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How high should new dress boots be? How tall is too tall?

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  • How high should new dress boots be? How tall is too tall?

    OK, so I may have gotten myself into a pickle. My very generous parents wanted to buy me new boots, and they bought me stock Dehner Dress Boots (because I have started to hunt).

    I cannot return them, and I am afraid that they are too tall.

    How high (on the front of my knee) should they be before I have done anything to break them in?

    I am trying to decide whether I should try to break them in and see how much they drop or call it a day and sell them while they are new. My parents have asked if I have worn them, and I fessed up to the fit issue. They are OK with me selling them and using the money to buy another pair if that is what needs to be done.

  • #2
    Well, I just got new Dehner Dress Boots about 5 months ago. I can't put them on right now and I never really noticed how they sit in the FRONT of the knee, but I'll put them on later if your question hasn't been answered. But I will tell you that mine are semi-custom due to my calf size, so the height was measured and made to order. When I got them, I couldn't sit down in a chair in them, they just cut right into the back of my knee. I had the same worry, but the guy who measured them assured me that they would break in. And they did, in less than two weeks. They were also a lot less painful sitting on a horse during that break-in than they were sitting on a chair.

    Not sure why yours wouldn't be returnable if they're stock. But if all else fails, I believe they could be shortened. My tack shop guy does leather alterations/repairs on site. He told me he could shorten mine if need be, but it wasn't necessary.

    By the way, I love my Dehners. I wear them for daily schooling as well as showing and they fit me like a glove now.
    HorsePower! www.tcgequine.blogspot.com


    • Original Poster


      Thanks for the input. I cannot return them because I bought them directly fro Dehner since no place near me had the stock boots. They put a wider foot on them for me, so the agreement was no returns.

      Also, I have procrastinated long enough that they have been sitting in the box in my house for over a year. At the time that my parents gave me this generous gift, I really didn't need new boots, so I just stashed them till my current boots died.


      • #4
        They will drop a fair bit, 1-2 inches. If they fit everywhere else, wear them about first before you decide to have them altered. Put them on, fill them with warm water, and wear them until dry. After a day or 2 of that they should be worked in enough to start riding in.
        Shop online at


        • #5
          Heel lifts will really help until the boots break down. You can also tuck a tack sponge (cut to fit) into the top of your boot to protect any areas that are rubbing, like the back of the knee.


          • #6
            Are the ankles folded so they will break where you want the lines? A poorly placed wrinkle will rub you badly forever! Best to prevent that problem by MAKING the wrinkles go where they should. My custom Dehners were done this way, folded correctly when I tried them on at the shop. The folding helped reduce the height pretty quick, no back-of-the-knee bite, so there was minimal break-in time. I loved them!


            • #7
              OP-too tall can be fixed-much better than too short! Wear them until they stop dropping, and then see if they need to be cut down.

              The heel lifts will help-and don't try to drive in them-impossible!


              • #8
                I got new Dehners (field) last winter and they about KILLED me until suddenly they were perfect. Heel lifts helped, and moleskin on anything getting a rub. A little conditioner on the inside of the ankle (inside the boot, I mean). I only wore them for riding so that the creases would be in the right places, and there was very little serious riding going on in them for awhile. I think it took me about 3 months before I could jump in them. Now they feel great, but getting there was pretty bad. Good luck!!


                • Original Poster

                  You all are giving me confidence that these might work. I did have custom Dehner Dress boots years ago. They were hell to break in, and eventually, they were a bit too short. These will need to be taken in in the calf if anything, so I guess I will start the torture process and see how much they drop.