Disclaimer: This is Linzy's opinion on the QHP Dorah. This does not represent the official opinion of The Distinguished Rider as a company.
When Marissa and I first started discussing bringing on QHP boots and all the different models, the Dorah instantly caught my eye. I've been dreaming of a boot with patent accents for my show-only boots. As I only show once or twice a year, I’ve been looking for a boot that is still of good quality, but within a limited budget. At $265, I have found that the QHP Dorah is a great option.
My initial reaction to seeing the boots in person is that they’re a showstopper! The QHP Dorah is an elegant boot with just enough bling from the rhinestones and the patent accents. The leather quality is that of other off the shelf brands. It is not as soft as Kingsley's Aspen leathers, but not as thick as the Kingsley Paxson leather.
I purchased the 36 Wide, which is an EU36 foot (US Women's 5), 44cm height, and 36 cm calf.
I will say, one of the downsides to these boots is the limited sizing options. Each foot size only has one height option and two calf width options (regular and wide) which means not everyone will fit into a QHP boot. That being said, the boots come with an elastic panel which allows for some adjustability. For the Dorah, the elastic panel is located on the inside front of the boot.
For reference, I wear a 36/C/L in Kingsley, which is an EU36 foot, 41.5cm height, and a 36cm calf. So while the wide option fits for calf width, the boot is around 3cm too tall. Our solution? Heel lifts. Heel lifts are a great way to add some height to your leg in your boots if your boots are too tall, or to help ease the break-in process. In my case, I will probably keep the heel lifts in just for the added touch of height.
Break In Process
In the last two years I have purchased two pairs of Kingsleys (the Kingsley Aspen 01 Special and a winter pair of Kingsley Orlando 01s), and with those boots I essentially tried the boots on to ensure they fit the first day, and then went out to the barn to take them for a ride the next day. In comparison, I wore the QHP Dorah’s around the house three times while doing household chores before taking them to the barn. They will still need a few more rides before I truly feel they are “broken in”. That being said, this was not unexpected for me! With the stiffness of the leather, I was prepared for the boots to need to have a longer break in period.
Tip for polo-style/front zippers: When zipping: point your toe and flex the ankle to help make zipping easier
The QHP Dorah is a great boot for someone on a budget, provided that person fits into the stock sizes. These boots are not going to be your everyday beater boots, but the stunning details make them a great option for light riding (1x a day), clinics, lessons, or shows! If you don't fit into the stock sizes, and don't have a huge budget for a pair of boots, I'd recommend looking at Chester Boots - completely custom for $599!
Quality - This boot has the quality of other off the shelf boot brands.
Price - At $265 this boot is a steal. Is it going to be your everyday beater boot? No, but if you are looking for a nice boot for light daily riding, showing, clinics, or lessons, this is a great option.
Elastic panel - The elastic panel gives you some adjustability in the calf of the boot if you fluctuate in calf size, or are in between sizes.
Sizing - The limited sizing options means this boot is not for everyone. If this boot can fit your calf width but not your height, consider if heel lifts would help make the boots fit better for you.
Break in - In the last 3 years I have purchased 4 pairs of boots and this is the first pair I have felt like I would have to wear them around the house first to break them in before swinging a leg up in the saddle.