Even if you’re new to the world of horseback riding, I’m pretty sure you’ll know that there’s some that needs to be purchased. At the top of the list should be a good pair of horse riding boots.
So when it comes to choosing horse riding boots, there are four key things to consider to ensure you select the right pair for you/or the person you’re buying for.
I’d go as far as saying they’re four non-negotiables so let’s go through each one.
1. What riding discipline are you engaged in?
Dressage, jumping, western or trail riding? Because different disciplines will have specific boot requirements and different brands specialise in the different disciplines. For example, Ariat is a go-to brand for western riding.
The other thing to consider is if the boots will be required for low level or high level competition – you should check with a coach or competition organiser for the type of boot required for specific types of competitions.
Depending on the level of riding, it maybe a case of requiring more than one pair of boots.
2. Next, what’s your budget?
Work out what your budget will be for riding boots because prices can vary significantly based on the material, brand, and features.
Having said that, we’ve always bought our daughter good old Dublin Jodphur boots (more on that below) since she was six because the quality, durability, practicality and price has always sat well with us.
Boots can range from as little as $40 up to and beyond $1,500 😱 we didn’t quite get to requiring tall boots which are at the top end of the price and are usually worn for competition (and of course to look the part).
3. What’s your boot type?
To really simplify it, there are two main types of riding boots: tall boots and short boots.
Tall boots reach up to the knee and provide support for the lower leg and are usually chosen for jumping (tall field boots) and dressage (tall dress boots).
As mentioned above, if competition is on the agenda, wearing tall boots can be a requirement so be sure to check the rules.
Short boots are exactly that, shorter. They can be called Paddock and/or Jodphur boots.
Paddock boots can come in a better leather and finish, usually with a zip up the front. Because of the nicer finish, Paddock boots are usually for riding only.
Jodhpur boots are a little bigger around the ankle and can be worn with chaps or long socks with chaps definitely giving a more polished look. Jodphur boots are a great all-rounder and a good introductory boot for beginners but still suit the older rider.
Personally, I find Jodphur boots more hard wearing and practical, with a good price point. They’re what our daughter has ridden in for 10 years!
The important point here is to choose the boot type based on your riding style and preference.
4. The fit and comfort
It’s really important to find boots that fit well and offer proper support. Look for boots with a snug, but not tight fit around the foot. There should be enough room to wiggle your toes.
Whilst I love a bit of online shopping, when choosing riding boots, it’s well worth trying the boots on before making a purchase.
As mentioned, our daughter has ridden in Jodphur boots for 10 years and always the long lasting, well priced Dublin brand.
However, before her horse went lame and was no longer able to compete, we were looking at investing in tall boots (field), especially for competition and, as she was older, tall boots are considered to be more age appropriate. Getting the right fit for tall boots is a whole other story!
If your budget is in the upper range, it’s a good idea to do your research on brands. Read reviews and seek recommendations from experienced riders to get insights into different brands and types of boots.
By taking the time to find the right pair will ensure a more enjoyable and secure riding experience.
Giddy Up 🐎