I'm on my third pair and my husband is on his second. We love zip ups and several members of our hunt including our huntsman wear them too. We don't always take our boots off for the hunt breakfast but if they are especially muddy It's nice to just unzip and enter without a need for boot jack or boot pulls. I think they look great too!
Won't ever buy anything but zip-ups ever again! They help so much with joint pain in putting them on and it's much more time efficient. I don't know of anyone who's tried them and actually wants to go back to the old fashioned kind.
I TOTALLY agree with everyone. To "heck" with tradition. My high instep makes getting "regular" boots on a nightmare - and getting them off is worse. BUT....... I've got two brand new pairs - as in ONE time on, with broken zippers. Anyone else??? One pair (Opening Hunt, thank you) had the zipper slide pull off in my hand, three inches from the top. The second pair - MORE than a little roomy - went on fine, only to have the zipper separate in the first five minutes of a ride. Hint...keep a roll of black, electric tape handy. Boot maker companies are offering to replace the zippers for me. Makes me think it is not an uncommon problem!
Um, if zip-up dressage boots count, I'm with ya (they were all I had). When I bought them about 5 years ago, I felt like I was bucking the trend, as well.
I too wear them. I actually found a pair of used ones in very good condition at a farm dispersal sale. I paid 10.00 for them (where is jswan ? :) and figured I couldn't loose. So easy and I too have been raised to "take off the boots" when going into homes for tea or after riding.
I suspect I'll not do as well next time so I"m taking very good care of mine :
Okay, what brand of zipper dress boots are you all liking?? I love my Dehner dress boots but riding in my high-dollar, bought on sale, Ariat paddock boots has spoiled my foot, those are so soft and provide such a nice cushion. I've put a pair of some sort of cushion in the Dehners but it's not the same.
I had the shoe and luggage repair shop put zippers in the back of my old pair and have worn them almost exclusively time to get zippers put in my good pair
Due to an old ankle injury, I cannot get into tall boots without a zipper.
All of my boots are so old they were made before zippers were invented.
Then when my husband cleaned out his tack store I got a couple more pair because no one was buying anything but zippers anymore. So it will be years before I have zip up boots. I've got three pair to wear out first and the Dehners I hunt in are already 20 yrs old so there's not much chance of that. I'm amazed when people say they are on their third pair of zip ups. I can't even wear out one pair of boots. My old Dehners have been sent back to Dehner and rebuilt once though.
Like others who have posted here, I can't get properly fitted non-zip dress boots on due to an old ankle injury. I have two pairs of zips, 1 for eventing/hunting in warm weather, and 1 for hunting in cold weather ( I bought them 1 size big so I could wear as many layers of woolie warm stuff as I feel I need, which is usually a lot !). After years of struggling with non-zips - I have skinny legs but big feet so it killed me to try to shove my giant flippers through the smallest part of the ankle ;) - I would never go back to non-zips again.
I have a pair of Tuff-Rider zips, and although they are nice, mine are just WAY too tight around the ankle when I flex in the stirrup. They are fine walking and fit great, but because of the lack of extra material, after over an hour in the saddle, my feet start to go numb! Not good!!
Heard too many horror stories about zippers breaking at the most unopportune time!
However, a friend of mine swears by the off the rack Horse Country zips that actually look amazing and are fully lined!
The off the shelf cheapie dress boots vintage mid-80s just about have a hole on the inside from stirrup leather wear. And the Dehners, same vintage, don't get much use these days as they have brown tops, but I did use them to whip in last spring and was pleased I could still get 'em on!
I suppose another advantage of the zipper is not having to cut someone's boot off when, er, stuff happens! I'd consider 'em, I have seen some and they look nice, plus they meet my ultimate attire rule, 'who the heck can tell the difference when you are galloping over hill and dale?' But I'm fundamentally cheap (or should I say thrifty?) and would realllly hate to shell out hundreds and have the zippers not last.