Deciding the height of your tall riding boots can be tricky. Boots that are too high can pinch the back of your legs causing discomfort and distraction. Long riding boots that are too short will make you want to constantly pull them up, they could rub or the calf shape may not correspond with your leg muscles leaving gaps.
There are a few things that you must bare in mind when deciding if your riding boots are the correct height.
Style of long riding boots
Long riding boots designed for dressage tend to be made of a stiffer leather than a casual happy hacking boot. With more firm leather you can expect these to drop less than a casual riding boot.
All leather boots change in height over time, the leather softens to the movement of your ankle when riding and the boot naturally creases. Choosing the correct fit is essential to minimise the impact of this change. If a boot fits tightly round the calf the drop will be minimal.
Make sure you are wearing the jodhpurs that you will be riding in.
Pull on and fasten the long boots adjusting any laces, buckles and zips. New boots should offer some resistance, zips just be tight to get up and your foot should need a push to get round the instep.
If a boot is too loose it will crease too much round the ankle and bunch. These folds rub against each other and can cause damage to the leather.
Checking tall boots from the front
Sitting on a chair with your legs on a right angle, stiff riding boots should sit where you would like them to be from the start, as mentioned this style of riding boot such as the Phoenix Riding Boots will not drop as much.
More casual riding boots like the Montana Riding Boots will soften a little more so these can even start to encroach slightly above the knee. Soft leather riding boots should drop at least a 1/4 of an Inch.
Remember when sitting on a chair at home your legs are more likely to be much more bent than when in the saddle, so this is only an indication and may vary slightly from the position you will ride in, take this in to account.
Checking the boots from the back
It is normal for long boots to come up to the back of the knee if the leather is soft. If you have chosen a stiffer leather boot you will want to bend your knee and make sure the boots are as high as possible without catching or pinching.
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