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View Full Version : Please help me with custom boot options



Trigger
Jan. 22, 2011, 04:13 PM
I'm finally investing in a pair of custom dress boots. So many options are mind boggling. Specifically, could folks weigh in on the following options:

Zippers, yea or nay?
If no zippers, thoughts on gussets?
Tops - "Italian" high cut or regular Spanish tops
Lining - full lining throughout or is it good to get softer on inside for feel?

I realize these are all personal choices but hoping I can get some ideas on what people like/don't like, would do over, before I spend the $$.

xrmn002
Jan. 22, 2011, 07:18 PM
Having worn all combinations recently I can tell you what I would do and the pros/cons I've found.

1. Zippers - Yes, love them. Zippers will need to be replaced from time to time and require more maintenance but are so much more convenient! They are best on the inside front.

2. Extra high tops - Yes, they make my legs look slimmer and longer. : )

3. Full lining - I have Vogels with no lining, Vogels with dressage lining (VERY thick and stiff) and Cavallos with normal lining. I don't really like the Very thick and stiff. I think some lining helps quiet your legs but the very thick feels like a cast to me and they do not give, stretch, mold etc. to your calves very easily.

One other thing I would recommend- make sure you have someone who knows how to measure and/or go to someone who will measure them and assume the risk if their measurements are off. I bought one pair of custom boots that a friend measured and they did not fit at all. I was not able to return them and after many add'l $$ they now fit in the calf but are still a little short. I ordered another pair semi- custom online to save $$ and have spent as much adding soles and zippers as I would if I had just ordered through the local tack shop.

Good luck! Once you get a nice fitting pair of custom boots you will never go back!

Fantastic
Jan. 22, 2011, 10:16 PM
How exciting to be ordering new boots!! Lucky you!

I have 3 pairs of Konigs. One is full custom and two are semi custom. The oldest pair is going on 13 years, I wear them almost daily, and they are still nice enough to show in if I needed to. Mine are all very stiff because I like how stable they are in the ankle. Two pairs have a rubber traction sole applied over the leather sole. I really like this option and I have yet to wear them out! They also do not absorb moisture as easily as leather.

To answer your questions:
Zippers - absolutely!! Could not live without them! Just be aware that some custom boots come with a smaller toothed zipper than the heavy duty ones that Woody installs down in West Palm Beach, so request the heavy duty ones if that option is available. My custom Konigs came with medium duty zippers that did last a long time, but not as long as the heavy duty's.

Extra high tops - well, it depends. I got them on my custom boots, and I wouldn't get the extreme high tops again. I have muscular short legs, and I do not find this top as flattering as the lower rounded tops. JMHO.

Lining - I prefer the still lining, as I like how stable my ankle is. Definately wouldn't want floppy ankles, and you do not need soft insides for feel, as the ankle and heel part of the boot is not used for dressage like it is in hunters.

As for measuring - if you plan on wearing them with thick breeches, during the winter with thick socks, or with long underwear, make sure you accomodate for that extra thickness. I did not think of this with any of Konigs, and when the weather is super cold, I really wish I could wear a heavy sock comfortably and a thick breech with long johns underneath. Instead I wear Tropical Rider Endura Cools with lycra long johns, med weight fleece socks, and Futi's over the outside to keep toes warm. This actually keeps me very warm, even though the layers are thin.

What brands are you thinking of?

I bet you can hardly wait to get them ordered and then received! :)

carovet
Jan. 22, 2011, 11:55 PM
i just ordered my 2nd pair of custom koenigs for dressage (4th customs overall, i also have gone through bad fit custom field boots years ago (that the shop said "too bad" then better ones later -- im too tall for off the shelf)

i am doing zippers again (inside front)
(ill never have boots without them again, i doubt i could even put on stiff dressage boots without the zips, i'll never have horrible calf cramps from pulling off too tight or sweaty boots again!)

i am doing gussets again (they make that initial break in period *so* much better), allow for weight changes and forgive a bit too tight boots during the break in time

I am going to change to the extra high tops this time -- i have plain spanish tops now and they no longer look "in style"

fully lined/medium stiff -- less than fully lined and they will drop a lot more

this is my second pair of koenigs.
i also adjusted the height up 1 cm and added 1 cm to the calf -- the advantage of keeping the same brand is that *hopefully* you can make minor adjustments and have an even better fit over time (i have been very happy with my first pair, but am going to have every day boots vs. show boots now)

I also have had vogel field boots x 2 and did the gussets but that was before the days that zippers were popular - though i seldom jump in them these days, the one day i jumped in a clinic this fall and had to get the boots pulled off afterwards made me really, really appreciate the zips i have become used to.

pm if you want me to send you a pic of the regular spanish tops from a show pic-- 5 years ago they were the in style, but now the spanish tops look "old fashioned" to me :D

ps make sure you get the wedge heel lifts ahead so when the boots arrive you can start wearing them -- i also added xtra thick gel insoles from the drug store during the break in time to give me a bit more help with the high backs-- i had wounds!-- so when i got them i needed the wedges and insoles too, and now i wish i had 1 extra cm in height!

carovet
Jan. 23, 2011, 12:02 AM
pps
be sure to have a very candid discussion with the owner/manager of the shop you order from about how it will be handled if the fit is not good...
i lived through riding, teaching and hunting in college, blood cutting off circulation, painful field boots, because the person that measured me measured poorly and the shop said it would cost too much money to send them back and have them done again -- they said no returns.

that hasn't been my experience for the last few orders, but back then i was screwed and didn't understand that the store was responsible to make it right.

and try not to just have a random sales person if you can help it, ask for a manager, owner, or at least senior sales person to do the measure, perhaps call to schedule ahead.

and if they aren't right, send them back -- even if you need them for the show next weekend, it is not worth keeping not quite right boots!

carovet

ssachter
Jan. 23, 2011, 12:34 AM
Lamundial.com. AMAZING!!!!!!!

Bogey2
Jan. 23, 2011, 06:33 AM
Zippers, yea or nay? yes! especially if you have big feet and small ankes with skinny legs
If no zippers, thoughts on gussets?
Tops - "Italian" high cut or regular Spanish topsI did spanish, but I have a long leg
Lining - full lining throughout or is it good to get softer on inside for feel?I have the Vogels with full lining

Trigger
Jan. 23, 2011, 07:46 PM
Thanks, everyone. Yes I'm thrilled to be getting them but also apprehensive since it's a big investment and I've heard horror stories from a few people. But the fit tips here are great, thank you. Fantastic, I will probably go with one of the American makers, Dehner or Vogel. One thing I forgot to mention, I have never had a problem pulling boots on so wouldn't necessarily need a zipper. Don't know if one should avoid a potentially high maintenance part if it isn't essential.

If anybody else could comment on the "dressage wishbone" lining versus regular full lining that would be great. I want a correct look but don't want to have it be uncomfortable past the break in period.

Also as carovet said, is it true that regular spanish tops are out of style?

carolprudm
Jan. 24, 2011, 08:51 AM
Der Dau boots are also American made and very good.

Make sure the person taking the measurements knows what he or she is doing. When I got mine 6 years ago I was measured by my local tack shop. The first pair didn;t fit so they sent them back. The second, and maybe the third didn't fit either, I've lost track. The local tack shop and DerDau were having booths at a nearby expo and I took the boots there. A DerDau rep measured me and showed the local person where she had made her mistake. I have a "low calf".

I promptly broke my ankle, called DerDau and told them to HOLD THE BOOTS. To late, they were done and on their way. It was over a year until I could get them on, even with zippers:eek: but they are indeed beautiful

netg
Jan. 24, 2011, 05:12 PM
If I didn't need zippers, I would definitely not get them. You never know when yours might break, and from what I've been told they definitely will at some point.

My Vogels fit me absolutely perfectly from the first time I put them on. I went to the local tack store for measuring, and she knows what she's doing - I get the impression that's every bit as important as the bootmaker. I have teenie ankles and am narrow just below my knees - but have larger calves. There is no way to have a boot fit me properly and be capable of pulling it on and off without a zipper. Add high arches to that, and you have even more of a problem.

I was recommended the back of the leg zippers, but don't remember why. They're certainly no problem for me.

Marcella
Jan. 25, 2011, 09:53 PM
I would like to know what we did pre-zippers? I can't imagine getting boots on without them, but somehow managed for many, many years for slipping my boots on.

Could it be that boots now are much tighter and fitted because of the zippers? I tried to get my boots on without undoing the zipper, and I couldn't even get my foot 1/2 way down.

I would recommend having someone measure you. I have seen ghastly results with people who got boots where they self-measured. I just don't think you can do it right. Someone who measures people regularly for boots knows what they are doing, and it is worth any extra money it might cost.

Flap15
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:35 AM
I have to disagree that you require someone with experience to measure you properly. I ordered custom Cavallos from Germany with measurements that my husband took for me. The instructions that the manufacturer provided left nothing to interpretation and the whole process was fairly simple. We took each measurement a number of times to make sure we came out with an "average" but the numbers rarely changed. Foot tracings were also submitted when I sent in the order.

I was very nervous waiting for the boots to arrive but they fit beautifully. I have received so many compliments on them and have convinced a number of people at my barn to consider measuring for themselves the next time they order customs. I saved $500 by not having my local tack store do the fitting. This is not rocket science as they may make you believe :)

As for the OP... I love my zippers and the high cut is a very elegant look.

carolprudm
Jan. 26, 2011, 08:15 AM
If I didn't need zippers, I would definitely not get them. You never know when yours might break, and from what I've been told they definitely will at some point.

.
Supposedly the boots with the zippers towards the inside front are more long lasting and under less stress than the ones down the back

AllWeatherGal
Jan. 26, 2011, 11:01 AM
I have to disagree that you require someone with experience to measure you properly. I ordered custom Cavallos from Germany with measurements that my husband took for me.

Clearly he's got a great career option as a boot-measurer, because that would be my warning, as well.

I have fully-lined Dehners with a high square top that looks okay when I'm on a horse, but not great otherwise. I agree with Fantastic that they're not as flattering to the stocky leg. I require zippers, thought I might still want to jump (delusional, yes), so didn't get the wishbone back and don't miss it at all.

netg
Jan. 26, 2011, 01:01 PM
I would like to know what we did pre-zippers? I can't imagine getting boots on without them, but somehow managed for many, many years for slipping my boots on.

Could it be that boots now are much tighter and fitted because of the zippers? I tried to get my boots on without undoing the zipper, and I couldn't even get my foot 1/2 way down.

I would recommend having someone measure you. I have seen ghastly results with people who got boots where they self-measured. I just don't think you can do it right. Someone who measures people regularly for boots knows what they are doing, and it is worth any extra money it might cost.

I had either field boots or boots which were too big in the foot, and they were hugely uncomfortable from being far too loose in the ankle, and looked awful from being too loose below the knee.

It is not physically possible for a tall boot to fit me well without either lacing, zipping, or stretching.

kittykeno
Jan. 27, 2011, 12:00 AM
I second having an experienced sales person do the measuring. Please place your order using a credit card. Custom made boots have to fit. If they don't fit your credit card company can be your ally in getting a satisfactory product. Yes, I know this by direct experience.

2DogsFarm
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:50 AM
I vote for Vogel based on their customer service & workmanship.

My dress boots are circa 1989 & have gone back to Vogel for gussets, then back zippers, then zipper repair (1 boot only & they charged me exactly 1/2 the cost of work on a pair).
All over the course of 20 years.
Customer service has always been outstanding.

Boots still fit & are as comfortable as Day One.
The zips were added about 10yrs into ownership & I'd never want a pair without.
High arches made pulling boots on a crampfest & pulling them off after a long day of showing torturous.

I was doing H/J when they were purchased so no Spanish cut.
I opted for lining the cuff only.
Maybe more lining would have made pre-zipper removal easier?

event1
Jan. 27, 2011, 11:48 AM
Lamundial.com. AMAZING!!!!!!!



YOUR ARE KIDDING RIGHT......WORST COMPANY ON THE PLANET!!!!

caddym
Jan. 27, 2011, 06:40 PM
I'd vote for Dehner, I have 2 pairs of custom from them. The first pair I had fitted for me by a professional. when I was ready for a second pair, I just called them up and they save the measurements (the 2nd pair only cost $700).

by the way I still have the 1st pair after 7 years of daily riding the are still good enough for showing and have needed zero repair

Personally I don't like zippers I've had a lot of problems with them. I think its find if you have 2 or 3 pairs of boots and don't mind if a pair is of for a week or 2 getting repaired

Hilary
Jan. 28, 2011, 01:40 PM
I vote for Dehner too- love the way the feet/ankles look over the other brands for some reason. And my first pair is going on 12 and still look fantastic.

Also I see riders with the super high cut tops and I don't think it makes their legs look longer, I just think "oh, they got extra high boot tops so people think their legs look longer". If you get the boots the correct height (No you should not be able to sit in a chair in them!) the normal curve will be enough to augment the line a little.

If you get stiffeners I would advise zippers - my regular denhers were pretty stiff but nothing like the pipes you get when you have stiffeners ( I have a zip pair of konigs with zippers too). Which pretty much make it impossible to just pull the boots on.

rocky213
Jan. 28, 2011, 05:17 PM
I was lucky enough to go on a business trip to Omaha (no one else wanted to go, but I did because I knew Dehner was there !). I scheduled an appt and got measured by a guy who had been doing it for 20 years. Talk about a pro !! Anyways, they showed me the orphans and it happened that they had a pair of orphans that fit. I also couldnt resist and got a pair of orphan paddock boots.

The orphans are now 6 years old and going strong. If you can swing by Dehner its definitely worth a trip and especially since I saved $500 by buying the orphans, it paid for the plane ticket, if I had to pay for it.