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If you're considering buying Der Daus... DON'T

*I apologize for the novella, but I feel that if someone is making a very expensive purchase like custom boots, they need to know the potential risks they face when choosing a brand.

As a vertically challenged rider (a whopping 5 feet tall), I have struggled throughout my showing career to find anything from show coats to tall boots that fit the way they are supposed to. Two years ago, I was thrilled to purchase a pair of custom tall boots that actually fit me! I had gotten by for years with boots that I had purchased and then altered, but they always looked kind of silly. So I saved up for a long time and figured that if I was going to go full custom, I was going to go with my dream boots: Der Daus.

When I was being fitted, I was nervous as I noted that he height that was being written down on the form was taller than my actually measured height. I inquired about the discrepancy, and was assured that the added height was to account for the natural drop of the boots. I even decided to go for the rubber panels on the inside of the boots, so that it would be like having permanent saddle stick on! When I go to place my order, my total was a LOT higher than I expected it to be… But I figured I splurged on the rubber panels so I should have expected the increase in price.

When my boots arrived, I immediately was taken aback by how beautiful they were! They looked exactly how I had imagined them. But when I went to go but them on… It was a different story. First, I noticed that the foot was too big for my size 6.5 foot. I figured, “Hey, I can always buy a little insole!” Then, I went to go zip them up, and realized that they were too tall (Like could not bend my knees at all tall). But then I said to myself, “They are going to drop. They are going to drop. Breathe.” So, I did, and began the process of breaking them in.

As I broke them in, I found that they were very comfortable to ride in, but they never seemed to drop as much as they were supposed to, so I always had blisters on the back of my knees. Then, I realized that they were too baggy in the ankle (I attributed it to the rubber panels) and my ankles were also covered in blisters. But I loved my boots, so I stuck with them through one summer of showing. In less than one year of (what I would consider) light use, the rubber panels on the boots were ripped and falling apart. I knew this wasn’t my fault, as I diligently took care of the boots after every ride.

Finally, I had enough and in August 2014 (one year after purchase) I sent them back to Der Dau for new rubber panels and to be taken in around the ankle and lowered below the knee. The customer service was very nice, but I still wasn’t thrilled to be sending back my virtually brand-new boots for repair. When I got them back, I was happy to see that all of the repairs looked great and now they fit much better!

Flash forward to this past June. I had been showing again and therefore using my boots more. I realized that the snaps at the top of the zipper had stopped snapping shut, but it wasn’t much of a problem because the zipper stayed up. NOT TO MENTION the very newly repaired rubber panels had ripped apart again. Then in July, as I was putting the boots on to show, the zipper on the left boot broke. Like the teeth broke off, and even the actual zipper came apart from where it was stitched to the leather. I ALWAYS made sure not to walk around with them half-zipped and put them away with good boot trees to avoid this kind of travesty.

I made do with electrical tape for the rest of the show, but I was going to KY in a week and didn’t have time to get them to Der Dau and back by then. So my trusty friends at the local tack shop saved the day with their contact and got my boots repaired just in time. The woman who repaired them said that the zippers were in awful shape especially for being so new, and that she was surprised that such low-quality zippers were put on such high-quality boots. She suggested I call Der Dau for a reimbursement for the repair. I called Der Dau, and they said that they would not reimburse me for the replacement because it was not done by one of their people. Even after I explained why I couldn’t wait for their services, they would not budge with their company policy.

I would not ever buy these boots again, or ever work with this company. The quality of their boots has tanked in the last decade, and I have been frustrated with their product since the moment I purchased them. I will make do with what I have now, but when they fall apart beyond repair (and I’m sure they will soon), I will DEFINITELY not be buying another pair, nor will I recommend them to anybody else.

Good to know as we will be needing boots this year. One less brand to cloud the field.

Agree re DerDaus

Good to know as we will be needing boots this year. One less brand to cloud the field.[/QUOTE]

Unfortunately have to agree. My previous pair of DerDaus were awesome, lasted for 11 years with one repair to the inside panel where I had worn through at some point. Got a brand new pair (ridiculously expensive), did not fit at all, had them try again, sort of fit OK 2nd time, but inside panel started out wrinkled, so of course that’s going to be the wear point and they are not going to last long at all, even with always putting in boot trees etc. Don’t think I will ever buy another pair. Very sad.

I have a new pair of Der Daus. After 3 months of daily riding (one horse), I noticed that the zippers were starting to come apart where they are stitched.

Fearing a catastrophic failure was imminent, I emailed Der Dau and told them I was sending these boots back and they needed to be returned within one week because I had a big horse show. They replaced the zippers free of charge and shipped them back promptly.

I love wearing them and hope they last a long time (pricey!) but I’m worried still about the zippers. I make sure to always keep them in boot trees, but I think that the wrinkle caused by the “ankle drop” while riding is putting stress on the zipper. (during riding, not while stored)

I also had an awful time with my custom dressage boots by Der Dau. I don’t even think I can sell them they are so bad.

I got a pair in 2003-- they lasted forever and I may have cried when I used their trade in with riders closet for new ones. This summer I broke in new ones and all the pigment of the inner calf rubbed/sweat out in the first 2 weeks! The first pair wear BLACK after 12 years! I thought it was an anomaly but maybe their quality has dropped :confused:

If you want a pair of boots to last forever go to DEHNER


Isn’t Der Dau under different ownership/management then they used to be?

If you want a pair of boots to last forever go to DEHNER[/QUOTE]
Amen to this!
My Dehner pull-on paddocks are approaching their 14th year & when shined up could pass for much newer boots.
Also kudos to Vogel for my dress boots - celebrating their 26th year & looking near-new, still comfy as bedroom slippers.

It’s unfortunate but like everything else quality has been sacrificed for a look. The new glove boots aren’t worth crap for lasting , Do they Look good YES just accept the fact that they will fall apart in one or two years , We have fashion boots and clothes now , not riding apparel that’s meant to hold up , (where’s the profit in that )
Dehner and Vogel have proved for a century that their boots not only look good but hold up and fit properly, they back up their product 100% and while Der Dau is a quality product, I believe they have sacrificed durability for fashion over the last few years , Beautiful boot, but Pretty is as Pretty does

I have a pair of DerDaus…I use them only for showing. They are lovely, but are the most delicate pair of tall boots I have owned. I have not had any problems with them yet, but I care for them meticulously. My faith in their longevity is low–I always bring a pair of backup boots! The fit and feel is great, it took one ride to break them in, but they are so thin they don’t even protect my shins from rubs. FWIW I have a pair of DeNiros that seem to have a similar elegant look, but seem much sturdier. I’ve not had them long, so can’t say for sure.

I am in absolute LOVE with my semi-custom Effinghams (I believe they are out of business now). I am vertically challenged myself, and had to spring for semi customs. I have had the same boots for over 15 years, and they are still in great condition. I haven’t had to do any repairs yet, but I will say the elastic on the gussets will need repaired sooner than later as well as I will probably need a patch on both insides from rubbing all these years. Not sure if you can find some and have them altered.

My Der Dau’s are shockingly low quality compared to my Parlanti customs at around the same price. They do look good.The thing that irks me the most? The snap at the top of one has been loose since the start, such poor hardware on such expensive boots. The insides are also now totally free of black… my parlanti’s maintained their colour after over five years of daily riding,

Isn’t Der Dau under different ownership/management then they used to be?[/QUOTE]

Nope. Same Der family (father/son team) making the boots in a Brooklyn warehouse district in 2015 - I was there in person.

I think if you are having trouble with a custom fitted product (loose snap, zipper failure), you should send it back to them and give them a chance to fix it.

They are beautiful boots. Mine broke in well from Day One, I actually look forward to zipping into them and I don’t rush to take them off after riding, either.

Weird. I have 2 pairs of Der Daus, one from '05 and one from '08- I take horrible care of both, and all I’ve had to do is replace the sole once on each- about $30 total. Both look fabulous.

Yup!! I have a friend who has had problem after problem with her Der Dau’s. She is so upset because she dreamt about getting some for years, and now is highly disappointed.

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I am in absolute LOVE with my semi-custom Effinghams (I believe they are out of business now). I am vertically challenged myself, and had to spring for semi customs. I have had the same boots for over 15 years, and they are still in great condition. I haven’t had to do any repairs yet, but I will say the elastic on the gussets will need repaired sooner than later as well as I will probably need a patch on both insides from rubbing all these years. Not sure if you can find some and have them altered.[/QUOTE]

I wear Effinghams as well. I’m on my second pair (first pair never wore out, but I took a riding hiatus and sold them), and I can’t say enough good things. My current boots are semi-custom Effingham Legend dress boots (the former pair were the same, only field). I found this pair on EBay in essentially new condition with perfect measurements (for a song). I love these boots with a passion, and have every expectation they’ll last a very long time. The price point was great, too, when they were still made; it’s a shame Bond Boot is no longer operating.

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I got a pair of Der Daus last winter, and could not be happier. I thought I would use them sparingly and ride in my very nice paddocks and half chaps, but they’ve been so comfortable (after the breaking in period) that I’ve used them every day. No complaints, I LOVE them, and have found the staff and Mssrs Der to be wonderful to work with.

I know this is a VERY OLD thread, but I just have to share my 2023 experience with Der Dau. I have to Agree, Do Not Buy from Der Dau. This too, is a very long story . . .

Over the past 20+ years I have attended Dressage at Devon annually as a spectator, box-holder and exhibitor. Every one of those years, as we enter the main gates of DaD, the vendor Der Dau Boots has been front and center, adjacent to the Dixon Oval. A position of prestige and stature.

This year, I finally decided to take the plunge and make that big expensive purchase – a pair of Custom Der Dau Boots. Joe Der and I discussed what I wanted based on the displays in his booth. He took notes, measured me and the order was placed and paid for.

Firstly, October 28 I received a shipment of Boots. Upon opening the box, they were not what I ordered. Absolutely wrong boots with another customer’s name inside. Mistakes happen. I contacted Der Dau twice before receiving the return Federal Express Shipping Label so that I could return the boots to them. At that point in time, I was told they had no idea where “my” boots were.

I never received any other contact from Der Dau until the date the Second pair of boots arrived, on November 8. Upon opening the box, while the boots were approximately what I ordered – the right color, there were flagrant deficiencies in the Black Exotic Leather Upgrades to the top cuffs and spine – the design and leather were Wrong. Upon trying them on, the boots absolutely did not fit. The zippers stopped half-way up the shafts and there were 2” and 3” gaps at the tops. If I was trying off the shelf boots at a retail store, the salesperson would immediately see that they did not fit.

I immediately contacted Der Dau and spoke with Kathleen. Her response was disinterested and apathetic. She told me all new leather boots are stiff and take time to stretch out. I explained that the zipper didn’t make it more than halfway up the shaft with a 3” gap at the top. I explained that the leather upgrades were incorrect. She was non-responsive. I asked for their email address so that I could send photos. They Still did NOT respond. I called again the following day, again, I received a lackluster response from Kathleen. I was told to put scotch tape where the zippers stopped, send the boots back and they would let the leather out. But Joe TOOK CUSTOM MEASUREMENTS!!! Now they were going to rely on scotch tape to make corrections, and “letting out the leather” was not going to correct the fit. I asked about the incorrect design and leathers used and she did not respond. The boots needed New shafts. Again when I mentioned that, there was no response.

In addition, at the point of sale Joe had offered a Show Special, a $300 Boot Tree/Boot Bag/Boot Care Kit for $150. What I received was a pair of plastic boot trees that retail on Amazon for $29.94. I asked about that, she made a vague response that they would send it out, which they never did. But what about the boots?

I agreed to put the tape on the boots as she instructed (see photos attached) and asked her to send a return shipping label. The label was not sent. I contacted her twice more for the Shipping Label and still it was never sent. At that point I told them I wanted a total refund, I was told they have a No Refund Policy.

On Monday November 13 I attempted to contact them via Social Media and was blocked. At that point I knew that they had No Intention of making Any effort to correctly fill the order. The Whole Situation reeks of a fraudulent transaction.
I Finally Shipped the boots, and all accompanying items back to Der Dau on Tuesday November 14, and I have Fed Ex proof of delivery from Weds. November 15. I have not heard anything from Der Dau. .

When a customer makes a purchase, especially a CUSTOM ORDER there is an assumption of a WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY. That the item purchased will actually be Useable/Wearable. This item was not, the accompanying photos prove it and the Merchant has NEVER ACKNOWLEDGED THE ISSUE. There was a lackluster offer to make a partial correction and to date they have never followed through. They have Never reached out to me, I was chasing them for a resolution to this issue.

I am currently disputing the charges via my credit card company. Their response to the cc company was that they produced the boots, shipped them to me and they arrived, and Oh, by the way No Refunds.

YESTERDAY, Dec 21, 2023, Joseph Der called me. From a blocked phone number. My cell read “Unknown No Caller ID” I almost didn’t answer it as I thought it was a scam call. Basically it was. What legitimate business makes a call from a blocked number? After 6 weeks from my receipt of the incomplete/incorrect product, and 5 weeks after the product was returned to them, he only reached out yesterday because of the Credit Card Company’s Second charge reversal. He called to bully and intimidate me with threats of legal action. Again, not the actions of a legitimate business. He stated to not have received or seen any of the emails I sent. However, during the conversation, he referenced photos that were only sent via those emails. He made vague claims that the boots have been under repair all this time but could not give me a status or timeframe.

It’s Too Little, Too Late. When a Customer makes a purchase, in this case a very expensive Custom Order there is an assumption of a WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY. That the item purchased will be useable/wearable. This item was not and Der Dau Never acknowledged the issue, Never reached out, Never acted in Good Faith. Six weeks without communication from Der Dau. This transaction and interaction with the company lacks integrity. After six weeks I have moved on and am no longer interested in this transaction. My only intent is to get my money back. When I shared this with him, he only repeated his threats of legal action. I will Not be bullied or harassed into completing a fraudulent transaction. STAY FAR FAR AWAY FROM DER DAU.


I’m sorry you’re going through that! It has the ring of truth (no firsthand experience with Der Dau but I’ve had similar experiences with other equestrian businesses). I hope your credit card company is responsive, but a Better Business Bureau complaint can also be helpful in situations like this.