Why Do Horse Riders Wear Long Boots?

There’s no arguing that every piece of equestrian gear is essential when riding a horse. With each item you wear, you are able to dramatically increase your and your horse’s comfort and safety levels.

For instance, a pair of long boots not only keep your feet safe but also helps you gain better control of the horse you’re riding. According to Tack and Bridle, there are several reasons why horse riders wear long boots. We’ll discuss each one today in the hopes of convincing you to purchase a good-quality pair that meets your needs.

Horse Riders and Long Boots

The relationship between horse riders and their pair of horse-riding boots goes way back. In the case of long-boots wearers, their affinity for their equestrian footwear stems from how it addresses the following:


Like any outdoor activity, horse riding is prone to weather changes. As such, this calls on riders to don a pair of quality long boots. The skies won’t always be clear, and days won’t always be sunny.

On some days, riders will have to rely on their boots to face the rain, mud, and chilly air. The great thing about equestrian long boots is that they address all kinds of weather needs, so they have a rider’s back either way.

The majority of horse-riding boots have water-resistant qualities and varying levels of insulation. Wearing a pair of boots for a specific environment keeps your feet dry and comfortable. It also helps regulate lower-body temperature, which, in turn, enables you to manage your horse better.


Another reason to opt for a pair of riding boots when doing any form of equestrian is their riding-specific design. In particular, the boots’ soles have prominent heels that prevent the feet from skidding through the stirrups.

Ideally, the sole should be on the thin side since anything too broad limits dexterity and reduces your feel of the activity. In addition, soles should be level instead of cleated. This way, your feet are practically against the stirrups, allowing for a more controlled grip.

Most long boots come in leather, which is usually the higher quality and more expensive pairs. Alternatively, riders can go for more affordable boots made with rubber and simulated leather. These cheaper alternatives might not necessarily give you the equestrian feel, but they do the job of protecting you nonetheless.


Durability ties into boot construction but deserves its own section for more emphasis. The fact is, horse riding sets you up for an incident or three.

Let’s face it; you don’t become an advanced-level rider without falling off your steed or mare at least a few times. The extent of these incidents’ impact depends on the quality of your gear, including the durability of your boots.

With a good pair of long riding boots, your legs and ankles won’t get strained, and your calf receives the protection it needs during long rides. These boots also help prevent serious lower-body injuries in case you fall off your horse.


If you are looking to compete officially one of these days, you will need to abide by the rules that govern riding events. Competitors are required to don the appropriate pair of riding boots for events like dressage and show jumping. These competition requirements are as much for safety as they are for aesthetics.

Each event typically has guidelines that determine the style of boots allowed for competition. Picking from the different kinds of horse-riding boots can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the activity. You might also be unaware of the style that suits your form of equestrian best.

Choosing the pair of boots that addresses your specific riding style is crucial to unleashing the pair’s full potential, safety- and comfort-wise.

Horse Riding Boots for the Different Riding Styles

You have the following categories of long boots to choose from for horse riding. Make sure to pick wisely.

  • Field boots

This is a pair that’s excellent for general riding and jumping. It’s distinguished by the unique lacing at its ankle, which provides more flexibility.

  • Dress boots

These are laceless boots stylishly designed and often come in black. They are typically worn in horse shows.

  • Hunt boots

These boots are made for hunting. Their distinctive feature is the tan cuff at the shaft’s top.

  • Paddock boots

These are ankle boots with short laces. They are designed for kid riders but can also be worn by adults for daily pleasure riding.

  • Western riding boots

Most know them as cowboy boots. They usually have higher heels, shorter shafts, and are more loosely fitting. Most of them are laceless and can be pulled on quite easily.

Choosing the Right Pair of Boots

Long riding boots are an essential piece of gear for equestrian activities for many reasons. However, it’s imperative to choose one in a style that meets your specific type of horse riding. In doing so, you’d get the most out of a pair’s safety, comfort, and aesthetic benefits. Learn the different types of long boots available and see which one addresses your riding needs best.