How to buy boots

With a vast (and ever expanding) range of equestrian footwear available, it can be very difficult to select the perfect pair of boots for you. In this handy guide, Ride-Away explains the key differences between the most popular styles and when and where these are most commonly used and why.

If you spend any time outdoors during the autumn and winter months, a pair of wellingtons is a must. Ranging in cost from bargain to blow out, there’s a pair of wellingtons out there for everyone, no matter what budget or foot size. Originally, wellingtons came in green and, if you were really lucky, navy… not any longer! Whether you’re looking for colour, pattern, gloss or matt, there’s one for you out there!

As a step up from traditional rubber wellingtons, some designs now feature neoprene tops, or even neoprene linings to help keep the wearer warm without compromising on the boots’ waterproof qualities.

Generally, wellingtons are not used for riding as the soles aren’t suitable for stirrups, but some products bridge the gap between wellingtons and riding boots, providing the best of both worlds. The Hunter Balmoral is one key example of this.

Long leather boots have long been associated with competitions and shows as the cost meant they were not an economical option for day to day wear. But, with new designs and different materials, long boots can be the same price, or even less, than a jodhpur boot/gaiter/half chap combination. These boots are ideal for day to day riding and competitions too, as long as the design conforms to competition rules.

One popular way to get the benefits of best long leather boots without breaking the budget is to invest in long rubber riding boots. If you’re thinking that all of these are shiny, cheap and fairly unpleasant, think again, as more recent designs have a stylish matt finish that helps create an elegant look.

Another boot that uses rubber is the mucker boot. These boots are great for day to day yard duties and some even come with extra warm linings, whether this is fleece, neoprene or something like faux fur. Usually, the bottom of these boots is waterproof, and substantial treads help to maintain optimum grip on a variety of terrains.