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Show Boots without Zippers?

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  • Show Boots without Zippers?


    I showed growing up late-'80s to late-'90s and haven't bought high boots since I was about 15...and...those...would no longer fit me!

    It's not imminent, but I've had an opportunity to start riding 1x a week and am projecting out to if I ever invest in show clothes again and am wondering about the state of show boots today. Is it really 100% zippers? I was happy with my Der Daus from back in the day and still haven't adjusted to the look of current boots (I'm not really into bling overmuch and with the snaps/zippers, I find some tall boots sort of indistinguishable from high-end half-chaps). It looks like Vogel's still makes non-zip field boots.

    Happy to hear any thoughts/comments/recommendations/steer-clears!


  • #2
    People still wear pull-on boots. You won't see them nearly as often in the show ring because the more tapered ankle of zipper boots has definitely become the stye. But I would be surprised if anyone noticed the difference between zippered and non. The other difference between old boots and boots today is that newer boots have high(er) spanish cuffs to make the boots look taller. But I would imagine that the same style goes for new(er) pull-on boots.

    With all of that being said, having made the move to zippered boots many years ago, I have no interest in every returning to the old days! Oh the memories of getting stuck in boots, the tricks to get your legs/feet slippery enough to get them on, and all the problems when you were in serious heat. Zippers are so much easier! And there are plenty of styles of zippered boots that don't look any different from pull-ons (beside the obviously more tapered ankle). Though I do miss my old pull-on boots that seemed to last forever as compared to my zippered boots that do not. But the same goes for paddock boots, so I suspect that has more to do with the quality of components than the presence or absence of zippers.
    Flying F Sport Horses
    Horses in the NW


    • #3
      Zipperless boots are the devil. I still have a pair that I can't get anyone to take off of me for free. I liked them back in the day, but zippers are incredibly convenient and I don't have to have pulls or a jack available. I don't think that you can see the zippers on tall boots if they are made well.


      • #4
        If you like pull-ons and are a fairly off-the-rack fit, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how far your money will go in the consignment market. They are not popular and the prices are very low. I recently consigned a pair of pull-on Vogels in great shape and they sold for under $100.

        I am an off-the-rack fit and have a pair of pull-ons that are probably 15 years old. I'm not about to buy new ones until they bite the dust, and with no zipper to fail and being worn strictly to ride in, they may outlive me.


        • #5
          Run away. I will never do pull-on again. If for no other reason, it always took another human being to pull them off of me. You cannot be independent in zipperless boots


          • #6
            Ok, I'm trying to take your post at face value despite my incredulousness that anyone would pine for the days of zipper-less boots. So, just to bring you up to speed, there have been a lot of advances in riding apparel since the 80s and 90s, especially in terms of boots. Modern zippered boots come in an amazing range of sizes, and zippers are much sturdier and more reliable. There are many brands with excellent quality and fit.


            • #7
              just think of all the accoutrements you need to go with those dang pull on boots.. the pulls, the spray slip-on/baby powder, and then the wonderful boot jack to get the darn things off. Do they even sell the pulls and boot jacks LOL.

              Zippers are the way to go, life is so much easier.


              • #8
                Man, people really love their zippers, huh? I bought custom Dehners after my beautiful Cavallos developed a hole in the ankle after less than 50 rides. I’d never spent more than $300 on boots before, loved them dearly, and was incredibly disappointed in the lack of durability (I guess I shouldn’t have been...compared to the Dehners the leather is very soft and thin).

                Since durability was my main concern I ordered pull-on Dehners because rumor has it they last forever. They weren’t cheap and it took many months and two tries to get them right (part of the delay was not Dehner’s fault), but I really like them. They’re very comfortable and I’ve never once gotten stuck in them. They feel much more substantial than many modern boots. Dehner has some options for customization, including modern touches like Spanish tops (no pink or crocodile leather though lol!).

                So OP, if you don’t want zippers it turns out you’re not alone.
                Building and Managing the Small Horse Farm:


                • #9
                  Depending what size you need, I have a nice pair of Emerson pull-ons I'd be willing to sell


                  • #10
                    You need to know that if you wear fringed chaps and use a Navajo pad, people will stare.

                    Kidding! ;-)

                    I loved my pull on Ariats I bought for $75 that had never been worn. They were the old kind made in Italy, and had been in someone’s closet for ten years. I still have them but they are well worn now, and I’ve replaced them with zippered boots. I have to say, I don’t really miss them.
                    A helmet saved my life.

                    2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


                    • #11
                      Only if you don't have your name or another design in needlepoint on the back belt of your chaps.