How to Choose Horse Riding Boots

How to Choose Riding Boots

Choosing Riding Boots

Choosing horse riding boots as the correct footwear is imperative for both safety and comfort. There are many brands of riding boot to choose from and many different styles to suit your equestrian activity

For instance, you may choose a long style riding boot if you take part in dressage or during the winter months when you need to try and keep your legs a bit warmer. Short boots are great for the hot summer months and can be accompanied by chaps for extra leg protection if required. The choice between long vs short riding boots is often down to individual preference.

What Should I Be Looking For In A Riding Boot?

There are a few key things you need to be looking out for when purchasing a pair of riding boots which are particularly important considerations for rider safety:

  • A small heel
  • Closed toes
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Quality zip
  • Strong and Durable

What Footwear Should I Avoid?

There are so many types of everyday footwear that should be avoided for riding and as a beginner rider, we can’t emphasize enough about going out and buying footwear specifically designed for horse riders. The footwear you have at home will simply not be enough to keep you safe and comfortable. Some footwear to avoid is:

  • Trainers
  • Yard Boots
  • Sandals
  • Flip Flops and Crocs
  • Plimsolls
  • Wellies
  • High Heels
  • Tennis Shoes

Safety and Comfort Features

Safety should be your top priority when taking part in equestrian activities, not only for you but also for your horse. Comfort comes a close second. You want to feel relaxed and at ease both on the ground and in the saddle.

Small Heel

All riding boots should contain a small heel. The general guidance of no less than half an inch high is a good one to follow. This will prevent your foot from sliding through the stirrup and getting stuck. If you were to get in the unfortunate position of your feet sliding through the stirrup irons you will more than likely get dragged by your horse leaving you in a rather vulnerable and scary situation.

Closed Toe

Protecting your feet from injury around horses is a real thing. Horse hooves tend to find their way onto your feet quite frequently. I’m sure every owner will be able to tell you about a time or two they have been trodden on by their horse. Some more frequently than others. It hurts! It hurts a lot!

As a rider, you will spend a significant amount of time on the ground with your horse whether that be tacking up, grooming, or leading before your ride. Wearing correct footwear will help protect your feet from a potential injury such as swelling, bruising, or even a broken foot!

Adequate ventilation

More often than not, horse riding boots will come well ventilated with specialist branded technology to help keep your foot comfortable when riding or working on the yard. Over recent years, half leather half synthetic material is used as a way to reduce costs, however, be mindful that these options may not always offer your feet, or lower calf, adequately ventilation.

Quality zip

It’s been seen before, riders can spend hundreds of pounds on beautiful boots for the zip to break only weeks after the purchase. YKK zips offer the best in terms of usability and resistance when it comes to taking boots on and off. If you feel the boots are too tight when zipped up, this can be a telltale sign they are too tight and you may need to opt for a wider fitting – don’t let a shop assistant assure you boots are supposed to be ‘that tight’. Look for a snug feel with flexibility in the heel with an elasticated support panel as in turn, this will help the zip stay in good working order.


Strong and durable riding boots are a massive plus for any equestrian. Riding boots can be a pretty expensive purchase and a secure, sturdy boot can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Durable boots are made from strong materials that are built to last.

Some popular types of materials used for riding boots include suede, leather, rubber, or synthetic material. Ready available Synthetic boots are reasonably priced, hardwearing, and very easy to clean. Leather is known to be one of the most enduring materials for riding boots, however, it can be on the expensive side, and generally leather is more difficult to maintain.

Finding the right balance between price, durability, and maintenance is key when choosing your next pair of riding boots.

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Author: Suzanne Ashton Founder, Everything Horse Ba Hons Marketing Management email:

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