I just got a job managing a barn in NY, and I am very excited about it...except it's almost winter. And I've spent the last 4 years in a warmer climate. But I'm born and raised in NY, so I know all I need is the proper equipment to keep me warm and dry! After looking through my Smartpak, BoB, and Dover catalogs, it seems I have a plethora of choices. So help me narrow it down! Here are the criteria, in order of importance:
2)Comfortable (will be walking/standing all day; I am most comfortable in MH or Ariat footbeds)
4)I'd love some tall one's that I could hop on a naughty schoolie if need be, but really good paddock boots I could throw chaps on over would work as well.
5)Durable, will last at least the whole season
What winter boots can't you love without?
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
I've been a Mountain Horse devotee for years. My last pair died last winter after five years of regular winter use. I've had a few different types (all tall boots), and all have been warm and dry!
MH had a rugged paddock boot that was insulated.... I don't think they make it anymore. My first pair lasted several years, my second is still going strong 8 years since original purchase. I love them. I bought their Ice Rider insulated tall boots and was not as happy with them, in fact only wore them a few times.
Stock up on Smart Wool socks, silk long underwear, and fleece vests for layering under a coat.
We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.
Flashgordon - Thanks for the tip on the Smart Wool socks! I just bought 4 pair! I'm curious about the new Ariat Brossard boots, seem like they would be great, but I'd hate to have a $180 experiment turn out poorly. They seem like they would be tough enough for the barn, but soft enough around my knee that I won't get blisters. Plus a wide enough calf to get my jeans and long underwear into them!
When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
I looooooove my Muck boots. They are so warm and cozy.. we had plenty of days around or below 0F last winter, and my feet never got cold. They aren't very good for riding, but they're worth it. You *can* ride in them if you have wide stirrups or no stirrups, but after my accident caused in part by too-wide boots, I won't ride in them again.
I have the ice rider paddock boots by mountain horse. Good down into the teens although my toes will get cold if I'm not moving. They are fairly bulky and I can't wear halfchaps with them, but my winter breeches are thick so it doesn't matter.
My favorite boots are some winter hiking boots from lands end. Super warm, breathable, extremely light weight, extremely comfortable and 100% waterproof. You could ride in them as they have a slightly heel, and put 1/2 chaps over top. Not sure if they still make this model, but I'm sure there are other like them.
Generally my body temperature is a few degrees colder than other people, plus I live in Siberacuse and it's taken several years to find a complete outfit to keep me warm head to toe in the barn.
If you can keep your feet warm, you're halfway there. I've worn Merrell Summit hiking boots for over 10 years (2 pairs) and although the soles may feel "grippy", you easily get used to getting them out of the stirrup. http://www.trailspace.com/gear/merrell/summit/
Although my second pair was made in China instead of the US, they still perform better than any other boot I've tried. (until I can afford MH boots)
These are my every day winter boots as well as riding boots with half chaps. Completely waterproof unless you stand in a creek or something. The tongue is fabric, but you can fold it to really insulate. Smooth leather sides don't rub against the stirrup. They have fantastic padded ankles that give me support when riding. But the BEST thing is just the body construction-enough room to wear thick wool socks adding to the already stellar insulation.
I also learned to keep them clean & oiled, as the first pair cracked & the toe separated from the sole a bit. I paid $60 for the first pair at a hiking store. Once I knew the brand & size, I got the second pair off ebay for $30.
I don't wear them to the barn but I have a pair of Merrell hiking shoes and really like them. I too need some new winter footwear for the barn and I think I'm going to get some Chore Hi boots or Muckmasters by the Original Muck Boot Co. and then switch into some other boots for riding (I don't ride every time I go to the barn so it'll work best for me). It seems their "Brit Colt" boots are actually made for riding..?
Originally Posted by RugBug
Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.
I live in my Muck Boot Chore Boots. I put in a nice gel insole so they feel great to work in all day. They do fit in a 4.75" stirrup, so if I get on a horse that I don't think is going to try to dump me and don't need spurs I'll ride in these. I otherwise bring along my zippered tall boots to slip into if need be. I don't even have to reach down to put the Muck Boots on, I just point my toe into them and push my feeties in. If they get covered in mud, I can just walk over to the hose and spray them off. The only problem with easy on is they are easy off too, so if you get into deep, sticky mud you have to go slow or else you may end up with 2 stocking feet in the cold yuck!