Custom boots recommendations

 I’ve been riding in ariat field boots and they have not been able to last me more than two years apiece. Really wanting something high quality but most importantly they have to be built to last. Any recommendations  for long-lasting custom or semi-custom boots? What should I expect my budget to be?

My custom Vogel dress boots are from 1989.
Worn 3-5X weekly for the first 7yrs.
Then retired to Show Only status for the next 5 or so, now only broken out for the odd pre-show lesson.
Returned to Vogel for modifications:
*add gussets
*add back zippers
*repair a zipper
Above over a period of 15yrs.

They are still in great shape, comfy as slippers & thanks to my indifferent care (occasional Murphy’s wipedown, conditioner < Stubben Hamanol) the inner lining is showing wear.
Otherwise, shined up, they can look near-new.
IIRC, they cost ~$700

I see that price has nearly doubled, but Vogel is offering $450 worth of discounts on custom boots.
Worth the cost, even non-discounted, IMO.

What’s wrong with riding in Ariat boots?


They make some very nice boots.

I have a pair of Dehner that I love!!! Only issue is I have to have someone pull them off and after a few fractures and severe sprains that can be interesting. If not for that I would wear them a lot more.

My late husband bought them for me about four years ago. I think he paid about $1200.

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Might be an unpopular opinion, but I worked in a tack shop for years and sold plenty of off-the-rack and custom boots, and I think unless you can’t find/fit into an off-the-rack boot you like, or you just want something aesthetically special, custom boots are kind of a racket.

A nice pair of customs will wear out just as fast as cheap Ariats, if not faster, if you don’t take care of them, unless you get something like Vogels or Dehners made of domestic calf that’s going to be basically bulletproof and really hard to break in.


Agree that Vogels and Dehners are great for durability, though hard to break in. My trainer rides about 8 horses a day and shows nearly every weekend of the year and hers seem to last 2-3 years. One pair of off the rack boots that has worn better for me are Fabbri boots. The leather is stiffer and wears better than buttery Parlantis. The Fabbri boots also hold their shape better over time and drop less. They hurt to break in somewhat, but once done, they feel comfortable without feeling like I am in my lounge pants on the couch. Might be worth a look.

After a few years, they begin to unzip during use, and become very floppy, even with boot stands.

From personal experience, do NOT buy Parlanti custom boots. Or Parlanti’s at all.

I highly recommend Fabbri off the rack. Unless you are hard to fit, they fit off the rack like no other. And they LAST. I’ve had mine for 6 years now, been through riding several horses a day, giving baths, washing buckets daily…the inside of the calf has worn beautifully in that time.

They’re still show quality. Worth every penny.

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I LOVE my Tucci boots! They are soft and we’re easy to break in, but they aren’t leather sock soft like Parlantis


@Luseride Will Dehner not add back zips?

I am on my 3rd pair of custom Dehner paddocks in nearly 30yrs. First pair were zipups, but grit ruined the zippers & only Dehner had the correct size replacement.
I imagine any shoemaker could put in a zipper on a tall boot.

I switched to pull-ons for the 3rd pair - ordered in 2002 & still very wearable.

I despise zippers on boots which is why I do not have them.

Had a student going into a class and her Ariat zipper broke. Luckily for some strange reason we had black electrical tape handy. I had some sip paddock boots that only lasted six months before breaking. Then this year I bought some winter tall boots with a zipper and the first time I put them on the zipper broke.

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My Vogel zips are at least 20yo.
I broke the one 10yrs after I had them added & it was replaced by Vogel, IIRC under $100 for the repair & shipping.

I got the zips as I have ridiculous high arches & got tired of getting cramps as I pulled on the boots.
Gussets were my 1st try at fixing the problem.

I know many have good experiences with zips but I have not so will just struggle I suppose. Even had issue with my Harley boots that had a zipper.

I ordered Pioneer boots through equizone and have been super happy with them. The leather is soft but on the thicker side so I do not feel like they will wear out quickly. They feel well constructed, I have only ridden in them for a few months but so far extremely happy especially for the price point. Equizone was a dream to work with.

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@Prairie_Girl Those are wild!
But I can’t find pricing on the site.
Ballpark for tall boot in the floral with back zip?

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Check with equizone they should be able to help you out! I ordered just plain black boots with a punched top and toe (hunter rider here so pretty boring) but they cam in just under $500 CND with shipping I can’t remember if they were on sale or not as I ordered on Black Friday.

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I agree and I so wanted the V Sports to work. However I have too much difference between my calf size and the top measurement for off the rack to work, even if I find a boot that will go big enough in the calf area to begin with…,. My calves are just over 16’’. I’m not fat, so I have normal ankles and normal knees, but off the rack boots for xxw calves have huge gap-y knees.

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My question to you would be: what style of Ariat tallboot? And how are you wearing them? Just rides or around the barn as well?

What a lot of folks I know do is wear their Ariat tallboots at home for schooling and mucking around the barn but then have a nice pair of customs for showing.

If you’re getting one of the more economically priced ariat boots and wearing them hard, honestly I think you’re doing great getting 2 years out of them. That sounds about right.

What folks have said about the custom boots is true: the leather is usually a much softer, much finer skin which is great for athletic pursuits but will diminish quickly if not properly taken care of and/or overworn.

FWIW, I really like my LM Boots. I have two “fun” schooling pairs and one show pair. The schooling pairs get worn for about 6-8 hours a week and are holding up great, albeit I need to replace a heel snap on one. They add an additional patch to the inside of the calf of the boot so that if you wear through that, all you have to do is replace the patch for $50 and not the entire boot.

Yes a lot of trainers do the Volant boots for daily rides.

Oh I get that measurement challenge. You must have very shapely legs. I have had friends that needed custom for the same reason.

I have a bigger measurement underneath my knee compared to the calf. Slimmer calves. Fat knees…


I even took the Ariat boots to a leather worker, with the hopes she could take in the tops. They were THAT nice. She declined, was worried she would mess up such soft well-made boots. Dang it :cry:.

To stay on track for the OP, I just filled out the measurement sheet for DeNiros, I haven’t picked a boot style yet because the company wants to look at my measurements and then see what they recommended. I wanted the Tricolore because of how soft they looked, because I do not like stiff boot shafts, but they can’t be customized apparently.