close up of long horse riding boots in stirrup with spurA good pair of horse riding boots are a vital piece of every equestrian’s wardrobe. It’s important to ride in a sturdy boot with a small heel, to protect your feet, enable you to give clear aids, and ensure your foot doesn’t get caught in the stirrup should you fall off. There is a wide range of horse riding boots on the market, and what you choose depends on what discipline you compete in as well as personal preference.

Long (or field) riding boots, which cover the calf, protect more of the leg and look very elegant, although less experienced riders may feel they make the aids less effective. They’re considered acceptable footwear in all competitive disciplines, in black or brown. For adult showing classes, the correct footwear is straight-topped boots with a garter strap. These are also correct for hunting. Traditional men’s hunting boots are black with a tan rim at the top. Some showing judges still frown on competitors wearing higher-cut dressage boots, although they are being increasingly seen.

Short paddock or jodhpur boots allow closer contact between the leg and the horse’s side than long boots; however, some people find that this causes chafing. One solution is to wear half chaps or gaiters, which offer more leg protection and give the appearance of long boots. Short boots are correct for children’s showing classes, or showing smaller breeds, and may be teamed with matching leather gaiters (rather than half-chaps) for most other competitions.

There are also boots on the market designed specifically designed for endurance riding; these are designed with comfort in mind, as they’re worn for long periods. They typically look more like trainers than traditional short riding boots, with a cushioned yet sturdy sole.

My first impression of these boots was that I was impressed by how smart they looked for a low cost boot. I thought that the shape of the boot was stylish and I was keen on the brogue detailing on the toe. The soft waxy leather looked of good quality…

The self-service made-to-measure Cavallo long horse riding boots service is pretty comprehensive. Using a chart and instructions, I measured my legs myself at home, over breeches and socks. Worried I might not have done it correctly, I measured a few times. The form calls for many different measurements; seven in…

My first impression of the Kinpurnie Stirling zip paddock boots was that they were stylish, with their attractive detailing across the toe, and of a narrow fit, which gives a neat appearance that is quite rare in most short riding boots. They received favourable comments from others at my livery…

The Spanish Boot Company polo boots are a really eyecatching and functional pair of boots. The ones tested are a size eight in tan. Although the website seems more geared to selling these to women it does state that they are unisex and were tested by a male. First impressions…

A long weekend in Germany in February is a tough test for even the hardiest of boots. Foolishly, I packed no other shoes to take a tour round the country visiting studs and standing on freezing ground looking at stallions and youngstock and mares and more stallions. Wearing shoes or…

I was excited about these boots because my old Dubarrys are starting to look like they have seen better days after many years devoted service and I hoped these would work as replacement boots to wear when reporting outside in cold and wet weather. The boots looked smart when I…

These boots are warm, waterproof and multi-purpose making them ideal for a busy rider/groom/owner during the cold winter months. The boots have a rubber outer sole with a thick neoprene leg so are completely waterproof. This means you can slosh through deep mud/muck while mucking out, turning out and catching…

These are lovely sturdy boots of good quality that you would want to wear. There is a full length rear zip fastening enabling them to be fitted easily and the elasticated side gussets really helped to achieve a comfortable fit. The best element was the adjustable leather strap at top…

The Woof Wear paddock boots are a smart and functional piece of kit. They were packaged well and the manufacturing quality is good. I liked the contoured design, and the elasticated panel at the ankle is a nice touch. The zips are sturdy and work well – no sticking or…