What are Tall Boots?
As opposed to jodhpur boots, tall boots are full length riding boots which go up to the knee of the rider, where as paddock boots are ankle length boots that can be worn with chaps. The choice or whether to ride in tall or jodhpur boots is personal preference, however, many competitions only allow tall boots to be used.
The different types of Tall Boots
- Field Boots - one of the most popular choices among all equestrians, field boots are generally worn in hunter/jumper disciplines or are great as every day riding boots. Made from soft, supple leather, the boots feature laces at the front instep for comfort and freedom of movement, allowing the rider to lower their heel without restriction. Most boots feature a Spanish topline and have either plain or punched toe caps as well as spur rests. Modern designs mean that boots now also feature varying details on the tops of the boots, including glitter, lace or patent leather. However, when competing it's important to know whats acceptable in your chosen discipline before purchasing boots with different designs.
- Dress Boots - like field boots, dress boots are made from soft, supple leather making them perfect for everyday riding and competing. Very similar to field boots, dress boots also feature a Spanish topline, however they do not have the font laces. Popular among hunter and jumper riders, dress boots present a very polished look in the arena. With modern designs, it is also possible to add some accents to your dress boots for a unique look.
- Dressage Boots - much stiffer then field or dress boots, dressage boots are generally designed with a stiffer outer calf. The stiff leather is designed to support the riders flatter foot position in the stirrup, whilst encouraging a long, elegant leg position which provides maximum contact to the horse to give efficient aids. Most modern dressage boots now have a full length zipper toward the front of the calf so as not to interfere with the lower leg. Although black remains as the most classic colour, designs are now endless with patent lather, varying colours and bling details!
Which boots are right for me?
When deciding which boots to go with, it's important to know what you'll be using the boots for. If you're going to be doing both jumping and dressage it would make sense to have a dress boot, rather than a dressage boot, as jumping in a stiff dressage boot is very difficult as they do not allow much ankle movement. If you're going to be wearing the boots at competitions, will the colour match the rest of your outfit? Be sure to check with your local federation or association before ordering "non-classic" colours to ensure that they're competition legal.