It’s an age-old debate among the Globetrotting community: are you better off riding in a good pair of long boots, or strapping half-chaps over your paddock boots?
While in the broader equestrian world, there are obvious pros and cons for both – and situations where it’s obvious which you should wear – on a horse riding holiday, the choice is a little more nuanced. So here’s the low-down:
– Long boots support your leg position and improve your stability while riding.
– Quality long boots tend to last longer if properly cared for, thanks to their simple design and materials.
– An elegant pair of long boots can also function as smart-casual footwear, so if you plan your outfits around them, you can avoid the weight of an extra pair of dressy shoes in your suitcase.
– In cold climates, well broken-in, comfortable, grippy riding boots also function as perfect everyday walking shoes, adding another layer of warmth to your calves.
– Because long boots are a looser fit around your leg, you could still experience chafing during long days in the saddle, unlike the tight fit of half chaps.
– Depending on the material, long boots tend to be more difficult to clean than chaps.
– Long boots can be harder to remove at the end of a day’s riding (or during a picnic lunch break!) than half chaps.
– If customs officials consider your boots a biological hazard, you could be facing some serious heartbreak at the airport.
– Properly fitted half chaps function the same way as a tall boots, with the added benefit of more flexibility, so when you’re off the horse you can walk comfortably for longer.
– You don’t need to break in half chaps, unlike boots!
– Half chaps can be removed without taking your boots off, if you want to be even more comfortable while walking around or just release a bit of the heat from your legs.
– Synthetic half chaps offer great water resistance and can be put in the washing machine if they get dirty.
– Half chaps take up much less room in your luggage and can squeeze into tight spaces far more easily than long boots.
– It’s less tragic to have your $40 half chaps confiscated at the border than your top-of-the-range long boots!
– Half chaps can also be worn over hiking boots, work boots or sneakers, making them quite a versatile option for general leg protection.
– It takes longer to put on and remove boots and half chaps than a pair of long boots.
– Depending on the quality of your half chaps, you may need to replace them more often than boots.
– Half chaps don’t have quite the same fashionista appeal as a sleek pair of long boots.
– Uhhh… that’s all we can think of!
There’s our two cents on the matter, globetrotters – we hope you found it helpful!
If you’re leaning towards long boots, Ariat has a great range of boots for everything from dressage to cattle mustering.