Definitely Spanish top, even on field boots. The Tredstep are better quality (IMO) than the Ariat, and aren't horribly expensive.
I had a pair of Ariat Crown Pro probably 10 years ago and loved them, when I went to replace them the newer models were sh*t. I indulged in Der-Dau's at Rolex, they are the cat's meow. But I digress . . .
Spanish tops. They make even my legs look long and elegant (ish).
I ADORE my MH Venice boots. They are super, duper comfy (I have to remind myself to take them off at shows if I'm going to be out of the saddle for a few hours so as not to trash them), and look really nice. My biggest complaint is they don't get a high gloss shine when polished, but they do still look spiffy.
I personally don't like spanish tops, well not high ones. A tiny bit of contour is all I want. I am kinda between medium and short height on boots. And I am very short, the spanish tops look wierd on me, and pretty much cover the whole side of my knee. Try them on, see what's comfortable, and see what you like. At a show, no one's going to notice/care, except you if you don't like what you get.
I have the same experience as kkindley. I am getting Sergio Grasso's (due to an incredible deal that allows me to afford them) after my long search and much sadness about the deterioration of Ariat quality. I do still consider Ariat Volants as everyday boots. I have a pair of the paddocks that are the most comfortable things ever.
A little bit of a curved top is all I like. What you look like is so very much less important than how comfortable and effective you are, so I would say go with the ones that fit the best and will give you trouble-free rides and as a bonus, are tolerable to walk around in between phases.
Thanks all. I was just wondering if I would get horrified looks from the judges either way.
And I would love to spend the extra pennies (or couple hundred, same thing) and get some super nice boots, but that's not in my budget. I plan on buying these boots for shows and making my current ones last as my daily boots as long as I possibly can.