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Boot opinions?

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  • Boot opinions?

    Based on Lucassb's and BlumeFarm's comments in another thread about stiff boots helping with the leg and ankle...

    Is the idea to get very stiff boots? How does this affect breaking in? Do we want to break them in and have them flexible through the ankle or stay stiff and hold the ankle in one position? I was told by someone in the leather business not to condition dressage boots because they will become very soft, but to clean and polish them. Will they drop like field boots do, and have creases at the ankle?

    Regarding the zipper (or lack thereof), it would seem that an inside zipper would be irritating to the horse...is a back zipper better? Or is the inside zipper just fine?

    I know there is no magic bullet, but what might your suggestions be for stiff boots that are somewhat reasonably priced? Tall, slim calf.
    Last edited by right horse at the right time; May. 1, 2013, 11:25 PM.
    LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

  • #2
    We are pretty opposite in build and I could only find customs which fit me, so I can't help you on brand.

    However, I am not a fan of super stiff at this point. My boots have extra lining to add stiffness, but not the super stiff option. When I was ordering the recommendation which I still thinks makes sense was that I wasn't about to try for an Olympic team, and didn't need that level of help, and it would be hard to ride with that stiff a boot given I'm not used to any kind of stiffness.

    My customs have collapsed some, though nothing like field boots, and usually in sizing charts boots tell you how much they expect to drop. I have back zippers because I'm sure Mr. Sensitive would get sores if the zippers could touch him. I've heard a ton of people who prefer side zippers talk about them, though.

    You may want to go to Greenway and try on a bunch of styles and see what fits. If you have field boots which fit you well, though, you may want to stick with them at least until you're done with the saddle saga. Nothing wrong with field boots for many levels! (Says the girl who ordered dress boots just to be particular.)
    Originally posted by Silverbridge
    If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


    • #3
      I am not a huge fan of the stovepipes.

      By the fifth horse of the day my ankle is sore from where the leather folds over. I prefer to ride in my Dublin Pinnacles which are butter soft and cost $150. Or full chaps which I can just send in and have the holes that get worn in patched every couple years.

      My leg position is the same either way.
      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
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      • #4
        I'm not a fan of the stovepipe boots either. I think they do more to limit your ability to give good clear aids than enhance anything. Leg position comes from the hip down to the knee; not the calf, stiff boot tops only make the leg "look" long, they may provide some stability to the ankle, I'm not sure what that would be helping if you are having issues with leg position.
        "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."


        • #5
          I have really crappy ankles, so I may not be the best person to answer. But I'll share my experience anyway.

          I have a pair of Ariat Maestro dress boots (no zipper) that are almost 15 years old. They're very well broken in, especially around the ankle. I couldn't fit into them for a few years (gained weight after grad school) so I sent them home to my sister. Well she didn't use them, so I got them back last year after losing some weight. Anyway, the first time I rode in them, both ankles hurt at the end of my ride. Absolutely no support. But I still love them.

          So I got a pair of Cavallo Grand Prix Plus boots (with front zipper) so I could easily get in and out of them. They're stiff, but not overly so. They give my ankles enough support but I can still move my heel up and down a bit, if needed. But the best part is that I don't feel like I could roll my ankle over in the stirrups. No issues with the front zipper bothering my horse. Its far enough forward that it doesn't even touch him.

          I bought them from Calevo. There are more sizes available than what they have listed, so just email them and ask if you can't find your size. I will say that the foot can run a bit big. I'm in a 5.5 (UK size), but probably could have gone down to a 5.
          My May boys: Beau , Neon, Criss


          • #6
            I have a pair of Petrie dress boots (no zipper) that are now 13 year old and still great for schooling. I do think that the added stiffness help increase the lifespan on leather boots. My one attempt at soft tall boots lasted less than a year.
            When I do the math, I'd rather spend $500 for over a decade of wear than $100 for a few months.
            Now I'm not saying that stiff boots are the solutions to all leg problems, but my moderately stiff boots have been a great addition. And yes, they do take longer to break in. Just know that you won't have to keep breaking in new boots!


            • #7
              I love my very soft MH Classic High Riders - they look lovely and are so comfortable. I have a long, thin leg, and they run tall and narrow (kind of like Ariats). The MH zippers are heavy duty, mine are 3 years old now and still going strong. I'm not a fan of the uber stiff boot either - I have a pair of Petrie Olympics and never wear them - and they are only medium stiff!


              • #8
                I felt the same about my stove pipes LOL

                I actually posted a thread somewhere about how crazy they fit and if I should send them back being that I was leg casts it felt like!

                But then they broke in! Oy Petries broken in are like a miracle in leather IMO!

                My trainer is old school and she was like not going to budge on this buying something that had a break in period vs my butter soft ankle wobbly ones but Im glad she did! She was right! Better grip to them somehow and they weight the leg just enough plus once they broke in I could move them just fine and walk around all day no problem. Super comfortable now!

                I vote yes on proposition stove pipes!
                ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                • #9
                  Originally posted by amm2cd View Post
                  I have a pair of Petrie dress boots (no zipper) that are now 13 year old and still great for schooling. I do think that the added stiffness help increase the lifespan on leather boots. My one attempt at soft tall boots lasted less than a year.
                  When I do the math, I'd rather spend $500 for over a decade of wear than $100 for a few months.
                  Now I'm not saying that stiff boots are the solutions to all leg problems, but my moderately stiff boots have been a great addition. And yes, they do take longer to break in. Just know that you won't have to keep breaking in new boots!
                  I've had the same experience. Unless you have a physical problem with your ankles, I think you are better off to go with the stiffer boots. As far as zippers, I like them, but it's only a matter of time before the zipper breaks or the stitching lets go, and you have to send them out for repair. I'm back to boots without zippers. I had boots with zippers more toward the front, and they don't come into contact with the horse, so that's not an issue--at least, not with Petries.


                  • #10
                    also use custom boots, but i like stiff outer and softer inner, with a front zipper, slightly offset to the inside ( no, it never touches the horse). i like the soft inner for the feel of the horse, and the stiff outer for support of the leg.


                    • #11
                      Chisamba, do you find that the boots have a shorter life span, though, because of softer leather being used on the inside, or have you not had them long enough to know?


                      • #12
                        I busted a zipper hopping off a horse within a month one time!

                        I paid easily 75 in shipping alone to order then replace them yikes!

                        Im not getting zippers again probably ever. If you get nice enough pulls ons they are not that difficult to get on and off IMO if the fit is right and I do think that makes a difference making sure the fit is a go .
                        ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                        • #13
                          The Tucci boots that I have are pretty soft on the insides, much more like field boots, and stiff only on the outer part of the shaft. I got back zippers because I felt like there would be less stress on the zipper that way, but that's just a guess; I don't have any data to back it up I have a pretty high arch so zippers were a must for me; I haven't had any problems with them so far.

                          The first time I wore them to ride ... like NOMI I found them VERY stiff, and was wondering if I'd made a mistake. However, they broke in to be quite comfortable in the tack in less than half a dozen rides, and were fine to walk around in maybe 10 rides after that. Now I find them *super* comfortable and they dropped just the tiniest bit so I could get rid of the heel lifts I wore in them while breaking them in.

                          Oh... I have to confess I also think they are realllllly pretty... I had them made with a narrow trim of patent at the top, to match the trim on my dressage bridle. Subtle but they have just a little bit of personality.
                          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NOMIOMI1 View Post
                            I busted a zipper hopping off a horse within a month one time!

                            I paid easily 75 in shipping alone to order then replace them yikes!

                            Im not getting zippers again probably ever. If you get nice enough pulls ons they are not that difficult to get on and off IMO if the fit is right and I do think that makes a difference making sure the fit is a go .
                            I, in theory, agree but as I write this, I am waiting for my Petries to comes back from the repair shop with the zippers I added on purpose.

                            I got a truly killer deal on 'em off eBay ($150 shipped, prob only worn 5 times in someone's living room), but the turn at the instep was so tight that I literally could barely get my foot around it, first thing in the morning, in the winter, in nylons. Can't imagine what it would've been like to get them on, and more concerning, off at for an afternoon ride at a show in the end of July. They were fine once I had them on, but on and off was truly frightening.

                            FWIW, when I sent them in, the guy said, not unusual at all for Petries, that the instep was too tight to make the turn.


                            • #15
                              Whenever I wear my really thick winter full seat breeches... I fear for my lower legs! The boots literally suction onto my calf and push the air from the cotton even to grip my leg entirely and with the extra padding its more than a little snug!

                              Keeps me honest on my diets because 5 more pounds and these boots would be sitting door side LOL If I lost a few theyd be fine they seem to mold to whatever but stretching? no way! lol

                              I picture the fire department coming to saw them off whenever I dare LOL
                              ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~


                              • #16
                                I have very slim calves and for me the Cavallos fit best because they offer smaller sizes than some of the other boot makers. However, I needed a new pair of boots quickly and ordered a pair of DeNiro Dressage boots from SmartPak...under $700. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, fit and comfort right out of the box. They are slim through the calf and most importantly for me, slim through the ankle too. They are stiff, but not ridiculously so. Any clothing/boot item from SmartPak comes with free shipping and return shipping so if they don't fit you can send them back no money lost. I'm in AZ too so I know the local tack stores are useless in terms of boot choices