Last updated: August 8, 2021

Our method

23Products analysed

32Hours spent

28Evaluated articles

108User reviews

Welcome to our big riding boot test 2021. Here we present all the riding boots we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best riding boots for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy riding boots.




Summary

  • A riding boot is the right choice for you if you don't want to do without a good grip in the stirrup and on the saddle flap.
  • In addition, riding boots simply look nice and support the rider's leg position. You can buy ankle boots and rubber riding boots for as little as 15 euros.
  • Before buying, you should not only consider the material and workmanship, but also the optimal fit and the quality of the zip.

The Best Riding Boots: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying riding boots

Why do I need riding boots?

The biggest advantage of riding boots is that you have a good grip in the stirrup, your leg rests comfortably on the saddle flap and it simply looks nice.

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Riding boots provide a good grip in the stirrup. (Photo: pearl shell / pixabay.com)

The riding boot provides stability to the rider's leg, contributing to two things: Firstly, it promotes the feeling for a calm leg position, which enables targeted leg aids.

Secondly, the impulses given by the rider with a (relatively hard) boot are precise because the boot acts punctually on a small area.

For safety reasons alone, we recommend always wearing riding boots when riding.

What are the different types of riding boots?

First of all, there are dressage and jumping boots, but all-round models are also available on the market.

The all-round models are especially suitable for beginners, occasional riders and versatile riders. They have softer leather than dressage boots, which makes them more comfortable to use when jumping or cross-country. There are also models with an elastic adjustable shaft, which provides more comfort.

Dressage boots are characterised by a stiffened shaft and a high dressage arch. Therefore, they are often not completely comfortable, especially in the beginning. Dressage riders, however, appreciate the design and the stiffening very much, because the leg comes to rest particularly quietly and the seat looks more elegant overall.

Jumping boots, on the other hand, are made of a softer leather that allows more freedom of movement. This is also very important when following the rider over the obstacles. The shaft is cut rather shorter.

Always test new boots with your breeches, if you have any, to see if you can wear them inside or outside.

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Jodhpur boots are suitable for jodhpur trousers, which you usually wear over the boot.

How much do riding boots cost?

If you want to buy riding boots, you should expect to pay between 40 and 900 euros. The price varies depending on the material, workmanship and manufacturer.

Cheaper entry-level models are already available from 40 euros upwards. These are usually made of rubber and are particularly suitable for first attempts at riding or if they are only worn occasionally.

On average, you can get a high-quality and comfortable leather riding boot for 200 euros or more, which can last for many years. Even at this price, you should look for a zip, as it makes it much easier to put on and take off.

If you ride often and value good comfort, then a high quality branded boot, possibly even made to (partial) measure, is recommended. Prices range from 500 to 900 euros.

Material, features and waterproofness are important characteristics that influence the price. These features are also necessary for wearing comfort.

Type of riding boot Price
Dressage riding boots €140-1,000
Show jumping boots €140-900
Leisure boots €60-700

Decision: What types of riding boots are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between three types of riding boots:

  • Dressage boots
  • Jumping boots
  • Leisure boots

With each type, the shape of the boot and the texture of the leather are different, resulting in individual advantages and disadvantages. Which riding boot is the right one depends on the area of use as well as the frequency and intensity of the planned use.

In order to support you in your decision and to find the best boot for you, we present the different types of riding boots in more detail in the following section and list the advantages and disadvantages clearly.

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The decision for a riding boot should depend on the area of use, the frequency and the intensity of the planned use. (Photo: A_Different_Perspective / pixabay.com)

What is a dressage boot suitable for and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Dressage boots are characterised by a very high shaft. The outside of the boot is stiffened to provide more stability when riding. This makes it easier to keep the leg steady and more stable on the horse. The boots also make it easier to achieve the desired long leg when dressage riding.

However, the contact to the horse is not lost, as the inside of the boot is not reinforced and thus allows an optimal influence when riding. The particularly narrow cut of the dressage boot also enables an optimal riding feel.

Due to the usually existing high dressage arch and, if necessary, ornaments on the shaft, a dressage boot looks particularly elegant and is therefore a must for every ambitious dressage rider.

Advantages
  • Stable position
  • Close fitting
  • Elegant
  • Necessary for dressage competitions
Disadvantages
  • Rather uncomfortable
  • Relatively expensive
  • Unsuitable for stable work

Due to the stability the boot offers, it is not very comfortable at the beginning and needs to be broken in and ridden carefully. There is also more comfortable footwear for stable work.

Most dressage boots are not designed for riding with short stirrups, for example when jumping. Due to the high-quality materials and the usually elaborate design, dressage boots are usually more expensive than other types of riding boots.

What is a jumping boot suitable for and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Classic dressage boots are usually not suitable for jumping or cross-country riding, as they do not allow enough flexibility in the saddle and the stiffened shaft means that the stirrups cannot be shortened. That's why there are jumping boots that offer more movement possibilities with their shorter shaft and soft leather.

Because they are comfortable to wear, jumping boots can usually be put on for stable work without any problems. Depending on the model, however, it may still be necessary to break in the boots beforehand.

Jumping boots usually have less decoration and are on average slightly cheaper than dressage boots.

Advantages
  • Freedom of movement
  • Medium price
  • Suitable for stable work
Disadvantages
  • Less stability
  • Conservative design

Due to the shorter and non-reinforced shaft, jumping boots do not offer as much stability for the rider's leg, which is why they tend to be less used for dressage. They are also not as elegant.

What is a leisure boot suitable for and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

For beginners or riders who are only occasionally on the horse, a leisure boot is just the thing. These are usually less expensive than the other types of riding boots and are particularly comfortable to wear.

Usually, elastic elements are integrated at the calf so that the boots can also adapt to different riders' legs. This makes leisure boots versatile and also suitable for riding with short stirrups.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • High wearing comfort
  • Versatile
Disadvantages
  • Medium quality
  • Less stability

Due to the low price, the quality may not be as high as in pure dressage or jumping boots. Therefore, leisure boots are not suitable for high and intensive loads and in competition sport. They are also not as elegant and offer less leg stability than dressage boots.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate riding boots

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate riding boots. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Material and workmanship
  • Fit and zip
  • Design

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Material and workmanship

Since you want to enjoy your riding boots for a long time, the material and workmanship are particularly important.

When it comes to the material, make sure that the leather is of high quality. Depending on the price range, full-grain cowhide or boxcalf is used. Boxcalf (calfskin) is particularly supple, tight and has a fine grain.

Did you know that leather riding boots need to be greased regularly?

Leather can dry out and become brittle. There are leather care products and special shoe polishes for greasing. It is important that these are without turpentine, otherwise it can damage the leather boots.

The workmanship plays a major role in ensuring a long life. Is the zip sewn in neatly and can it be opened and closed easily? Is the sole firmly glued? Is the leather smoothly finished so that it does not wrinkle?

Fit and zip

Basically, a distinction is made between riding boots with and without zips. It is always a question of personal taste what is perceived as more comfortable.

Riding boots with zips have the advantage that they can be put on and taken off quickly and easily. The zip can be at the front or at the back and can be of different lengths. We recommend a boot with a long zip in the front, as experience has shown that this is more durable.

Just try out different riding boots to find the one that fits you perfectly. You should feel comfortable the first time you try them on.

Measurements Measurements Possible sizes
Height From heel to outside of knee 36-44 cm
Calf width The widest part of the calf 35-40 cm
Shoe size Same size as other shoes approx. 36-47

Design

In cheaper riding boots, the design of the boot is usually predetermined except for small details.

Riding boots in the middle price range allow more leeway. The leather colour can often be chosen by the wearer.

Did you know that you should not have riding boots repaired by a cobbler?

If the sole of your boots is broken, you should take them to a specialist or get new riding boots. Cobblers usually glue a new sole underneath to reinforce the broken areas. However, this can be dangerous for riders. The hold in the stirrup is no longer guaranteed after such a repair.

With custom-made boots, on the other hand, there is no limit to creativity. From the colour of the leather (plain, crocodile, ostrich, print, etc.) to different zips and buckles to various embroideries, rhinestone decorations and rivets, everything can be chosen at will.

Here, too, the workmanship is very important, as a riding boot has to withstand so many influences.

When buying, you should pay attention to your needs. Different types of riding boots have different functions.

Image source: pixabay.de / MonikaP

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