Something I’m wondering is if it has anything to do with metal boning in dressage boots being not as popular nowadays? I imagine they can use much thinner, softer leather in boots without. I mean the BNRs look like they still wear them, but I know only one person in irl who does. But she’s a GP level trainer, so she doesn’t count!
The old Konigs had the metal boning & the leather was almost as heavy as you’d find on a saddle flap. Forget hard to break in. They had obviously repelled 30+ years of effort at breaking in. The new ones don’t have any boning. If they were black & didn’t have a very prominent Spanish top I would think they might be just a dress boot. But navy blue leather in a ready-to-wear is going to be a dressage boot.