Choosing the right boots for horse riding or working around the barn and in stables, is very essential if you want to enjoy your riding experience fully. You will want to protect your feet from any potential injuries, mud and also be able to do justice to your riding skills or feeding the horses, that’s why it’s important to choose the right boots for yourself.
Footwear like sneakers, wedges, ballerinas, sports shoes are not the ideal footwear for riding horses or working in the barn. Even if you’re an occasional rider, you still need to have the right, country boots. One thing that you must keep in mind is that whatever style of boots you choose, they should have a 1 inch (2.5cm) to 1 ½ inch heel so that they don’t slip through the stirrup.
So here’s a list of different country boots meant for different purposes.
- Field Boots
These boots offer great flexibility and comfort for a rider to jump onto the horse. They have extra room through the ankle, which is a great fit for a rider with short stirrups. These are ideally used in jumping competitions, hunter riders, hunt seat equitation etc.
- Dress Boots
These are a traditional English tall boot style meant for more support on the ankle and mostly meant for dressage events. They are stiffer and are mostly available in black colour without laces.
- Hunt Boots or Top Boots
These are quite similar to the dress boots, but these are meant for formal dresses and outfits. Although, hunt clubs may have their own set of dress code and regulations, but these are quite good and apt for formal hunting events.
- Short English Riding Boots
They follow the same outline as that of tall riding boots but are shorter in length and are best fit for riding practise and basic barn activities. Many young riders, who are just starting out with their riding careers, use these type of boots.
- Paddock Boots
These are also known as Jodhpur riding boots and can also be worn with half chaps for a look of taller riding boots. The smooth, flat sole and the heels are designed so that the boots don’t get stuck or slip through the stirrup. It is designed with high ankles to provide support to the rider. These are typically acceptable and used by young riders and children.
- Muck Boots
These shoes are a great fit for anyone who works closely with horses and in barns. They are waterproof, so ideal for wet and rainy conditions. They are extremely easy to maintain and clean. All you need to do is wash them with water and they are ready to shine again.
- Wellington Boots
These boots come in lots of different patterns and designs. They are exclusively rain boots, meant to be worn outside in the rain for barn work, feeding the horses and other outdoor activities of the like.
- Western Riding Boots
These are also known as cowboy or cowgirl boots and are meant for fashionable purposes and are great for riding with western saddles. If you are planning to ride with western saddles and want a unique design to compliment your personality and outfit, western riding boots are the ideal choice.
These are also great for matching with a casual outfit for non-riding days. Square toe cowboy boots are also a common choice for work boots around the barn or farm that can also double as a style choice.
If you choose the right country boots, they can be a great pair for riding, working in the barn, rainy season etc. If you choose the right boots for the right purpose, your work can be made easy and less messy. If you go for some designed boots, they can make a great fashion statement as well.