Das Boots

I need new tall boots, a little urgently. We suffered our first blowout mere days after Christmas, which might be the worst timing because had I known I was going to suffer a boot-splosion I would've asked Santa for new ones for Christmas.

WHAT WHY TALL BOOTS NOT NOW???? by @kieshorse
Somehow I lucked out with a girlfriend who not only has the skillz to fix my falling apart boots but actually seems to want to do it. I don't want her to figure out she could be doing better things than fixing my boots. No one tell her. (Stop reading this)

This poor girl.
But she can only patch them so many times, and I'm (more than) a little annoyed because I've had them just over a year and daily riding of one horse has destroyed them.

Now we're here, shopping for tall boots, yet again. This is not my first rodeo.

My very first pair of tall boots were Ariat and they were pull-ons, purchased in the dark ages when I'm pretty sure Ariat just made 'field boots' and there weren't different kinds. I loved those, because they were a bitch and a half to break in and were so tight on hot days that they cut off the circulation to my feet.


Wait, did I say love?

I hit puberty and they didn't fit anymore, and I wasn't competing so I no longer cared for or needed tall boots. Then a week before my first event I bought Mountain Horse boots after struggling through every pair Dover had in stock. They were too tall but they fit around my calf so I accepted my fate.

The problem with the 'wider' fit boots is they assume your leg is wide all the way down. They bunched around my ankle and gave me horrible bruises, while also simultaneously resulting in my foot not even touching the bottom of my boot unless I shoved my heels down past the point of no return.

I competed up through Training in those, and then desperately needed new ones as my dressage was actually being affected by the fit. I tried on every pair in the local tack store and ended up with a set of Tuffriders. At least they taper delightfully in the ankle! And they were such nice soft leather they were totally pain free.

However to get the calf to fit I had to go up a shoe size. But that was okay, the tack store just gave me some inserts so that my feet weren't waggling around in all the extra real estate they had. And they were somehow too short on my already very short legs.

They're so short it's all I can see.
If you have hung out with me for any length of time in person you know that I am an unholy klutz, and wearing boots a size too big (inserts or no) became a serious health hazard to the point where I only put the boots on right before I got on the horse.

From my favorite movie
Sooooo back to shopping. Again. Do you know how it feels to see even the extra EXTRA wide boots only fit up to 15 3/4" calf??? It hurts my calves feelings!! Look now, you've made them cry.

By some miracle of miracles, for about six months Ovation made tall boots that fit me. So I bought a pair. It was a glorious year, you guys. Oh and they were brown too. I love them. I have ridden in them until they literally fell apart. And now they are lost to time and history and mine can no longer be cobbled together.

So we're shopping again. I feel like I have even less options. My fat leg (lookin' at you, Righty) measures a little over 16" around. They're a little over 16" from floor to crook of knee. And I wear a size 8 shoe. Apparently recipe for an abomination. I'm considering offering a cash reward to whoever finds me boots that fit.


On your marks, get set, go.


Comments

  1. I have wide calfs and short rise leg from foot to knee (and long from knee to hip to make saddle fitting extra difficult) and the Ariat field boots in XW work for me. I mean, I hate them, but they do fit both my calf and my feet and aren't too tall. I think past that, you might want to do customs. La Mundials are pretty decently priced for custom.

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    1. yeah i think it's time to pony up for customs. c'est la vie!

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  2. Ugh, Mountain Horse, *shudder*. I had a pair of Mountain Horse field boots once that were by far the most painful pair of boots to break in EVER. I had to vet wrap my ankles at one point. I have Tredstep Donatellos right now and I love them.

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    1. I tried on donatellos - theyre sooo beautiful, but the width is still an issue and they're WAY too tall. :'(

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  3. I have a pair of tredsteps too and while I'm not gonna argue that the fit is right (bc the wide calves kinda have a weird shape ...) they've stood up to some abuse and are quite comfortable. And the fit issues are more about aesthetics than pain. I can deal with it. But I'll be super curious to hear what you come up with! My mondoni schooling boots are gonna kick the bucket soon enough alas and will need replacements

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    1. i wruv the mondonis but they are not wide enough (!!) it's seriously ridiculous. some of the new ariats are GORGEOUS and I want them but my calf will fit on the 12th of never.

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  4. Omg I feel your pain with the "wide" calf!!!! Wide calf measurements are not real! Those are skinny calves!!!! I've never been able to buy off the rack boots and I was lucky enough when I was younger that my local tack shop sold semi custom boots for the same price as off the shelf boots. They weren't fancy, kinda boring, and thankfully I ordered them a bit big so my calf can still squeeze into them (well enough). But no joke- wide calf measurements are still for skinny calves… such a cruel joke!!!

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    1. yeah I'm hoping I can just do this shenanigan once, spend good money, and never have this conversation with my legs again.

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  5. Tredstep just came out with the Donatello II, which come in a literal shit ton of calf sizes and heights, for those of us with wide calves. At around $300, you may give them a whirl? Check SmartPak, I know they carry them, not sure about other retailers.

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    1. oooo I will take a look at that. methinks it might be too tall still tho, the tredsteps are REALLY tall on me.

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  6. I'm sorry to your wallet for what I'm about to say.
    I have an almost 16" calf, and size 6 foot. So you can imagine how that goes. Boot makers thing that because my feet are small I must be be child with string bean legs. Nope. I did get off the rack boots though. Unfortunately, they cost more than my customs. They are Parlanti's. I wear extra tall extra wide. I'm 5'2" (and a quarter!) so I'm not tall, but my calves are longish thus regular height boots generally fit me that way (just you know, I can't zip them.) I just ordered some Fama Lusitano boots that are full custom for under $400 US. It was pretty sketchy though, and I'm not 100% sure I'll actually get them... Will keep you posted. (And yes, I'm fully aware of my shopping problem.)

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    1. yeah but YOUR shopping problems will help me out!!

      16" and size 6 is even worse than me. at least your legs aren't short too. The regular height boots are a good 2+ inches too long for me normally.

      shame on you for throwing the p word (parlanti) at me.

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    2. I am the opposite of Stacie, I have a giant foot and a string bean leg, off the rack boots never did me a lick of good which is why I went custom and am never looking back, yes they can be expensive, yes it can be sketchy if you go with some of the little known spanish companies, but I have 3 pairs now and my feet have never been happier.

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  7. Come to rolex and go custom shopping with us....

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  8. Ugh I feel your pain! Short with wide calves over here! *waves* It's like boot manufacturers sit around at meetings and scoff - "we can't offer an x-wide/short! That is preposterous! Who would even wear that?"

    Looking at the Donatello IIs - plus short is 161/2" calf width, but the height of the 8 is 17 1/4" so likely too tall. bah.

    And there are these: http://www.ovationriding.com/ovation-flex-plus-field-boot-468752 - not sure about quality, but the sizes are better for short legs/wide calves.

    I vote for customs! Probably the only way to get the unicorn boot.

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    1. yeah that's what I thought, although it MIGHT drop some?? I'm considering ordering a pair to try (smartpak free shipping both ways, ftw). I mean I've tried everything else, amirite??

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  9. definitely worth trying with free shipping... then, when you do go the custom route, you will know that you are 100% justified! ;-)

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  10. I have the same issue. I wanted to get better boots since I still have my first pair of boots I got when I was 13. My parents got sz 8.5 extra tall since I needed the height and they thought I would grow. Nope, I'm a size 7. My feet never grew. About a month ago I came across LM boots.... custom made boots starting at 750... mine cost a little more since I wanted to be super elaborate but still custom made boots for 860 is not bad at all. I was surprised how many measurements they took so they will fit every part of my leg since I guess I have weird shaped legs. Earlier that month I tried on every pair of boots they had at Dover. Nothing fit. Some extra wides were too small which broke my heart. I didn't think my legs were that fat. Some wides were too big. Some I couldn't zip past my cankles. Production time is 3-4 months which is killer but worth it to have boots that actually fit and don't look silly i.e. Too short or too wide in certain places. Go the custom route. LM boots!

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