Q: WHERE I can find a pair of riding boots like the ones I saw show jumper Sophie Heaven competing in? I saw Malin Baryard wearing them too. I have searched everywhere to find a pair but to no avail. I know Sophie jumps abroad and wondered if she bought hers there?
KS, South Yorks

THE H&H inbox has been overflowing with requests for information about these new-style boots, so we decided to find out more.

Who makes them?

THESE adjustable Advanced Performance Boots make a radical departure from traditional leather footwear and are made by Swedish company Tretorn — a subsidiary of sportswear giant Puma. Charles Owen will be the UK stockists when the boots arrive here in October.

Designed for comfort, they are made from a high-performance microfibre, similar to a pair of trainers. The lace-up boots have a zip at the back making them completely adjustable. They are available in black and red, but other colours are in the pipeline.

Who wears them?

TRETORN originally approached Swedish show jumper Malin Baryard to try the boots before they were launched in Sweden last summer, and she made an impact at shows wearing her red pair.

Cardiff-based show jumper Sophie Heaven jumped at the chance to try out the new footwear
in February.

“I absolutely love the boots,” she said.

“The insides are made from a non-slip material and they are lightweight. They help keep your lower leg in the correct position and, unlike new leather boots which can feel tight and uncomfortable at first, these feel just like wearing a long pair of trainers.”

But what was the initial reaction to these groundbreaking new boots?

“At first, people asked if I was being paid to wear them because they looked a bit odd,” said Sophie.

“But it’s like GPA hats — they took a while to get used to, but soon everyone was wearing them. I believe that, in a year’s time, we’ll all be wearing these boots.”

Fellow show jumpers Jessie Drea and Nicole Pavitt were spotted wearing the boots at Hickstead and, according to Sarah Gollins at Charles Owen, riders are queuing up to give them a try.

Information

THE boots will be available in the UK from October.
Price: £350 Contact: Charles Owen www.charlesowen.co.uk

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (24 July, ’08)