Are My Riding Boots Too Tall?

Are My Riding Boots Too Tall?

Why It's Important NOT To Make Boots Too Tall

We’re back with another article in TDR’s Boot Education Series on #TheDistinguishedBlog! This week we’re talking about boot height! Check out some other articles in this series:

Do I want a Tapered Ankle or a Non-Tapered Ankle? 
Do I want a “hard” boot or a “soft” boot?
How many pairs of boots should I own?


A well fitting pair of boots
(A well fitting boot that is not too tall)

Many times, we hear from riders that they want their boots extremely tall so that they do not look too short when they drop/break in.

There are several problems, however, that can occur when a fitter makes a boot too tall. 

  1. A boot that is too tall might impede your ability to bend your knee, and it could be extremely uncomfortable!
    • Boots might be uncomfortable when breaking in due to the added height for drop, but, after break-in, you should not feel this discomfort! The boot should drop to naturally accommodate your knee shape and circumference
  2. When a boot drops, that excess leather has to go somewhere, and it usually falls around the ankle.
    • Excess leather around the ankle can become uncomfortable while riding, and it can lead to your boots breaking down faster than what is considered “normal.” Any excess leather will rub together, and friction will eventually cause abrasions and even holes in your leather.
  3. Trust us, no matter how tall you make them, your boots will always fall to a specific point on your leg, depending on your anatomy.
    • More on this later… For now, make sure you ask your boot fitter about how the anatomy of your leg will affect how much the boot drops. 

    So, you might ask, “If my anatomy will not allow you to make the boot as tall as I would like, how can we elongate my leg as much as possible?” That’s easy!  We can make the shape and height of the outer bow tall to give that illusion of a longer leg. A high outer bow is frequently referred to as a Spanish top, high top, Spanish bow, or dressage bow.

    A regular height bow will not be as tall as the Spanish top, but it may be more appropriate depending on your height. This is subjective and the appropriate bow height is determined by you and your fitter. 

    Having said all of that, please understand that we CAN make the boot as tall as you would like, but there will be consequences in terms of longevity and comfort. 

    In summation, a boot that is too tall might be uncomfortable, there may be effects on the longevity of the boot, and you need to be realistic about the anatomy of your leg and knee.  

    P.S. Boots that are too short are also not so great, so try to find a happy medium 🙂

    This boot is too tall for this rider. Note the excessive rolls around the ankles of extra fabric

    Note the excessive wrinkling around the ankle. This will eventually lead to abrasions on either side of the heel and discomfort around the ankle.

    More views of a boot that is too tall

    You may also notice creasing, bending, and folding at the top of your boot behind and/or on the insides of your knees.
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