A good pair of country boots should be the perfect balance between functional and fashionable. In general, they should be hardy enough to endure a morning of yard chores or a long dog walk, but stylish enough that you can hop in the car and head to the pub for lunch or your local point-to-point. Some are more practical than pretty, while others fall on the other side of the fence – it’s important to decide what you need from your boots before you buy them. As equestrians, we’re used to spending the day on our feet, and the best country boots will make that time comfortable and provide your feet with plenty of support.
If you’re thinking about getting a new pair of country boots, but aren’t quite sure which ones are your best option, we’ve rounded up a great selection to help you take a step in the right direction…
Ariat Ketley H2O
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Chocolate/willow or chestnut | Sizes: 3–8.5 | RRP: £270
The Ketley offers a classic but striking look with laces and suede detailing at the front. They also have a full-length zip at the rear that makes them easy to get on and off. They are made of a waterproof full-grain leather and have a breathable, waterproof membrane to keep your feet warm and dry. These boots incorporate Ariat’s insole technology, which has an anatomical cushion to provide long-lasting support, as well as air vents to ensure your feet don’t overheat.
More info, stockists or view at ariat.com
Bareback Footwear Quebec
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Brown | Sizes: 3–12 | RRP: £219
The Quebec waterproof mid-calf boots are made from full-grain waxed leather and edged with piping detail through the whole boot. They are finished with contrast stitch detailing and a brass buckle to the rear, which makes them adjustable and so easier to take on and off. They feature a waterproof and breathable lining, anti-slip sole as well as a gel heel insert and shock-absorbing insole for added comfort and support.
View at barebackfootwear.com
Fit: Unisex | Colours: Chocolate brown | Sizes: 36–43, in regular or wide calf | RRP: £100
Crafted in a hard-wearing buffalo leather, the Warwick is described as ideal for wet weather at any time of the year. These boots have a breathable, waterproof membrane, while the oiled leather used on the foot is naturally water resistant and will help to deter staining. They have a cream contrast stitch throughout, and a classic brass Brogini tab on the side. The lightweight sole is durable and shock absorbing.
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Walnut or black | Sizes: 36–42 | RRP: £349
The Clare boots feature additional equestrian-inspired protection on the inside of the leg. They are warm, waterproof and breathable, with a Gore-Tex lining and shock-absorbing soles. They have a flattering cut, styled low at the back of the knee, and feature an elasticated heel panel at the rear for an easy fit. They are described as hardy enough to be put to work on the yard yet smart enough to take into town.
Dublin Eskimo II
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Dark brown | Sizes: 4–9, with two calf width options | RRP: £149.99
These boots have a waterproof lining to keep your feet dry as well as a synthetic fleece lining for added warmth. Like other Dublin boots, they include the RCS (rider comfort system) memory footbed that has a memory foam cushion layer, a padded shock-absorbing heel and arch support for the ultimate comfort. They also have a tough rubber riding sole.
Fairfax & Favor Explorer
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Mahogany or oak | Sizes: 3–9, with three different calf widths | RRP: £425
These hand-crafted waxed leather boots are lined with a waterproof membrane and finished with a comfortable and hard-wearing Vibram sole. It’s described as a stylish alternative to an everyday welly, perfect for tackling any countryside excursion. This is the third update to the Explorer, making it Fairfax & Favor’s most technical boot to date.
More info, stockists or view at fairfaxandfavor.com
Fonte Verde Vilamoura
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Chocolate/cognac | Sizes: 37–42, in regular or wide calf | RRP: £299.95
These boots are handcrafted from full-grain European leather and have a full height breathable and waterproof membrane. They also feature a smart traction sole, which provides extra grip and stability.
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Mahogany | Sizes: 4–8 | RRP: £219.95
These country boots have a soft, supple suede exterior in a quilted design, full-grain Iberian leather vamp and trim and buckled top straps to finish the look. The sole is designed to ensure good grip, provide all-day comfort and reduce fatigue. The underfoot has a 4mm footbed for soft cushioning, which has millions of microscopic nitrogen bubbles to help insulate against cold surfaces. The boots also have a breathable lining that wicks away moisture to help avoid sweaty feet.
More info, stockists or view at grubswarehouse.com
Hy Equestrian Bakewell
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Dark brown or light brown | Sizes: 36–41 | RRP: £139.99
These practical long country boots have an elasticated V insert at the top of the leg to help you get them on and to ensure a comfortable fit on the calf. The lightweight yet sturdy sole is reinforced with a steel shank for improved foot stability. The boots are fully lined with a technical fabric that wicks away moisture to keep your feet and legs warm and dry.
Le Chameau Jameson
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Caramel | Sizes: 4–9 | RRP: £300
These smart leather boots are described as perfect for long country walks due to the lightweight fabrics and Michelin-designed sole. The high-quality leather is durable and long-lasting, and its strength will protect your feet from the elements. The calf has been redesigned to offer a more flattering and feminie shape for those with slimmer calves. Also available in a unisex style.
Mountain Horse Devonshire
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Dark brown or navy | Sizes: 36–42 | RRP: £249
These warm and waterproof full grain leather boots are described as perfect for the cold and wet winter, damp springs and rainy summers. They are ergonomically designed and have a shock-absorbing insole for added comfort.
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Brown | Sizes: 36–42 | RRP: £99.95
These waterproof boots have a full-length zip with a lining to keep wind and water out on the outside of the leg. The boot is made of a combination of leather and imitation leather, with a soft, warm lining, insole and grippy rubber outer sole.
Shires Moretta Nella
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Brown | Sizes: 3–9, with three calf width options | RRP: £169.99
These smart leather boots make the ideal versatile winter footwear. They are made of flexible, quick-drying and water-repellent leather, have waterproof membrane socks and a moisture-wicking lining. The boots also feature an all-terrain soles for reliable grip.
More info, stockists or view at shiresequestrian.com
Spanish Boot Company Classic with tread sole
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Brown | Sizes: 2.5–11 | RRP: £345
These handcrafted boots can be worn to style up a dog walk or give a classic chic look to the school run. They are made of waxed leather and feature brogue detailing and detachable tassels. If you keep them waxed they will stay water-resistant but you can use Sno-Seal to waterproof them. They have a full-length zip, durable rubber sole, and cork footbed, which aids breathability as well as providing support.
More info, stockists or view at thespanishbootcompany.co.uk
Fit: Unisex | Colours: Chocolate | Sizes: 37–46 | RRP: £168
The Quebec boot is a handmade milled leather boot with a waterproof, breathable membrane that ensures you remain dry in all conditions. They have a dual-density cushioned insole and an all-terrain rubber sole.
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Mahogany or dark oak | Sizes: 37–42, in regular or wide calf | RRP: £269
With its stretch rear panels, front laces, and heavy-duty YKK full-length rear zip, the Legacy is designed to give a perfect fit. They are made from oiled, nubuck leather – the foot is waterproof and the leg is splash-proof. The rubber outsole gives a great grip and is stirrup-friendly. They have a temperature-regulating Thinsulate layer within the floral patterned lining, and with the Coolmax-lined memory foam footbed ensures all-day comfort. The boots have decorative punch detailing along the seams and every pair comes with both natural and dark brown laces.
More info, stockists or view at tredstep.com
Tuffa Country Rider
Fit: Unisex | Colours: Brown | Sizes: 3–8, in regular or wide calf | RRP: £200
The Country Rider is the riding version of the Tuffa Suffolk boot, but with a more shapely ankle and a tapered toe shape. It’s made of a nubuck leather with grippy rubber soles and has a natural wool lining to keep your feet warm. They have an adjustable fastening system of elasticated, touch and close straps so you can fit them just right for you.
Fit: Ladies’ | Colours: Navy or mocha | Sizes: 3–9 | RRP: £220
These tall Italian leather waterproof boots have a high-grip rubber sole as well as a waterproof and breathable membrane that helps to prevent sweaty feet. This membrane maintains warmth in cold weather and helps to cool feet in hot weather. They also feature a removable premoulded footbed that can provides extra instep support.
More info, stockists or view at welligogs.com
Can you ride in country boots?
Although many country boots are designed with equestrians in mind, not all are safe for riding in. Some pairs of country boots are designed to be worn in the saddle and will be suitable for a quick hack, but this is not their primary purpose. if you’re looking for a new pair of riding boots, you would be better to invest in a pair of long leather boots or winter riding boots. These will give you a much closer contact and feel with your horse’s side and will be safer in the stirrup.
Are country boots worth the money?
Country boots can be a really significant investment, so you need to be sure on your purchasing decision. The best country boots are comfortable, ideally waterproof (or at least water resistant), have a robust sole with a good grip and be stylish in appearance. If they are designed so they can safely be worn in the saddle for a quick hack, then that’s an added bonus. They need to remain comfortable when being worn for hours at a time, and should be robust enough to cope with the regular challenges that a busy horse owner will throw at them, such as walking the dogs, traversing cross-country courses, standing at ringside, and we want them to look great when we happen to bump into our friends along the way. If you were thinking of wearing them for heavier yard chores on a regular basis, it would be worth considering whether a pair of specifically designed yard boots or wellies might suit your needs better.
You might also like:
With a wide range of long leather riding boots on the equestrian market, we take a look at just 18
Ensure your feet stay warm while you’re riding this winter with our selection of the best winter riding boots
Would you like to read Horse & Hound’s independent journalism without any adverts? Join Horse & Hound Plus today and you can read all articles on completely ad-free