As a product Manager, I know finding the right equestrian footwear can be difficult and time consuming. The style of boot that is right for you is largely determined by your choice of riding style. Riding boots, dress boots, jodhpur boots, leather boots, synthetic boots… the list goes on. Whichever style you buy, comfort should be key. Badly fitting boots will quickly rub and may cause the foot to ache, especially if it is being forced into an uncomfortable position. So where do you start? Here, we discuss the benefits of leather and synthetic leather footwear.
Benefits of leather footwear
Leather is an extremely popular choice of boot. They can be more expensive, but due to their durability, leather riding boots are well worth the investment, and are ideal for competition riders, whether you are competing in dressage, eventing or show jumping competitions. Leather will stretch with wear and mould to your feet, making them more comfortable than boots made from other material. Leather will allow your feet to breathe, which may prevent swelling. Avoiding the dreaded foot odour can also be easily done, as leather helps your feet to dry faster when they get sweaty.
For leather boots to last, you need to take good care of them. Without proper conditioning and care, leather can dry out until it eventually cracks and falls apart, leaving you with a very expensive pair of boots that you can no longer wear. Luckily, leather isn’t a particularly high maintenance material. You should clean your boots at least once a month, which can be done using a mild soap and a damp cloth. Pharma Leather Oil is a mixture of natural and mineral oils that increases the flexibility and life span of leather. This mixture moisturises the leather and protects it from abrasion.
Remember, never wear your leather boots while they are wet, as they may become damaged or stretched. To speed up the drying process, stuff them with some paper, so the water can soak up faster.
My pick of leather footwear:
Horze Classic Leather Jodhpur Boots – These boots are great value. An upper and inner made of soft, high quality leather with a classic design. Available in Black or Dark Brown. Sizes 32-37. Code: 38077
Leather Gaiters – High quality, full grain cow leather gaiters with a soft leather lining. A perfect substitute for boots. The elastic at the back provides a comfortable fit. Available in Black. Sizes XS-XL. Code: 37266
Country Boots – Country boots in antique brown leather. Detachable strap around the ankle, with a heavy stitching for design. Strap with gold-coloured buckle at the top of the leg. Sizes 36-42. Code: 38202
Benefits of synthetic footwear
Synthetic leather has some great advantages when compared to real leather. For one, it is an ethically correct option for those concerned with the welfare of animals. Synthetic leather is also environmentally safer, as genuine leather has to go through extensive treatment to make it ready for shoe or boot manufacture, and the chemicals used to treat it are said to damage the environment by some people.
Synthetic leather is far cheaper, and still looks like genuine leather. It is frequently made of a combination of textiles and polyurethane to give the synthetic material an authentic leather look and feel.
It is also more elastic, which often makes for a better fit around the calf. Riding boots are often found to be too tight around the calf, so synthetic leather is often the best solution for this problem. These types of boots are designed to retain their form and are usually very durable – perfect for horse riders that do a lot of riding.
My favourite synthetic footwear:
Synthetic tallboot – Tallboot in synthetic leather with Cambrelle lining in Black. Zipper and elastic at calf. Sizes 28-37. Code: 38043
Synthetic Jodhpurs – Economic Black jodhpur in synthetic leather with elastic at the sides and a pull-on loop at the back. Sizes 28-45. Code 38003
To view our full range of footwear, visit the footwear section on our web shop.