Breaking In Tall Boots

Bending and flexing…

In the old boots, the Ariat Volant’s that simply won’t die, (Announced their death last winter but they haven’t decomposed yet.) tacking up is no problem.

bending in tall boots

Somehow stuck with three new, or newish, pairs that need full breaking in.  Riding with the zippers open at the top, heel lifts, and tack sponges folded at the top edge, is more of a survival strategy.  They still hurt and chafe.  Who’s got time for that?!

Absolutely no bending like this in them.

breaking in new tall boots

Current offenders are the Ariat Volant V’s, the Ariat Volant S’s, and the De Niro Ride and Fly’s.  Good times!

Magical Breaking In Tips welcome 🙂

11 thoughts on “Breaking In Tall Boots

    1. Yes! A necessary evil. A tool. A protection still instrument of torture.
      Yeah, I’ll go with ballet slippers! Remembering those 7-8 years of young age ballet, with little cotton balls in the front to soak up blood once we’d graduated to the pointe slippers 🙂
      I’m not sold on the boot concept yet, but still refuse to ride in half chaps, way too wobbly and clowny feel for me.
      So, suffering 🙂


  1. I have De Niros (not the ride and flys, just the regular dressage boots), and I found there was almost no break in time at all! If you get the right size, they work within a couple of rides. Incredible boots. Although crouching like that to put on horse boots is a tough exercise for almost any boot (or body, for that matter). LOVE my De Niro boots.

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    1. Same as my trainer, she loves them!! I still won’t believe the “no break in time” though. She says the same but whatevs – I’ve got little meek tulip skin and frail tendons. A little sock-rub the wrong way and I’m out of commission for 3 days. Perhaps slight exaggeration 😉

      Seriously, I’ve had to stick with tallboots with the new, more ergonomical, footbeds. As soon as I try with something more dressy, my feet can’t run as well. Still really love the De Niros though!
      Maybe in 15 years, once showing above 4th. (Please be sooner.)


  2. Have no breaking-in tips except wearing the darn things. I put large band-aids over the spots I know are going to get hurt…and after-the-fact for the spots that I didn’t anticipate. My Ariats were the worst. Since then I’ve had two pairs of Mountain Horse which felt pretty comfortable right from the get-go. I never put the boots on, however, until I’ve finished tacking up. Just a personal preference (I hate dirty anything, so I refuse to work in my riding boots because I know they’ll get ugly really quickly…muck shoes/boots take all the punishment even though changing footwear is a bit inconvenient).

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    1. Yes for the Mountain Horse – never had a problem with them in the past. (What am I doing with the Ariats?!!!)
      I usually keep my jogging shoes on until the very last too, but often, especially when talking and getting distracted, I change before the last “thing” is done and then end up doing that in the tall boots. Usually OK, since I keep separate schooling and showing boots.
      Right now I just can’t wait until this stage is over with and I can just schlep them on and go without putting another thought. Oh yeah, and shorten the leathers a hole again…


  3. Hands down, the best way I’ve found to break in any all leather boot (including my gorgeous tall Frye boots), is the “bath tub method”. It’s a little intimidating to do to a pair of expensive boots…but it’s as simple as filling the bath up with warm water, dunking the entire boot (foot and shaft) into the warm water, putting the boot on, and wearing it until it completely dries on your leg. Once it’s dry, it will be truly custom fit to your leg and foot shape. Any color loss of the leather can be fixed with some darkening oil, or a little bit of black shoe polish. I’ve done this with Ariats, Fryes, and even (gasp!!) Parlantis…and all have turned out perfect! The other method is to simply wear your new boots in the wash rack…get them nice and wet while you’re bathing your horse, and then again, wear them until they completely dry while on your leg.

    It sounds scary to put so much water on nice new boots, but I’m telling you it works. Google it and you’ll find lots of horse forum conversations on the topic as well. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You just upped my confidence level on this.
      Yes, have read about it, but wasn’t convinced. Thinking this is what I may try with my brown boots, who are so sturdy they simply won’t “fall” and continue to be way too tall.
      I’ve been considering having them shortened (and forever disfigured, because that’s how it works.) since they’re just schooling boots. But maybe this is what I’ll try later.
      I’ve had them for years and they’re pretty much brand new since I never use them…


      1. Do try it…what have you got to lose? I think starting with your brown schooling only boots is a great idea, especially because with brown, any color loss can be beautifully restored with conditioner or some olive oil or whatever your favorite conditioning oil is.
        If you do try it, you should do a blog post about it!

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        1. Thinking maybe I will give it a shot with a brown… 🙂
          I showed in the newest pair last weekend and it went just fine. Turns out if you have thin socks enough there is more room at the top and suddenly they don’t pinch. Or maybe they did break in more than I thought on the very last hot and sweaty schooling ride 🙂


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