* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to the drier months down at the yard I tend to ignore my winter wellies and opt for an easier option. Wellington boots certainly have a purpose during the cold, wet, miserable months but when the mud starts to dry up there is little point really in wearing them. I usually wear a pair of muckers or short boots as they are just easier to get on and off and aren't as restrictive. If you have seen my review on the Ariat Cobalt Devon Pro well I am now reviewing the boots which made me go out and spend a lot of money as they disgraced themselves completely!
The Saxon Equileather Zip Paddock boots were bought around two years ago, after having the Saxon Equileather laced tall boots which did a decent job I thought the shorter version would be just as useful. Saxon is a brand that offers a budget friendly range for both horse and rider. The brand as far as I am aware is only available in the UK and is stocked widely both in stores and on the internet so should you want an item from their range it won't be hard to get hold of. The Saxon Equileather Zip Paddock boot is available without the zip too should you not want it.
I didn't intend to wear my paddock boots for everyday riding but for more general wearing around the yard, mucking out, exercising the horses both on the floor as well as the occasional ridden use. They do however still have to be durable and tough but they have to be comfortable as I can wear them for quite a few hours on a daily basis. They are however made and marketed for riding use but for anyone who owns a horse knows that with a horse comes all the tasks associated with them so they still need to be quite versatile. I bought them after seeing them reduced on an online equestrian site and after having a pair of the similarly made long boots I thought the £21.99 price tag was a bargain.
To look at these boots are quite smart looking and Saxon despite their cheaper price tag do manage to make the boots look a lot more expensive than they actually are. The boots are classed as short boots and go to just above the ankle when on. They are panelled as you can see which is just with a slight rib in the equileather around the front of the boots. This gives them a bit more of a 'posh' look rather than just being quite plain. The boots are made from equileather which of course isn't real leather but it is durable and easy to keep clean - it is intended that equileather can last longer than actual leather. This material does have a different grain to normal leather and has quite a high shine - not everyone likes it.
I opted for the zip version of the paddock boots and the zip is a YKK zip and is a half zip at the front of the boots, not only does this help get the boots on and off but it also gives the boots a smart look and of course a design feature. The zip is clearly visible at the front of the boot but is a smart brass colour so fitting in with the black boots. I have never had a problem with the zip and I find the boots easy to get on and off. You can get the same boots just without the zip but I much prefer the overall look of these as they don't look as cheap as the non zip version!
The lining is basic black material lining so nothing special there. Unlike Ariat and Mountain Horse there is no special lining technology so it isn't breathable, antifungal or anything like that but for the price you are paying you shouldn't expect it to be. The boots have a little padding in the insole which provides your feet a little comfort whilst walking around or riding. Saxon do advise that these are ideal for riders with a high instep so it would be worth trying them on in a store should you be concerned about this. When I bought them I knew nothing about this and although I don't have a high instep I didn't have a problem with this.
When I first tried my boots on (I bought online) I opted for my usual size 6 (I always buy a 6 when it comes to yard/riding/paddock boots) and found that although easy to get on they were quite tight around my foot but a decent amount of room around my ankle - does that mean I have fat feet?!! Although perfectly capable of being able to walk around in them they were a little uncomfortable simply because they were quite tight and the equileather was incredibly rigid with little to no flexibility. Not great really but I did think with time (and a little pain) that they would become comfortable and easy to wear.
Needless to say after a few months of wearing them they were slung in the bin. Despite being quite modern and stylish to look at they were not particularly comfortable to wear for hours upon end. The equileather although becomes slightly more supple after wearing for a while it never softens enough like leather does and therefore the boots remain incredibly rigid and they don't allow your feet to move as freely as you'd like. I have ridden in them quite a few times - not deliberately but sometimes I have been asked to get on livery's horse and I have been wearing them. Never again would I choose to ride in them, they are not flexible enough for the ankle to move without it being uncomfortable. Saxon have branded them as a "safe, practical riding boot" but for me they are uncomfortable to ride in and don't allow enough movement. The sole has no grip either particularly so don't give much stability when in the stirrup and if riding in wet conditions you could quite easily slip.
The paddock boots just don't supple enough and after a few months of near daily wear I think I have given them enough time to break in and my heels as well as the sides of my feet have been rubbed enough for me to know that they are never going to be completely comfortable and they were actually becoming quite painful to wear. They are simply for me far too rigid and don't have enough give in them for me. I did have similar issues with the long riding boots but no where near as bad and they never rubbed. I think these boots would be ideal for those who are just starting out in riding and don't want to pay a fortune for footwear, probably ideal for those that just have weekly riding lessons where all you do is turn up get on the horse, ride then get off and go home rather than those that will spend a lot of time in them.
Not a recommendation from me unfortunately as they are simply just too uncomfortable which certainly is a shame. If you are just starting out riding and having lessons these are probably ok for infrequent use but for the more serious rider than avoid these at all costs. I would advise to spend a little or a lot more and get a decent pair of short zipped paddock boots, your feet will thank you for it and the will undoubtedly last too. As I can't give no stars I award 1 star and that is actually being generous! The only plus point is that they are easy to clean but that is about it! Sorry Saxon but these are awful!
~ Useless Information ~
Sizes: 4 - 8
Availability: Saxon stockists online and in store.
Price: From £21.99 upwards