You love horses and dream of one day having your own ranch where you can ride into the sunset each and every day. Yet, your heart sinks when you realize that you don’t know much about raising let alone riding horses. You take it upon yourself to make the first step. Learning how to ride a horse and you wonder if the running shoes in your closet would make the grade. Unfortunately, no. They will leave you feeling sore and chafed while in the saddle. It’s time to look at getting some horse riding boots.
Horse riding boots are designed to offer you protection in the event a horse decides to step on your toes while giving you grip, durability, stability and protection against the elements. The boots also have a noticeable heel that keeps your foot safely in the stirrups.
The best horse riding boots are made from leather or synthetic leather as this offers you the best protection while out on a ride as well as providing you with comfort and safety. You may feel the need to save your pennies when buying a pair of boots, but your feet and ride will suffer as you try to keep costs down. Great boots don’t cost the earth but that doesn’t mean you should buy the cheapest pair that you can get.
We will show you what to consider when choosing the pair of boots that suit you, the types of boots available and then run you through our list of the best riding boots on the market. So, saddle up and let’s mosey on.
What makes a good riding boot?
The best horse riding boot is the one that is suited for the type of riding you will be experiencing as well as the environment you will be exposed to. When selecting the most appropriate pair of boots for you requires you to consider the following factors:
You will find boots made from leather through to vinyl. If you are going to be riding through places where there is a lot of water, you will want boots that are waterproof. In addition, you don’t want your feet to overheat as you are out on your trek, so consider how breathable the material is.
Ever have a horse step on your foot? It hurts…a lot! To prevent the pain, get shoes that offer protection for your toes and feet. Having your tootsies caught in the stirrups isn’t the most pleasurable experience you want as you ride. Look at getting boots that have 1-inch to 1.5-inch heels which will help keep your feet secure.
What horse riding event do you want to do? Equestrian events, dressage or gently riding through the wilderness? Each activity can require a different type of boot that meets the specific nature of the event.
These are the main elements any serious horse rider needs to take into account when getting their boots. So off you trot to the shoe store and you become overwhelmed by all the different types of boots. Which one do you need?
Types of boots
As you have seen, there are different events you can partake in whilst horse-riding and you wonder what boot will suit you the best. English riding boots, much boots, Western-style boots and more. So many options. Let’s go through the list and then you can make up your mind which style of riding shoe you need.
Western Riding Boots
You enjoy the classic Western films and the cowboys with their style boots and you wouldn’t mind a pair. But what is so great about them apart from the stylish look? Usually made from cowhide makes them extremely durable while the heels range from 1-inch to 2-inches to keep your feet fastened in the stirrups. If you are wanting boots that are designed specifically with horse-riding in mind then a pair of cowboy boots will be just what you’re after. Yee-ha!
English Riding Boots
English Riding Boots come in two styles: long or short riding boots and can be made from leather, synthetic or rubber. Long boots are more suited for English style saddles and offer you protection from rubbing with firmness being found in dress style boots whilst Long style field boots offer better flexibility.
Short riding boots are more comfortable to wear and better suited for the rookie rider. Jodhpur boots are typically constructed out of leather with a wooden sole. Paddock boots are more robust than Jodhpur boots and are a cheaper option.
English riding boots are made more for show events rather than general horse-riding activities.
The great thing about hiking boots is that they offer you protection as well as being hardy, two things you need horse-riding footwear. However, they are particularly designed for riding and you may find them clumsy when trying to get your feet in the stirrups.
If you find boots garish maybe riding sneakers are what you are looking for. Being more durable than standard sneakers as well as made to be lightweight and breathable allows you to ride and ride and ride without having to be concerned about your feet. The only downside is that they don’t offer your legs the same protection as boots do, so you could end up chafing.
At the end of the day, which style you choose is determined by the pursuit you want to engage in. Now that you have had an overview of the types of shoe horseriders can slip their feet into, it’s time to give you our list of boots.
The best shoes for horse riding
These chaps will have you riding and jumping all day (or at least until your horse decides it has had enough). The suede leather provides enduring resilience with a calf fitting that stretches to give you comfort and protection as you perform. Cleaning is as easy as popping the chaps into the washing machine…good show!
The fuller leather upper offers durability while the 1.25-inch heel will keep your foot firmly in the stirrups. The generous-sized shaft supports your ankle while still allowing you to move it freely while the gel-cushioning footbed absorbs every jolt from the ride. Your feet won’t get too hot or uncomfortable thanks to the breathable liner. A secure and comfortable horse-back ride thanks to Ariat. Yippee-ki-yay!
Want your child to have a boot that makes them feel comfortable underfoot? Time to get a Rambler. The 4 -layer design of the footbed offers the cushioning your kid is desiring. As your child grows, there is no need to buy new boots, simply pull out the liner and you’re kids toes are happy at the extra room inside. That’s forward-thinking!
Don’t want to get your feet wet as you ride cross country over hill and dale? The coated leather upper and sealed seams will keep the water out while the 1-inch heels offer stability as you travel. These boots are sturdy yet comfortable. Time to begin your conquest.
With a four-layer footbed, your feet are going to feel like they are supported by clouds whilst the contour design makes these boots hug to your leg for great support and protection during your ride. Your feet are kept dry via the moisture-wicking lining which extracts the sweat from the inside of the boot, leaving you to feel as great as you did when you first slipped the boots on.
Have a child that is just beginning in the world of horse riding? TuffRider made these boots with such a situation in mind. The gussets stretch so it’s easy to slip the boots on and the forefront of the shoe is specifically rounded to keep your kid’s pinkies safe and sound. You don’t have to be stressing over laces being caught up in the stirrups as it’s simply a matter of doing up the front zippers and your baby is ready to ride.
The shank in the Crossrider is built from steel to aid in balance and bracing as you ride. Underfoot is soft cushioning to make your feet cosy while the 0.75-inch heel secures you firmly on the stirrups. If you want all-round support for your feet as you ride, then you need a pair of Crossriders!
Built to last, these boots can take on the most rugged of use and still cry out for more. Not that you are going to thrash them as you sit in the saddle, but you know that your feet are well taken care of. AdTec’s soles meet the highest standards of slip resistance so your feet won’t be slipping and sliding as your horse meanders along the trail. A solid shoe at a great price makes these a winner.
For all the equestrian lovers out there, here is a boot made specifically for you. Ergonomically styled to enhance your performance the V Sport Talls stretch and mold to your legs and feet to ensure you ride in comfort. Riding in the heat? The moisture-wicking liner will keep your tootsies nice and dry. Balance is provided through the contoured instep so that you can jump cleanly and have the crowd gasping and clapping in awe of your form.
Want to bring out the cowboy within? These boots will surely help. Laredo is the leading brand in Western boots in the US and offers you a boot that has a rustic, lived-in look. The footbed has gel pillows at the heel and ball of the foot to provide you with comfort as you walk and the shank provides support. The 1.75-inch heel keeps your foot fixed to the stirrups so you can ride in confidence as you sing old-timey Western tunes along the trail…
Tired of always having to buy new boots for your kids? Well, the Amara should be the next set you buy. Made to be durable and versatile means you won’t have to be forking out your hard-earned cash for a new pair of shoes any time soon. The suede is tear-resistant and hard-wearing while the chaps hug the lower legs to provide comfort and support. There are two straps, one at the top of the boot and the other towards the bottom offering security by locking the boots in place. Safety, protection and durability all for a price that you won’t believe (but it’s true!)
Tired of your feet feeling weary while riding. Time to get a pair of these boots. The ATS technology in the footbed offers breathability plus comfort while improving your posture and reducing the tiredness of your feet. The durable outsole offers the traction that you need for a stable ride and if you have concerns about the laces being tangled up in the riding gear, you can always use the removable kiltie to keep the laces at bay.
No laces on these boots. So how the heck do you tighten them? With the bungee drawstrings. If there is a sudden shower during the riding event (who forgot to check the weather today?) there is no need to panic as the leather is 100% waterproof while the rubber soles provide traction no matter the weather. Oh, and if the temperature is a bit cold, these boots will keep your kid’s feet nice and toasty.
These boots are so adorable! With a 1.25” heel your child’s feet are going to be fixed securely on the stirrups while the 4-layer footbed offers luxurious cushioning. Ankle support is provided by the 7.5” shaft while the insole can be removed to allow more room for your child’s foot as she grows. Want boots that your daughter is bound to love, not just because they look cool but also they are functional? It’s time to buy Fatbaby Bells…your girl will thank-you.
These boots are serious. Made with a steel shank and metal externals people with a rugged looking leather finish, people will know you mean business. The pull tabs make these boots a sinch to put on and take off. The front of the shoe allows for flex providing you with balance while the mid-calf shaft offers support and protection as you ride. The leather upper is pliable allowing for the natural flexion of your feet. Durango’s…comfortable, practical, stylish and masculine.
These boots are made specifically for all the young cowboys and cowgirls out there. The western toe style allows for easy slipping into and out of the stirrups. The western heel, though lower than the more standard cowboy heel, still offers security while the slip-on design makes it simple for your kids get the boots on and off.
Step out on the field in style with these Equestrian boots from Tommy Hilfiger. The inner zip closure has these boots fitting snugly against your legs. Initially, there may be some tightness when you wear these but that will soon disappear as you break them in. The knee-high shaft the tallest in our list yet you will have superior stability and support through your ride while the outsole offers you the traction that you need to perform in the competitive world of equestrian. When you win, don’t forget to thank Tommy Hilfiger!
If you struggle with inner leg problems during riding, you should consider getting a pair of Grippy Grains. The reinforced inner leg and inside knee patch will provide you with the support you are longing for. Durability and flexibility are guaranteed through the synthetic suede outer with the boot length zipper and snaps ensuring the best fit so you can ride in comfort. Designed by a company that is dedicated to manufacturing the best gear for equestrians, you can be assured that these chaps are quality through and through.
When it comes to selecting the right shoes for riding, it’s not as straight forward as just randomly choosing the boots that look the best. Great riding shoes are a combination of the materials used (leather, synthetics or rubber) and the activity you want to participate in. Western boots aren’t that great when you are entering a show-jumping competition and wearing English style boots may have you on the receiving end of some funny looks as you start on a horse trek through the forest.
Safety is another key factor. Sneakers won’t help you much when a horse decides to plant its hoof on your hoof nor will they ensure that your feet aren’t slipping out of the stirrups all the time. Riding boots are made specifically to offer you the security and comfort you are needing so that you can enjoy your time as you go exploring on horseback, just like the pioneers did.
Okay. It’s time to hit the trail….giddy up, horsie!