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View Full Version : rider boots - zip-up vs pull on



Gracington
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:13 PM
I am getting a new pair of tall boots and was wondering what most eventers have these days, zip-up or pull on boots?

I've had both, I like the zip ups, but the zippers have broken at the most inconvienient of times, so I'm considering going back to pull on.:confused:

Interested to hear opinions and pro & cons - thanks in advance:)

wsmoak
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:22 PM
I might consider zippers for convenience, but *only* with a pair of pull-ons in the trailer as a backup!

FlightCheck
Nov. 23, 2009, 02:31 PM
zip, zip, zip!

My high arched wide feet make pull ons VERY HARD to pull off - I'll never go back!

scubed
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:27 PM
zip! High arches, big calves, small ankles. Pull on just never really fit right, while the zips are great (dehners for show, used ariats for everyday)

lizathenag
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:36 PM
due to all the hardware in my ankle it is zips for me (with a spare pair in the trailer-2 actually but that is a long story)

Lone
Nov. 23, 2009, 03:56 PM
Zippers for me!

Partially out of convenience and partially necessity. I have a bad ankle which always decides to get hurt and swell at the most inopportune times. Trying to get it in or out of a pull on boot is rather excruciating.

But, I always have an extra pair in the trailer! When I decide my current pair of boots is past it's prime I retire them to be the 'extra' pair and get new ones for riding a showing, but it's nice to have the old spares in there just in case

RunForIt
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:02 PM
I personally need for crocs to make the foot and footbed, dehner the ankle and calves...I'm wierd, I know, but prefer the look of no zipper ...you can always have zippers put in if needed.

Anyne know if you can make the TOP of a boot a little bit shorter? I bought a lovely pair of barely used, older model tall, slim calf Ariats this past summer off of ebay - fit my calves and wierd feet (horrible bunions! :eek: ) just fine, BUT, are just about 3/4 inch too tall. The newer models are an inch shorter than these...would so love to get them "cropped" - ha! :lol:

Jazzy Lady
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:10 PM
I personally need for crocs to make the foot and footbed, dehner the ankle and calves...I'm wierd, I know, but prefer the look of no zipper ...you can always have zippers put in if needed.

Anyne know if you can make the TOP of a boot a little bit shorter? I bought a lovely pair of barely used, older model tall, slim calf Ariats this past summer off of ebay - fit my calves and wierd feet (horrible bunions! :eek: ) just fine, BUT, are just about 3/4 inch too tall. The newer models are an inch shorter than these...would so love to get them "cropped" - ha! :lol:

Yes you can. I had an older pair of der dau's that were too tall for me (bought them brand new for $100 on ebay) converted into a spanish top. Cut down the front, the back and the inside and left the outside of the boot alone to make me look ubber tall ;)

deltawave
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:22 PM
Why anyone would do without zippers in the 21st century is beyond me. :)

NMK
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:29 PM
For me, it's not putting them on, it's getting them off. Can you say calf cramp with the dreaded dressage boots (no zipper). No thanks!

Jazzy Lady
Nov. 23, 2009, 04:47 PM
None of my boots have zippers. My dressage boots are pull on and I LOVE them. :)

Kairoshorses
Nov. 23, 2009, 05:04 PM
For me, it's not putting them on, it's getting them off. Can you say calf cramp with the dreaded dressage boots (no zipper). No thanks!

I'm with you. I have yet NOT to cramp up getting boots off. It's zippers for me from now on.

asterix
Nov. 23, 2009, 05:16 PM
I love my mtn horses with zippers. I did keep my beloved ancient Effinghams in the trailer just in case, but so far (3 years), so good.

gully's pilot
Nov. 23, 2009, 05:59 PM
Ditto--I just last year bought a pair of Mountain Horse with zips, and will never go back to pull-ons. I absolutely love them.

Little Valkyrie
Nov. 23, 2009, 08:41 PM
I have the Mountain Horse Classic High Riders and they are very comfortable, easy to get on, attractive etc. The zipper is great, except for one huge flaw. Now that the boots have broken in and the leather is wonderfully soft, the zippers walk themselves down when I'm galloping. I might be able to sneak an XC course out of them, but I doubt it. When we were hunting the other day the zipper went all the way down to my ankle, which is rather hard to fix when you're still galloping.

LR1976
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:24 AM
due to all the hardware in my ankle it is zips for me (with a spare pair in the trailer-2 actually but that is a long story)

Ditto. But ALWAYS have a spare pair!

purplnurpl
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:36 AM
I can't do it. Just can't.
I hate zippers.

I LOVE pull on field boots.
Though I have no calf so maybe the pull-ons fit me easy?

RunForIt
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:39 AM
Yes you can. I had an older pair of der dau's that were too tall for me (bought them brand new for $100 on ebay) converted into a spanish top. Cut down the front, the back and the inside and left the outside of the boot alone to make me look ubber tall ;)

Hey there,

how "directive" did you have to be with the person who did the alterations to the boots? There are folks in FL who are superb in dealing with boots, but woe is me...I'm in the middle of nowhere in GA! :cool:

Ltc4h
Nov. 24, 2009, 08:59 AM
No zippers EVER.
If you actually want to be an effective rider, you can't with zippers.
The boot gives, but the zipper and webbing don't, it is impossible to use your leg correctly.
Torn ligament/shattered bone in right ankle, so no Dress boots but open the laces all the way and Field works fine.

53
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:18 AM
I have the Mountain Horse Classic High Riders and they are very comfortable, easy to get on, attractive etc. The zipper is great, except for one huge flaw. Now that the boots have broken in and the leather is wonderfully soft, the zippers walk themselves down when I'm galloping. I might be able to sneak an XC course out of them, but I doubt it. When we were hunting the other day the zipper went all the way down to my ankle, which is rather hard to fix when you're still galloping.

A friend has boots that do this. She wraps the zipper pull with black electrical tape and then snaps the end of the tape into the top snap of the boot.

ForTheLoveOfIt
Nov. 24, 2009, 09:37 AM
....If you ever get knocked out the ambulance guys are probably going to cut your boots off if they don't have zippers...just saying...could be a waste of several hundred dollars, plus mine were pull ons and the heel ripped off on more than one occasion!

Ajierene
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:00 AM
No zippers EVER.
If you actually want to be an effective rider, you can't with zippers.
The boot gives, but the zipper and webbing don't, it is impossible to use your leg correctly.
Torn ligament/shattered bone in right ankle, so no Dress boots but open the laces all the way and Field works fine.

I am wondering where you get this information. It may depend on the boot, but I wear Ariats with zippers. The zipper follows the seam straight down the back of the boot. There is as much give in the zipper as there is in the seam. When your heel is down, both are straight. I got my boots with zippers when my old boots were getting to small (No, my calf was not to big...boots shrunk!). If there was a difference in my riding, I would have noticed since there was no real break between boots without zippers and boots with zippers.

Trixie
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:26 AM
No zippers EVER.
If you actually want to be an effective rider, you can't with zippers.
The boot gives, but the zipper and webbing don't, it is impossible to use your leg correctly.

I disagree.

I mean, if you were correct, I'd imagine NO big name riders would ever ride with zippers... but they do.

I generally ride in a pair of soft custom half chaps and don't feel much difference when I put on my boots. I prefer my zips immensely because I've had enough issues w/non-zips after ripping a calf muscle. I keep a non-zip pair for backup in the trailer and some black electrical tape.

Jazzy Lady
Nov. 24, 2009, 10:29 AM
Hey there,

how "directive" did you have to be with the person who did the alterations to the boots? There are folks in FL who are superb in dealing with boots, but woe is me...I'm in the middle of nowhere in GA! :cool:

I said "I know you really want me to buy brand new custom boots, but I am poor and these were cheap. Yes they are the old style, but I'm an eventer, not a hunter so I don't really care. But I would like you to make them fit me please and give me a spanish top. I put them on and he put lines on them where he wanted to cut them down and then 2 years later I got them back. hahaha. I totally forgot about them and apparently so did he. OOOPS. Whole thing cost me $20. So I got boots that fit like full customs, good leather for $120.

Now this was at a high end tack shop up here, so the guy knew what he was doing. And he also knows how picky I am... lol. he knew exactly what a spanish top was... I don't know if most cobblers would know, but if you took some pictures with you, put them on and said where you want it shorter and where you want to keep the height I would think that a good cobbler should be able to do it for you.

mybelle
Nov. 24, 2009, 11:24 AM
Has anyone had this experience? Or am I just "special"? :lol:

The lining in only one of my Ariat pull-ons is separating from the outer layer. I have had the boots for a while but I use them only for showing (which is very occaisonal). I have always been very careful with them as they were a big purchase for me.

purplnurpl
Nov. 24, 2009, 02:48 PM
....If you ever get knocked out the ambulance guys are probably going to cut your boots off if they don't have zippers...just saying...could be a waste of several hundred dollars, plus mine were pull ons and the heel ripped off on more than one occasion!

all you have to do is flip over and tell them to cut up the back seam.
Then have a leather maker stitch them back together. Good as new. ; )

Nomini
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:15 PM
Zippers for sure! When I was a kid, my dad used to have to push me in and pull me out of my tall boots. Just recently at an event, I was putting on my zip ups and my dad looked at me and said "WHY didn't they have those when I had break a sweat to put your stupid boots on!"

If you do zip ups though, don't be stingy. First pair I bought broke mid Prelim XC (made me keep my leg on my horse though!) Next pair I splurged a little and they're going on 4 years now (plus, so comfortable I walk XC in them). My ancient pull-ons, however, are permanently in the trailer just in case!

lizathenag
Nov. 25, 2009, 02:46 PM
No zippers EVER.
If you actually want to be an effective rider, you can't with zippers.
\

BALONEY

an effective rider can ride in work boots or sneakers and all the boots in the world won't help a rider who is not effective.

Ltc4h
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:00 PM
True, a great rider can ride.
But, Try both same day/same ride, you WILL have a better use of your leg with pull ons.
Look at pictures in any discipline-why since the zippers became a fad do most riders ride heel high.

ForTheLoveOfIt
Nov. 25, 2009, 03:09 PM
all you have to do is flip over and tell them to cut up the back seam.
Then have a leather maker stitch them back together. Good as new. ; )

haha that is awesome!! its good to know these things before you wake up from being out cold and your $$$ custom boots have been massacred!

deltawave
Nov. 25, 2009, 04:05 PM
The back of one's leg belongs nowhere near the horse--can't see what possible difference having a zipper back there would make. :confused:

Even with my far-less-than-optimal leg position, the zipper area of my boot doesn't come in contact with my horse.

octavian_jazz
Nov. 25, 2009, 06:14 PM
Has anyone had this experience? Or am I just "special"? :lol:

The lining in only one of my Ariat pull-ons is separating from the outer layer. I have had the boots for a while but I use them only for showing (which is very occaisonal). I have always been very careful with them as they were a big purchase for me.

Do you mean the loop thing that you stick you boot pulls into? It's the one and only flaw I've found in Ariats, but both of mine are now torn and useless, but...

Zip ups don't fit me correctly, so I have no choice but to wear pull ons. I love my Ariats, at this point they are so broken in (yes, the ones with the torn boot pull loop thingies), that I don't even have to use boot pulls, I can just pull them on and off, to me they are like zip ups without the zippers (no extra equipment, boot jack or pulls needed!). I think it really depends on your personal preference and the shape of your leg. Some people can't fit into pull ons but are great with zip ups and vice versa. Honestly, because I've never ridden in a pair of zip ups, I don't know how they feel, but I wonder if you can feel the zipper part on the back of the boot?

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 25, 2009, 06:25 PM
....If you ever get knocked out the ambulance guys are probably going to cut your boots off if they don't have zippers...just saying...could be a waste of several hundred dollars, plus mine were pull ons and the heel ripped off on more than one occasion!

LOL....when I was taken to the hospital (broken ribs, collapsed lung, coughing up blood...you get the picture). I just BEGGED and BEGGED that they not cut my boots off. Custom Dehners...pull on dress boots. I swore that they pulled off pretty easy (they did...must be the shape of my calves...most boots pull off easy). They took pitty on me and pulled off my boots nicely. My good shirt and sports bra...not so nice, they didn't make it.

So it can be done:D But if you are out cold...or broken leg...they will cut them off regardless. They will also sometimes cut them off even IF you have zippers.

So just don't fall off;)

Ajierene
Nov. 25, 2009, 06:39 PM
True, a great rider can ride.
But, Try both same day/same ride, you WILL have a better use of your leg with pull ons.
Look at pictures in any discipline-why since the zippers became a fad do most riders ride heel high.

Tell that to my trainer, who has never had a problem with my leg position - and trust me, she would tell me a piece of apparel was hurting my position. I feel very secure with my boots and able to stay in balance. I ride in half chaps and paddock boots most of the time, so I would notice a difference if my tall boots affected my position at all.

mbarrett
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:29 PM
I saved my $$ for 3 years to purchase a custom made pair of Dehner dress boots. NO ZIPS! I had a wonderful lady measure me and my boots fit me like a glove. They are so comfortable riding in them, I don't even notice my boots. (I love Dehner!)

I did have an elastic gusset put in. That does help with pulling on the boots and pulling them off.

I did not want to deal with a broken zipper. I have always heard the phrase, "It's not IF the zipper will break, it's WHEN it will break." That from a boot dealer. If the zipper is going to break, it will be at a show or clinic. I can't afford a "spare" pair of boots in the trailer.

I've owned a pair of mass-produced field boots with a zipper, and they didn't fit me right and the zipper in the back didn't give me the right "feel" in my leg when riding. JMHO.

deltawave
Nov. 25, 2009, 07:53 PM
I can't afford a "spare" pair of boots in the trailer.

Gosh, for the cost of a pair of Dehners, you could afford THREE pairs of less-exalted boots in the trailer for spares. :)

Not dissing them, we all have equipment we adore, just can't see myself EVER spending that much on boots!

ladybugsbw
Nov. 25, 2009, 10:16 PM
Zippers all the way!!
Nothing beats the closer fit:)

KismetEagleEyes
Nov. 26, 2009, 04:15 AM
Has anyone had this experience? Or am I just "special"? :lol:

The lining in only one of my Ariat pull-ons is separating from the outer layer. I have had the boots for a while but I use them only for showing (which is very occaisonal). I have always been very careful with them as they were a big purchase for me.
Complain to Ariat. Send an aggravated email to a customer service rep and also to the place you bought the boots from. I work in a tack store, and since Ariat has decided to "mainstream" their product the quality assurance and care that used to go into their boots just isn't there. You'd be amazed at how many items come back shortly after purchase with damages that should not have happened! Soles separating from the leather uppers...half chaps dropping over an inch in the first week of riding, untrimmed seams and lumps and bumps inside the shoe, cracking after a short period of time...I could go on and on. And then on some more. If you truly haven't worn them very much and only for showing, they can measure the wear on the tread to determine how "used" they are and make a decision from there as to whether the product was defective or not. Hope that helps.

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:02 AM
Gosh, for the cost of a pair of Dehners, you could afford THREE pairs of less-exalted boots in the trailer for spares. :)

Not dissing them, we all have equipment we adore, just can't see myself EVER spending that much on boots!


Mine were my high school graduation from my parents. I have to say....they were worth the money. I used them for almost 15 years They STILL looked great and I'm not one who takes great care of my boots. If I hadn't gained weight and had the shape of my calves change a bit from wearing high heels...I might have been able to wear them for another 15 years.

That said...I currently own an off the shelf pair of Ariat Field boots (fit me really well--4/5 years old and look good) so I couldn't justify spending the money on custom Dehners:)

Gracington
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:11 AM
I went to try on some new Ariat tall boots

- pull-on's didn't work because of high arch, like many of you said getting them off was a pain in the leg!

- then tried on zip-ups, found the calf sizes were either too tight or too loose (I was trying between a regular calf and a full calf) even when trying the same size and model as my current boots

I last purchased a pair of Ariat's about 3-4 years ago. Have any of you found a dramatic change in Ariat's over the past couple of years?

-if not Ariat's what are you wearing?:confused:

wef26
Nov. 28, 2009, 10:34 AM
No zippers EVER.
If you actually want to be an effective rider, you can't with zippers.
The boot gives, but the zipper and webbing don't, it is impossible to use your leg correctly.
Torn ligament/shattered bone in right ankle, so no Dress boots but open the laces all the way and Field works fine.

I disagree, the zippers are not at all in the way any more than the normal ridge down the back of boots. I love my zipper boots, because it means I can take them off between rides to go walk courses and not ruin them. I did have a heavier duty zipper put in, they have held up with that change. Well worth it!

mbarrett
Nov. 28, 2009, 01:01 PM
Gosh, for the cost of a pair of Dehners, you could afford THREE pairs of less-exalted boots in the trailer for spares. :)

Not dissing them, we all have equipment we adore, just can't see myself EVER spending that much on boots!

Yes, you're right, after spending $900 on my custom Dehners, I could have bought 3 pair of inferior boots. But why?

My Dehners will last me at least 20 years if I care for them properly. I could go through many more than 3 pair of inferior, off-the-shelf boots for $900.

I'll stick with my custom boots. I personally hate everything about off-the-shelf boots: quality of leather, fit, craftsmanship and durability. (In my experience, can't even come close to customs.)

Besides, I economize in other areas of my life so I CAN afford custom boots.

Jane Honda
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:11 PM
Personally, I LOVE my zip up field boots. Although, the plastic zipper broke, and I'm spending the $$$ to get the zippers upgraded to really nice ones.

Noctis
Nov. 29, 2009, 09:24 PM
NEVER a zipper boot again...darn things don't hold up. LOVE my ancient ancient Ariats. Not the new ones, not so thrilled with them (tried a few pairs on), but my old as dirt ones? LOVE them.

Petstorejunkie
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:41 PM
I can't do it. Just can't.
I hate zippers.

I LOVE pull on field boots.
Though I have no calf so maybe the pull-ons fit me easy?
I hear ya! There is something different about the stiffness of a pull on that makes them ride better for me. Well fitted broken in pull ons arent a cursing match to get on and off... key words well fitted and broken in

purplnurpl
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:20 AM
My Effingham field boots are going on 10 years and they look spectacular.
I had to have some repairs this month becaue I ripped out a boot pull loop at my last horse show and I'm starting to get cracks in the wrinkles at the ankles.

I have an excellent boot guy and he stitched everything back together.

Good for another year..or two or there!!
I think my boot guy is going to be able to repair any issues for the rest of my life...he has too. Effiningham is gone and I don't want to have to afford new boots. lol.

No zippers for me! yay!