Whether you enjoy horse riding on a regular basis or have just begun riding lessons, you’ll need to invest in a good pair of riding boots. For a comfortable riding experience for both you and your horse as well as for safety reasons, you need a pair of boots that fit well and are suitable for the type of horse riding you do.
Originally, horse riding boots were designed to stop the stirrup leathers from rubbing against your legs as you ride and to shield you from mud, branches and various other items you may encounter while riding. A close fit gives you the freedom to communicate with your horse too. However, you don’t necessarily need to choose a tall pair of boots, and many riders prefer a shorter style boot that is combined with a pair of half-chaps for added leg protection and comfort.
As with other essential horse riding equipment, there is a wide range of choice available on the market, and finding the right pair for you is not always straightforward. These tips should help make the task easier for you.
1. Before you venture to the shops, spend a bit of time thinking about the type of riding you do and enjoy most, as this will help you narrow down the boot type you want – boots come in different heights, including knee-length, mid-calf length and those that are just above the ankle and a little higher than an average trainer.
2. For formal event riding and personal preference, you should choose a tall boot that is close-fitting. Fit wise, the boot should come up to just below your knee and be snug against your leg – some boots come with an elastic panel for added snugness while others feature a back zip design which allows you to more easily put on and take off the boots.
3. You may find it more comfortable to wear a mid-calf or Jodhpur boot, in which case make sure the fit is snug. And for added comfort and protection, you should buy a pair of half-chaps too to protect your lower leg.
4. Some riders like the feel of a low-cut or paddock boot, which again needs to fit tightly against your foot. This type of boot is ideal for casual riding but not suitable for competitive riding.
5. Regardless of the height of boot you go for, make sure your boot has a well-defined heel as this is needed to prevent your foot from slipping through the stirrup and causing an accident.
6. Don’t buy a boot that is loose fitting or this could slip and cause an injury. A fitted boot will help to keep you safe and should let your toes move fairly freely, support your heel, and allow your calf to communicate with your horse’s flank as you ride.
7. Consider this purchase as an investment and when possible, choose a high quality boot over a cheaper price. Your new boots should be made for comfort, durability and safety. Boots are made from either leather or rubber and although rubber boots are less expensive and do last a decent amount of time, they lack some of the safety elements of a leather boot such as a hard toe.
Ashurst Farm is a provider of horseware and equipment including saddlecloths