English Riding Boots Buyer’s Guide
I am sure you will agree that having the right English riding boot can make all the difference in your ride.
And with that in mind, this article will help you find the best english riding boot for your needs. As fellow riders, we know what you are looking for when buying boots: quality, durability, comfort, and style.
And soon enough, you’ll be pulling on your new riding boots for English horseback riding.
If you're in a hurry, click on the quick navigation links below to jump straight to the recommendations, or read on for the full buyers guide.
What Are English Horseback Riding Boots?
As any rider knows, boots used for English riding are distinctive for their height.
English horses have long legs, do well with jumping, and can cover long distances rapidly.
Boots made for wearing during English-style riding are tall boots, dressed much in the style of Downton Abbey.
It is traditional for these riding boots to come in the pull-up or a zip-up form.
English riding boots are also called English tall boots because they go nearly all the way up your calf. Remember, these were worn in the days of riding your horse through fields and streams in the English countryside. There are two types of tall boots:
- Field Boots. Some boots come with laces, and these are referred to as field boots because military officers would wear them while out in the field. Riders wearfield boots with laces because they are a bit more flexible around the ankle for correcting your foot to jump.
- Dress Boots. These shoes do not have shoes and are to be worn during riding competitions. Dress boots aren’t as flexible in the ankle and come with a bit of flair for show performance. Look elegant and classic in dress boots. (As a minor note, dress boots with a cuff at the top are called hunt boots).
Materials Used in English Boots
The most traditional of English riding boots are made of leather. Once waterproofed, leather withstands years of wear and is known for molding to the shape of your legs and feet. Leather gives when give is needed, turns when you turn, and twists when you twist.
Rubber riding boots are gaining in popularity within the recreational field. Rubber riding boots are easy to clean, don’t get affected by the elements, and dry rapidly. If you are exercising your horse or mucking the stable, rubber English boots might get the job done.
Western Boots Versus English Boots
There are two types of horseback riding boots – either Western or English boots. Westerner boots traditionally come with a higher heel, some come with crepe soles, and you can even purchase them at lower heights. Features of the Western boot include:
- Two-inch angled heels to catch the stirrups
- Smooth leather soles for natural falling out of stirrups
- Tapered toe for picking stirrups with ease
- No laces so nothing gets caught in the stirrup
- Calf of the boot goes at least to the mid-calf for no pinching from the saddle
There are several variations on Western boots including a work boot with treads for traction or cowboy boots with a lower heel. The most significant indicator of Western and English boots is the height and overall look. English boots are traditional and tall while Western boots have heels and are not as high up the calf.
Safe Horseback Riding Boots
More than anything, your riding boots are an investment in your safety. Good boots protect your feet from getting stepped on, keeps you in the stirrups, and prevents problems when you are riding. Boots made especially, for this reason, come with a smaller tread, so your foot doesn’t slide out of the stirrup but also doesn’t get stuck when you need to get out.
The Right Riding Boots for Your Needs
Now that you’ve decided to buy English riding boots, you need to sift through all of the online resources to find the best English horseback riding boots. The products on this list are favorite among riders for specific reasons – from versatility to style. We’ve made our picks for the top boots in different categories if you need to jump start your shopping.
Best All-Around Women’s English Boot: Ariat Bromont Pro Tall H20 Insulated Boot
Available in black and made from full-grain leather and a suede inner leg panel, this elegant boot suits riders dedicated to their craft, no matter the weather. These women’s boots in the field style keep you warm when it’s cold outdoors and dry when it’s raining.
The elegant plaid lining on these boots adds a light touch of style. You’ll love the innovative features of this boot when you feel what it’s like to have completely waterproof boots!
Ariat makes performance footwear for Western, Work, English, and Outdoor styles. They stand out from the other brands on the market because of a commitment to technology and innovation. Ariat provides a robust sizing chart to its customers to make sure you get the right size.
Best All-Around Men’s English Boot: Donatello Field Boot
The Donatello Field Boot comes in a slim fit to fit your calf and reduce the time it takes for the boots to break into your shape. You’ll love the high-end feel of this innovative boot that zips all the way up the side, contains a moisture-wicking foot bed, and reduces foot fatigue thanks to a durable midsole.
Wear these boots when riding and working, thanks to their balancing and stabilizing outsole on the shoe. With details from side-spur rests to a rolled toe cap, you just won’t run out of love for these boots!
Best Boot for English Dress: Tuffrider Ladies Belmont Dress Boot
The solid black color of these English dress boots makes it a versatile solution for rider’s that need to look good in the ring. The punched toe cap of this boot seems good but obeys the rules of dress for shows. More than any other feature, you’ll notice these boots don’t cause any of the discomforts you get with old-fashioned boots.
Want the next best thing compared to custom boots made especially for your body? The TuffRider Ladies Belmont Dress Boot look good and feel right when they are on your feet.
Best English Boot for Function and Versatility: Just Togs Nebraska H2O Field Boots
We’d like to imagine the makers of these boots designed them for the traditional scenes of riding your horse through the English countryside. Whether you are this wearer or not, pull on these conventional leather field boots for maximum versatility.
The boot has a liner for water-resistance and a waterproof footbed. With this selection, you don’t have to give up appearance in exchange for versatility. The Just Togs Nebraska H2O Field Boots look traditional, are made from leather and are shaped to the outside of the leg.
Get the English Boots You Need for Riding
Every rider knows that the equipment you wear makes a major difference in your experience. Feel comfortable, stay dry, look stylish, and focus on riding when you wear the right boots for the job. We recommend paying attention to the brand name of the boots, the durability of the product, the color and size, and your personal needs.
Purchase any of the boots on this list, depending on your individual needs. You’ll love the feel of your newly broken-in English horseback riding boots.