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Riding Boots & Chaps

The right pair of riding boots is essential for any discipline. Find your favorite paddock boots and half chaps or select a supple tall boot. Step into a new pair of English riding boots and discover comfort that will carry you all day.

English riding boots are essential gear for any riding discipline. Riding boots give equestrians a polished appearance, but the primary purpose of any riding boot is to aid in-saddle performance. Men’s riding boots, women’s riding boots and children’s riding boots come in two main types: paddock boots and tall boots. Tall boots is a category that contains both field boots and dressage boots. All riding boots have a small heel, typically about 1" high, to help prevent a rider’s feet from sliding through stirrup irons. Riding boots are offered in styles for three-season riding and in insulated, waterproof versions for protection and comfort in winter conditions. Paddock boots, sometimes called jodhpur boots, can be made of full-grain leather, calfskin leather or manmade leather. Genuine leather paddock boots are traditional, breathable and soft once broken-in. Synthetic leather paddock boots are exceptionally easy-care and budget-friendly. Men’s riding boots, women and children rise to just above the ankle. They can secure with classic front laces for maximum adjustability, with a front zipper for quick on and off, or with a combination of lacings in front and a zipper in back to offer the advantages of both styles. Some jodhpur boots come in pull-on styles.

In English riding disciplines, riders over the age of 12 commonly pair paddock boots with leather, suede or synthetic half chaps to simulate the feeling and performance of a tall riding boot. Paddock boot and half chap combinations are particularly popular for schooling and hacking, but some riders prefer the comfort, grip and coverage of full chaps made of leather or suede. Children under the age of 12 usually wear paddock boots with jodhpurs, a riding pant with knee patches and cuffs that stretch down over the tops of the boots. The legs of these pants are secured underneath the young rider’s feet with elasticized straps that prevent riding up within the boot.

Within the tall riding boot category, riders choose according to their discipline. Field boots are the choice of hunters, equitation riders and jumpers; dressage boots offer the support required for those practicing dressage. Modern field and dressage boots are usually fitted with full-length zippers to allow easy on and off, but in dressage boots, traditional pull-on styles can still be found. Tall riding boots are most often made of genuine leather, but synthetic leather versions are available, too. Style features include contoured, Spanish-cut toplines to elongate the rider’s leg profiles, round or square toe shapes, toe caps, logo plaques and even touches of exotic or patent leather for added show ring flair.

Field boots are designed to soften and crease around a rider’s ankles to allow for a proper heels-down riding position. The amount of drop depends on the softness of the leather and the cut of the boot. A field boot made of super-soft calfskin leather will drop more than a boot made of full-grain leather. Lacings in the front of the ankle provide the flexibility for the rider to move the ankle and angle the foot; some cutting edge boots today are engineered with flexible panels in this area that eliminate the need for front lacings.

Dressage boots are made of stiffer, thicker leather than that used for field boots. They are not meant to drop or soften as much as field boots, as a dressage rider uses a longer leg position that requires support for subtle aids rather than the ability to push heels down. Most dressage boots also have a stiffener up the back to help prevent the boot from dropping or creasing at the ankle. Because of this stiffener, many dressage boot styles have zippers placed toward the front, rather than the back where it is most often seen in field boots.

To measure for tall riding boots, use a soft measuring tape. Wearing breeches and socks of the type you are most likely to wear with your boots, sit in a straight-backed chair. Your feet must be flat against the floor and your thighs and calves should create a 90 degree angle. Use the cloth measuring tape to find the circumference of your calf at its widest point; this is your boot width. To determine your boot height, measure from the floor at your heel to the back of your knee. For field boots, to accommodate for a drop, add 1 1/2" to 2" to your height measurement. For a moderately stiff dressage boot, add 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" to your height.

Dover Saddlery offers a large selection of quality paddock boots, field boots, dressage boots and chaps from leading brands in stock and custom choices. Find an array of riding boots for women, men and children. Shop for styles by Ariat®, Tredstep™, Mountain Horse®, Grand Prix®, Königs, Cavallo® and more. Regardless of the discipline you ride, or whether you are showing, schooling or working around the barn, you’ll find boots to suit your needs.