Boots are safer for riding because their smooth surface prevents them from getting caught in the stirrups. This applies to all boots, not just horse riding boots. This is why beginners are often advised to wear normal rain boots or wellies for their first riding lessons. Riding boots made of leather provide additional support for the leg. This leads to calmer and better control.
Another aspect is appearance: riding is a rather traditional sport. When participating in competitions, horse riding boots are also important for visual reasons - especially in dressage. If you don't want to spend so much on boots, boots made of synthetic material are a good choice. Visually, they are often hardly distinguishable from leather boots. However, they do not support the leg as well because the synthetic material is softer than leather.
Almost everyone will answer this question differently. In all cases, quality materials and proper workmanship are important. For beginners and occasional riders, rubber riding boots are usually sufficient, as they are inexpensive and easy to care for. They can also be used for stable work. Western riders usually use western boots. There is a wide range in terms of colour, design and material.
Ambitious leisure riders and competition riders will prefer leather riding boots. As these are relatively expensive, you should take your time when choosing boots and think carefully beforehand about what your priorities are. You can jump or go for a casual ride in dressage boots with long stirrups, but that would be neither sensible nor comfortable. On the other hand, with shorter jumping boots you can easily get caught on the saddle flap of a dressage saddle.
In normal leather or rubber boots, the feet quickly freeze in winter. This spoils the fun of riding and is also harmful to health in the long run. Winter riding boots, which are often also called thermal riding boots, provide a solution. They are made of synthetic material or leather and have a warming inner layer of wool, fleece or sheepskin. This warm lining naturally makes the boots tighter, so you usually have to order one size larger when buying winter riding boots.
Most styles also have a non-slip, treaded sole that allows you to move around safely even on ice and snow. As a rule, these boots are also waterproof or at least water-repellent. They are not only suitable for riding in winter, but also for stable work or dog walking.
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