Your horse riding instructor will tell you that you have to buy the best horse riding boots and you can’t ride in tennis shoes. This inevitably means your first (of many) trips to the tack store to invest in what you hope are quality horse riding boots.
The options are vast: dress boots, paddock boots, cowboy boots, jodhpur boots, and short boots. You also have to choose between full grain leather and synthetic leather.
Luckily, this buyer’s guide has you covered, and we’ve even added in 8 of the best riding boots to make life easy for you.
Top 8 Horse Riding Boots (Our Reviews)
TuffRider Ladies Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots (Best Lightweight Boots For Women)
- Footwear by TuffRider
- Starter Collection
- Use for all weather
If you are looking for a versatile riding boot that can be used with jodhs or out on trails, then the TuffRider Ladies Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots is the best for your needs. The generous cut and attention to detail make the TuffRider Ladies Starter boots popular with female riders everywhere.
The soft interior, sturdy exterior finish in 100% synthetic leather, water resistant materials, and supported insoles all add up to make for an amazing riding boot. It’s easy to fit these starter front zip paddock boots. Simply slide them on before heading to the barn.
Sadly, these boots aren’t available for men, but there are children's starter paddock boots available.
- Leather interior lining
- Elastic gussets add comfort and stretch
- Non-slip rubber outsoles
- Can be worn with half chaps
- Decorative strip over the toe area is weaker and easily comes loose
- Sizes may require half a size larger boot to get a comfortable fit
TuffRider Ladies Starter Back Zip Field Boots (Best Tall Boots For Dressage and Other Riding)
- Footwear by TuffRider
- Water resistant
- Extremely flexible
When you start into different riding disciplines, having the correct riding boot to meet your horseback riding needs may include a dress boot suited to dressage riding. The soft leather of the TuffRider Ladies Starter Back Zip Field Boots in Synthetic Leather long riding boots makes these a great option for ladies who start riding competitively.
These tall boots feature a laced closure at the front for size adjustment and a zip up closure at the back for easy on-off. The elastic calf panel aids in the flexibility of the boot, making riding a pleasure as the rider’s legs and feet feel completely balanced in the stirrups. Ensure your foot stays secure on the stirrup bar with the distinct heel design.
- Water resistant
- Some sizes are available in narrow and wide
- Clean with a damp cloth
- Suitable for everyday wear
- Sizes are smaller, so order half a size up
- Not available in half sizes, making correct sizing difficult
- Zipper can be poor quality if the calf is too tight
Ariat Men’s Rambler Western Boot (Best Men’s Western Boot)
- Full-grain leather foot and upper
- Pre-worn look
In the world of best boots for horseback riding, Ariat riding boots are the gold standard. This is especially true with the Ariat Men’s Rambler Western Boot. These short riding boots fit mid-calf (about 10.5 inches up), and these boots feature a pull on strap on each side, making fitment really convenient. In addition, the stiffer leather boots are exactly what is required for Western riding or casual riding.
These gorgeous boots are the best riding boots when you want to be comfortable and make a statement at the next riding show. Western riders often aspire to win a good pair of Ariat boots. Made from high-quality leather, the rubber outsole is designed from Duratread for superior grip.
Excel at your riding in dry or wet conditions, walk with confidence in mud, and feel secure in these stylish Western boots.
- Moisture wicking lining and a gel cushioned foot bed
- Traditional boots used for roping and ranch work
- Classic Western styling on the toe area
- Can be used for fashion boots or trail riding
- Regular size feels big
- Smaller sizes feel narrow
- Tight arch support area
Muck Boots Women’s Rain Boot (Best Pull-On Field Boots)
- 100% Waterproof
- Fully lined with 3mm neoprene for flexibility
- Hand-laid rubber upper for easy-to-clean durability
- 3mm Built-in footbed for underfoot comfort
- Steel shank for structural support
When you work with and around horses, you need a great boot for everyday wear that is also waterproof. The Muck Boots Women’s Rain Boot offers exactly these qualities and more. These field boots are ideal for wet conditions and are the best boots for inclement weather days. The neoprene upper makes for breathable boots that are also non-slip with a rubber sole.
These muck boots are also ideal as winter riding boots as they are moisture repellent. With the slanted design, the rider benefits from a stirrup-ready boot. The arch support with a steel shank provides stability in the boot to ensure great striding over rough terrain. If you’re spending long hours at the barn, the cushioned insoles will further ensure your comfort.
- Best all-weather pull on boots
- Waterproof to keep feet warm
- Ideal for pleasure riding
- Round toe with built-in spur rest on the heel
- Sizes aren’t consistent and may require wearing socks
- Incorrect sizing may cause blisters when wearing long term
Justin Boots Women’s Square-Toe Bent Rail Boot (Most Stylish Western Ladies Boots)
- Handcrafted in the USA
- Performance rubber outsole
- J-Flex Flexible Comfort System
- Comfort foam midsole
The Justin Boots Women’s Square-Toe Bent Rail Boot are cowboy boots that are ideal for ladies who compete in Western riding. Justin boots are ideal with the leather lining, full grain leather upper, and cushioned insole. While the toe cap is not steel-tipped, the broad shape makes for a safe Western boot that can be used in and around the barn as well as out pleasure riding.
If style is your thing, then the 10 awesome colors and Western boot designs will catch your eye and turn heads as you strut around the stable yard or enter the competition ring.
- 100% leather
- Outsole is performance rubber
- J-Flex system for comfort
- Foam midsole
- Some ladies found the square toe of the Justin boots too square, influencing their stride
- Actual colors may be somewhat different than what is shown online
Ariat Barnyard Side Zip Work Boot (Best Overall Zip Paddock Boots)
- Patented composite forked shank
- ATS cushioning system
- Carbon rubber Duratread outsole
Made from waterproof leather, the Ariat Barnyard Side Zip Work Boot – Women’s Comfortable Waterproof Boots nab up the category for best boots. Not only do these Ariat women’s boots feature a durable zip closure, but they are also easy to pull on or off with the convenient pull on strap.
Ariat women’s boots are ideal for any work or riding you may do. These short boots are some of the best riding boots available, featuring rider tested traction zones that help improve the wear of the boot. These short length horseback riding boots are viewed by some as riding shoes, and leg protection can be extended with the addition of half chaps.
With the sturdy overall build, these boots can be worn as field boots or as a working Western boot too. Make an investment in a quality all-round boots that will work for riding and other horse work too such as groundwork sessions.
- Punched toe cap design
- 100% full grain leather upper
- Soft synthetic lining
- Round toe for safety
- Sizes are larger than standard
- Fit around the ankle is tight, which may be a problem for women with fleshy ankles
- Zippers are said to fail (however, this may be due to strain from incorrect fitment)
Mountain Horse Ladies Active Rider Boots (Best Thermoregulating Riding or Field Boots)
For those cold winters, the Mountain Horse Ladies Active Rider Boots are ideal for extra warmth and support. The non-slip rubber outsole is ideal for keeping you on your feet through mud and puddles of water. The rubber sole provides extra grip, while this also makes these boots ideal for horse riding.
While the inner leather lining has been replaced with faux fur, this helps increase the interior temperature. The faux fur creates a breathable lining that aids in maintaining a dry and warm environment around your legs and toes. Yet, enjoy the heat insulating properties of the lining in the dead of winter and stay dry with the waterproof outer that reaches up to the start of the zip.
These boots will flex with you no matter how many times you have to bend to pick up a bale of hay or lift a horse’s hoof for cleaning. The extensia foot section has been tested up to 1,000,000 flexes at 14℉.
- Side Zipper closure with YKK Vislon zip
- Dirt repellent tread zones for better stirrup grip
- Built-in steel shank provides stability
- Duralon and Extensia materials
- No half sizes, so fitting can be difficult
- Stiffer material can be uncomfortable
- Can bother ladies with shorter calves as it impacts the knee
- Once water reaches past the zipper start, the boot leaks water
Ovation Cottage Derby Boots (Best Waterproof)
- The world's most popular model styled in England.
- Molded of PVC with no outside seams.
- Available in whole sizes only.
- Comfortable moisture-wicking lined shaft.
- This PVC boot correctly styled for a show appearance.
Mud and water are part of the territory when it comes to being a horse rider. Therefore, the best waterproof boots will be a real asset. The Ovation Cottage Derby boots are ideal for rainy and cold weather. The men’s boots are ideal for taller legs and wider feet, while the offer a ladies’ cut.
This boot style is trendy in England, and the lack of exterior seams helps preserve the boot’s integrity and waterproof quality. As a bonus, the style of the Ovation boots is similar to showing styles, making these appropriate to showing as well as barnyard chores.
- Rubber sole
- PVC outer
- Moisture wicking lined inside shaft
- Order one size up for a perfect fit
- The boot may not fit a wider calf with the lack of gussets or elastic side panels
- Soles are somewhat slippery, like cowboy boots
- Better suited to tall riders as shaft may press into knees for short riders
Horse Riding Boots Buyer’s Guide
Type of Riding
You would firstly look at a riding boot that is appropriate to your style of riding. For example, tall slinky black dressage boots may be absolutely gorgeous. However, they might be very impractical for your style of trail riding, where you often need to dismount in muddy conditions to open and close gates.
If you are doing Western riding, you may need a bigger heel to keep your foot in the Western stirrups, so a Western boot or cowboy boot may be a much better option. Choose what is suitable for your kind of riding.
Be sure to inquire whether the boot fit is standard or have some play that you may need to size up or down. Also, consider going for a boot that is available in half sizes as this may give you a more comfortable fit, especially if you have wider feet.
Measure your foot, ankle, and calf according to the manufacturer’s requirements. For example, a slightly bigger boot can always be made more comfortable with a thicker sock, but a narrow or tight boot can’t always be made to stretch.
Each rider has their preference for their boots’ features. For example, you may want a waterproof boot or an extra flexible boot. Perhaps you require a boot that features a unique tread to help with grip in the stirrup. Spur rests, additional gussets, and zipper closures are all considerations to keep in mind with your list of features.
The materials used in making the horse riding boots you choose will greatly impact the price point and the boot’s longevity. For example, leather boots tend to last longer if they are full-grain, while PVC boots can offer good service, but these may be heat sensitive and could crack over time.
The materials of the sole will also influence the ultimate use as boots often need new outsoles when inferior rubber soles crack or split. Choosing a full leather lining boot may provide extra quality, but while leather breathes well, it could become a hot and slippery boot. Instead, opt for advanced technology that flicks moisture away from the foot to keep the inside of the boots dry.
A boot is often only as good as the manufacturing process. Double-stitched edges are always a good buy, while simple heat-pressed uppers may present issues in the future. A boot with a metal shank helps with stability, and such boots keep shape much better in the face of heavy use.
Even if a riding boot is really comfortable, paying the top of your budget (or even more) for a pair is the road to disaster. Boots such as the Ariat women’s boots are proven boots that feature special technology such as moisture-wicking may be the best riding boots on the market, but the price may be more than you can comfortably afford.
A good horse riding boot needs to work effectively and fit your budget. Whether for Western riders or English riders, your boot should last you for a sufficient time to justify the expense.
Horseback riding boots will only last as long as you care for them. If you are not someone who will care for their boots, then you would be better off choosing a cheap boot. Riding boots need to be wiped daily. It would be best if you dry them correctly when they’ve been in the rain or treat the leather with a protective balm on a regular basis.
Even the best riding boots or cowboy boots won’t last if you don’t care for them correctly. Care for the different materials of your riding boot in the correct manner. Apply wax and nourishing balm to leather boots, wash and dry PVC boots, don’t over-stretch gussets, and wash and wipe the rubber outsole.