Tall equestrian-style boots are such an element of fashion; you might forget their original purpose was horseback riding. With some research, you can find a brand that delivers the style you want and performance you need in the saddle. In this article, we’ll review recent trends and list some top riding boot brands on the market. The selection is not exhaustive, and names like Konigs, Tredsteps, and Cavallos each have a following.
No boot is well-regarded by everyone—but if you want to ride horses, avoid fashionable copies that only look the part.
The Boot Market Today
Horsemanship extends back to ancient times, but riding clothes fashions are mercurial and of the moment. Clunky, thick stovetops are very last century. Longevity is not the trend of the day.
Today’s fashionable boot carries a slimmer profile and tapered ankle, with soft leather and contoured construction to accentuate long lines. Spanish tops extend the trend, with a higher outer brim that lengthens the boot’s shaft. Another casualty of time is the pull-on boot, which is being replaced with laces and zippers that offer modern convenience and a snug fit. The traditional black or brown palette has not changed, though two-toned shades of these colors are well-received.
Off-beat combinations are available–with and without bling–but these are only a personal choice.
Before proceeding to higher-end selections, here’s an economical brand. These boots can be made of rubber or synthetics, but they do the job. It’s an economical choice for beginners or just working around the barn.
A popular brand known for attractive boots. They have dropped in quality in recent years, but are still popular and have many styles to choose from. Be aware that cheaper Ariats have a shorter lifespan than their more expensive pairs.
Mountain Horse Sovereign
This entry from an established company combines modern style with economy. They have a break-in period, but wear comfortably and outlast many higher-end boots.
These boots have gone up recently, but are still a popular choice. Many find a good fit off the rack, and the leather is a nice combo of durability and suppleness. They last fairly well for a new-style boot.
This beautiful high-end boot has many proponents. More durable than most newer designs, it takes more effort to break them in. Tucci’s come with some quiet bling, like a monogrammed outer heel.
Tecovas, an Austin brand specializing in handmade boots, might be best known for its traditional cowboy boots. However, this popular boot company also carries fashionable equestrian boots for ladies. These calfskin boots found here have a Western flair but all the functionality and comfort for a day of riding or chores around the stable.
These century-plus older names have long stood for quality, and though “no one wears them anymore” according to rail gossip, they are still going strong. Thinner, sleek designs have eclipsed the thick leather and soles—but these former standards last and still carry cachet.
The current favorite leads the way in slim profiling–and they do look great. The soft, thin leather creates a “leather sock” that contours around the ankle. These boots break in easily but wear out quickly, and they won’t stand up to heavy work. As if.
Choosing a riding boot comes down to economy, wear and personal preference. You can find value in any of these brands, and people swear by them all. Just remember that fashions and manufacturers change, but the basics stay the same.