Field boots are easy to put on for riding to hounds, especially when they have a zipper up the back.
But I have a sad story to tell about a pair of boots that did not fit because they weren’t of the field variety nor did they have a zipper.
My husband and I were driving off to our local hunt meet, while our two horses settled into their hay on the trailer. Hunting made my husband nervous and he’d spent the entire morning telling me that he shouldn’t have let me talk him into it. (You know how these husband and wife conversations can go).
As is the custom, he had along with him a couple of hip flasks filled with cognac, to be drunk during the actual hunt. But instead he’d used the forty-five minute trip, while I drove, to empty them and calm his nerves.
We arrived at the location in plenty of time to get ourselves and the horses ready, and began by pulling on our dress boots sans zippers.
Except that my husband’s boots wouldn’t go onto his feet. He said he’d brought the wrong ones.
You can understand how, given the events of the morning, I was extremely skeptical about the truth of this statement. He knew that I just knew that he’d done this on purpose to avoid today’s hunting.
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While he anxiously struggled and struggled to make those wrong boots fit, I was busy giving him “The Look“ ─ the one that husbands in trouble recognize so well.
Suddenly there was a pop! and his back went.
Now he was worried that I wouldn’t believe his back was really wrenched.
But I could see that those boots didn’t fit, and watching him in agony I was forced to believe that he really had hurt himself. He needed two months of chiropractic treatment before his back was in order again.
Now, if only he’d had a pair of field boots….
What Are Field Boots?
Field boots are so called because they are the type of boot traditionally worn by officers of the rank ‘field grade’ or higher.
Unlike the stiffer dress and dressage boots, field boots are laced at the vamp (the upper front part of the boot) which creates more give at the ankle. This makes them flexible enough for the rider to push her heels down in the shorter stirrup length used when working over fences.
Field Boots are therefore acceptable footwear for all jumping disciplines: show jumping; hunter jumpers; the stadium and cross-country jumping phases in eventing, and hunt seat equitation. They can also be worn for fox hunting, and are usually black.
Review of the TuffRider Ladies Starter Field Boots
As the name suggests, TuffRider has made these field boots for those starting out in their riding career. They are also great for jump riders who don’t wish to spend a fortune on their boots.
Manufactured from luxurious faux leather which feels real, they are hard to tell apart from the genuine article and this makes them popular with animal lovers and/or vegetarians who prefer to avoid real leather.
TuffRider Ladies Starter Field Boots have sculpted calves to facilitate a great fit but it also gives them an elegant appearance in the saddle. The finishing touch is the Spanish tops which create the illusion of increased leg length.
Thanks to the zip running up the whole back of the shaft, they are easy to put on.
The full lining, good cushioning in the feet and flexible construction contribute to an immediately comfortable fit and these boots don’t need a long break-in period. However, one thing to consider is the color sock you wear with these: the lining makes white socks turn purple, so use black or dark blue socks with them!
Being water resistant and easy to clean, they look good all the time without your having to put in much effort. This is a real boon for riders with busy lifestyles who don’t have hours to spend at the barn polishing their footwear after every ride. A simple wipe over with a soft cloth and you’re done.
You can extend the life of the boot further if you put riding boot rubbers over them in the winter, but over time there will be some peeling of the synthetic leather.
The Starter Back Zip Field Boot is more suited to the taller rider. If you are on the shorter side, you may initially find them a bit too high and digging into the back of your knee. They will go down as the ankle area loosens, but some riders have had them shortened further.
Whereas most buyers find the sizes run true, a few have had problems with the calf width not being a good fit as they are in between widths. But if you use the chart below you will be able to determine whether the boot will fit you.
TuffRider Ladies Starter Field Boots Size Chart
|Outside height (inches)||20"||20.5"||20.5"||20.5"||20.75"||20.75"|
|Back height (inches)||16.5"||17.25"||17.5"||17.75"||18"||18.25"|
|Slim calf width (inches)||13"||13"||13.5"||14"||14"||14.5"|
|Regular calf width (inches)||14"||14"||14.5"||15"||15"||15.5"|
|Wide calf width||15"||15"||15.5"||16"||16"||16.5"|
And here is a video from Tuffrider on how to measure for tall riding boots.
The TuffRider ladies starter field boots come in black only, and in whole sizes 6 through 11, with a regular, slim or wide calf fitting.
The TuffRider Ladies Starter Field Boots don’t shine up as well as ‘real’ dressage boots but this is to be expected with the less expensive products. This is not a problem at the lower competition levels. As long as your boots are clean, the judge cares more about your performance than how much you paid for your footwear!
This is the perfect boot for anyone starting out in one of the jumping disciplines, and can be used for schooling to save your show boots or worn for competitions and fox hunting.
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