Product Type: Mountain Horse Sports Shoes
Newest Review: ... my nose up at the style, because to be fair if they were intended to be worn as trainers, they would be really ugly. Fortunately as I... more
Much more than just a hideous pair of trainers!
Mountain Horse Easy Rider Pro Boots
Member Name: bamamo
Mountain Horse Easy Rider Pro Boots
Advantages: Waterproof, breathable, lightweight, enough support for riding
Disadvantages: They don't look all that great stylish and it hurts to get trodden on!
They say a woman can never have enough shoes, and if you're also a rider this is particularly true. As a rider of both English and Western disciplines, I have around six pairs of riding boots for different things - cowboy boots, snow boots, wellies, muckers, jodhpur boots, long leather boots....you get the idea.
Well, recently when I booked a riding trip to Italy, I realised I would need to add another pair to that list. The packing list advised boots which were good for walking in, and as this was a summer-time, Western riding trip, this ruled out everything I already owned. If anyone has ever tried to walk down a steep slope with smooth-soled cowboy boots (with 10 years of wear under their belt), they will understand why.
Being summer, I decided to opt for a trainer-style boot with a good sole, almost like an adapted walking-riding boot. A few years ago I would have turned my nose up at the style, because to be fair if they were intended to be worn as trainers, they would be really ugly. Fortunately as I am getting older I am realising that if you're buying something for a particular function, it's probably best to keep that in mind and try turn a blind eye as to how they look. Ugly trainers, yes, comfortable riding boots ALSO yes.
I should point out that when I initially tried these on I wasn't totally convinced. Yes, they feel just like wearing a pair of trainers. But as we are now past the 80s (despite its persistent attempts to revive itself), I do not tend to wear trainers above the ankle and it felt really, really weird at first. I also had some trouble finding a size that fit. The 4 was too small, the 5 a bit big, but for some reason despite starting at 3 1/2 and doing a 5 1/2, 6 1/2 and 7 1/2, they do not make a 4 1/2. Why I do not know, but as this would have been ideal I was a bit put out. I finally decided that the 5 would be okay and probably only felt weird because they are so tall. Turns out, I was right. Once I started walking around in them on holiday I felt pretty darn comfortable.
Over the course of six long, hot days of riding, I continued to feel comfortable. The mesh and imitation leather (very easy to keep clean) kept my feet cool and, here's the best part, waterproof when I accidentally sprayed my foot with the hose full blast when cleaning my teeth (it was a camping trip)! I was expecting to be soaked after that but was pleasantly surprised. If you get your foot stomped on, that's a different matter, it's VERY clear you are wearing nothing but thin material over your toes, trust me!
Despite having picked these out because I knew they would be good for the job in hand, I was a tad worried that people, including my fellow riders of several nationalities, would think I was just wearing really geeky trainers, especially when they were clean and blatantly new. However the sturdy riding boot-style heel got me plenty of compliments at how nifty they were!
But, here's the most important part, did I fall on my ass walking down hill? NO! A few of my fellow riders were slipping around going down hills, but the grips on these are seriously good and for once I felt comfortable walking down hills. In fact, they are at times TOO good, as in Western riding you leave your left foot in the stirrup getting off. I tended to get stuck, which is a problem especially when you are short, and by the end of the week was using the old "lean over and whip out the foot mid-air" technique.
At £45, I don't think I would buy these if I hadn't needed something specific for the job. If I only rode in the UK, I would see no need for a summer boot. Saying that, they were perfect for my needs and, as I am soon to be moving abroad to work as a trail guide, I am sure they will see many more long days in the saddle!
Summary: A decent pair of boots if you can get past the initial apperance.
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