Now, I will readily admit that I am not a boot aficionado. My show boots? $600 Ariat Crowne Pro boots that I am just starting to fit back into. Let me start with this, to me, $600 is A LOT of money to spend on riding boots. I know, clutch your pearls.
My schooling boots for the past few years have been the Ariat Heritage Contour boots. In fact, these are actually the first boots in a long time that I held onto until they fell apart. Why did I hold onto these?
- They were still $200+… way more than I want to spend more than once every several years.
- The black, traditional field boot design allowed them to transition from schooling boot to show boot with only a bit of polish.
- The XW calf width, right off the shelf, meant they were always comfortable, even when I threw on leggings, winter breeches, and thick socks in the winter.
- The foot-bed is super comfortable. I mean, I could literally wear these all day without my back bothering me, which is more than I can say for almost any shoe except my sneakers.
- They’ve actually lasted me a decent amount of time.
I am abusive to boots. I really don’t want to be. I really do want to be the kind of person that puts my boots on right before I ride and then take them off as soon as I get off. The kind of person that keeps my boots in my temperature controlled garage, in boot trees, and wiped down after ever ride.
What kind of person am I? The kind of person that accidentally wears my tall boots out into the field, in the mud, to turn out my horse. (her needs first…. right?) The kind of person who tried wiping down her boots, about a month ago. And the kind of person that throws her boots in her tack trunk until next time. So when I buy a new pair of boots, they probably shouldn’t be my DREAM boots.
Instead, I will probably follow one of two avenues.
- Another pair of Ariat Heritage Contour Field Boots. They’ve been slightly updated, but still the classic design and fit options. Not many reviews on the newer version, but my old version got a lot of great reviews for comfort and durability.
- The Mountain Horse Sovereign boots in black. They’re about $100 more than the Ariat boots, but they have a more interesting (but still classic) design.
- Tuff Rider Sure Grip Boots. These are by far the least expensive option, but I have never tried or seen them in person. Obviously, buying through RW would make things easy to try and send back, if necessary, but durability is hard to know without firsthand experience.
What boots do you ride in? What boots would you 100% stay away from?