I noticed today that my tall boots are separating at the soles so I’m going to need to replace them. There seem to be lot more custom options than there were last time I was shopping, so I am looking for feedback. It sounds like Kingsley is what all the cool kids are buying right now, but I’m looking for durable leather and fully custom- from the footbed. I’m tall, and my feet are pretty wide, so I’m tired of making due with off-the-shelf boots. I had always wanted to splurge on Der Dau someday, but the only person I know who has bought from them had an awful experience. I was also considering Dehner. Does anyone have any experience with either of those brands? Or suggestions on semi custom that could work for someone who is tall with wide feet and wide calves?
I saw a post recently about Kingsley’s wearing really poorly, so that torpedoed my idea of getting a pair.
I am tall and my calves are about 15.5" and I wear Petrie Anky Elegance boots. They are off the rack and could stand to bit a touch taller, but they work well and seem to be really durable. If my horses can manage to stay out of the vet clinic for a while is to buy a custom pair of Petries in a polo boot style. Have read good things about working with Kittybee on eBay for custom Petries.
I have a few pairs of custom DeNiro field boots. They wear exceptionally well, and I am not someone who babies my boots. My brushed leather boots look nearly new, while the regular leather does tend to reflect more honestly the beating I give them. For perspective, I tend to ride five days a week. I’d be happy to post/pm photos, if you like.
I had fit issues with Deniro last time I was looking for boots. They weren’t quite tall enough. In general, my eastern european build has meant pretty much nothing Italian fits me right.
I have a pair of Kingsleys. They’re fine for what I paid for them, but they aren’t sturdy at all and they have a spot that is worn through the outer leather layer and the stitching in one of the heels is totally shot. (They are winter boots, have had them for 2 winters.)
I have a few pairs of Petries from Kittybee and I love them. (I order directly from her now…placed an order last month for some new schooling boots!) The break in was not the most pleasant, but I can deal with some rubs etc if the boots last a long time.
ETA: I have gotten custom leathers etc, but I fit one of their stock sizes, so no experience with custom measurements.
I will add that, while DeNiro’s are great because they are fully custom and have a plethora of beautiful stylistic options (the likes of which I couldn’t find anywhere else), I am super disappointed by the company. I ordered some patent leather fully custom boots, and $1500 and a few months later, the patent started to crack. Note that I only ride 1 horse, 4-5 times a week, I don’t walk in my boots, and I take care of them after each ride. The company was pretty clear that the warranty was only 3 months from the time of purchase (which I hope was a mis-speak on their part, as it took me 4 months to receive the boots), so I was out of pocket to get them fixed myself. Had I known the patent would crack so quickly, I would never have spent $1500 on them! Anecdotal for sure, but not a good first-time-customer experience. So, if you do spring for them, stay away from the patent leather as it does not wear well.
That being said, a lot of folk at my barn really like Le Mondial (i.e., LM Boots).
I love my custom E.Vogel boots. I had 2 pair made about 16 years ago and I have yet to wear the second pair! I do my chores in them and generally just wipe them down with a damp cloth and polish them before shows/ hunting.
Another shoutout to DeNiro. I have two pairs, one stiff and one floppy and both are doing great. The floppy pair was partial custom from WB Equiline in the UK and it was a little bit of a wait due to summer holiday in Italy + COVID but I like them a lot.
The other was a semi-custom in off the rack brushed leather I got on a mad sale through SmartPak. I only use them for shows and clinics and the zipper broke off and they got some paint on them when my horse threw me into a fence but other than that-- going strong!
Another one here who ordered Petries from Kittybee and love them. I just replaced the zippers (they are 6 years old now I think?) and they are still going strong. My DH (who is not a horse person) measured me and the only thing slightly wrong is they are a bit too tall, but totally manageable.
I have another custom pair from Celeris, but I would strongly recommend going with Petries over them.
I absolutely LOVE my Vogels, and tried to see if they still had my info when I was getting brown boots but never got a response, so I ended up going with Konigs. We have no one local who does measurements, and I wanted someone with a clue measuring, so I got measured at the last Vegas World Cup. My Konigs are beautiful but no amount of use has made them anything besides uncomfortable!
I have ankles smaller than many wrists and small feet, but calves larger than almost any brand makes in wide calves for size 6 feet, so I have trouble finding anything which will even fit around my calves off the shelf (Donatellos and Mountain Horse Estelle being the only good options I’ve ever found, with Tuff Rider Plus Rider fitting my calves and bagging out in ankles), and the change in dimension from small ankle to large calf = many busted zippers because the design of zippers isn’t meant to follow curves.
Kingsley seems to have a ton of sponsored riders, so there are a lot of social media posts about them. My next boots are likely to be Petries ordered from overseas through a Dutch website which I first saw suggested here. @emipou got her boots from them.
I have full custom Petries and LOVE them. They have held up really well with 5 years of use, needing only the zippers replaced in that time. Aside from that they still look fantastic and fit comfortably. And they were budget friendly as well, compared to some other customs I looked at.
I love my fully custom DeNiros. I was surprised at the price as well.
For years I had Petrie boots but felt like by the 3rd pair of the same model boot, the leather quality was declining. I ended up buying Kingsley boots last year. Love the style (out of shape- got laces for more adjustability), color options (nice to have something pretty to look at- not just functional), measuring/sizing was spot on. IMO they’re nice for the price, but I don’t know that they’ll wear the same as my old Petries.
I’ve heard good things from a handful of people who have gotten Celeris boots- many, specific measurements needed when ordering those though.
I have DeNiros and I loved them at first, but they honestly have never fit my calf all that great. The shape of the calf is kind of weird compared to how my calves are actually shaped and they’re also a little too big. I haven’t worn them in a few years and plan on selling them, even though they’re beautiful and the DeNiro rep I spoke with a while back said I should email her pictures and they’d see what they could do to help fix them. Unfortunately, I do have larger calves but also own a pair of off the rack Mountain Horse dressage boots that do not look as strange as my DeNiros do. I’ve been looking at the LM boots as well and have heard great things. I am also curious about the Alberto Fasciani boots, but really haven’t heard much about how well they hold up, customer service, etc. It may end up being a case of where I’m going to just give up on actually dressage boots with the inside zipper and stick with softer dress boots just to get a shape that doesn’t look weird on me.
Isn’t LM the company that everyone had all the customer service problems with year after year? Has it been taken over by someone else or is it a different company?
IMHO, Dehners are the best boots you can buy.
Many of my friends have boots by Alberto Fasciani and I do as well. Not terribly expensive and many custom options. However, they are made from really nice soft leather and fit wonderfully right out of the box… but no one I know thinks they are right for a “daily” boot. They do make a schooling series but they are also either soft calf leather or “vegan” leather…???
They ahve a store here in Ocala at WEC.
Agree on Dehners here! I still have my custom Dehners from when I got them as a junior in 1973! We only wore nice boots at shows back then, not every day. I always took really good care of them so they are in fabulous shape. They maybe aren’t in style now (with the higher tops), but I can still wear them and wore them at a dressage schooling show last Oct. thy were the bees knees at A shows and the Maclay finals back then
If your measurements are taken correctly, then there should be NO issues with custom boots. They might be a smidge tight, and maybe a bit high at the back of the knee when you first need them, but that is nothing a break-in period won’t fix.
I have a pair of custom DeNiro field boots that I absolutely abuse and they are going strong. I mean, these things get beat up. They look it. But the leather has stayed supple and strong. I just replaced the zippers after three years. The thing that sold me was the Vibram soles - I can walk around all day in these boots and my feet feel great, my hips don’t hurt, my back doesn’t hurt. I didn’t get any fancy leather or tops or anything, pretty basic boots.
I have always gone with Dehners. They last forever, and if you need them altered (I lost weight), or the zippers replaced, they will do it.