Any recommendations for good marathon footwear? Pony, friend and I all survived our first ADT but friend says her paddock boots were not cutting it...sneakers seem to offer more traction, but the (long ago) Pony Club days instilled a reluctance to wear anything but ankle-covering, hop-on-and-rideable boots at all horse events. My question is: should we suck it up and go with sneakers, since they seem to stick tight and can certainly get wet, or perhaps hiking boots, or ? Must keep friend safe and happy, as my husband certainly doesn't think hanging off the back of the Pony Mobile is fun and my mom is 10 hrs away...
When I navigate, I wear my paddock boots. I have the same type of carriage as CDE Driver (pony sport) and the back step is very grippy without the mats. I have had no issues whatsoever. I like my paddock boots as they are comfortable as well as waterproof
I drive a tiny pony and so do the marathon alone - but now wear sneakers or running shoes, having tried paddock boots. Friends who groom usually wear grippy shoes first and foremost. What about boat shoes? Not much protection, but when I think about it, I have more often slipped because I was wearing flat boots than had my toes stood on or run over.
2nd the heavy lug sole, lace up work boots, still grippy even when wet.
I don't think boat shoes would be a good idea, good sole traction but too easy to get popped completely out of. I'd want something that laces so I can do it up tight and goes over my ankle so I can't come slipping out of them if the shoe sticks and I go flying.
Depending on who you're going with, it can get a little wild back there Heck, I ate a tree this weekend, it can get wild everywhere
Ask yourself: "Can I do anything about this?"
If you can, do it. If you can't... then you can't and leave it at that. Worrying achieves nothing but stress.
I drive and navigate. As a gator, I prefer cheap Walmart "running" shoes, which are reasonably comfortable, grip well, and no great loss if they get trashed in the water. In very rainy weather, I'll sometimes wear Wellies or some knockoff cheap-o plastic/rubber boot. I'll switch back to my Blunnies post-marathon, after the horse is washed, grazed, and put back in the stable.
My husband has been navigating for an Advanced driver for, gosh, is it 6 or 7 years now? Anyway, he wears fairly substantial running/cross training shoes with a lot of tread. IME, if you're going to get wet, you're going to get WET, and waterproof shoes or boots, that's just going to result in water trapped in your shoes.
On marathon day I always bring a complete change of clothes for him, you just never know
My one tip, we purposefully got his marathon shoes in an obnoxious color. That way they don't get worn for other stuff, they live in the show kit (after they've been cleaned and dried out that is) and that way they are easy to find.
I would not consider paddock boots or such as appropriate gator gear, and I was a Pony Club kid, went to Nationals even! Pony Club is about safety, hard soled slick boots are not safe or prudent on the back step IMO. The reason riding boots are slick soled, aside from general elegance, is so your foot *won't* get hung up on the stirrup and slip out easily.
Navigator footwear, one of those rare things in horses that you do not have to spend a lot of money on!
I would add that you don't want to wear old sport shoes, with worn treads. They also don't grip well on the Marathon vehicles. Worn treads, slick soles are VERY slippery when they get damp or wet, so are really unsafe on the carriage. Like the hard-soled, paddock boots made for riding.
I also wear some kind of sport shoes, running, cross training, with softer, grippy treads. They are fairly new shoes, more flexible and soft, and I also try to keep them only for the Marathons. I know I WILL be getting them wet at some point, so they need to be grippy in spite of wet or dampness. Many carriages have expanded metal with good grip, but others have diamond plate flooring, which can be VERY slippery when wet.
Kitchen shoes are the way to go. New Balance makes a non-skid shoe that is black and doesn't look too bad. You can look at "shoes for crews" they are all non-skid. These shoes are not only made for water but for grease so they really do work.
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
I would say neither to boat shoes, I didn't see anything on that page that I would consider good gator attire, and those black NB shoes I think are designed to be non-slip on a smooth surface, as are boot/deck shoes. Think...mud tires. Aggressive tread, soft rubber.
Something like this, though they don't have to be this color
Remember if you're going to be a good gator, you're going to be down and wetting horses and so on in the vet check, getting mud and dirt and what not on your shoes. Need to have the kind of tread that will grab the back step in spite if that. If the back step doesn't have aggressively abrasive metal on it, like if it's just plain expanded metal or something, have your driver get
some toothy metal welded on.
A very small expense compared to the cost of having your gator slip off the carriage at an inopportune moment!