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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2002
    Location
    North Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,092

    Default Which field boots do I buy?EDIT- Tack stores that sell online to NZ?

    EDITED: Ive decided on Ariats but now need to find a tack store that does international shipping - can anyone help?


    Ok...so Ive wanted a pair of Mountain horse high calibre's for ever. But finally I got round to trying them on for size...and though I LOVE the look of them, I hate them to walk in. The steel reinforcing around the heel/ankle is awful.

    So as I was about to plonk down $600 (nz) on a pair....I have now changed my mind!

    Now I need advice on what else to try. Please can anyone offer feedback or suggestions?

    My wishlist....

    * Bought off the shelf (no custom made budget here sadly!)
    * Spanish top preferably
    * Zippers a must (ankle reconstruction means I cant pull on non zippered boots!)
    * Shaped to fit the leg
    * Laces at ankles (functional or decorative)
    * MUST be comfy to walk in as well as ride in!

    Am I asking too much?!

    Heck I dont even care if they are fake leather, I just want comfy boots that look nice too.

    Ive seen Ariat challenge field boots which look nice (but are they made for tall skinny people?)...Devonaire (but they are cheap, so wonder if they are really dodgy?)..Ovation (as per devonaire)...

    Welcome all and any suggestions on any style/brand that I might now know of, and please, provide feedback good and bad!

    Thank you!
    Last edited by IfWishesWereHorses; Jun. 24, 2009 at 06:26 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2009
    Posts
    438

    Default

    My experience is that no tall boots are comfortable at first unless they are custom (and even then some are not at first either).

    I would not recommend fake leather tall boots unless they fit you really well to begin with. This is because they usually do not stretch.

    I would try to find a pair that when you try them on may not be necessarily comfortable now but that you can feel they may be when you break them in. If you had the choice between tighter and more loosely fitting, I would go with the slightly tighter ones as long as they are not unbearable. This is due to the fact that they will stretch, and if they are loose to begin with and they stretch they won't look as good. Boots that are too big can also be slightly difficult to stretch but boots that are too small can usually be stretched.

    I would just go and feel the leather on different types of boots too. If it feels like it could be conditioned and become supple then it probably could.

    Also keep in mind that boots will "drop" as you break them in. This means to get a boot that is 1-2" taller than you want because that way when they drop they won't look too short.

    I own some on course boots that were off the shelf boots that I have had for about 7 years now. They are real leather and they are quite comfy. I don't think on course even makes boots anymore but it could be worth looking into if you're looking for something a little less expensive.
    "Be the change you want to see in the world."
    ~Mahatma Gandhi



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2002
    Location
    Go Bucks!
    Posts
    3,634

    Default

    Do you have a good tack store nearby that you can go and try a bunch of different boots on? If your budget is $600 or under, there are many options and considering you're not a hard fit, you shouldn't have trouble finding what you need. You didn't mention if you were showing in these boots, or if they would be used more for just daily riding. That makes a difference, as the more expensive, refined boots popular for the ring are made of much softer leather that doesn't hold up as well to daily use.

    The Ariat Challenges are fully lined and will hold up well (I know several that have them as schooling boots). The Ariast Crownes are very nice.

    I tried the Ovation boots when I was looking for a boot to school in and while the fit was nice, I wasn't crazy about the leather. I'm not sure if Devon Aires are still the same quality, but back in college, I bought a pair for daily use, and they were virtually indestructable.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2001
    Location
    Alaska. Not in an Igloo.
    Posts
    8,993

    Default

    Have you seen the Mountain Horse Supremes? They are LOVELY!
    Seig Heil Polo Shirt!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    6,852

    Default

    Ditto Pirateer. The Mountain Horse Supremes are very different than the High Calibers and meet all of your requirement.

    I've had my pair for two weeks now and they rival any custom boot. I've gotten compliments on them from professionals numerous times now.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2008
    Posts
    120

    Default Grand Prix Elite

    I have a pair of the Grand Prix Elite field boots and I LOVE them! They were broken in after just one ride, very soft leather, and I have gotten a ton of compliments on them. I am actually searching ebay now for a used pair to school in, in addition to my show boots, I like them that much!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2009
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    100

    Default Grand Prix Elite & Devonaire Gold Edition

    I love both my Grand Prix Elites and Devonaire Gold Editions! Surprisingly, the Gold Editions have really soft calfskin leather that could easily rival my Grand Prixs. The GEs also have held up nicely with the work I've had done to them over the past 6 years. I had zippers added and the ankle taken in. The GPs fit better initially but the GE are just as comfortable and fit just as nicely now and they both have lasted the past 6 years with pretty equal usage. Given your "wish list" they both would fit the bill, however the GEs were considerably cheaper than the GPs by about $200.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    Finland and NJ
    Posts
    2,262

    Default

    I absolutely LOVE my Ariat Challenges. I have the older models and they have held up great through daily wear and tear for the past 5 years. They have the comfiest footbed I've ever felt and clean up nicely, if I would ever want to use them in the show ring. I definitely recommend them. SO comfy!

    The zipper has been replaced once, about a year ago, but other than that, they've held up great! I believe the newer version has a nice Spanish top, like you are looking for. They are also a great price for nice tall boots!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2002
    Location
    North Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,092

    Default Ahhh

    Fabulous..thanks guys....

    Re the new MH supremes, I just saw that thread and would LOVE to try those, but I doubt we will have them here for another year or so! The high calibers that I tried on were awful around the back of my ankle due to the steel reinforcing. I tried 3 pairs, two were well worn in (belonged to friends) and one new in the store. Both friends agreed they are unbearable to walk in.

    So...I love the look of the ariat challenge with the spanish top...glad to see that some here love them too. Are they comfortable to walk round in?

    Yes, I will use them for showing occasionally, however I do eventing not HJ and am not worried if they are not the in type of boot to wear ;-)


    Grand prix elites sound great too...now Im off to google them....

    THanks again guys, and now if anyone knows of a closeout on ariats....let me know lol!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 2, 2007
    Location
    Finland and NJ
    Posts
    2,262

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IfWishesWereHorses View Post
    Fabulous..thanks guys....

    Re the new MH supremes, I just saw that thread and would LOVE to try those, but I doubt we will have them here for another year or so! The high calibers that I tried on were awful around the back of my ankle due to the steel reinforcing. I tried 3 pairs, two were well worn in (belonged to friends) and one new in the store. Both friends agreed they are unbearable to walk in.

    So...I love the look of the ariat challenge with the spanish top...glad to see that some here love them too. Are they comfortable to walk round in?

    Yes, I will use them for showing occasionally, however I do eventing not HJ and am not worried if they are not the in type of boot to wear ;-)


    Grand prix elites sound great too...now Im off to google them....

    THanks again guys, and now if anyone knows of a closeout on ariats....let me know lol!
    My challenges are SO comfortable to walk in. I usually leave them on instead of throwing sneakers on instead. Definitely worth a look!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    5,490

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IsolaBella09 View Post
    My challenges are SO comfortable to walk in. I usually leave them on instead of throwing sneakers on instead. Definitely worth a look!
    I third the Ariat challenges. I like them because they are fully lined (I always want fully lined) the fit perfect off the shelf, and once broken in (took two wearings after filling with water, then they were perfect) were comfy and look great a year later. I know they have them with zippers; I like them without. Mine were 250 at an end of year sale. The newer models are a bit more and have the top you are looking for. Try them if you can, you might like. The leather is perfect for me.
    Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2002
    Location
    North Island, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,092

    Default Another round...

    Ok I think its going to be Ariat Challengers..the later models...

    So...bearing that in mind... Anotherround, how much did they drop after they were worn in, so I can judge the height correctly?

    And what on earth do you mean you filled them with water?!! lol please tell!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2003
    Posts
    555

    Default

    Love the Grand Prix Elites, they are soft and break in so nice.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2002
    Location
    Go Bucks!
    Posts
    3,634

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IfWishesWereHorses View Post
    Ok I think its going to be Ariat Challengers..the later models...

    So...bearing that in mind... Anotherround, how much did they drop after they were worn in, so I can judge the height correctly?

    And what on earth do you mean you filled them with water?!! lol please tell!
    The old tried and true method of breaking in tall boots is to put on breeches, socks, and the boots. Fill them with water either via the bathtub or hose and then walk around until they are dry. It takes 3-5 hours, but it works great to soften and break the boot down. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt them. Do a search, there are tons of threads covering this topic! Good luck!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2004
    Posts
    10,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Elementgrl2 View Post
    Love the Grand Prix Elites, they are soft and break in so nice.
    I agree, also I find mine are very comfortable just to walk around in, which the OP is especially concerned about.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2009
    Location
    Santa Barbara
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Dover carries those cool boots from Mountain Horse. I would assume they ship to New Zealand.



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