Yet another riding boot question...

I need help! I started off with a pair of synthetic Ovations (Synergy Field Boot) that finally broke yesterday after only having them for 3 months. The zipper pull totally separated from the track and cost of repairing the zipper is the same as buying the same boot. Literally a 1.5 weeks before my synthetic’s gave out, I just purchased what would be my show boots (during Dover’s $25 off $100+ sale, Tredstep Donatellos) but now since they’re the only boots I have, I’m going to have to use them for schooling and showing…but I would rather have another boot to save for shows.

I’m originally thinking of buying yet another second pair of tall boots to reserve as my show pair/backup schoolies, but now I’m torn between either buying another pair of tall boots or to just save my Donatellos and go to the paddock/half-chaps route to only use for schooling because less $$, can help quiet lower leg, helps with strengthening ankles, yada yada yada…

I did paddocks/half-chaps when I was younger but as a recent returning rider I have been using tall boots. The Donatellos give me great grip compared to the synthetics I was using, I don’t have issues with my ankles collapsing or buckling while riding, do half-chaps do the same as leather tall boots?..Regardless of buying suede, synthetic, or full on leather?

Also, I know most riders who do have multiple pairs of tall boots to usually save the pricier pair for shows and the less pricey one for schooling. I am assuming that the cheaper boot will wear out the fastest because e.g., cheaper materials, not of great quality materials and zippers, etc. compared to pricier pair. Is there such a thing where you wear the better quality, most likely expensive boot for schooling, save the cheaper (but not as ridden in) boots for shows? Or is this just due to personal preference? I was thinking of getting Ego 7s to school in because I’ve read good reviews about them here on COTH and because of how well they’re made, one would think that they would stand up to the rigors of getting ridden in all the time.

Side note: I’m not a pro rider or ammy, I ride 1 horse for about 1.5 hrs about 4-6x a week, sometimes if I want to I ride 2 horses but that usually happens about 2-3x a month. I take a wide width-regular height in boots and I’ve only found a couple of synthetics that will fit me. I could buy the same synthetic boots again but my left calf grew so I can’t fit in their widest option (maybe that’s why they broke LOL) anymore.

TL;DR - I broke my schooling boots after I just bought new boots that I meant to save for shows, and want your opinion on whether I should buy another pair of boots for schooling or if I should buy paddock’s/half-chaps. Also, if I were to go with the tall boot route: would it be more economical for me to invest more for schooling boots since I’m going to be riding in them more, rather than show boots vs than the other way around (like everyone usually does)?

Thanks in advance everyone! :slight_smile:

Could you contact Ovation about the short life of your boots, and see if they will replace them.

Agree contact Ovation and/or the place you bought your boots. Personally, I would replace with a pair of leather tall boots, you can find some great deals on used boots on eBay if you are willing to chance the fit. If you know certain brands/sizes fit you then look for those brands. Also, check the online consignment tack shops for boots, plenty of deals out there without breaking the bank. Keep the nice pair for shows and have a good fitting functional pair for riding. I like riding in field boots for everyday riding, I’m not a fan of stiff boots. Nothing wrong with using half chaps and paddocks boots either.

Concur with contacting Ovation and seeing what they’ll do for you.

I’ve got tall boots as well as paddock boots with half-chaps/puttees. I don’t find any real difference in comfort or utility except that in our often muddy conditions here in wet East TN paddock boots are easier and faster to clean!!! :slight_smile:

Cheaper boots don’t always mean cheaper construction. A good pair of French Calf tall boots will be significantly more than a pair made from generic cow hide even though the French Calf is less “durable.”

For a competition you have to meet the demands of the competition (formal and informal). For schooling it’s what works the best for you in your particular discipline and location.

Good luck as you go forward.


My daily rides are mostly in paddock boots and half chaps. However, since you’ve found a pair of boots that fit you (Donatellos), keep an eye out for a second pair. I’ve had really good luck by discounted boots on Tack of the Day or eBay, but you need to know what you like.

3 months? I would be demanding a refund or replacement.

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I suppose it depends on how often you show. If you are going off to a show per month, or more often, then it makes sense to have a total show outfit that you keep clean and packed and ready to go. If you are only going to one or two schooling shows a year, or just thinking about showing in the future, it doesn’t make sense to buy and not use a pricey piece of show-day equipment like boots, a bridle, saddle, etc.

I suppose it also depends on how rough you are on your tall boots if you walk through mud and if you insist on hosing off the horse in your field boots, which is not a good idea.

And also how much turn-out matters in your discipline. If the well-worn boots are clean and well-polished, I don’t think you can see scuff marks from the judge’s booth, especially since those tend to be on the inside of the boot.

On the other hand, I also don’t find any real difference in my leg, riding in tall field boots, paddock boots plus half chaps, or indeed just paddock boots. I am picky about the footbed in my boots, whatever the style of boot, though, and if I had to go buy good quality paddock boots and good quality half-chaps new just for riding, they would add up to pretty much the cost of my tall boots. At the moment, I am riding and doing barn work in Ariat H20, and putting on half chaps most of the time, but not always. Last summer I was wearing field boots with spurs to ride and the Ariat H20 for barn work.

If I was jumping or doing a lesson or clinic, I would have something up my leg, field boots or half chaps, not just a plain paddock boot.

Most people don’t start out with two pairs of boots. They start out with one pair of good boots, then when that pair becomes too bad for showing, they get designated as their work boots and a new pair is purchased.

I also prefer to introduce as few “new” things as possible on show days. That means, I prefer to show in the pair of boots I school in everyday. Good pair of tall boots usually get polished up very nicely.

Thanks everyone for your responses!

js my trainer told me I should have a 2nd tall boot to keep as a spare or show boot too, or if anything just get paddocks/half chaps since she uses that setup primarily when training/riding at home. I’m just the type where I would rather put one thing on vs having to put two and that the half chaps could be that one other thing that I forget at home!

bogie the Donatellos are on closeout on a majority of tack websites/stores because I believe Tredstep is phasing them out since the Donatello IIs are here. So right now there $199 shipped on Dover and I belive I’ve found a $10 off coupon, so $189 shipped. ! I do have the extra $ to just get them but since I just got a pair so recently, and am unsure of how they will hold up, I don’t want to end up being stuck with two bad boots in case they aren’t any good if you know what I mean! Haha.

Guilherme awesome point. I just can’t help but think that cheaper boots = not so good quality. I just can’t help but have huuuuge distrust of all zippered boots! I mean I love how easy they are to put on and take off but I can’t help but feel that the majority of boots under $300 will have sucky zippers. Which is why I was looking at the Ego 7s and how I believe they have a guarantee on their zippers.

Scribbler good point! I definitely plan and want to show more than 1-2 schooling shows a year, and with the leather boots I have now I have been only wearing them while riding, not before, and definitely take them off right after tack gets taken off the horse. And yes! I feel like while chaps & paddocks can be cheap, would the cheap ones be able to stand up to daily wear and tear? And If I invest in ones that have good reviews that will stand up to daily wear and tear, and end up costing the same as buying a pair of tall boots, I feel like I should just buy another pair of tall boots lol. Of course in the end that is obviously up to me! I hate being so indecisive :frowning:

I think I will shoot Ovation an email. I originally bought these boots from Riding Warehouse and they won’t accept returns or exchanges unless they are still in new condition I believe. I’ll still give them a call, will post an update with their responses.

Yeah three months is a bust. I calculated the cost of wearing them per ride for their lifespan (on average let’s say…about 4 rides since it was raining on Feb lol) to about $2 (boots were $85).