Last Updated on September 1, 2020
Are you looking for the best horse riding boots?
Whether you need western, english, paddock, or trail boots I have reviewed the top styles on the market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best horse riding boots picks, or read on for the full review:
- ARIAT Women’s Scout Paddock Boot
- TuffRider Ladies Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots
- ARIAT Women’s Heritage Iv Zip Waterproof Paddock Boot
- TuffRider Women’s Lace Up Paddock Boots
- ARIAT Women’s Fatbaby Heritage Western Boot
Riding boots aren’t just supposed to make you look great, but also to make riding easier and safer. If you love spending time up on your favorite horse, then you need to invest in a pair of the best riding boots to ensure that you always have a great experience when riding.
How to Choose the Best Riding Boots
Buying riding boots is trickier than some people may think. I find that having the best riding boots for the job will ensure that you are safe when working with your horse and can help prevent you from falling from your stirrup when riding.
Both paddock and cowboy boots are a great option for use when riding a horse. What kind of boot you prefer is a matter of personal choice. Both of these boots are designed to not only keep you safe when riding, but also ensure that you are comfortable when moving around in the field or stable.
It’s also very important to consider your budget for your new boots, as boots can vary widely in price. Generally speaking, tall boots are going to be more expensive and look better for competition, while shorter boots are easier on the wallet and are great for daily use.
The material that your new riding boots are made from will play a huge role in how long they last, what they look like, and how easy they are to clean. Leather is a really popular option for the upper material as it is easy to take care of and doesn’t easily get dirty or damaged. PVC soles are also a popular option to look for as they are durable, easy to take care of, and offer plenty of protection for your feet.
I also recommend that you consider the care that your new boots will require before you go shopping, so that you can be sure that you are willing to commit to taking care of your boots. Cleaning them regularly is important, so I recommend looking for riding boots that are easy to wipe down at the end of the day.
Benefits of Great Riding Boots
The most obvious advantage that you will enjoy when you invest in riding boots is that you will enjoy increased safety when around your horse. These boots will also do a great job protecting you from mud, rain, and cold weather. Many riding boots are weatherproof and may even offer additional insulation to keep your feet and toes warm.
Riding boots also ensure good contact with the stirrup when you are on the horse, providing you with more control and making you feel safer when riding. This can reduce the risk of your foot slipping from the stirrup, which can cause you to easily get injured.
Attributes to Consider
Whether or not your new boots lace, zip up, or pull onto your foot is a matter of personal preference. I do find that if you opt for boots with laces or zippers that you need to ensure that you care for them correctly, cleaning out the laces and zippers to prevent problems.
Another thing to consider when shopping is how much support the boot offers your foot. Some riding boots don’t offer as much foot support as others do, which can make them a little more uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
Finally, I recommend that you consider the toe shape and toe protection. Rounded toes tend to have enough room in the toe box to prevent your toes from feeling cramped or bent when riding and moving around in the field with your horse. If you are worried about your toes getting stepped on by your horse, then you need to make sure that they offer a protective toe cap. This will simply add a little more protection to your boots and keep your toes from being injured if you are stepped on.
How to Care for Your New Riding Boots
The most important thing that I can recommend after you buy your new boots is to make sure that you take some time to break them in. This, along with choosing the right size for your feet, will help reduce any rubbing and prevent you from getting blisters.
If you keep the leather conditioned and well stored they will last you a long time. I make my own leather conditioner but your favorite off the shelf brand will do just as well.
Precautions to Consider
Even though you may think that you can simply wear boots that you already have in your closet, you want to make sure that you opt for riding boots that fit correctly, are comfortable, and won’t rub and irritate your foot. It can be tempting to choose boots based on how they look, but the support that they offer your foot and how they fit in the stirrup is much more important.
Boots with a 1-1.5” heel and with a low tread are going to be a much safer and better option. These won’t jam in the stirrup if you fall the way that hiking boots can tend to do.
Top Rated Horse Riding Boots
If you spend a lot of time in the saddle and in the barn like me, you understand the importance of investing in a pair of boots that are going to keep your feet happy. I’ve reviewed the most popular styles for comfort, durability, and quality of materials.
ARIAT Women’s Scout Paddock Boot
Thanks to the plain toe cap on these boots, there is very little chance of your toes getting severely injured if you are stepped on in the ring. The speed laces make these boots not only easy to lace up in a hurry, but also prevent the boots from becoming unlaced. Thanks to the lateral motion control that they offer, there is very little risk of rolling or turning an ankle when wearing them.
- Full-grain leather used on the upper
- Lace-up design features speed laces and flexion notch
- Features elastic twin gore panel at the collar of the boot
- Lining is moisture-wicking for ultimate comfort
- Tend to be narrow, which can be uncomfortable for people with wide feet
- Stiff leather takes a long time to break in
TuffRider Ladies Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots
Not only are these riding boots incredibly affordable, but they are also fairly comfortable. The PVC outsole ensures that you can easily wear them in all types of weather without worrying about them being damaged. Thanks to the front zipper, they are incredibly easy to get on and off in a hurry. Additionally, they feature detailed stitching that makes them a bit more attractive than other boots.
- Made from 100% synthetic leather
- Features spur rests
- The round toe offers plenty of space and has a durable toe cap
- Front zipper is fast and easy to use
- Seams aren’t very durable and can easily pull apart
- Tends to look lower quality than real leather
ARIAT Women’s Heritage Iv Zip Waterproof Paddock Boot
These waterproof riding boots are a great option for any horse rider who wants to look and feel great. They provide plenty of traction and cushioning no matter if you are on or off of the horse. Additionally, thanks to the stabilizing lateral control, users never have to worry about twisting their ankle or dealing with foot pain. Made from leather, they are easy to wipe down and to keep in great condition.
- Built-in heel cushion keeps the foot comfortable and supported
- Padded collar at the top of the boot prevents rubbing on the leg
- Durable YKK zipper
- Breathable lining wicks moisture
- Price can put them out of reach for some riders
- Leather takes a while to break in
TuffRider Women’s Lace Up Paddock Boots
This is a great riding boot for anyone who is looking for boots that are not only durable and comfortable, but also stylish. They look and feel great thanks to their high-quality design and construction and the fact that they have detailed stitching and an attractive blue color. The laces are perfect for keeping the boot nice and tight and won’t come undone during the day.
- Round toe provides plenty of space for toes
- PVC outsole is durable and easy to keep clean
- Laces are easy to tie and keep the boot securely on the foot
- Strong seams won’t come apart
- Not very comfortable for users with wider feet
- Attractive blue color can be easily dirtied
ARIAT Women’s Fatbaby Heritage Western Boot
These boots are great for women who have larger feet or calves and will stay comfortable all day long. Thanks to how flexible the leather is, they don’t take a lot of breaking in to fit and feel comfortable. The bright colors are attractive and the boots are easy to wipe clean, although the colors will fade a little when the boots are dirty, but this won’t affect how they feel or wear.
- Full-grain leather upper and foot
- Plenty of cushioning to ensure a comfortable fit all day long
- Bold colors and attractive stitching ensure the boot stands out
- Easy pull-on design
- Tend to run small in the heel
- Lining is a lower quality polyester that isn’t as comfortable as other boots
For more horse guides and tips read these articles:
- Tall Leather Field Boots
- Safety First: Horseback Helmet
- Prevent Overreach: Great Bell Boots
- Most Comfortable Cowboy Boots
- Get Chores Done Right: Toughest Barn Boots
Even though they are more expensive than other options on this list, the Ariat Heritage IV paddock boots are the best on this list for a few reasons. Not only are they waterproof, which means that they can be worn in all types of weather without concern over their quality or needing extra care, but they feature high-quality lining that provides plenty of breathability. Thanks to the increased stabilization that they offer, there isn’t any problem with them shifting position or not offering support to the foot and ankle. Finally, the durable outsole offers plenty of traction for riding, keeping the boots from slipping out of the stirrups.
Fred is the editor of Equine Ridge. He grew up raising horses and has been riding, training, and competing for almost four decades. Fred started out performing on the AQHA and PHBA circuits. Fred trained other competitors in English and Western riding disciplines and today offers free riding lessons to youth who would otherwise not be able to afford lessons. When not working with horses he can be found backpacking or trying to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Email Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org