Boot Reviews

I am in the market for a pair of new boots – tall boots, hunt boots – whatever they’re called. I think I want zip up the back field boots, but I’ve been told that the zipper isn’t a great feature (it’s great for my chunky calves though).

Anyway, I’ve been on Dover, Stateline, etc. and can’t make up my mind as to what I want. What boots do you wear or recommend? I like the Ariat brand, but am not exclusive to that…they’re just all I know at this point. Anyway, I can only afford under $300.00.

I’d love to hear what everyone’s suggestions and/or recommendations are.



9 Responses to Boot Reviews

  1. colwilrin says:

    I absolutely LOVE my Ariat hunt boots. I was going to get the zipper, but opted for the regular boot after trying zippers. The bottom of the zipper rubbed on the back of my heel. I could just see it being a problem for future blisters.

    Ariat comes in a larger variety of heights and calf widths, so they can be almost a custom fit. The bottom is grippy and the sole cushioned. Can’t recommend them highly enough.

  2. wctigger says:

    I love my Ariat hunt boots as well. I’ve had them for years, and they still look awesome. I love having the zipper, it doesn’t rub on my heel, and it makes taking hunt boots off SO much easier. :)

  3. leslie says:

    My tall boots are Ariats, but I’m not sure which model. They were a mid-priced pair, maybe the Challenge? They do have a zipper. I don’t have much to compare them to since my previous pair was the State Line Tack special. They were pretty awful to wear and worse to get in and out of. They did not have a zipper, so when I went to replace them, a zipper was a must-have. I like my Ariats, but I apparently have massive calves because I think I have the extra-wide calf, and they’re still pretty tight.

    Those zippers do break pretty easily. I learned the hard way that you should not walk around with your boots halfway unzipped. That caused a tooth on the zipper to bend, and eventually it started to pop open, so I had to get the zipper replaced. I keep them zipped up when I wear them now, and haven’t had any problems.

    Ariats are usually a safe bet, but I just got a pair of Mountain Horse paddock boots that are pretty great, so I’ll look into their tall boots if I ever find myself in the market for a new pair.

  4. IED says:

    I got the Ariat Challenge IIs earlier this year and reeeeeeeally like them. Very comfy, and I LOVE having the zipper. It’s not as streamlined of a look, but it sure makes getting them on MUCH easier, so it’s worth it!! I love the Spanish top and nice leather.

    I’ve heard good things about the Mountain Horse boots. I think they can be quite expensive though.

    If you DO get a pair of boots with zippers, never ever ever walk around without them being fully zipped. That’s how zippers BREAK. Every time I hear someone lamenting that their boot zipper has broken I ask if they walk around with them unzipped at all – the answer is almost always yes.

  5. IED says:

    Oh… I’d also definitely recommend going somewhere and trying them on, unless you don’t mind shipping back and forth. Tall boots are difficult to fit at the best of times!

  6. RWL says:



  7. smccullo says:

    Just to give you another datapoint, I love Ariat as well (won’t buy anything else for paddock boots). I have one leg that has lymph edema and my calf swells up BIG time. I wanted zippers for that reason alone. My other leg is normal, so the zipper with the elastic gives me a perfect fit regardless of the condition of my one leg.
    However, I bought Rectiliegnes (pronounced Rict-el-lean), probably didn’t spell it right either. They fit my foot better than Ariats, and the calf for my bad leg just wasn’t wide enough. I think they were $400. but you might be able to find them on sale. Also, you might consider men’s sizes. I think I buy my ariat paddock boots in mens because it fits my foot better (again the bad leg issue).

  8. StacyGRS says:

    if you don’t like the look of the zippers but want some flexibility, you can get an elastic “gussett” (not sure about that spelling:) that is barely noticeable and helps alot. As for Ariats, I can’t wear their paddock boots…the arch is not the same as mine and they make my back ache instantly…but love both Grand Prix and Dehner. I don’t know if GP makes stock or semi-custom field boots, I think they do. If you try on and walk in Ariats and they are not comfy (I’ve heard this from others as well…either you love them or you can’t wear them) then try Grand Prix as they fit differently. Dehner did not make a stock or semi custom boot when I got mine..I got custom Dehners. They were expensive, but, I’ve now had them for about 15 yrs and they are in great condition and will go as long as I need them to, I am sure. They are fabulously made and the leather is so nice…I love them as much as I could love hunt boots:)

  9. jns767 says:

    This was very helpful – thank you, thank you!

    I am going to go with the Ariat Challenge II’s. They are somewhat affordable, and seem to have gotten good reviews. I have Ariat Field boots that I live in – so comfy, so the Ariat boot seems to work well with my foot type.

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