Footwear has always been an issue for me. I don’t know why, as my feet are a size 8.5 which is well within the realm of “common”. For whatever reason, shoes always give me blisters, or eventually feel too small or big etc. I love summer when I can just put on a pair of flip flops. Sadly, flip flops and horses don’t mix.
I always look rather high maintenance when I show to up to the barn…this is a necessity however since I ride at 2 locations. I have a bag with my helmet, gloves, treats for human and horse, and water. In the winter this bag has additional hand/foot warmers, a scarf, multiple gloves/mittens. I used to leave my riding boots at the barn, until about a year ago when they were stolen from my tack box. The guilty party is no longer at the barn, but since then, I also truck around my riding boots too.
I am quite tall (5’11) which can make finding tall boots, which are also comfortable, at a relatively reasonable price, quite difficult to find.
I had a pair of fairly inexpensive Auken field boots which were nicely broken in, but then they were stolen. I thought I’d branch out for their replacement and decided to try Equicomfort-brand dress boots. Big mistake. While they broke in really nicely, the zippers kept unzipping themselves. At first I thought it was because they needed to be broken in further and stretched, but this continued. Then, the side popper came off. Last summer, I took them back to the store and the sales girl said she’d never seen these issues before and that she would have to send them back to the manufacturer. I explained that I needed a pair of tall boots as I had shows lined up, so based on her opinion, I just exchanged them for a new identical pair on the assumption that my original pair was a dud. That was a mistake. My second pair has been doing the exact same thing although to date, the snap hasn’t come off.
I was in a different tack store a few weeks ago and decided to check out their boot selection. And that’s when I found the Ariat Heritage Contours. I tried them on but they didn’t have the size I needed. The tall regulars fit but were too wide. They didn’t have any tall slim in 8.5’s so I tried the size 8, tall regulars whose width would fit similar to the 8.5 tall slim. They fit and were comfortable but I couldn’t help but worry that I’d get them home and find the size 8 too snug. I decided to think about it – also because they were $319 and I think that price warrants some thought…although I’m well aware people regularly spend several hundred more on nice boots.
Well, yesterday was the day. I went back to the store, tried on the 8.5 tall slims and they were dreamy. I wore them around the store as I picked up some other items and then made the big commitment at the cash. They are all mine. I wore them around my house yesterday to begin the break in process.
I’m planning on re-returning my Equicomfort’s back to the other store and they can send them back to the manufacturer. Murphy’s Law says they’ll offer to replace them with the same boot (useless to me) but I’m hopefully going to be able to negotiate a store credit instead…maybe even a refund but I doubt it due to the time lapse!
My cat, Sunshine, thought my purchase was acceptable due to the purrrrrfect cat box they came in…