Short Horseback Riding Boots: Buying Guide

When it comes to horseback riding, tall riding boots can sometimes feel restrictive and immobile. Many riders opt to use short horseback riding boots alone or worn with chaps. This is great option if your aim is to have a comfortable and casual ride.

I myself prefer short horseback riding boots compared to tall riding boots. If you’re like me and you’re looking for a good pair of boots, here’s my list of the best short boots that can be used for horseback riding:

TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots

 See here on Amazon.

If you’re a horseback rider on a budget or just starting lessons, the TuffRider Starter Front Zip Paddock Boots are a great choice. They’re 100% synthetic leather, which means they’re easy to clean and require little care. These boots secure on the foot with a front zipper, which makes them perfect for layering in the winter.

While this may not be something a horseback rider wants to dwell on, these boots are easy to slip on and easy to slip off. This means if there’s a riding accident, and the rider is injured, it will be much less painful for the rider to get this boot off rather than a tie-up boot.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • 100% synthetic leather for easy care
  • Front zip that makes the boot easy to slip on and off
  • Perfect for layering in the winter months
  • Positive comments about the boot being made wide

 

Cons:

  • Synthetic leather isn’t considered high quality
  • Once the zip on the boot is broken, the boot is useless
  • Negative comments about no arch or cushion in the boot

 

This boot has 585 reviews on Amazon, and it receives a 3.6 ranking out a 5-stars. While it may not be the best quality boot, it’s a great steal for the price it’s at. In the horse world, your footwear is usually put through the wringer. Considering the quality and price of the shoe, they stand up well to whatever is thrown their way.

When I started riding lessons when I was young, my mom purchased these boots for me. They got the job done and seemed to last a good while as well. If you have a kid who’s still growing, I recommend these shoes. They’re cheap enough that you can buy a pair in a different size when your kid needs it.

ARIAT English Paddock Boot

 See here on Amazon

If you’re looking for a short horseback riding boot with a front zipper and higher quality, I recommend the ARIAT English Paddock Boot. ARIAT is known for its durable leather products and these boots are no exception. I’ve had ARIAT boots that have lasted for years, no matter what I put them through.

The English Paddock Boot is 100% leather; while this may require more care (and more money) it also means that the boot is more durable and has a much better look then a synthetic leather boot.

Pros:

  • Trustworthy brand
  • 100% real leather
  • Durable and long-lasting material
  • High-quality front zipper
  • Good traction from the sole
  • Can be worn with chaps in the low-level show ring

 

Cons:

  • Not budget-friendly
  • Requires more care for the leather material
  • Once the zipper breaks, the boot is useless

 

Out of 53 customer reviews on Amazon, these boots score a 4.3 rating out of 5-star. I personally prefer tie-up boots just because they seem to last longer, but these boots are a great choice for someone who wants a durable front zipper riding boot. If worn with the right chaps, these boots would work in the show ring.

HORZE Kilkenny Paddock Boots

 See here on Amazon.

Here’s another budget-friendly option for a short horseback riding boot. Instead of having a front zipper, the HORZE Kilkenny Paddock Boots have a zipper on the back of the boots and laces on the front, simply for cosmetic detail. This still allows for easy on and off while incorporating a more classy look of lace-up boots.

These boots have many of the qualities that the Tuffrider paddock boots do; they’re 100% synthetic leather, allowing for easy care. These boots are popular among younger riders who still have room to grow. They’re good quality for a cheap price, which makes them easily replaceable when they’ve been outgrown.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Classier look with the cosmetic laces
  • Easy to slip on and off due to back zipper
  • 100% synthetic leather for easy care
  • Great for kids who are growing because they can easily be replaced

Cons:

  • Synthetic leather is not considered high quality
  • Once the zipper breaks, the boots are useless

 

This boot scores a 4.4 rating out of 5-stars on Amazon. If you are wanting to attend some low-level shows, these boots could pass in the show ring. I’ve noticed that with back-zipper boots, the zipper doesn’t tend to wear as much as front-zipper boots. As long as you take good care of these shoes, they should last you for some time.

ARIAT Scout Paddock Boot

 See here on Amazon

Now it’s time for some real leather, real lace-up boots; introducing the ARIAT Scout Paddock Boots. Let me explain why I’m such a fan of lace-up boots; they show off the angle of your ankle sho much better when your foot is in the stirrup. Basically, it gives the impression that your heel is down! This is exactly what these ARIAT boots do as well!

ARIAT is already known for its quality products and durability; take away any nuisance of a zipper on the boot and you have a whole new level of prolonged boot life. Lace-up boots tend to last much longer than zip-up boots; hence, they will always be my first choice.

Pros:

  • Trustworthy brand
  • durable
  • 100% real leather
  • lace-up helps support the ankle
  • Shows of the angle of the ankle in the stirrup
  • Can be worn with chaps in the low-level show ring

Cons:

  • Real leather requires more care
  • More expensive than most would like

 

Out of 111 customer reviews on Amazon, this boot scores a 4.5 out of 5-stars. I actually used to have a pair of these boots and they’re hardcore. They lasted me five years, and I was not easy on them and I probably didn’t take that great of care of them. I love these boots and I would recommend them to anyone.

Timberland White Ledge Mid Ankle Boot

 See here on Amazon.

Now it’s time to get down to the real deal. If you want my honest opinion about the best short horseback riding boots you can wear, I’ll tell you to get a pair of hiking boots. You may think I’m crazy, but most short horseback riding boots are worn around the barn to do chores or just worn for casual riding. I want durable, hardcore shoes that are, above all, comfortable for those types of things.

The current boot I wear now is the Timberland White Ledge Mid Ankle Boot. They’re super comfortable, water-proof, real leather, offer great traction, and are a nice thick material to protect my toes from horse’s hooves. While yes, there’s no way you could wear these in the show ring, they go great with full-chaps or jodhpurs. I’ve had my pair for 3 years and they show no sign of wear.

Pros:

  • 100% real leather
  • Water-proof
  • durable
  • Tough material to protect your feet from horse’s hooves
  • Great for all weather
  • Can wear thick socks
  • Go great with full chaps or jodhpurs
  • Comfortable and offers great support
  • Soles have good traction to help keep your foot in the stirrup

Cons:

  • Does not cover the ankle
  • Requires more care due to being real leather (although tbh, I don’t care for mine that well)
  • Cannot be used for showing 

 

Out of 1,217 reviews on Amazon, this boot has 4.4 out of 5 stars. The reviews speak for themselves; this is a great boot to have in general and an even better boot to have to use for horseback riding or barn chores. This is my top pick for short horseback riding boots.

Cons of Wearing Short Horseback Riding Boots

Best Short Horseback Riding Boots

Before you go and purchase your pair of short horseback riding boots, there are some things to be aware of. One reason the English riding attire tends to lean towards tall boots is so the rider’s inner calf will be protected from the pinching of the stirrups. If you decide to wear short horseback riding boots, you will always want to wear them with either jodhpurs or a pair of chaps. These will protect your legs where the short riding boot cannot.

When it comes to tall boots, the rider’s pants can easily be tucked into the boot, whether it’s form-fitting riding pants or even skinny jeans. With short riding boots, however, the rider’s pant leg could easily become untucked and ride up.

Now that you’ve got your feet protected, it’s time to get your head protected. Check out our article for the 8 Best Cheap Horseback Riding Helmets. If you’re on a budget and looking for a horseback riding helmet, this article gives great recommendations!



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