Dublin River boots III
- Good grip in the sole
- Waterproof and warm
- Easy to pull on and off
- Variety of leg widths
- Versatile and suitable for smarter wear
- Sizing comes up a bit small
- Slightly stiff on first wear
Price as reviewed:
Dublin River boots III first look
Country boots are a versatile item for any equestrian – a step up in style from wellies, they can take you from the yard to a dog walk and a pub lunch. The Dublin River boots III (an upgrade to the River boots II that also offers a wider colour selection) are a traditional style of country boot, and on first look I was impressed with the chunky sole that seemed as if it would cope with the slippery state of our field gateways at the moment.
On trying them on, they felt a little small in the foot – I normally wear a 41, and at 41 these were slightly snug, so I would probably have sized up. The boots come in a variety of leg widths, and the regular width was perfect for me – the size guide for widths is very accurate, so it’s definitely worth checking that before you order. As with most country boots, there is only one leg length – I’m 5ft 10in (shown modelling in black jeans) and they were by no means too short, but the length and shaped fit of the boot leg looked much more tailored to my mother, who is 5ft 6in (shown modelling the boots in blue jeans).
The boots are wide through the ankle and calf which gives plenty of room for thick winter socks, and makes them super-easy to get on and off – perfect for when they’re covered in mud and you don’t want to wrestle them off. The material looks a brushed type of leather, so while they were easy to hose or wipe clean after use, I’m not sure how well they would stand up to wading through muddy fields daily – probably best to stick to wellies for that!
The boots seem sturdy and good quality – I felt comfortable bringing in and turning out horses in them, as the leather offers better protection in the foot than wellies if you’re unfortunate enough to be trodden on. On first wear they were slightly stiff, but they started to soften with more use.
These boots were warm enough for frosty November morning dog-walks – no numb toes here – and they gave great grip in the mud. While traipsing across the countryside, they were waterproof through puddles and mud. I also like that the boots “stand up” well by themselves when not in use without needing boot trees – as well as keeping the utility room tidier (I hate floppy boots!), I find this helps prevent cracks in the leather when the boots aren’t being worn.
Initial thoughts – a smart, multipurpose pair of boots that are ideal for dog walks and yard chores.
What is a first look review?
These are our first impressions of a piece of kit or clothing based on spending some time with it. We will have had our hands on it and given it a really thorough going over before trying it on ourselves or our horses and using it. The information we can give you after this first look will give you some sense of what it’s like to use, even if it’s only an initial view. As soon as we’ve given it a more thorough test, we will update the review with a full scoring and additional thoughts – and possibly award it “Horse & Hound Approved” status.
Who tested these boots?
Victoria Rea is Horse & Hound’s chief sub editor. She lives a real country lifestyle, riding regularly and walking her German Shorthaired Pointer, Maple.
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