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.