trudge back to your tent to change when they hurt / it gets too hot / too cold, then I’d say it’s a toss up between wellies and hiking boots as your music festival shoes.

Or you could, like my friend and I did for Global Gathering one year, just go barefoot. Although for Glastonbury I’d say that’s a bloody stupid idea!

Remember: what would you rather walk at least ten miles in the mud in?

What are the best festival shoes for you? Wellies, hiking boots, fashionable shoes, trainers or… flipflops?


  1. Goodness truly?! Yowser. I have the lower leg wellies I discussed above, and after that I figure I’ll simply need to get some more on the off chance that they can’t hack it while I’m there. Just inconvenience I found was that they were icy. I had two sets of socks on and my toes were as yet cool. Might need to go for the three sets for Glasto, to ensure I’m not the person who’s groaning.

    1. I guess you just have to decide what’s best for you and then work with what money, time and wellies you have! 🙂

  2. The forecast is looking good for Glasters this year. Last year, the problem was that it was raining now, so the ground was already sodden by the time they opened the gates. Wellies was the only viable option last year, and even then, the gloopy mud could take them.

    Mud permitting, I’m totally with you on the walking boot front. Boots are made for walking long distances and 10 miles a day is a good estimate. You’ve got to be comfortable.

    If you must wear wellies, get gel insoles. Spend some cash, get decent ones. The first year I went it rained on the Saturday, and I was so pleased to be able to do the Glastonbury-Welly thing… until after a few hours in them, my feet ached, and all I wanted to do at midnight was go home. Last year – double gel insoles, and I was good all week.

    1. The mud there is so sucky isn’t it, as in, sucks you in. It’s pretty amazing. Gel insoles are a great tip. Adding that to the list of things I need to buy tomorrow – thank you! Tough on your feet when it’s a difficult terrain and one minute they’re hot and next cold – love that idea though :).

  3. I’d be taking my tried and trusted neoprene lined Barbour wellies and my super comfy Sketcher walking flip flops. Covered for rain and sunshine!

    1. Sorted! I had ankle wellies at Isle of Wight Festival this weekend and even though it wasn’t that muddy it definitely helped to have sturdy boots and to know that it wouldn’t matter if the terrain suddenly changed. Just got to be prepared for everything!

  4. Fingers crossed this year Glasto isn’t as muddy as last years as it was bloody nightmare! I have some lace up hunter wellies that have seen me good through all kinds of swamp like conditions. I can tie them up tight against my calf so I don’t lose them to the mud. The amount of people I had to help out of a sticky situation because the mud had suctioned off their welly was cray cray. My BF swears by walking boots and gaters if its very muddy though, and I think you do need a little bit more foot support at Glasters because the site is MASSIVE! I wear a watch with a step tracker and average 10 miles a day walking. Over 5/6/7 days that’s a heck of a pounding your poor feet are taking!

    Always good to take some flip flops though, even if its just for early morning wees, hanging round at camp, or travelling home in the car/bus. let those tootsies breeeeeeeath 🙂

    1. I’ve just been wearing lace up wellies to the Isle of Wight and I think they’re definitely the way forward. Very comfy, considering they were my first wear, and definitely would’ve held their own in all circumstances too. It’s been a while since I went to Glasto but I definitely remember trudging for miles. Feeling a bit nervous about that this year – hope I’m fit and sturdy enough! And yeah, gotta take those flip flops. Amazing how light and freeing they feel when you’ve been trudging around in wellies for so long.

  5. I can’t believe I wasted time trying to find really cute wellies for Glastonbury “muddiest year ever” 2017 ? My top tip: if they are forecasting epic rain/mud, pick up a second pair of wellies from your local charity shop. I destroyed my first pair in 48-hours and heard lots of stories about the sole or the entire boot being ripped off by the suction of the mud! Having a fresh pair for Saturday and Sunday was heavenly ?

    1. Oh really?! Yikes. I have the ankle wellies I talked about above, and then I guess I’ll just have to buy some more if they can’t hack it while I’m there. Only trouble I found was that they were cold. I had two pairs of socks on and my toes were still cold. Might have to go for the three pairs for Glasto, to make sure I’m not the one who’s moaning.

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