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View Full Version : breaking in tall boots UPDATE and more questions! post 18



Roxy SM
Apr. 13, 2009, 06:10 PM
So how long (how many rides) does it on average take everyone to break in their tall boots?
I have beautiful customs but for the job I will be doing this summer I ordered a pair of one of the lower priced Ariats to use so I won't wreck my customs. I went to Dover, tried boots on, found ones that fit me great but it was decided it'd be best to get them in Talls instead of the regular height. They didn't have the talls in my foot and calf size in the store, but they told me they were in stock so I'd have them within 10 days at the very latest, most likely sooner. So I ordered them. Then when some of the other stuff I ordered arrived the other day, a week after I'd ordered everything, there was some fine print stating that my boots were back ordered and I wouldn't get them for another week and a half to 2 weeks. This is NOT okay because it would only give me a week to break them in, and I have no idea how much I will be riding that week. This past week I rode 3-4 a day every day, but for all I know I might not have anything to ride that week at all. Of course I would have bought them from a different company had I been told they were not in stock. When I told this to the manager of the store all she had to say was "I know" as if that was much help. Tomorrow when everything opens I will start calling other stores to find out if someone else has them, but just in case I really do only have a few rides to break them in, how long does everyone find it takes to break in boots. I'm just afraid I will be slipping around in slick, stiff boots my first couple weeks on the job which I certainly don't want. My customs were great right from the first ride, but the only other off the shelf tall boots I've bought and broken in were from when I was 12 so I don't remember what it was like to break them in. So how many rides does it take to feel pretty normal? And thanks for listening to my frustrations, I won't even mention what else they messed up on the order.

AliCat
Apr. 13, 2009, 06:51 PM
I got the Ariat Challenge field boot, and they felt pretty good after the 2nd ride. I did wear them around my apartment before I had the opportunity to ride. I wouldn't stress too much :winkgrin:

hj0519
Apr. 13, 2009, 07:04 PM
That happened to me, too, with the fine print saying it was backordered after I had already ordered. I complained and got my shipping fees refunded, so that was nice, but I wasn't in desperate need of them so it was ok.

It really didn't take that long to break them in when they did get here. I wore them around campus a couple days and then rode in them and breaking them in more than that wasn't really an issue.

horsegirl123
Apr. 13, 2009, 07:05 PM
My daughter just got a new pair and rode in them twice before they felt good. She also wore them around the house a lot.

Good luck.

Bella'sMom
Apr. 13, 2009, 07:48 PM
I have Ariats and custom Dehners - My Ariats were actually easier to break in. My customs are, of course, nicer leather and actually FIT better but the Ariats really were fine after the first ride.

chawley
Apr. 13, 2009, 09:28 PM
I have fully-lined Ariat Heritages (old model-thicker leather) and Vogels. The Ariats really didn't take much more to break in than the Vogels. If you do the bathtub trick, plus rub the inside ankles with Lexol and ride in them, wear them dry around the house, or whatever, you should be fine by your second ride. Don't be afraid to buy heel lifts or Saddle Tite just in case you need a little extra help.

Roxy SM
Apr. 13, 2009, 09:39 PM
Thanks guys you are making me feel a lot less worried! My customs were not a problem to break in I guess I just thought since they were just off the shelf quality they would be stiffer and stuff.

chawley
Apr. 13, 2009, 09:44 PM
Thanks guys you are making me feel a lot less worried! My customs were not a problem to break in I guess I just thought since they were just off the shelf quality they would be stiffer and stuff.

When you receive them, they'll feel and look stiff. Soak them with the Lexol and you'll be shocked how quickly the leather softens.

Hunter Mom
Apr. 13, 2009, 09:48 PM
Mine took maybe two rides to break in. Just wear heavier cotton crew socks for the first couple of rides/days.

gottagrey
Apr. 13, 2009, 11:30 PM
DON'T put the lexol (or any saddle soap/oil type stuff) on the outside, inside yes outside NO. I highly recommend Vogels leather conditioner if you can find it. you can use that on the inside and outside of the boots. My boots were hell to break in and I needed them for sidesaddle - nothing like a tall boot digging into your leg when it's flopped over your saddle:lol:

You can also do the tub/water trough trick which works pretty well too. Most of the boot leather is much softer now as they don't really fully line boots as much as they used to.

best of luck

chawley
Apr. 14, 2009, 11:56 AM
DON'T put the lexol (or any saddle soap/oil type stuff) on the outside, inside yes outside NO. I highly recommend Vogels leather conditioner if you can find it. you can use that on the inside and outside of the boots.

Actually, Vogel recommends using Lexol (I have Vogels) because they unfortunately no longer make Vogel leather conditioner.

HARROLDhasmyheart
Apr. 14, 2009, 12:27 PM
My Ariat's took a ride or two to break in comfortably. I know that seems like it's way too fast, but it is possible, I promise! Good luck, and I'm sorry that you got stuck in this frustrating situation to begin with.

Acertainsmile
Apr. 14, 2009, 12:30 PM
I hunted in my Ariats after only riding in them one time... 4 hours later I could still walk when I got off! :lol:

ToolTime
Apr. 14, 2009, 01:44 PM
I got the Ariat Challenge field boot, and they felt pretty good after the 2nd ride. I did wear them around my apartment before I had the opportunity to ride. I wouldn't stress too much :winkgrin:

Same boots. Same experience. They were fine by the second ride. I also wore them at home a bit.

Fly_High
Apr. 14, 2009, 04:34 PM
This makes me so happy to hear as I have a show in 2 weeks and I haven't had a chance to break in my new boots and my old ones cut off the circulation to my feet.

Romany
Apr. 14, 2009, 04:59 PM
I've had both Ariat Heritage field boots and Ariat Crowne field boots, and honestly, neither pair took any "breaking in" at all, so hopefully you'll be OK!

As well as the bathtub trick, or the Lexol trick, you can try spraying boot stretcher down inside them, and then wearing them right away - that'll help soften the leather and mold it to your legs and feet.

Roxy SM
Apr. 14, 2009, 05:33 PM
Thanks a lot guys! I am a lot less worried now

Roxy SM
Apr. 26, 2009, 05:51 PM
I am reviving this thread because I FINALLY received my boots on Wednesday, over a week later than should have, only giving me a week to break them in. I've ridden in them 9 times, and they're still not feeling really broken in. The part at the back of the knee is ok now, and they no longer feel like they are cutting off my circulation when I put them on, but my ankles really hurt a lot for most of the ride, like I actually have to take my feet out of the stirrups and take a break every few minutes!! The pain is hard to describe since I generally experience pain with both my customs and my paddck boots, it goes from the ankle and up the outside and front of my calf, some people have told me what I describe sounds like shin splints. So it is the same pain, only magnified by A LOT. Over the years I have gotten used to dealing with the pain but this I cannot ignore. How could the boots be causing this? Is it possible the calf is too tight? When I tried them on they were certainly snug but the bigger size would've been too big especially after breaking in not to mention they part around the ankle would've been huge. They are not difficult to get on and off. Any suggestions? And also, to those who reccommended the bathtub thing, how exactly do you do that? And it really doesn't hurt the boots? I am scared to try it. Thanks for all your help!

spaced
Apr. 26, 2009, 06:03 PM
I bought those exact same boots and had the same pain issues. After 6 rides, one boot was still hurting A LOT. I did the "water in the boot" trick and it worked perfectly. I took the boot off, filled it with hot water to about 5 inches above the ankle and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I poured out the water, put the boot back on, rode in it and wore it until it dried (about 4 hours later). It has been perfect after ever since! Good luck.

Roxy SM
Apr. 26, 2009, 07:27 PM
So you didn't fill it all the way up? And you put the water in and THEN put them on? I thought I was supposed to put them on and then step in the bathtub with them on and then wear them til they dried. Do you think you have to ride in them while they are still wet or can you just walk around in them and stuff?

Aliascml
Apr. 26, 2009, 08:28 PM
I am having the same exact problem with my new Ariat boots. It sounds like the bathtub method would be good to try.

horsecrazy
Apr. 26, 2009, 11:07 PM
I think I was still crying (kid you not) after each ride in my boots a good year after getting them. They are customs that have since been discontinued hmm... go figure. They're also lined, which definitely makes a difference.

I heard about the soaking in water/bathtub method and I was tempted, but after dropping a good chunk of change on these boots (I'm not rich), I wasn't willing to take that risk. Now, about 10 years since I first got the boots, they've held up beautifully, but they will still on occasion cut into my ankles if I wear them all day (especially if I'm "trying hard" to keep flexed ankle - read, attempting to show Eq :lol:)

PNWjumper
Apr. 27, 2009, 12:35 AM
I've never gone the full board standing-in-the-bathtub method....but only because I would think it would be really messy to walk through my entire house with wet boots, and I'm always too cold to step into a water bucket in the barn :lol:. I have, on several occaisions though, filled new boots with water while I'm wearing them to help break them in. I started breaking in a pair of custom Vogels this weekend and when my calves started going numb today shortly after putting them on, I grabbed the hose, turned it on, and let it run all around the top of the boots until my feet started getting wet. The boots were MUCH better after that!

To those worried about ruining your boots, just think of it this way.....haven't you ever gotten your paddock boots soaked and then let them dry in the house? They dry in the shape of your foot (somewhat), but it doesn't ruin them. I've now gone the wet-boot way with two pairs of Ariat Crownes, a pair of Sergio Grassos (with zippers), and now a pair of Vogels (with zippers). Soaking them hasn't shortened the life of the boots any more than just wearing them.

spaced
Apr. 27, 2009, 02:27 AM
I was told to get them wet from the inside out. I just filled them with warm water about half way up since my ankle was the problem area. I think it would have been ok to just wear them until they dried, but I wanted to be sure to use them with my foot in a riding position if that makes any sense?

Roxy SM
Apr. 27, 2009, 09:35 AM
I was told to get them wet from the inside out. I just filled them with warm water about half way up since my ankle was the problem area. I think it would have been ok to just wear them until they dried, but I wanted to be sure to use them with my foot in a riding position if that makes any sense?

Ok I was going to do it today and walk around in them but I chickened out! But maybe your method of doing it and then riding is better than just walking around, so I can do that tomorow, and that way I won't get my house all wet either. So do you only get the inside wet? or do you get the outside wet too? And you just let them sit for a few minutes and then put them on without doing anything else to them? And then once they are dry do you condition them or something? And if you actually pour water in them does the bottomof the inside of the boot, like the squishy part, actually dry all the way? Sorry for all the questions!

KnKShowmom
Apr. 27, 2009, 11:07 AM
DD just got a pair of Crowne Pros - one boot fits fine, the other is too tight in the calf area - took her laying on her back in the middle of Dover with her foot in the air for 30 mins + 2 of us pulling to get them off!

The problem is that the next calf size up is too big - I can fit my hand inside her boot with her leg in it. She hasn't finished growing yet so I don't want to do customs yet so we were going to take the one to be stretched but I am wondering if we should try this hot water method first?

Of course, you should have seen the look on her face when I suggested getting in the bathtub with her new boots - priceless! :eek:

Roxy SM
Apr. 27, 2009, 06:18 PM
DD just got a pair of Crowne Pros - one boot fits fine, the other is too tight in the calf area - took her laying on her back in the middle of Dover with her foot in the air for 30 mins + 2 of us pulling to get them off!

The problem is that the next calf size up is too big - I can fit my hand inside her boot with her leg in it. She hasn't finished growing yet so I don't want to do customs yet so we were going to take the one to be stretched but I am wondering if we should try this hot water method first?

Of course, you should have seen the look on her face when I suggested getting in the bathtub with her new boots - priceless! :eek:

See that makes me think that the calf part on my boots is not too tight, because they fel quite tight, like tighter than the snug you want your boots to be, but they are super easy to get off, EASIER than my customs!

spaced
Apr. 28, 2009, 09:33 PM
Ok I was going to do it today and walk around in them but I chickened out! But maybe your method of doing it and then riding is better than just walking around, so I can do that tomorow, and that way I won't get my house all wet either. So do you only get the inside wet? or do you get the outside wet too? And you just let them sit for a few minutes and then put them on without doing anything else to them? And then once they are dry do you condition them or something? And if you actually pour water in them does the bottomof the inside of the boot, like the squishy part, actually dry all the way? Sorry for all the questions!
Yes, the foot part was all squishy/wet but it dried eventually. I rode in them, and then continued to wear them around my house that day until the leather was pretty dry-- probably around 4 hours. Be sure to wear a thin sock so that it can dry and not keep the leather wet. The foot bed was still wet when I took off the boot and that took about a day to dry. I think I just wiped them off with saddle soap when I was done. I have had the boots for about 3 months and ride in them every day and they seem not to have suffered from being wet. FYI, I had already tried putting conditioner on the inside of the boot where it was hurting but that didn't work for me. Good luck!

Empressive Award
Apr. 29, 2009, 01:18 PM
Has anyone done this with a pair of mountain horse boots? I have a nice pair of dress boots that I've worn one time. They are tight in the calf and ankle to the point of pain and conditioner hasn't softened them enough.

I want to try the hot water trick, but I CANNOT stand wet feet, in wet socks for 4 hours! Any other ideas?

I've only worn them once and its either breakin them in or sell them.

Across Sicily
Apr. 29, 2009, 06:38 PM
OK - I got a pair of Ariat Heritage IIs about 2 1/2 mos back and was trying to figure out how to deal with the EXCRUCIATING PAIN that was associated with wearing them. I'd been using Oakwood Leather Conditioner up to this point and while they were breaking in okaaaaay the ankle leather was still attempting to amputate my foot.

I don't have a bathtub and don't reeeeeally want to get my boots wet, so what I did was take Canola oil (cheap! available!), put some on a paper towel, and wiped inside the ankle area on my boots. Did that a couple of times, put the boots on, wore around for about 45 minutes, and I think I have myself a pair of broken in boots.

It was amazingly much easier than I thought it would be. The leather in the ankle area is soft now and doesn't dig into my ankles. I might try the same thing on the backs to get the leather a bit more pliable. It really seems to do the trick without being scary or messing up the boots.

dmj
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:55 PM
going through this right now, did the hose down the boots thing and everything felt great EXCEPT for the heel area. How do I soften this up? What do I do about the crazy blister I now have on my left heel??

Pirateer
Apr. 30, 2009, 05:16 PM
going through this right now, did the hose down the boots thing and everything felt great EXCEPT for the heel area. How do I soften this up? What do I do about the crazy blister I now have on my left heel??

Moleskin! (for your ankle)