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Your Custom Dehner's...what did you choose?

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  • Your Custom Dehner's...what did you choose?

    I'm in need of new boots this year, and I've finally decided to go custom, because it seems that every year I shell out a few hundred bucks on off the shelf boots that I'm never truly happy with. I'll admit I'm not 100% sure which brand I'm going to go, but so far, Dehner is the highest on my list.

    With that intro-

    Right now i'm at a toss up almost all of the options.

    I think I want the voyager leather- but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

    Everything else- the lining, tops, soles...goodness me I have no idea!

    I think I want the yorkshire design for a more narrow look... but then again, I dont know.

    If you have or had Dehner's, what customizations did you choose, and what would you do differently?

    Also, if you had Dehner's and moved on to another brand- what did you end up with, and why? Are you happy?

    If it helps, I'm planning on using these as my main boot to ride 2 horses a day, 4-5 days a week. Light showing- probably 2-3 shows this year, probably schooling, maybe 1 recognized. I want a supportive ankle- can I get a stiffer ankle that offers support without rubbing my skin raw? Is there such a thing to get a supportive boot that you can also comfortably walk in?
    And of course, I want them to last.

    Can't wait to set up my appointment at my local tack store!

    My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

  • #2
    Leather chosen should be for use: french calf for showing, removable caps if doing hunters, dropping the counters (so not to rub ankles), spur rests, spanish tops, different kinds of soles (ribbed rubber/double leather/etc), and types of lining (full, 3/4 quarter (line outside), or half lined (front and back).

    I cannot stand fully lined boots (cannot feel the horse), I always drop the counter 1/2", always have spur rests, get spanish tops, and I get gussets in them (countered calfs I have), and mcnalfie soles (treaded rubber).
    I.D.E.A. yoda


    • #3
      I had mine done years ago, so don't remember all the details. I know I got full lined, spur rests, and ribbed rubber sole. I've got Spanish tops and elastic gussets. I also added a full inch to the height on the suggestion of my trainer at the time, who had many pairs made and also worked at a store that did measurements/orders. They are the perfect height after dropping during the break in time.

      After looking at the site I have the Voyager leather, I wanted them to last through some use and abuse! I DO NOT daily ride in them but I've had mine since 2004.
      Custom Painted Brushes: spcustombrushes@gmail.com


      • #4
        I have both Dehners and Kroop. 2 Dehners & 1 Kroop. Dehner 3-buckle boots have been resoled 2x. The Dehner formal black boot was given to friend's daughter when my foot outgrew boot.

        I think Kroop is a better buy. Top quality made and adjusted just how you want.
        Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
        Alfred A. Montapert


        • #5
          I have 2 pair of Dehner boots

          Brown field boots and black dress boots. French calf, leather soles. I do not ride in them daily and I am planning to send them back for the rubber soles. They are 15 years old and fabulous, no break in pain at all

          Their customer service is wonderful and the quality is exquisite.


          • #6
            Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
            removable caps if doing hunters
            Only if colors are earned, of course.


            • #7
              I have 3 pair - 2 calfskin and one patent.

              I got the first pair 10 - 11 years ago and Dehner keeps all the infor so I just call them up...I'm pretty sure they are fully lined, I like the spanish tops (my 1st pair was olympic top and I liked that too - spanish is just more traditional) I have rubber soles and spur rests 2 of the pairs have elastic gusset.

              I love dehner, great boots, made in the US and a wonderfully company to deal with.


              • #8
                Ah dudleyc, you make me happy. I only have 2 pairs. One field boot, in calf, the other a dress boot in the heavier leather, both full lined. The dress boots have zippers. I'll probably need to resole the dress boots soon. I only use the field boots for jumping, and keep them in case my dress boot zippers break.

                Patent is tempting, I pretty much have to have zippers in my dress boots because of my high arch. Either that or they would look ridiculous.

                I keep a pair of Mountain Horse boots hanging in the barn for my daily riding, because I wear boots out. I kill a set of boots about once every 3 years. And that is the riding boots, which I try to use only for riding...not barn work.


                • #9
                  (wanna know how old I am??? My first customs were $125 with EVERYTHING.... Lolllllllllll But for sure the quality of the leather/tanning today is far lower unfortunately.)

                  And when you get them, before taking one step: take a steel ruler, place it over the 'tab' in the front, and then right above the counter behind, and then they will break in correctly. Even one flexion with make them break unevenly at the ankle area.
                  I.D.E.A. yoda


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ideayoda View Post
                    (wanna know how old I am??? My first customs were $125 with EVERYTHING.... Lolllllllllll But for sure the quality of the leather/tanning today is far lower unfortunately.)

                    And when you get them, before taking one step: take a steel ruler, place it over the 'tab' in the front, and then right above the counter behind, and then they will break in correctly. Even one flexion with make them break unevenly at the ankle area.


                    • #11
                      Dehner is about 45 minutes down the road from me. I got my boots about 10 years ago with the following options:

                      Leather - black calf (I thought about getting the Voyager leather but am glad I chose the calf - very versatile)
                      Tops - Spanish (they are not really high like some Spanish tops; if I had to do it all over again I would have ordered Italian tops)
                      Sole - rubber
                      Lining - dressage "wishbone" lining
                      Zipper - none. In the words of Dehner "it's not if it will break, it's when".
                      Gussets - not needed
                      Other - spur rests

                      I got measured in person at the factory, and my primary disappointment was the boots were made much too large in the calf. Like 1.5" too large. If it were today, I would insist the boot be entirely remade. The me 10 years ago agreed to the boots being altered to fit correctly in the calf, which made the top slightly off center. I suspect I'm the only person who notices it.

                      I haven't worn mine a great deal, so I can't speak to durability - at the rate I'm going, I suspect the boots will outlive me.


                      • #12
                        I got two Dehners ... first ones were not a good fit. The factory blamed the measurer ... and you know how it goes.

                        I got fully lined, it's true the breaks get uneven very easily. And spanish tops, except mine are more squared.

                        I did get zippers and no wishbone.


                        • Original Poster

                          Thank you for your inputs! More are welcome, so please keep 'em coming!

                          I am sure I will learn more once I go for my fitting appointment, but I want to be as educated as possible before then.

                          I know it seems weird to spend so much money on boots I plan on using for regular schooling, but I have had very little luck with off the shelf options. I can see myself eventually having 2 pair - 1 for schooling and 1 for show. At this point I show so little, and mostly schooling shows, I'm not too worried about having that pristine pair of boots.

                          I do have a question about the lining - that dressage wishbone lining seems like a neat option. Anyone do that and end up not liking it? I do want some stabilization in the ankle as they are weak but not something that will rub my skin raw - is there a happy medium here?

                          As far as the leather- I was assuming the voyager leather would be the way to go, but it sounds like I may be able to upgrade to calfskin and still be happy and have a long lasting boot. Definitely food for thought.

                          I'm pretty sure I won't need zippers (I hope I won't!), but I may need to add the elastic gusset. I have a pretty narrow foot (I have to special order narrow Danskos) and a narrow, bony, ankle but a thicker calf (14.75-15")

                          I do want a grippy sole - its wet and slick out here, so the more grip and tread, the better.

                          I think I do want the Italian tops rather than Spanish, and spur rests.

                          I am still a bit confused about the narrow, "Yorkshire" option vs the traditional cut. Anyone have input on this?

                          Thanks again!
                          My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                          • #14
                            WHY do you want a stiff ankle? (Stabilization of the ankle has to do with the angle of the hip/knee/thigh.) Breaking in fully lined boots is more difficult, worse yet w/o the counters dropped (although I have heard they routinely do that now do to complaints). Gussets DO work for the difference of calf vs below the knee, otherwise the boots are just stove pipes w/o shaped calves.

                            But I still have a question about why anyone would want thick/stiff lining (wishbone). Shouldnt the entire idea of dressage training be greater feeling? Therefore, 1/2 lining (front and back but not inside or outside) or 3/4 lining (not lined inside) allows much better feeling of the horse/technique. And if you use a ruler to make the 'break in lines', they will not slip down.

                            (And breaking in any boots/but esp more line ones WILL hurt the front of the shins and above the heel in any case.)
                            I.D.E.A. yoda


                            • #15
                              I bought Dehners along time ago and they are lovely boots. I love the look of them. They never fit right, despite sending them back 3 times to add gussets, stretch, etc. One day, my legs swelled so much from them, I had to drive to my neighbors house to get them off. I ended up giving them to a friend and they fit her perfectly. She wore a size 5.5 in shoes...I wore a 6.5 at the time of the boots.


                              • #16
                                Interesting that yorkshire could really cut into the side of the foot....I would try paddock boots on with different cuts (traditionally they tall boots were one piece except for the counters...but they are more difficult to build and construction is wham bam today). I never paid more than half down because you have NO leverage over badly measured boots otherwise, and I have always had to send them back once (at least). And if one has shapely calves gussets are always needed (unless you have zippers which DO break). (And I guess the question is always how many horses you ride a day and whether you wipe them clear often as to how long they will last.
                                I.D.E.A. yoda


                                • Original Poster

                                  Well, I'm sure others are may be different. But in general, not just in my riding, my ankles tend to be a weak spot. I also have hip and knee issues as well. Without the right support, I can easily roll an ankle if I'm not paying attention. When riding, it happens if I outfit myself in paddock boots & chaps, on a big moving green horse. When I wear boots- most recently in my Ariat Bromont winter boots, I've had much more support and the ankle roll hasn't happened.

                                  I do have to have the correct footwear for every day life, for running/walking as well. Heels, for me, are a big no-no.

                                  But I do want a close feel on the horse through my calf, but a stable ankle. I am hoping that one of the lining options + the correct leather choice will provide just that.
                                  My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                                  • #18
                                    I think the purpose of the dressage wishbone lining is to have the stiffness of a full lining but also have a softer ankle. The ankles of mine broke in easily. The boot against the horse is stiff, but not like some dressage boots.

                                    I'm dabbling in the hunter world now and I may have a new pair made that would be a dress boot in black calfskin, Yorkshire cut, and with just front and back lining (maybe even just cuff lined), with the goal being a softer, more elegant boot. I will definitely get the Italian tops, and I still don't need zippers or gussets. I may do the composition sole, since the rubber sole looks the tiniest bit clunky.


                                    • #19
                                      I'm ducking early so you don't throw rocks...I have 5 pairs of fully custom Dehners, 1 pr. of field boots "off the rack", one pair of dress boots fully customs from Schneiders of London. At the time, I was riding mostly hunters, jumper, fox hunting and 3-day. Now I am almost strictly a dressage rider and have found semi-custom Petries and Konigs (I have 3 pairs of Petries and 1 Konigs) with stiffeners, lining etc. work much better. Three pairs have gussets, 2 pairs have zippers (and gussets). All but one pair have very high Spanish tops. To get through the painful break in period, I ride with doubled up Dr. Scholl heel pads (2 in each boot) - that way the back of my knee doesn't get it too bad. The stiffners REALLY help with your leg position and aiding, especially preventing "floppy" ankles at sitting trot. So, my recommendation, if you are riding dressage, get some dressage boots and save the Dehners for hunters/jumpers (which are very comfortable and long lasting boots, just not specially for dressage).
                                      Georgia Langsam
                                      Team Gauguin, LLC - www.teamgauguin.com
                                      Standing Gauguin du Cheval 9054, Prestige II TG, Gauguin's Impression, Gauguin's Brush and Weltfrieden TG


                                      • #20
                                        I have two pairs of custom Dehners. Purchased the first pair about 3 years ago. I ride at least 2 horses a day sometimes up to 6. Went back in to order another pair this past September. The store couldn't believe I was already back for another pair. Two reasons for this though: I gained some weight and I had worn some holes in the boots near the ankle. Upon reflection the store owner thought about it and said "since you ride so much you have already put lots of miles on those boots." My first Dehners were the calf leather with spanish tops.

                                        I ordered the latest with the voyager leather, olympic tops and vibram soles. The soles are terrific. Just love..... the Vibram. They still look new. After much discussion with the staff at Dehner I opted for the longer lasting voyager leather and against the heaviest lining. I got the wish bone lining. The new boots are much stiffer with the voyager leather and I expect them to hold up for years to come. They should take a shine just like the calf leather but it will take longer as the pores are larger and more noticeable with the heavier leather.

                                        I had zippers in both pairs as well as the gusset. Love the boots and haven't had a fit problem.