Buying boots for fashion is one thing; buying riding boots meanwhile is a whole different matter, meanwhile. Riding boots are worn to protect a rider’s feet and provide maximum comfort whether working in or around a stable, hacking about, riding or schooling.
Consequently, it is only ever advised to purchase riding boots from a specialist equestrian supply company, such as Derby House here in the UK. After all, the wrong fit of riding boots can negatively impact on a rider’s seating position when riding as well as be unsafe and downright uncomfortable.
Hence, and suffice to say, riding boots are not something to scrimp on; rather, this is one instance in which cheap rarely if ever correlates with cheerful.
Tall Riding Boots
In other parts of the world, tall riding boots are sometimes also or alternatively referred to as long riding boots, but here in the UK most riders will know them as tall riding boots.
Whatever you know them as, it is important to also know that tall riding boots whilst the most traditionally owner here in the UK and are so because their specific design enables wearers to use tall boots as field, hunt and dress boots. These are also the boots most often worn by show jumpers during competitions.
Tall riders boots are so called because they extend up the leg to the knee in most cases. They are usually made of black leather and can be pulled on, though some do feature the addition of a zip. Further, those looking for a particularly inexpensive tall / long rider boot have the option to buy a pair made of rubber rather than leather as these are by far the cheapest type available on the UK market – without compromising on quality and safety.
Field boots are a variant of the tall boot. The most identifiable and distinctive feature field boots bear is laces. Field boots are made with a lace up front in order to provide those wearing them with maximum flexibility whilst riding. Hence, field boots are popularly worn and favoured by show jumpers who require as much flexibility in the ankle region as is possible.
Whilst many opt to also wear field boots to hunt, a hunt boot is also a popular choice and can be distinguished from the other two types of tall boots commonly seen and worn here in the UK by the fact that they are made to feature a cuff and come in a range of colours from a light tan to jet black. Hunt boots have always been most fashionably won by men, though these days few people if anybody would bat an eyelid to see a woman wearing a pair.
Dress boots were designed to be worn by dressage riders but are often also adopted by show jumpers and those partaking in fox hunts. Hence, dress boots are the most popularly worn type of tall / long boots worn and purchased in the UK today.
Aesthetically, dress boots are most often black in colour and leather or rubber made. That said, there is a variant style of dress boot known as the ‘Spanish cut’ which is made to extend over the knee on the outer side. Extending the trunk of a riding bots around the entire circumference of the leg would of course make it impossible for a rider to achieve the flexibility in the knee required to mount or ride a horse.
Equally descriptive and imaginatively named as the tall boot is the short boot. Short boots, like tall boots, come in several styles. Most commonly they are worn in the form of jodhpur or mucker boots.
Jodhpur boots are a type of ankle boot that is leather made and features a smooth sole. They also bear a round pointed toe, elasticated side bands and are as such ideal for every day riding.
Less expensive than tall boots, jodhpur boots are also a fantastic option to purchase for young riders as their design does not limit or restrict ankle or leg flexibility what-so-ever. Their lower price also makes the ma good, slid choice for first time and beginner rider who can also wear full or half chaps to maximise comfort whilst riding and protect their jodhpurs from wear and tear.
Just be sure to refer to a size guide, such as the one featured on the Just Chaps website, ahead of buying chaps for the first time. Ending up with the wrong ones or an incorrect size could cause more discomfort than remedy it, as well as cost you financially.
No prizes for guessing what mucker boots are most often bought and worn for.
Mucker boots are not made for riding and are unsuitable to be worn whilst riding. Plus, anyone riding in mucker boots would be committing fashion suicide if not actually putting themselves in literal danger.
Hence, not everyone bothers with going to the expense of buying mucker boots, though those serious about riding and who work in and around stables do and advise it. Whilst not to be worn to ride in, a good quality pair of mucker boots provide supreme comfort, durability and are super easy to clean – which after mucking out a stable is a definite bonus.
For more information and guidance on riding boots, The Horse and Hound Magazine website features a lo-down of thirteen of the best leather riding boots currently available to buy here in the UK.