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Field boots vs dress boots

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  • Field boots vs dress boots

    So I think I read that field boots are not appropriate after cubbing is over. Then why do we have field boots? Why do show hunter riders wear field boots if hunter showing is supposed to replicate the hunt field (I know that now it has nothing at all to do with hunting in the field). Do some hunts allow you to wear field boots during formal season? Why are they called 'field boots' if you can't really wear them in the field? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • #2
    I hunt (and whip in) at two hunts. Neither of them are "wealthy" hunts. They allow people to wear dress or field boots throughout the entire season.
    These days, it should be understood that many folks can't afford multiple boots for something as superficial as laces or not, and also that due to injuries or other issues some folks who can't afford custom boots need to wear field boots.
    the hunts I hunt with are very welcoming, especially to newcomers, and although we like and appreciate people that take the time and effort to turn themselves out correctly we don't expect folks (esp newbies to the sport) to break the bank.

    In todays world, we (foxhunters) need to be welcoming and encouraging to those who want to come out and not perpetuate the elitist image by making a big deal about boot laces. Our sport needs all the support it can get.
    JMHO.
    "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin

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    • #3
      Traditionally, field boots were ALWAYS brown, never black. Brown boots, being informal, are for cubbing and hence are not to be worn after it ends (unless a hunt specifies ratcatcher to be appropriate at various times during formal hunting, such as a weekday meet).

      So we have field boots because they were informal. Show hunters, back in the day, used to also have brown field boots for ratcatcher/informal showing, and wear black dress boots for formal showing. I don't remember which maker first started making black field boots, but they caught on, and now are the "standard" in the show ring, even though technically not correct based on hunting attire.

      Yes, many hunts couldn't care less whether you wear black dress or field boots during formal hunting, and most don't care about having brown field boots for cubbing. And even the most strict hunts all will be lenient to newcomers, although expect them to gather the "correct" attire in time.
      Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

      Comment


      • #4
        In 1976 I had Dehner make me a pair of custom black field boots for horse showing. That style was not a "stock boot" back then.

        My hunt is very flexible on how you are booted- black field or dress boot is acceptable, even a nice black half chap/paddock boot combo is fine during the formal season.

        Comment


        • #5
          Now days it seems that people think Dress boots are short for "dressage" simply not true. I remember working in a tack store a few years ago, young teen came in "on her way to Florida for the 'circuit'" and needed a new pair of show boots. Had to be Ariat; we had a pair of "dress" boots that fit her perfectly - like custom. But oh "my trainer wouldn't allow me to show in these" Oh brother, if her "trainer" only knew, or remembered, that it used to be dress boots were the gold standard...

          Comment


          • #6
            I think most hunts don't care if you are in field or dress boots as long as they are the right color for the right time of the year. I have broken both ankles a few times and wearing pull on dress boots is an impossibility for me. I don't like zip boots at all.

            I hunted for three seasons with Orange in my field boots, a hunt known for their fashion faux pas police, and never once had a sideways glance of disapproval. I think as long as a rider is neat, well turned out and respectful, something as superficial as laces on a boot will be overlooked.
            Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

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            • #7
              Dress Boots

              Personally I find dress boots easier to clean and polish, not as many nooks and crannies to get mud and sweat in.

              My cubbing boots are brown DRESS boots. I found them in the back on the top shelf when our tack store closed. They are English made Marlborough brand probably from the '70s. Never seen such a thing but they fit me and are comfortable. They did have some sort of plastic soles which I had to have replaced when I started riding in them and they started cracking. I also had gussets put in the top to accomidate my not so slender calves.

              For those that like dress boots, gussets are a life saver.
              -Painted Wings

              Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted

              Comment


              • #8
                Our hunt also allows either dress or field boots for cubbing or formal hunting. What i want to know is why can't some of these manufacturers make a Brown field boot ! I really want a pair for cubbing, but refuse to pay for custom made boots !

                Comment


                • #9
                  The black field boots are a product of horseshows. No black field boots aren't "proper" for regular hunt season. Brown field boots are worn in cub season- not black. Then after that it's dress boots

                  But quite frankly, you would have to have a big stick up you know what to go tattling on people in the hunt field because their black boots have laces. Blame ariat because it's all they freaking make!

                  My hunt doesn't really care- I mean sure the 'rules' say that, but those are from 1920 or whatever.
                  I actually am the lucky owner of a pair of beautiful brown 'custom'(not for me) field boots. I bought them at an auction for $50, had some minor tailoring done and they are gorgeous. But before then, just black.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Our dress code actually says that "no boots with laces" however I've never known anyone to say anything about it. Its really a remnant from way back when.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by starkissed View Post
                      Blame ariat because it's all they freaking make!
                      Well, now hang on a minute, I know for absolute certain that Ariat also makes dress boots...and quite nice looking ones at that...and they only came on the scene as a supplier of good English boots around 1998...and there were black "dress" boots around long before that.
                      What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by skyy View Post
                        So I think I read that field boots are not appropriate after cubbing is over. Then why do we have field boots? Why do show hunter riders wear field boots if hunter showing is supposed to replicate the hunt field (I know that now it has nothing at all to do with hunting in the field). Do some hunts allow you to wear field boots during formal season? Why are they called 'field boots' if you can't really wear them in the field? Inquiring minds want to know!
                        You know, this is very interesting because I've been wondering about it. Actually fox hunting attire looks much more like dressage attire than show hunters attire. Both have quite stiff "correct" attire and both in formal events, wear white shirt, white stock tie, black dress boots, black frock coat with four buttons.

                        As a matter of fact, when I was trying to get a custom dressage coat made because I couldn't find one that fit me and the seamstress had no idea what "dressage coat" meant, I brought my fox hunt frock coat to her, and told her, "that is what I was talking about, just in much much lighter fabric"...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Current show-ring type 'hunter' is SO FAR from fox hunting, anyway. Like 'ranch' houses are found in all levels of suburbia. And 'news-boy' caps are found on a lot of people who don't sell newspapers on the streets.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am a bit nostalgic for the brown field boots. I just like the look better. To me, growing up in EsssexFox hounds country, field boots were brown, and dress boots were black. That being said, I do own black field boots and hunt in them.
                            What I really miss seeing is Newmarket boots. Anyone remember those?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I miss Newmarket boots. Not so much the leather-and-linen ones, but the canvas-and rubber ones that are SUCH a nice wear-around-the-barn-but-you-can-also-RIDE-in-them boot for the financially challenged.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                For what it's worth, Hunter makes a pair of Newmarket-inspired Wellies that are gorgeous. No laces, but definitely linen and rubber. My wife got a pair and I was absolutely enchanted by them. She doesn't even ride. See here:

                                http://www.shoes.com/Shopping/Produc...px?p=EC1088289

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by moserorr View Post
                                  What I really miss seeing is Newmarket boots. Anyone remember those?
                                  Yes, and salt sack jackets.

                                  Lovely.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Am craving true Nwmarkets.

                                    If budget allows, you need both..Dress for Formals Hunts) and Field for everything else..Cubbing, Wednesdays and Neighboring , non-formal Hunts.
                                    *************************
                                    Go, Baby, Go......
                                    Aefvue Farms Footing Inspector

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                                    • #19
                                      Dehner makes them.

                                      http://www.dehner.com/customboots_riding.html


                                      Beautiful but expensive!
                                      -Painted Wings

                                      Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by WilfredLeblanc View Post
                                        For what it's worth, Hunter makes a pair of Newmarket-inspired Wellies that are gorgeous. No laces, but definitely linen and rubber. My wife got a pair and I was absolutely enchanted by them. She doesn't even ride. See here:

                                        http://www.shoes.com/Shopping/Produc...px?p=EC1088289
                                        Just what I've been looking for. But how come they now cost $140? I remember them at $15...
                                        madeline
                                        * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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