Hi folks,

I am going on a multi-day backcountry riding vacation in September.

Just wondering about footwear. I’ve got a pair of (lug sole) 500 series Blundstones that I would love to wear since they’re comfortable for all day use. They were my footwear of choice in my previous life as an equine vet :slightly_smiling_face:However, I would never ride in them with English stirrups because of the (small) risk of the stirrup getting stuck between the sole and the heel. I know western stirrups are wider - would these be ok?

I also have Ariat paddock boots - they’re just not as comfortable for all day wear.

And any recommendations for jeans? I grew up riding in jeans but have switched to breeches and half chaps (which are obviously not the best choice for this vacation!)

Thanks in advance!

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Hmm I ride (English) in my 500 Blunnies all the time, they have enough of a heel to not catch. I imagine with a western stirrup you could get something like this if you were really worried. For a big ride like that, definitely go in the most comfortable!!!

In terms of riding jeans, everyone I know who rides long hours keeps talking about the Wrangler riding jeans, the most important thing is seam placement :slight_smile:


That’s good to know MadTrotter! Thank you! I’ll plan to bring them

I don’t ride in Blundstones even in a western saddle. The lug soles can hang up on western stirrups just like English stirrups. The western trainer I once rode with specifically asked that I not wear my Blundstones to ride in for that reason.

On a trip to the Canadian Rockies a number of years ago, where I rode as well as hiked, I wore Ariat Terrains. They were perfect. I was a bit concerned about the hiking since the soles of the Terrains don’t have the hiking boot lug soles, but they were fine for the light hiking I did.


Everything @OfCourseItsAnAlter said about Ariat Terrains. You can also get them in a waterproof (more like water resistant in my experience) which helps if you get rained on or have to walk across some creeks. But I wouldn’t do any rigorous hikes in them. I’ve actually slipped on loose granite trails in them. But if you’re doing more of a “nature walk” or caring for your horses at the campsite, they’ll be fine.

Are you sure you want to wear jeans? I trail ride a lot, and I wear breeches. If you get them long enough, and of a certain “style” they don’t look much different than high-end hiking pants. Even if they have knee patches, you’ll still look fine out of the saddle and be comfortable, too. I just wear a pair of mid-calf socks with my Ariat Terrains and pull them over the bottoms of my breeches (which come about to my ankle, anyway).

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I actually own both Blunnies and Terrains. As you can see it is a negligible difference in heel height/gap. I’d argue the Blunnies ride safer because they are more rigid.

If there are cactus, Ariat fat baby. You’d want thicker leather than the paddock boot but a riding sole…

I’m not talking about heel height. I’m talking about the lug sole that the OP says her Blundstones have, and that my Blundstones have, as well.


I ride (western) and I wear blunnies when I trail ride. I like to walk a lot too on trails and blunnies are very comfortable also on rocky trails. I like the fabric cages for western stirrups :+1: I’ll get a pair of I can find them here! Regarding jeans I don’t like wearing them on long rides, I’m an awful view in my western saddle wearing breeches but they are so soft and comfy. Anyway my friends wear Wrangler jeans, the ones with the flat seam

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Well, maybe I’ll just be the “dude” in paddock boots and half chaps and breeches in a western saddle, haha. It would be nice to use what I already have. I wore these on my multi day riding trip in Oregon - just trying to look a little more “western” for the Canadian Rockies.

However, already planning to look dude-ish since I’ll be wearing my helmet. Paid way too much to educate this brain!

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Think about this as it is about the trip, not the appointments, like cowboy gear.

One extra safe way to keep from hanging in a stirrup is to have foot gear that comes out easy.
Don’t wear tight ones or lace them tight.
The foot will come off what you are wearing if you hang up, is what many cowboys count on, in the real world and in rodeos.


Which series or style are those Blunnies? Are they the 500? The soles look nice on yours and not too thick or “sticky”.

Just perusing the Western footwear page on the Smartpak website - looks like lots of the western riding boots have a similar lug type sole to the 500 series. The boots below might even have more of a sole than my Blundstones.

I had a look and the safety cage you posted is only intended to keep feet warm during Winter, but I believe they would work also for safety, what do you think? I really like them and I would give them a try, do you know anyone who use them?

I won’t ride in rubber sole boots. But given those are slip on and if they are loose enough that if your boot gets hung up you could slip your foot out of them, I’d wear them rather than buying another set of boots. Safer than rubber soled paddock boots and half chaps that you can’t get out of.

A year or so back, someone mentioned on a thread about boots here- western stirrups haven’t evolved with safety features like English stirrups have. To which I explained, as western riders our safety in stirrups depend mainly on our boots not the stirrup alone. Riding the correct boot and using the right boot for the stirrup we are riding.
As someone that’s been welded to a horse, I wear only leather soles, single welt. Pull ons loose enough that my foot will come out of them. No lace ups. Heels that “match” my stirrups. Meaning if I’m using my cowboy saddle that have big 5 or 6 inch stirrups I can get away with a low healed boot, those style of stirrups tend to kick your feet out. On my cowhorse saddle with 2 inch stirrups and my feet are closer to the home position, I want a true riding heel. There’s a reason why saddle bronc riders wear big under slung heels and oxbows…

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Rodeo cowboys practice falling and twisting around, so the boot comes off the stirrup if hung and/or the foot comes off the boot, which it does.

Decades ago in a parade, one of our horses slipped, a retired police horse now a school horse, and fell on the slick asphalt.
Getting up the rider was dragging from a stirrup.
He was on an english saddle and wearing tall black boots with leather soles.
Horse ran frantic, luckily not kicking at the dragging rider, around a street corner and on the other side the stirrup leather came off the saddle.
Rider only had some road rash, lucky him, horse ran back to the stables and was fine.

Proper riding boots can also get hung.

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Of course they can.
You reduce the risk via boot/stirrup choice in both disciplines, not eliminate it.


I ride english and western in the higher heeled Blundstones, model 1673. They are slimmer the the original Blundstones and super comfortable.

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