Updated: Oct 14, 2016
Riding Boot Reviews:The feeling of freedom that a driver gets from his well-tuned car is nothing compared to the freedom and thrill a rider gets from his horse. When a rider and his horse work in concert, it is like flying. And you can't fly if your feet are stuck on the ground. This is why the proper riding boots are so important. Not only can they help increase your safety during riding, they can add flair to your outfit on or off the horse. Whether you are searching for English tall riding boots, western boots, paddock boots, or simply the best leather riding boots for fashion, there is an overwhelming selection from which to choose. The right fit is crucial, as are the right materials, construction, and, of course, price. We'll take a look at some of the best riding boots to get you started.
How Do You Choose Your Riding Boots? - The answer to this question depends largely on what you will be using your boots for: if you are working, for example, in a barn caring for horses, you will need a different type of boots than an English style rider. If you're competing in a dressage show, you will wear something far different than someone who is going trail riding. So how do you know what to wear? You don't want to show up with the wrong boots! The first question, then, is what are you going to be doing in your boots?
*Lessons and schooling. For this, riders typically wear paddock boots and tall riding boots. They do not have to be as formal as show boots.
*Trail riding. Again, you don't have to be as concerned with appearance. Comfort is key, so go with paddock boots or tall riding boots.
*Hunting or Jumping. For this, riders typically wear field boots. These are generally very tall, reaching to the back of the knee.
*Dressage shows. You'll need dress or dressage boots. Dressage boots are very stiff. You'll notice that with many tall leather riding boots, you get a bit of scrunching at the ankles: this does not happen with dressage boots.
*Events and shows. Dress boots or field boots are fine for the cross country and stadium components. You can change for the dressage portion.
*Western riding. Western boots, or cowboy boots, are ideal.
*Looking hot. If you just want to look great and have a versatile pair of boots, then really, the choice is yours. You can't go wrong with a great pair of tall riding boots.
The right fit is important. You can see in this video from YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4Y-FBC9aPA) how to fit a boot properly. In this video, you can see a dress boot and a field boot, as well as the proper fit for each. The right fit for your budget is also important. You could easily spend several hundred dollars on high end riding boots - but for those of us who can't easily spend that much on any one thing, there are budget options that will suit your needs. You can browse the best selling riding boots online here.
Best Riding Boots:Right at the top of the price spectrum is Cavallo Riding Boots. These are considered to be the best equestrian boots in the world, and you'll know it from the luxurious leather, top quality, and price tag. But Cavallo boots have superior design and are "optimally fitted to the anatomical requirements of legs and do not just present a slim line leg...the exclusive appearance is highlighted by the exquisite quality of the leather uppers." If you bought a pair of Cavallo riding boots and treated them right, it is very possible they would be with you forever. These are more widely available in Europe, but thanks to eBay and other online retailers, you can get them no matter where you are. The price depends on the model but typically ranges from $530 to $650. You can also try a used pair (or pre-owned, gently used, nearly new or whatever your favorite euphemism is) that will cost much less. These are also available on eBay. Another high end name is Konigs. They make incredible dressage boots that are ideal for formal competitions. These are also very pricy, typically starting at $500 per pair. The gorgeous Konig Sir Reinforced Dressage Boot with Front Zip is a hefty $1112. Perhaps seeing it in pounds is less shocking: they're only 674 pounds. Dressage Extensions is a good source for both Cavallo and Konig boots. RECOMMENDED - Check out the high end riding boots online here. We suggest the FRYE or La Canadienne boots as they offer comfort, fit, performance, and durability. Reviews for those 2 brands are superior to almost all others we saw listed online. Women mention that they boots hold up well, look amazing, and fit perfectly.
Best Riding Boots for the Rest of Us:If you'd rather spend $1000 on rent than on boots, it's ok. You can still find a good selection at lower prices. Though, it is not always good to get the cheapest pair out there. Ideally, you want real leather that is durable. It is more expensive, but the boots will last much longer. Ariat is a particularly good brand for those who want to balance price and quality. While not cheap by any means, they are reasonable. The Ariat Women's Heritage II Field Boot, for instance, is made of leather and has an elasticized gusset, easy rear zipper, soft, moisture-wicking lining, and a textured rubber sole. You can find it on Amazon. Particularly good, according to HorseTackReview and Associated Content are Ariat's paddock boots (view the top rated paddock boots here). Comfortable, durable, warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, Ariat offers a more affordable solution. You can find the Ariat Women's Barn Yard Twin Gore H2O Boot, recommended by Associated Content, for $96 to $107. These are leather made, rubber soled, comfortable, waterproof, and good looking to boot. You can browse through the Ariat riding boots here. Here are some other brands which will deliver more affordable riding boots: TuffRider, Der-Dau, Ovation, Dublin, Mountain Horse, Perri's Leather, and Saxon. You can find these on Amazon and through other reliable online retailers, as well as in equestrian and tack stores.
Riding Boots Out on the Town - Did you know some people wear their riding boots to ride horses? But riding boots, particular tall riding boots and leather riding boots, are very popular in the fashion world for their versatility and the casual yet sophisticated air of the boots. An article in Glamour Magazine, entitled, "Your Style Problems, Solved: The Perfect Riding Boots" (don't you wish all your problems were this easy to solve?), named this as one of those can't-live-without items. One of the recommended picks was the Madden Girls Women's G-Zarahh Boot. It has a "riding inspired silhouette" and costs $34 to $70. Another good choice is the Nine West Barkin Boot. This has a soft leather upper, rounded toe, and a buckled leather strap. You can find this for about $75. If you are looking for a fun pair of (faux) riding boots, you can always try Target or other such retailers. They are designed to look like riding boots, but are more fashion oriented. And still great. For serious riding, whether English, Western, or show, though, you want to make sure to get the best quality you can afford so they last for years and serve you well while you ride. For an extensive selection of women's riding boots, men's riding boots, tall or short boots, fashion or serious boots - see the most popular boots as listed here.