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Field Boots vs. Dress Boots vs. Dressage Boots

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  • Field Boots vs. Dress Boots vs. Dressage Boots

    I AM GOING CRAZY TRYING TO FIGURE THIS BOOT THING OUT!!!

    I am a lower level eventer, but I need a pair of new boots. Up until now I have been wearing field boots, which I know are just fine for the lower levels. I am hoping to more my horse up to Preliminary in the next two years, so I am thinking about getting two pairs of boots, but I AM CONFUSED

    1. What is the protocol for eventing?
    2. What is the difference between dressage boots and dress boots. From what I can tell in pics, neither have laces and that's all I can really tell.
    3. In your opinion (I know that's probably opening a can of worms), what should I get?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    If I remember correctly, dressage boots are more stiff than dress boots. They allow less ankle flexion.

    Either dress boots or dressage boots would be fine. I believe field boots are fine also, but I'm not sure. I have dress boots that I wear to any show - hunter, jumper, equitation, dressage, eventing, etc.

    I would suggest talking to a sales representative that really knows boots and figure out which style fits your leg and your wallet best and is best for eventing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Dressage boots have additional stiffeners to keep the ankles from dropping, both for aesthetics (tall, elegant) and for support. You don't want to jump in those.

      Even for prelim, either dress or field boots are fine for dressage, and either is fine for jumping at any level. Don't know how common it is for event riders to have actual dressage boots--I'm guessing not very.

      If you search, I know there have been some discussions about dress vs field, and the general consensus is wear what you want.

      One here:
      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ht=field+boots

      If you also foxhunt or show h/j, though, you want to consider those, since they are more fashion conscious than we eventers and do have strong preferences/requirements.

      Comment


      • #4
        Im surprised so many people say dress boots in that other thread. 90% of people I have seen at horse trials wear field boots. Is it ever inappropriate to wear field boots?

        Comment


        • #5
          Dressage boots are by far stiffer and generally have more of a square toe. Don't try to jump in them

          Field boots, obviously fine for all 3 phases at all levels.

          Dress boots are fine for all 3 phases through all levels, just missing the laces.

          Field boots are great for people with high arches as they can open the throat of the boot to get their foot through.

          If you are wearing a shadbelly, then you should wear dress or dressage boots. Field boot are considered inappropriate when wearing tails.
          Tails are considered inappropriate at the 1 star level.
          Dressage boots are very common.
          I have dressage boots and field boots.

          Comment


          • #6
            From the rulebook:

            DRESSAGE TEST.
            a. Horse Trials (Beginner Novice through Preliminary)—
            Boots—black, brown, field, jodhpur or a black
            or brown full grain smooth leather leg piece and matching leather boots.

            b. Horse Trials (Intermediate and Advanced)—Two Day & Three Day Events.
            Boots—preferably black dress or a black full grain leather leg piece and matching leather boot.

            Comment


            • #7
              Plenty of people wear all field boots even through the UL's. Dress boots too.

              I've seen a few people with dressage boots. I got them for **. The extra support and stiffness allowed me to drop my stirrup in dressage 4 holes which made my horse (who's really way too big for me ) very happy.

              I wear field for jumping because I've gotten a few pairs for a really good deal.

              Whatever you're most comfortable in. Dressage boots are expensive. You need to buy custom because if you don't, you will be screaming bloody murder after trying to ride in them. You may be doing that anyway. hahaha. If you can finance both, go for it. Nobody is going to look at you funny because you have a long and elegant leg at the LL's or the UL's. It sure beats the look of the anke flopping around everywhere.

              Comment


              • #8
                Traditionally "Dress" boots were more formal and worn during formal hunt season. Field boots were worn by members of the field during cubbing season. They are not considered to be part of 'formal wear'. (so no black jacket, stock tie etc,.) They also nearly always used to be brown, which made it pretty clear they were not for a formal dress occasion.

                They started making them in black and they rose to huge popularity in the hunter world for some reason - I remember they were just SOOO cool in the 80s. They tend to be more flexible in the ankle but I think they look messy with the lacing and the toe cap. But that's just me.

                Good dress boots can be broken in to use jumping.

                Dressage boots - I never quite understood this until I actually rode in a pair. - they are SO stiff, you actually need the zippers to get them on. You can't walk in them, don't even think about stairs, getting on the horse is a trial, and during the warm up your legs feel like they are encased in pipe.

                But once the horse warms up and is working? Your leg works better - like JazzyLady said. And I don't really know why yet - I've only had them a short time. So they do have a purpose!

                You're fine in your field boots for eventing as long as you want, but if you want to buy a new pair of boots, well who am I to say you shouldn't - I have 4 pairs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't have zips in my dressage boots. I pull them on and haven't had trouble. Zocks and this lovely spray in an orange can and really good boot pulls. Make sure you invest in a high quality jack. lol.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Personally, I wear the Ariat Maestro Dress boots in the zip-up model. I love the way they look, the zipper makes getting them on and off much easier, and no laces to have to work around when cleaning and polishing.

                    They broke in fairly quickly and are comfortable for all three phases. I'm rather hard on boots and they've lasted me now for at least four years. I wear my boots everytime I ride, not just when showing.

                    I found mine on eBay and saved a bundle over getting them retail.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would just get field boots -- you can wear them at all levels. Personally, I think dress boots look funny, but that's just my opinion.
                      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                      We Are Flying Solo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wear field boots all the time because I pretty much refuse to pay $500 that I don't have for new boots when I have perfectly serviceable and nice field boots. Also, I'm not sure I would ever feel comfortable in dress boots because they don't have laces. I love the laces because they allow me to adjust the sizing of the ankle. My field boots feel too loose around my ankle before I tie the laces; similarly, I finally gave in and bought zip up paddock boots for every day riding but I refuse to get the ones with no laces. My paddock boots lace up the front and zip up the back, which gives me a custom fit around my apparently slim ankle.

                        And for the record, I have competed in five FEI * events with field boots and tails, and never had a comment from anyone, not a judge, my coach, or friends. I am doing my first Intermediate next month, and I'll be wearing my field boots there too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks dress boots are funny lookin'! I can't stand the look or feel of them. As long as it's legal, I'll be wearing my field boots for everything.
                          "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
                            I wear field boots all the time because I pretty much refuse to pay $500 that I don't have for new boots when I have perfectly serviceable and nice field boots. Also, I'm not sure I would ever feel comfortable in dress boots because they don't have laces. I love the laces because they allow me to adjust the sizing of the ankle. My field boots feel too loose around my ankle before I tie the laces; similarly, I finally gave in and bought zip up paddock boots for every day riding but I refuse to get the ones with no laces. My paddock boots lace up the front and zip up the back, which gives me a custom fit around my apparently slim ankle.

                            And for the record, I have competed in five FEI * events with field boots and tails, and never had a comment from anyone, not a judge, my coach, or friends. I am doing my first Intermediate next month, and I'll be wearing my field boots there too.
                            ditto.
                            I am a field boot lover. I hate zippers and I have big feet. So I need field boots.
                            The down side is that I need custom 23" tall boots so I end up paying 500 bucks anyhow. lol.

                            I too wore fields in a *. Though I was not in tails.

                            But I fully planned on riding in tails with my field boots.

                            And actually, I have never been one to look closely enough to see if a rider has laces or not....I would think the judges would have better things to crtique.
                            http://kaboomeventing.com/
                            http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks everyone for all the great advice! I am going to look for a pair of field first and then when extra $ comes in I will buy dress.

                              Thanks again!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                want to refresh this thread for recent feedback.

                                About to do my first one-star. My mother sewed my shadbelly, but I do not own a pair of dress boots. I have very long, very slim calves, so cheap and used tend not to be options for me, and I'm stretched pretty thin.

                                Better to wear field boots with my regular, non-shad dressage coat for the one star? Are field boots with tails illegal? Or just tacky? What's your vote?

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by breakthru View Post
                                  want to refresh this thread for recent feedback.

                                  About to do my first one-star. My mother sewed my shadbelly, but I do not own a pair of dress boots. I have very long, very slim calves, so cheap and used tend not to be options for me, and I'm stretched pretty thin.

                                  Better to wear field boots with my regular, non-shad dressage coat for the one star? Are field boots with tails illegal? Or just tacky? What's your vote?
                                  My vote would not to wear a shadbelly for a 1*. It is discouraged in the rules anyway. Wait, and wear it for your first 2*.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If a shad is appropriate then wear it, nobody cares if your boots have laces or not just like nobody cares if you wear a helmet with a shad.
                                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I wore field boots with my shad. I don't think you can tell.
                                      Amanda

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I have dress boots myself - because the ONLY off the rack boot that fits me is the montain horses ones, and they didn't make the field boots when I bought them!

                                        I really like them, and would do it again - but then I also don't much care what anyone else thinks of my boots!
                                        www.felixfjord.blogspot.com

                                        Comment

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