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I try to ride my horses on a daily basis I am fortunate enough to have an indoor arena so weather conditions as well as dark nights don't affect me. When riding it is vital that you wear the appropriate footwear as apart from making sure your protected as much as possible certain types of footwear can cause injury. Horse riding is an expensive sport there is no getting away from that fact but if you look for the right items you can get them slightly cheaper. Like with most things the equestrian world have something for most budgets so if you have £500 to spend on a pair of riding boots there are quite a few options available!
Personally I own four pairs of long riding boots. I only ride in these types of boots as I don't like wearing jodhpur boots and gaiters. I have two pairs which I wear on a daily basis to ride in and two pairs that are solely kept for competing as the last thing you want to do when trying to impress the judges is wear scratched and scruffy boots! My one pair is made by a company called Saxon who are I recall are owned by a global brand known as Weatherbeeta (I have plenty of Weatherbeeta reviews!). Saxon are however known as a budget brand but they still provide well priced products which are generally well made.
The long riding boots I own are called the Equileather Laced Tall Boots. They are exactly the same as in the picture and you can either have the laced version like I do or the plain version. I however opted for the laced boots as they just look a bit more professional and somewhat better to look at than the plain version. The laces are already pre-laced so you don't have to thread them yourself but you can however loosen or tighten them should you wish. Personally I have left the laces alone as they provide a good fit anyway. The laced version also have a piece of leather going over the front of the boot to give it a section took, almost like a toe cap which is a simple design and one generally associated with laced long boots.
Being 'equileather' they are of course not made of leather they are a synthetic version which I find for everyday riding (and wear and tear) they last far better than a pair of leather boots and are a lot easier to clean! When they get dirty you simply need to wipe a cloth over them and they return to looking as good as new! However, being a synthetic material they are not as forgiving as leather and even though I have had my current pair for over a year they don't really give an awful lot which means your feet are although secure they can feel a bit like they are forced into a certain position. The sides especially around the ankle do feel quite rigid and fixed which although this lessens somewhat after wearing them a lot it can still be uncomfortable. The lining of the boots is a thin fabric type material which wears well (no holes in the heels as I expected).
These boots are incredibly easy to get on as there is a long zip in the back of the boot which is incredibly easy to pull up and so far in having them for over a year the zip hasn't become stuck and it hasn't broken which is certainly great as I have had far more expensive pairs of boots have the zips go which is incredibly frustrating. The boots are only available in black and they do have a slight shine to them which is quite nice and this doesn't seem to dull down either with wear. Now I only wear them for riding and generally getting my tack to and from the tack room so they do get a little use but they really do seem scratch resistant and despite having them for quite sometime they do still look in really good condition. The sole and heel are also synthetic so they take a hell of a lot of use to wear down too which is even better.
I can't really complain about these boots as they simply do the job of what they are intended to do. Granted they are not the best looking pair of boots I have and do own but for an everyday purpose they live up to the job. My only gripe about them is the fact that they can be a little uncomfortable to start off with as the synthetic material they are made from does not give a lot which means your feet are fixed quite a bit and when your feet really do need to have the freedom of movement when riding they can be a bit restrictive to begin with and although they do give a little they are not as flexible as I would like but they don't pinch or rub which is definitely a bonus and when walking around apart from the odd squeaky noise they are actually quite comfortable. My pair have certainly worn well and still look in a good a condition which is even better.
I would definitely recommend these boots if like me you ride on a daily basis and don't want to ruin your best leather boots or you are riding on a regular basis whether have a horse on loan or have riding lessons and don't want to wear jodhpur boots. Or of course ideal for those horse owners/riders who just want to save a bit of money on an item you use regularly. A good point to mention is that these boots do come in two calf widths, normal and wide. I have the normal calf width and they are certainly not tight around my leg, if anything I have a little room to spare - ideal for plenty of socks in this cold weather! If buying make sure you do an online search to get a decent price as they seem to vary. 4 stars from me! Taking 1 off simply for the lack of flexibility.
~ Useful Info ~
Price: I paid £37.99 plus £4.00 postage from EBay over a year ago
Sizes: 3 to 9
Calf Widths: Regular and Wide
Availability: Online - a search is best but also worth asking your local tack store