There are many different types of beginner horseback riding boots. Equestrians have a lot to learn beyond how to post the correct diagonal and get the correct canter lead.
The key to lesson success is to understand the right equipment. Quality footwear such as the Ariat Heritage Breeze paddock boot is essential for safety. It will allow you to ride comfortably and confidently in every lesson.
For horseback riding lessons, you need boots that are durable, safe, and suitable for the discipline.
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How to Choose a Riding Lesson Boot
After years of western and English lessons, I understand what it takes for me to be in the right mindset (and attire) to learn. If you wear the wrong boots, your instructor will be more concerned about your feet than your instruction.
There are many options for horseback riding boots, whether they’re for men or women. It is easier than you might think to find a pair that does the job and lasts for years.
Although I have consolidated my top 12 lesson boots in this post, there are a few things you need to know.
Five Factors to Consider when Choosing Riding Lesson Boots
– Even if you only do one lesson per week, your shoes should be closed-toed with a solid heel. They will protect your feet against misplaced hooves (it happens), and prevent your feet from sliding through the stirrups or accidentally getting caught.
– Whether you are taking lessons in dressage or reining, or just for pleasure riding (just to mention a few), you need a boot that is appropriate for the type and style of riding you will be doing.
– You can buy horse riding boots made from leather or rubber in a variety of materials. You should choose waterproof boots that are insulated if you plan on riding through snow and mud. Breathability is important if you are riding in high heat.
– When it comes to riding boots, you get what you pay for. It’s worth paying a little more for something that will last a lifetime. You might consider buying cheaper boots for your child who is still learning. Reselling good boots is much easier.
– Fashion is not the only reason you should be shopping for boots. Although you shouldn’t just buy boots for their looks, there are plenty of options so that you can choose boots that you like design-wise and do the job well. These are my favorite horseback riding boots:
TuffRider Children’s Starter Buckle-Down Waterproof Boot for Kids – The TuffRider Children’s Starter Front Zip is a great option for children who are just starting horseback riding lessons or need to replace older lesson boots.
- The elastic gullets at the sides improve flexibility.
- They are easy to put on and take off because of the zip front.
- They are available in mocha or black.
- These are more affordable for children who are just starting to ride.
- These are very easy to clean with a damp towel!
- These boots do not have a pull-on buckle, which makes it a little more difficult to put on.
- These won’t last as long as brands of higher quality, but they are sturdy enough to be used for lessons.
- The synthetic leather uppers don’t offer much cushion or arch support.
EquiStar All-Weather Child’s Field Boot (Kids) – Equistar Child’s Field Boot is a tall boot that your child will need for riding lessons. This boot is great for dressage and jumping lessons.
- For comfort, the flattering profile features gussets at the top.
- The “Leather-look” fabric offers the same style as traditional riding boots but at a lower price.
- Dri-Tex liner provides superior sweat management for hot weather riding.
- The boot is a bit small so it’s a good idea to order two sizes.
- They aren’t made from real leather, so they won’t last as long. They are “all-weather” though.
Smoky Mountain Children’s Monterey Western Cowboy Boots (Kids) – Smoky Mountain Children’s Monterey Western Cowboy Boots will be a hit with western-trained children.
- Accent stitching is a classic western style feature that you can find on the shaft or toe of this Western-style dress.
- It has a safety heel that prevents the boot’s slippage through the stirrups.
- Although faux leather is not as durable as real leather, you can use it for lessons.
- You may need to order a smaller size if you are concerned about the boot running large.
Rocky Kids’ Mid Calf Boot (Kids) – Rocky Kids’ Mid Calf Boot is the best boot for your child if they are learning to horseback ride or just need a good boot to play around at the ranch.
- The full-grain leather boots feature a rubber sole. This combination is both durable and comfortable.
- A 6-inch shaft is adequate for riding, but it’s also small enough to not restrict play.
- The style is stronger than other children’s riding boots.
- It can be hard to size this boot.
Merrell Captiva Buckle-Down Waterproof Boot (Ladies) – After purchasing Espresso Merrell Captivas at random 5 years ago, a friend shared her story. She has worn them on every western ride she has taken since.
Because she loved the comfort and durability of these shoes, she plans to purchase a second pair.
- These boots have been in use for approximately 2-4 weeks and never showed signs of wear.
- Although the heel is not obvious, it allows for safe riding.
- They are waterproof.
- They are extremely comfortable and the soft sole makes for a pleasant stroll around the barn.
- The instep zipper makes it easy to put on and take off the shoes.
- These are great for pairing with jeans. They come in black, espresso, and burgundy.
- It would be a shame to lose the buckle. These are great for spurs.
- These boots are shorter than cowboy boots but longer than paddock boots. These boots might not be suitable for tall riders.
- For larger calves, the boots may be too tight.
Ariat Heritage Contour II Field English Boot for ladies – These are my top English boots. The Ariat Heritage Contour II Field Boot, which I have used for over three years, is what I use for dressage and stadium jumping.
- Ariat boots are the most loved in England. They have both quality and style.
- This safety heel is great for riding and has a great spur stop at its back.
- These are easy to break into and have a zipper at the back for easy access.
- With proper care, the premium, full-grain leather upper will last forever.
- The gussets at your inner knees make it comfortable, no matter if you’re in the saddle.
- This boot is perfect for you and anyone else. If you are 120 lbs and 5’6″, you can choose the “short” size. If you’re shorter than average, the shorts will be your best choice.
- These shoes feature field-style lacing.
- For those who prefer regular Jeans, this boot is not for them. However, Jean breeches are a good option!
- They are expensive because of their style and craftsmanship.
Ariat Heritage Breeze Lace Paddock Boot (Ladies) – Ariat Heritage Breeze Lace Paddock Boot is a great choice for beginners. It is also less expensive than most dress boots. They offer greater comfort during and after your ride.
- They have a safety heel and a pull-strap at the back.
- These shoes have leather upper with washable leather and a rubber sole.
- The boots offer greater flexibility in the saddle, thanks to their ankle flexion.
- You might consider adding a sole insert to provide cushioning. They are extremely thin.
- They are not waterproof, so you should only wear them indoors in rainy or mud seasons.
TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Boot (Ladies) – The TuffRider’s Starter Front Zip Paddock Boot for Horse Rookies is an affordable lesson boot. These boots won’t last as long, but they will do the job fine if your horse is only occasionally riding.
- The saddle is more flexible with elastic gullets at the sides.
- They are available in black and mocha with a zip front.
- These are more affordable for beginners.
- They are easy to clean.
- These boots do not have a pull-on back strap.
- If you wear them often at the barn, they won’t last as long as better-quality brands.
- The uppers are made of synthetic leather, not full-grain leather.
- These don’t provide much cushion or arch support, so it is a good idea to
Roper Crossrider Western Boot (Ladies) – The Roper Crossrider Western Boot, a short boot for western riders who like to ride in a shorter boot, is an excellent option for lessons.
- Roper is highly respected in Western circles, so it is a high-quality product.
- These boots have a timeless western look that works well with either half chaps or on their own.
- The forged steel shank provides stability and support.
- The safety heel is ideal for riding and the sole has plenty of traction.
- The sole is thick, but it’s style-wise.
- They don’t have waterproof properties so make sure to get a waterproof spray.
- They run large for sizing.
AdTec Packer Boot (Ladies) – Although the style is not always the best thing when choosing a riding boot, the AdTec Packer Boot looks great.
- This super safety heel features a full-grain leather upper with a rubber sole.
- They are more flattering than a bulky work boot.
- The two-tone cherry/black option is my favorite, but they also come with solid brown/black.
- For extra comfort, they have an orthotic insole cushion that can be removed.
-If you don’t like the fringe accent, you can take it out.
- These are heavier than others, so they may not be the best option if you plan to do a lot of walking each day.
- The sole or heel has very little traction.
- The heel measures 1.5 inches tall. This is quite prominent visually.
Ariat V Sport Zip Tall Riding Boot for Ladies – The Ariat V Sport Zip Tall Riding Boot is for you if you prefer a sportier look. This boot is unique and has all the essential features you need for riding. Shelby Dennis, an Equestrian Vlogger, and Horse Trainer, also included this boot into her Horse Rookie Equestrian Christmas Gift Guide.
- They are extremely comfortable and do not require any “breaking in” period.
- These shoes have great traction and a safety heel.
- This gorgeous Spanish-style top is in navy and has a snap closure.
- Easy on/off is made possible by the full zip at the back.
- The boot’s elasticized panels allow for a customized fit without the need to purchase a custom boot.
- This boot can be a bit more difficult to size for calves, so it is advisable to order two sizes and then keep the one that best fits you.
- Sometimes, the zipper can slip down. There is no leather keeper to keep it in place.
Ariat Heritage Lacer Cowboy Boot (Gents) – The Ariat Heritage Lacer Cowboy Boot for men is a classic western boot that you can wear around town and use for lessons.
- They are comfortable and durable, thanks to their leather upper and rubber sole!
- Duratread’s outsole is durable and flexible. They also feature advanced technology that provides additional support and stability.
- These are a great investment because of the Ariat craftsmanship and quality.
- The back has no pull strap.
- You can use these soles to ride on rough terrain (e.g. For example, forestry work!)
- It can take some time to get used to them, so make sure you wear them around for a while before your first lesson.
These shoes have a synthetic sole and leather upper for comfort and durability. Pair it with a classic design that you can wear to dinner.
The accent stitching at the shaft and toe is a great touch. It’s subtle, but it adds western flair. You can keep your feet cool with the breathable mesh lining.
The only problem is that they don’t have insulation, so you will need something warmer if you ride in winter. These are small/narrow in size, so it is a good idea to order two sizes, and then return theone that does not fit.