The right riding boots for you should be chosen based on the kind of riding you want to do. If you have show ambitions and are not a western rider, you should get leather riding boots. They are more expensive than rubber boots and require more care, but they offer more support for the leg and facilitate targeted control. You should only buy dressage boots if you want to compete in dressage competitions. They have a longer shaft than jumping boots and the leather is stiffer. This means that the leg lies better and more smoothly against the horse's body. However, these boots, especially when they are new, are extremely uncomfortable and really only suitable for dressage riding.
Jumping boots, which you can also use for military riding, have a shorter shaft and are made of softer leather. This makes them more comfortable and you can also ride with shorter stirrups. They are also suitable for recreational riders who do not want to buy rubber boots.
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.
If the boots are rubber boots, it is best to buy new riding boots for wide calf. It is not worth having these boots altered. For leather riding boots, as long as they are not too old it is worthwhile having either elastic inserts or zips fitted. These can be inserted at either the back or the front of the boots, though they are obviously more inconspicuous at the back. You can choose between short or long zips that run down the entire shaft of the boot. You will need to have this work done in a specialist shop. It's not cheap, but it's still cheaper than buying new leather boots. If you have zips fitted, you should choose the long version. It also makes it easier to put on the boots.
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.
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 winter you will quickly get cold feet in leather boots. Winter riding boots may be too bulky for you and offer too little contact with the horse's body. In that case you can switch to winter riding boots together with chaps. Chaps are not as warm as lined boots, but they offer better contact with the horse's body. This should be a good trade-off, as your legs usually don't get as cold as your feet while writing.
Winter riding boots are available in a wide range of materials. If you choose a model made of synthetic leather or plastic, you can also wear these shoes for stable work without any problems. Without the chaps, they are also suitable for country walks with your horse, your dog, or even on your own.
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