Hey Y’all,

My old Effinghams are at the end of their usefulness. Since that company doesn’t exist any more what brands do y’all like? I can probably afford 700+ But would still like to hear about the more expensive boots.

I’d like some semi-custom boots-I’m tall and I don’t want boots that are too short! And I want the boots to last!

Advice appreciated.

Huntin’ Fool

I am HOPING my ancient Dehners last until I quit hunting at 80 years old --only need to keep them together ten more years! If I were buying boots, and had the chinks --I’d buy Dehners for hunting. Here’s the problem, as I see it, with other tall boots . . .

The current “off the shelf” tall boot is made for showing --zip up the back --good to go. If you do a quick feel, you will notice the leather is thinner or lighter than boots made for fox hunting. Fox hunters are hard on their boots --wear them in rain, snow, mud for hours at a time for YEARS ! The show rider expects (maybe) a few years out of boots, in ideal, dry conditions --and comfort is important to the show rider –

The problem is beef. Beef cows are harvested these days at about 1 year old or so. That means the majority of leather is from a relatively young critter. Fox hunting boots are made of HEAVY leather which means an OLD Steer --but those are not around so much. And so the quality and weight of the leather has suffered, I think.

If I DO ever need a new boot for fox hunting, I doubt I would buy Dehners (over 1K now I think). I’d buy a moderately priced show boot --and then, just as I and all the other Michigan fox hunters do --wear the tall boots for the Blessing and Joint Meet --then IMMEDATELY switch out for the Mountain Horse Winter Riding Boots —that way --feet are warm and dry and the “real” hunt boots will survive another year.


I have some Dehners and they are really well made. I will say I wouldn’t go the custom route with them again as Dehner was a real pain in the ass with which to work. I’d just buy some of their off the shelf models. Don’t have Dehner put zippers in them. What they use are crap and Dehner’s CEO told me he hates to put zippers in boots. So buy off the shelf and have zippers put in later.

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My Dehners are a 1982 model and finally dying. I decided to try zip up boots and purchased these:

I could not be more pleased with the fit and comfort of the boot and they are proper for modern hunting where zip boots are the norm. The footbed is amazing and the leather breaks in quickly and is soft. I hate stiff leather boots- my Dehners were a modified lined boot and very comfortable.


Zips are convenient. When it is persistent, heavy rain, zips allow water in. Zips also have a disconcerting habit of breaking, leaving one with a flappy boot all day. Heavy leather has saved my leg a time or two. But times change. …

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Take a gander at the Celeris UK website. They do not make pull on boots, but I have hunted in my dress boots with zips in all sorts of weather and they are holding up fine (going on 5 years now). I also cub in my polo boots from them (with a front zip) and those boots wear like iron (7+ years of riding every day in all sorts of weather with minimal care). You can pick different weights of leather when ordering and their customer service reps are great with recommendations in that regard.

In my experience, zippers only break on boots that do not fit correctly. I broke zips on every single pair of off the shelf boots I ever owned…never once on a custom boot.


Very nice! Those aren’t bad prices for custom boots.

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Get Ariats. I have had seven custom Dehners, two were worthless. My two best Dehner tall boots I would be buried in, but the last custom pair was just too much of a pain to break in. I went to Ariat plain dress in black and have two pair brown and cordovan ( not really, they are brown) and love not having to use pulls or jacks. So easy. I did have to put athletic tape on the inside of my leg at first, but just live how easy they are and they look great. So I don’t have tops on my dress boots. Made it easier to go to another hunt.

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I have 3 pairs of Dehners. Pair #1 is around 35 years old, had tan tops added later. Pair #2 were ordered with tan tops, and are my primary boots; they are 25. When I started to consider doing some showing I saw I needed solid black boots, so I looked at Dehner again. This time I found an unused new pair of Dehners on ebay. The seller posted measurements and they amazingly matched mine. I picked them up for my initial $200 bid. The only difference between them and my $600 an $800 pairs (in the years I had them made) is another guy’s name stamped in gold on the inside.

My point here is to keep an eye out for deals on ebay. You may score, as I did.


I bought custom Dehners about 18 months ago and had a perfectly lovely experience ordering. However, I was able to go into their Omaha store so that probably helped. I was dreading the break in, but it actually was just fine. If you do get Dehner, follow their advice for break in. Their boots aren’t designed for zippers, so they are not fond of installing them. I have both zipper and pull ons and don’t really have an issue not having zips in my hunting boots. Their leather is much thicker than off the shelf and boots designed for showing in general, which is why they are hard to break in and also why it’s not always ideal to install zippers.
I also have had Ariat tall boots and currently have Ego7 tall boots. They are both comfortable and do the job elegantly. As other posters have stated, these boots are made of much thinner leather as they are not designed for the tougher job of foxhunting. They are “easier” to get in and out of and the leather is easier to break so is comfortable sooner. I have strong feelings about avoiding buying boots made in China, so I’ll never buy Ariats again (nearly everything they manufacture comes from China).
I recently ordered tall brown boots from Romitelli, but they haven’t arrived yet so I can’t speak to their fit or durability. I know from friends that their leather is thicker than Parlanti or Tucci (a couple of the more well known Italian made boot brands) so I’m hopeful they will withstand autumn hunting and also serve as my schooling boots since I don’t like riding in half chaps.
If you can find used Dehners to see if they might work for you, that is a great option. I’d buy another pair in a heartbeat. But I think you can find plenty of other more modern brands that work for you as well.
I have friends with La Mundial (LM Boots) who hunt in them and love them. I know eventers who have Celeris boots and think they are fantastic. Some of my hunter/jumper friends have Sergio Grasso and Deniro boots and I’ve also heard great things about them. All the custom brands also have their share of nightmare ordering stories, so I’m personally a bit ambivalent about paying attention to them.