If you’re just getting into riding, you may have noticed that there are quite a few different types of equestrian boots available for sale. While this specialty footwear often has a stylish, attractive appearance, it serves an additional purpose: equestrian boots provide riders with stability, protection, and support while contributing to the correct look for the rider’s chosen discipline. Get ready, because you’re about to learn more about some of the most popular types of equestrian boots.
Types of Riding Boots
Riding boots protect the lower leg and foot on the ground and while mounted, preventing chafing that can occur due to contact with stirrup leathers, and helping to keep toes from being smashed in the event a horse steps on them. All riding boots have some type of heel, which helps to keep the feet from slipping through the stirrups and contributing to a terrible accident.
Western Riding Boots
Most Western riding boots look a lot like the cowboy boots you’ve probably seen worn at rodeos and in classic Western films! Some are quite fancy and are best for shows as they can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but most are built for comfort and practicality. The toes on Western riding boots were once quite pointy as a rule, but today’s versions are often slightly rounded or squared to provide a contemporary, stylish appearance. Shorter Western riding boots may lace up, and like Jodphur riding boots, are often worn with traditional Western chaps or half chaps to provide protection from chafing.
Lower-heeled western riding boots are often referred to as ropers or walking boots. Some have heavier tread on the bottom, which makes them suitable for walking on trails and general work around the farm.
English Field Boots
Field boots are tall English riding boots with lacing at the vamps that provides flexibility for added ankle mobility. Field boots are so named because they were originally worn by mounted officers who had achieved the rank of field grade or above. Most are made of plain black leather.
English Hunt Boots
Also known as Top Boots, hunt style riding boots have a contrasting top band, usually tan. The lower portion of these boots is black, and the style resembles that of a dress boot.
English Dress Boots
Dress boots are stiffer than field boots, and are typically worn for dressage events. Dress boots are normally black, and should be polished to a gleam before being worn for an event. Classic-style dressage boots come just to the knee, but contemporary styles rise a bit higher, often going above the knee and touching the bottom of the thigh.
Jodphur Riding Boots
These equestrian boots rise to a point just above the ankle. They are often paired with half chaps in order to resemble field boots or short dress boots. Also referred to as paddock boots, Jodphur riding boots are ideal for youngsters who are still growing, eliminating the need to purchase new equestrian boots every year.
Mucker boots look a lot like Wellingtons, and are designed primarily for utility wear around the barn. These aren’t really riding boots, but they are essential for anyone who spends a lot of time in damp environments, i.e. wash racks, muddy paddocks, etc. Their sturdy toe box distinguishes them from regular gardening boots, which don’t offer much protection from heavy hooves!