Much like horseshoes, ridersí shoes can be pretty important ñ so whatís the best boot out there for you?
Depending on your favorite riding style, where youíll be wearing them, and — of course ñ your own personal fashion sense, there are a few distinct categories of boot to consider before making the purchase. And if you already know your boot of choice, read below for some specific recommendations!
(And if youíre looking for gift ideas for horse lovers, a nice new pair of boots isnít a bad choice!)
1. Tall/Field Boots: These traditional leather boots are staples in English riding and competitive shows. They typically range in price from $100 to $900, so finding a pair that fits your budget shouldnít be too much of a problem.
Though some field boots are brown, black is the most popular color for these signature shoes. Often feeling snug at first, these tall boots tend to get comfortable and broken in after a bit of wear.
- Our pick: The Heritage Contour Field Zip from Ariat, which gets high praise for breaking in quickly and being easy to clean ñ as well as its stylish, simple, and sleek look.
2. Western Boots: Cowboy boots are a must-have for any Western rider. These signature shoes are typically made of cowhide, but weíve seen them made of everything from snake skin to gator skin.
Western boots leave a lot of room for your personality and style to shine, because they come in so many different colors and designs. You can also choose between different toe shapes ñ round, square, traditional ñ based on your foot.
- Our pick: The Ladies Magnolia Vintage Caramel Heritage from Ariat, which can also be found at Cavenderís. The stylish design stitched into the leather adds a very fashionable flair to the boot, which sports a two-inch heel but retains lots of comfort.
3. Paddock Boots: These shorter boots typically are only just taller than the ankle, making them perfect for pleasure riding. Because they are cheaper than western and field boots, they are often a great pick for kids who grow out of boots quickly (children are usually allowed to wear paddock boots for competitions, whereas older riders can only wear field boots).
- Our Pick: The Dublin Ladies Reserve Lace Paddock Boots from State Line Tack, which earn high marks for being lightweight and affordable. Reviewers say that the leather breaks in pretty quickly, too.
4. Rubber/Muck Boots: When weatherís bringing rain or snow, a good pair of muck boots is key. Deal with the elements much better in rubber boots that are designed for equestrians ñ think toe bumpers, reinforced rubber, and a durable build.
Because they are water-resistant and easy to clean, muck boots are also great for chores outside.
- Our pick: The Original MuckBoots Brit Colt Equestrian Boot on Amazon, which many customers like because of its versatility ñ for instance, you donít have to change boots after tacking up. Reviewers also really like the warmth these boots provide and their fit.
5. Work Boots: Though some just use muck boots when working in the barn, others prefer to have a separate set of durable work boots. When youíre dealing with mud, manure, and other elements in the barn, a reliable pair of work boots is priceless.
- Our pick: The Bean Boots by L.L.Bean, which come in sizes for women and men. These signature shoes are waterproof, rubber-bottomed, and provide lots of comfort and support.
There are tons of high-quality, well-made boots for horseback riding on the market, so finding something that matches your tastes should be simple. Be sure to read customer reviews if youíre buying online, as boots vary in how small or big sizes run. And because the only way to really break them in is by wearing them, youíll have a great excuse to hit the barn!