Is this your foray into the equestrian world? Are you debating what shoes you would need to wear as you begin your horseback riding? Well, you’re not alone, and you’re not the first to feel bewildered by this. Your having sit atop an animal that has a mind of its own has its own challenges, giving you enough to worry about, without you having to worry about comfort for your feet while you mount it, or the possibility of your shoes getting caught in the stirrups, making it known that you are an utter newbie in the field.
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It doesn’t matter if you plan to ride horses while you are on a vacation, or if you are planning to have a horse riding lesson, or you are planning to go with a few of your friends on horses on a trail; your ability to get the right boots for that occasion is very necessary for both your safety and your comfort, and not forgetting your confidence.
As a rookie horse rider, you would need to choose boots that are safe, durable, and are appropriate for your discipline, and of course, they should be worth your cash. In this article, we will be giving reviews of the top nine rookie boots that we recommend for beginners. Here’s a quick rundown of the featured boots:
- Merrell Captiva Buckle-down Waterproof Boot
- Ariat Heritage Contour II Field English Boots
- Ariat Heritage III Zip Paddock Boots
- TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Boot
- Roper Crossrider Western Boot
- AdTec Packer Boot
- Ariat Sport V Zip Tall Riding Boot
- Ariat Heritage Lacer Western Cowboy Boot (Men)
- Laredo Breakout Western Boot (Men)
If your having to put your foot on the stirrups makes you feel both excited and equally nerve wracking, then that is a good sign that your gear matters more than ever. You do not want to let bad boots ruin your riding experience.
Choosing The Best Horseback Riding Boots For Beginners
There have been sights of newbies wearing shoes as non-fitting as sneakers when horse riding, and to be honest, it is a cringe-worthy sight to behold. It is wrong and very dangerous, too. Many people give loads of excuses when it comes to buying the appropriate horse riding shoes, some say they would rather not spend money on something they would be wearing just that one time (which sounds like a sound reason), some do not find anything dangerous in wearing anything other than the appropriate shoes designed for horse riding, while some (ridiculously so) believe that it just does not match the outfit they are wearing.
Guess what? There are loads of options when it comes to choosing a horseback riding boot. In your search for them, you will not only find the ones that do the job, but ones that assuredly will last you for a very long time.
5 Things Beginners Should Consider When Buying a Horseback Riding Boot
- Safety: Whatever riding shoes you choose must be closed-toed with a distinct heel. The last thing anyone would want is a case where a hoof damages your little toes. The heels of the boot keep your feet from accidentally sliding through the stirrups and getting caught. So, remember, safety first!
- Discipline: When you want to purchase a riding boot, make sure that it matches the kind of riding that you will be doing. There are a few things that are sure to put some well-meaning demand of the type of shoe you will be getting, things like: trail riding, cow work, dressage, basic pleasure riding and endurance, to name a few.
- Material: Boots, like most other regular shoes or footwear, come in different materials, leather and rubber. If you are trudging through mud and snow, you certainly would need something that is waterproof and, also insulated. If you will be riding in high temperatures, say in 100 degrees heat, you surely would need your feet to get some air.
- Cost: As a hobby, horseback riding is known for the expenses it incurs. You need to know when to buy cheap boots that will break down in a year and knowing when to spend a huge sum of money on a pair of shoes. There’s a satisfying middle ground between these two choices.
- Style: Style is put last, and for a reason. And that reason is because style should never come first in your reason for buying a pair of boots, and this is not us saying that you would need to ride in a pair of shoes that you loathe, either. Each of the reviewed boots will make you look like some pro, added to them is the alluring style.
If you really want to know what boots to get, stick with this article and save yourself the stress of fishing the net for the perfect shoes.
Best Horseback Riding Boots For Beginners Review
Merrell Captiva Buckle-Down Waterproof Boot
This is a boot that is sure to last you a long time, and it is great for both English and Western rides. They will definitely be perfect for you as a beginner, giving you both the style and comfort you need.
- They are well-rounded boots. They have everything one would look for in a boot: safety, durability, and style.
- They are closed-toed, heel, waterproof synthetic, with a classic riding design.
- They are very comfortable, with a very cushy sole.
- There’s an in-step zipper that makes wearing and taking them off easy.
- They go with jeans tucked either inside or out.
- They come in black and burgundy.
- Its buckle style could make you end up with a second strap under it if you wear spurs.
- Its 12-inch shaft is quite shorter than the average cowboy boots, but taller than the paddock style boots
- If you have large calves, you may find the top of the boots a bit too snug.
Ariat Heritage Contours II Field English Boot
This brand is perhaps one of the most reputable equestrian apparel brands. They are known for making quality, durable, products, and their boots are designed to give you comfort during long days on your feet. They are known for their great women’s boots, but they are also known to make men’s shoes as well.
- The makers of this product are notable leaders in the manufacture of equestrian dress boots, and the quality of their product will have you looking like a pro.
- These boots have really solid heels.
- Nice spur stop on the back.
- They are easy to break in.
- It has a full back zip that holds up well.
- It has a premium full-grain leather upper and full leather lining that lasts a very long time.
- Gusseting on the inside knee increases comfort in both the saddle and out.
- If you are on the shorter side, the regular shafts may be too tall.
- They are field boot style that come with laces, and they do not fit your personal style, you may want to go for dress boots without laces.
- If you prefer to ride in your jeans, this boot is not for you. They have been made to fit over breeches snugly. Jeans will be too bulky.
Ariat Heritage Breeze Lace Paddock Boot
The Ariat Heritage Breeze Lace Paddock boot is essentially a short boot equivalent of the Heritage Contour (by the same designers). These boots are a great beginners’ choice because they are less expensive than the dress boots, and they are usually easier to wear out and about before you embark on your ride (or after it).
- They come with a great heel for safety, and they have an easy pull strap that can be found on the back.
- The laces on the boot make getting the boot off or on very easy.
- They have an extra, full grain leather upper that is washable.
- They have a classic equestrian styling that looks great solo or with half caps.
- The leather upper and rubber soles have been designed to last.
- The ankle flexion notches increase flexibility in the saddle, keeping your ankle bones from getting rubbed raw.
- The soles are a bit thin on the side. You may want to add a cushion insert.
- They aren’t waterproof (but they are great if this feature isn’t exactly important to you).
- The spur rests help to keep your spurs in place on the back heel.
TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Equestrian Boot
If you do not so much feel the style of the Ariat boots, or you would not wish to spend so much as a beginner, this boot, the TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Boot, would be quite a good alternative.
Although, you should not expect them to hold up as long as the Ariat would, but if you plan on only riding occasionally, then these boots are what you should consider.
- They come in two colors; black and mocha.
- You can easily use a damp cloth to clean them.
- The side elastic gullets increase the flexibility in the saddle.
- The zip front makes it easy for you to wear them and to take them off.
- They are very pocket-friendly for a beginner horse rider.
- Synthetic vs real leather uppers.
- They have very little arch support or cushion, meaning that you might need to get inserts.
- They have no pull-on straps on the back.
- Their quality and their craftmanship aren’t rated as high as that of the Ariat, so they will not hold up if you plan on horseback riding every day.
Roper Crossrider Western Equestrian Boot
Western riders have nothing to worry about as you can also wear short boots, too. The Roper Crossrider Western Boot is a great start for people who are taking lessons in horseback riding, riding on vacation, or for those who just help around the ranch.
- When it comes to western wear, this is a highly respected brand, and this means that both their quality and their craftsmanship are high.
- They have a classic western design and look that are great for solo or half chaps.
- They have forged steel shank that gives support and stability.
- They have perfect safety heel for riding, with lots of traction on the sole.
- They have pretty thick soles.
- They are not waterproof, so you could choose to spray them with a waterproofer for your everyday use.
- They are on the large side and they do not have much arch support.
AdTech Packer Boot
When you are trying to decide on what shoe brand or type to buy, make sure that style doesn’t stay at the top of your list of priorities. But that is what this boot comes with, style, and it does look really nice.
It has everything that a rider would look for in a western style boot and one that you could also wear downtown for dinner.
- It has great heel for riding, with a full grain leather upper with rubber sole.
- Its style and its design are very chic, they are not the chunky type.
- They are designed in catchy colors like a tone-tone cherry/black, tan, or solid brown and black.
- Orthotic removable insole cushion that gives your feet that extra comfort.
- It has a removeable fringe accent piece, that is for if you do not want it there.
- They are on the heavier side, so, if you plan on walking in them regularly, you just may not love them.
- They do not have a lot of traction on both the heel and the sole.
- Their heels are 1.5 inches tall, taller then you would normally need for riding.
Ariat V Sport Zip Tall Riding Boot
If you are an English beginner rider who is in search for a sportier looking dress boot, then you might want to consider going with this boot. It has a unique look, and it has all the necessary features.
- They are very comfortable and do not require you to break them in.
- They have great traction on the sole and a perfect safety heel for riding.
- They have a navy Spanish style top design, with a lovely accent.
- There is a full zip on the back that makes it easy to wear and take off.
- The elasticized panels give a custom fit without your having to pay for a custom boot.
- They are quite expensive, but you will get what it is you are paying for.
- To make them last you a while, you should remove them after use and not around the barn.
- Calf sizing might get tricky when it comes to this boot, so, you could order two sizes and consider whichever one fits you best (this is if you have the money to purchase them).
- There is no leather keeper to hold the zipper down in place, making it possible for it to slide down at any time.
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Ariat Heritage Lacer Cowboy Boot (Men)
For all the horseback riding men out there, this one is for you. This boot has a clean, classic western look for riding, working, and for wearing around town.
- The leather upper and rubber sole are durable and comfortable both in and out of the saddle.
- The duratread outsole is tough and flexible, and the ATS technology gives support and stabilization.
- They have the same thing all Ariat products deliver, quality and craftsmanship.
- It has no pull strap in the back.
- The soles are built for riding and ranch work and not really tough terrains.
- They would need you to break them in, and this takes some time, so, if you know that you will be going for a long ride, make sure to have them on long before you do so.
Laredo Breakout Western Boot
If you are looking to buy a classic cowboy boot, then you might want to go for the Laredo Breakout Western Boot. This boot’s timeless design lasts as long as the boot itself.
- The leather upper and synthetic sole are durable and quite comfortable.
- They have a perfect safety heel for riding, with a classic design that you can wear out to dinner.
- There’s an accent stitching on the shaft and toe that is subtle, but it adds a western flair to it.
- Its breathable mesh lining keeps your feet cool in warm weather.
- They are not insulated, so, if you plan on riding in the winter, you would need to get something warmer.
- They are on the small/narrow side, and you may want to get two sizes, returning any one that isn’t your size.
They are well-rounded boots. They have everything one would look for in a boot: safety, durability, and style.
They are closed-toed, heel, waterproof synthetic, with a classic riding design.
They are very comfortable, with a very cushy sole.
There’s an in-step zipper that makes wearing and taking them off easy.