“ Manufacturer: Equi Theme / Type: Riding Boots „
Now the eventing season is in full swing the bigger events have plenty of shopping that just has to be done, yes of course we watch the occasional horse but the shopping is not to be missed and nor are the bargains! Last year I probably went a little over the top and I doubt this year will be much difference - I have a whole year of Joules clothing to catch up on! But one item I did buy last year and which have served me well on a day to day basis were a pair of long boots ideal for wearing when it isn't so cold! There is nothing worse than having hot, sweaty feet when riding as it is just plain uncomfortable so my thermal winter boots tend to get put away in the Spring and I tend to wear something a bit lighter on the lining so they won't over heat.
The boots in question are called the Equi Theme Verona Long Boots and I must admit I had not seen these boots around before nor had I really heard of Equi Theme but at a discounted price of £90.00 from their RRP of around £175.00 I wasn't going to be fussy especially when I ride on a near daily basis I do tend to go through long boots very easily especially when one of my horses likes to scrape your leg up the fence thereby nicely decorating your boots with scuffs and scratches. I cannot say how great Equi Theme are as a brand as I don't think I have ever used any of their products before now but from what I can see the brand is available in a wide variety of online equestrian stores so must be quite popular for so many stores to carry their products. However, I know for certain that their Verona boots are lovely, well made and comfortable so I have no complaints whatsoever.
The Verona long boots are different to a lot on the market as they have a unique design which is easily visible, basically they are not just standard plain leather boots well with laces or without. This is the key thing that attracted me to these boots was the insert of soft Cordura® which gives them a unique design feature. The Cordura® insert is at the rear of the boots going down the leg to the ankle complete with white piping which really to draw the eye to the fabric insert, it also makes them stand out against a pair of normal long leather boots. The material itself is soft and very flexible so ideal for riding in as it doesn't restrict the natural bend in the ankle whatsoever. I had never heard of Cordura® until having these boots but apparently the material is incredibly light but tough and durable as well as being resistant to abrasion and tearing so basically ideal for riding in! This will also help the longevity of the boots as I do find that where the ankle creases in normal leather boots this obviously won't thereby making the boots last longer.
Apart from this the boots have a lovely 'pigo' black lining which is breathable yet insulating. So during the winter your feet are kept warm and in the summer they won't make your feet overheat as the lining will wick the moisture away and keeping you comfortable. To make these boots even more comfortable there is 4mm of foam lining the boots which help increase comfort when walking and riding and giving a bit more support. The boots themselves are made from leather and are already suite soft when bought new which is nice as there is nothing nice about riding in rigid boots as they are just plain uncomfortable. For those with wider calves the boots do feature a elastic insert which does help keep a snug fit without cutting off your blood supply! However, when the leather gives a little they will become looser around the leg despite having the elastic insert. To help get them on and off there is a unique YKK zip which has a anatomic shape as instead of just going at the back of the boot it goes around to go in line with the Cordura® insert which is a nice part of the design feature.
Having comfortable boots to ride in is so incredibly important especially if you ride on a daily basis as there is nothing worse than riding in boots which cripple your feet and boots that are not completely flexible and therefore not allowing your leg and ankle to bend and move into the correct position easily. When I first tried these boots on I was pleasantly surprised (given their price) at just how supple they feel right from the off, the zip does up easily and doesn't get caught on anything and the fit around the calf is lovely and snug despite the fact that I normally wear long socks over my jodhpurs which tend to add a little thickness but these boots had no problems whatsoever doing up. Despite the snugness there was plenty of breathing room and they certainly didn't make my leg feel too tight in the boots but they certainly felt secure. The same applied to the ankle area of the boot, secure enough to keep the foot in place but not too tight where you can't move properly! The Cordura® insert certainly gives an element of flexibility in the boots which you sometimes don't find in normal leather boots as they bend with every leg movement.
The boots do have anti skid soles which are ideal when riding in wet weather as you can sometimes loose grip on the stirrup and you can either loose your stirrup iron completely or your foot doesn't feel secure which can then hinder your riding. I have ridden these boots in various weather conditions and the reinforced rubber anti skid soles certainly help keep your foot in place which obviously helps with your over all position as your not concentrating so much on keeping your foot in place you can therefore concentrate on the riding instead! The boots like most others have spur rests at the back which I use every time I ride and my spurs sit happily and easily on the rests, I find them at just the right height for me and I've never had any problems with my spurs coming off or not fitting properly.
So far my boots have gone through quite a bit riding wise as well as general yard duties - sometimes I finish riding and either put my horses out in the field or in the stable without putting alternative footwear on so the boots are not just used for riding! And so far they are still in pretty good condition, obviously the leather has creased in places but they are still going very strong. The heel and sole look hardly worn which I am hoping means they will last for quite sometime! The boots are quite easy to keep clean especially the leather parts of the boots as you simply use a suitable leather clean and black polish should you need/want to. The only part of the boots I do find a bit difficult to keep clean are the Cordura® inserts simply because they seem to attract the dirt, bits of hay, straw and dust! However, saying that the easiest way I have found to keep these parts clean is with a scourer pad and then with a damp cloth and it seems to work but I do clean them regularly too mostly as this keeps them in good condition.
Overall, I do like these boots and I am incredibly pleased with such a bargain purchase especially as they are incredibly comfortable to ride in not forgetting practical. They are lasting incredibly well and of course they have a few scuffs and marks but for everyday riding they suit me perfectly. I do have a variety of boots that I ride in depend on how I feel or what pair are closer to my door and therefore easier to get to is generally how I pick a pair of boots to ride in but these are used on a weekly basis and now coming up to the supposed warmer weather these will no doubt get worn a lot more. Would I pay full price? Well yes, I would do but I doubt I would have done if I hadn't of first bought them at a heavily reduced price simply because I had never heard of Equi Theme and unless I know a brand well I tend not to spend my money on expensive items until I know for sure they are worth it. But I would definitely recommend these and as they are readily available it is worth searching around to get the best price! 5 stars from me!
~ Useful Info ~
Brand: Equi Theme
Colour(s): Black or brown
Sizes: 3 to 10.5 (half sizes available in all sizes)
Calf Widths: Narrow, Normal and Wide
Price: RRP £175.00
Availability: Not seen in actual stores but readily on the internet