Everything You Need for Tall Boots

17 Aug
 Tall boots are worn largely for more formal events such as shows, clinics, schooling or if you just prefer the feel of the tall boots. They create a polished look while providing protection from chafing and extra grip on the saddle. We all know that your tall boots are an investment!  They should be properly taken care of to maximize their life span and keep them looking sharp.  So, we have a few handy tips and accessories to help you make that happen!

Storing Your Boots

It’s amazing the difference that it makes but the biggest way that you can help your boots to last longer is just to store them correctly!

Since tall boots are just that, tall, they need some extra support to help them keep their shape.

boottrees

The easiest way that you can  preserve the shape of your boots is to simply keep a set of boot trees in them.

You can make your own (but if you’re like me, those DIY projects never ever seems to get done), or you could invest in a set of boot trees.

Plastic boot trees are very popular, economical, and automatically adjust to the width of your boots, keeping them gently in place.

To use the boot trees simply pull the mechanism at the top to contract the width of the boot trees, slide them into the calf of the boot and let the mechanism go! They will adjust to the width of the boot to keep them standing upright.

After you’re done with your boots it’s really easy to just throw them on the tack room floor. However, dirt and dust can do a number on your leather which can cause them to dry up, crack, split and deteriorate over time.  Finding a nice boot bag is a super easy alternative to throwing them on the floor and a great way to protect them from the outside elements whenever you may go.

nobleequinetallbootbagOur favorite boot bag is the Noble Outfitters Just For Kicks Tall Boot bag because it’s sharp looking, provide lots of protection for your boots and has some great features for travel.

This bag is fully lined and padded which is always appreciated during travel and for rough handling around the barn.  It is also weather resistant which is great not only for when it rains but for when you mean to spray your horse off with the hose and miss your mark.

It has a hard bottom with four little, rubber feet for stability and to protect against any moisture soaking up through the bottom of your bag.  There is a padded interior divider which prevents the boots from rubbing against each other and scuffing their counterpart up.  It also comes with interior compartments perfect for your spurs, boot polish, and even your half chaps!

Protection From The Elements

As much as we love our tall boots and would like to keep safely in their boot bag, at some point we need to actually wear them out in the elements.

superiorovershoeA great (and cheap!) way to protect your boots when you aren’t in the show ring and they aren’t in the boot bag is to wear a pair of overshoes.

Overshoes are like a little rubber shoe…for your shoes. Simply slip the overshoes over the sole of your riding boots to protect them from anything you may walk through, whether it be rain, snow, mud, salt or anything else that you may be stepping in at the barn (you know what I’m saying here).

Not only are they a great way to protect your boots from the elements but they also are a great hack to help keep your boots clean right before you step into the show ring!

Clean and Polish

You can never go wrong with keeping your boots cleaned and polished. Remember, that dirt and grime can really play a number on how long your boots hold up for you! At the bare minimum it is best to always wipe away dirt and grime with a soft cloth or brush after you ride just like your saddle!!

Boots get dirty.  That’s just what they do.  So it’s a good idea to regularly clean them outside of just wiping them down after your ride. Effax LeatherCombi is our favorite cleaner that we like to recommend to get in there and really help to break up that nasty grime that has built up on your boots.

effax leather combiWe really like it for boot cleaning because it is an innovative combination of gentle cleaning and unique deep action. The grease-free solution removes even the most stubborn dirt (yes, please!) and provides leather with a good grip. Thanks to the deep action, the leather becomes tear-resistant and supple. Now, that’s some good stuff right there!!

If you’re unsure of how to best take care of your leather, don’t you worry!  We have you covered on how to best take care of your tack in another one of our blog posts which you can read here!

boot-cleaning1-smaller-jpgCleaning your boots takes one extra additional step than most of your traditional leather cleaning adventures…you will need to polish them.  Yup, polishing your boots is really important right before you riding into that show ring or to just maintain a professional, put together appearance. Choosing a polish really boils down to what you find to be your personal favorite.  Here at VTO Saddlery we have a few that we really like!

effaxbootpolishThe Effax Boot Polish comes in an easy-to use squeeze tube with an integrated sponge. Simply squeeze the tube and the polish dispenses through a small hole that is in the attached sponge. It’s really perfect for your riding boots because Effax Boot-Polish is extremely dirt and water repellent. It also makes it really easy to polish the leather up again very quickly.

shiresbootshinekitShires Boot Shine Kit is a super convenient boot shining kit for anyone looking to do a really thorough job of polishing those boots!!  This all in one kit features black and brown polish as well as a handy polishing cloth, a brush, and a shoe horn. It all comes neatly packed away in a black round case for easy storage and transportation.

uradURAD cleans, moisturizes, protects and shines in 30 seconds without buffing! Now, that’s going to be the option for you busy riders out there. It’s 100% natural and biodegradable and is efficient in protecting your leather against water, salt, calcium and mold problems. Lucky for you there is also an applicator sponge already included!!

effaxlthrspeedyshineThe Effax Leather Speedy Shine comes pre-conditioned and ready to go! Simply take off the lid and run it over your boots for a quick and easy shine. Perfect for when you’re in a pinch for time and a much better shine than that ole spit shine, that we have all done.

For Your Comfort

While properly fitted tall boots should be fairly comfortable, there are products available to make wearing them even easier. Tall boots have really changed in the last few years and the newer boots are getting more and more comfortable to break in. However, tall boots typically tend to “drop” about 2 inches at the ankle after they have been broken in. That means when you initially get a new pair of boots they are probably going to be a little tall for you at first and may be a little stiff.

cadillacheelriserThe Cadillac Heel Comforters and Risers are a quick, economical fix for this slight issue with breaking in new tall boots. These boot accessories are a cushion made of a cellular rubber molded to fit the heel, to cushion every step & to elevate the foot to prevent rubbing at ankle. The comforters are then covered with genuine leather.

This heel comforter and riser raises your heel up so that your shoe does not rub your ankle or, in the case of brand new tall boots, the back of your knee. These will make it a lot more comfortable on your feet when you are breaking in your new boots.

etbootleggingsIf you need extra cushion and protection from rubs, looking into a pair of Boot Leggings may be a good solution. They go on like a sock without a foot bed and fit above the ankle and extend upward to just beneath the knee.  This extra bit of padding and protection really helps with breaking in stiffer boots. They are made from lycra and cotton and are available in both heavyweight and lightweight options so you can wear them year round.

Something else to keep in mind when you’re breaking in newer boots is that sometimes they can be a bit tight until the leather has had a chance to relax.  For those “tight” moments I recommend looking into a slimmer boot sock which will make zipping them up or pulling them on or off much easier.

 

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Zocks are a really popular brand of socks made just for that purpose.  They are ultra thin and silky for easy on and off with tighter tall boots!

 

 

noble peddiesAnother great pair of socks that are made of a thinner, silkier material are the Noble Outfitters Peddies.  They have the thin material around the calf but also have a thicker, more supportive foot bed for those needing a bit of extra padding around the foot.

All The Extra Accessories

boot pullsOnce you have your slinky socks on, you may still need the help of boot pulls to get your boots on! Simply slip the metal hooks through the tabs on the inside of your boots, put your foot in, and give the wooden handles a tug.  The boot should slip right on!

 

bootjackNow, while getting them on might be hard enough, sometimes getting them off is worse. If your boots are fairly easy and broken in, you probably will only need the help of a really, really good friend to pull them off for you. Now, if none of your friends wants to be that close to your feet, a boot jack will do the trick.

Step on the treads of the boot jack with one foot, and then hook the heel of your other boot into the jack. Then, with a bit of leverage your foot will pull right out! Now,  if your boots are more difficult to remove, you may need two really, really, really good friends, but you can also try the Lollipop Boot Jack to get that leverage that you need.

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From time to time you may find that the laces on your field boots may break.  We know, that can be a bit of a bummer but no worries, you can simply replace those laces!

Field boot laces are a different length than most traditional shoe or boot laces so just be sure you are getting yourself laces that are specified for field boots when you’re ready for a replacement.   

zipperlubricantZip up boots are typically much easier and quicker to get on and off, but it’s a good idea to take care of the zipper. The zippers can wear out eventually and need to be replaced.

We recommend keeping the zippers clear of dirt build up by and by lubricating them regularly so that they zip on and off easily without a lot of tugging.


Now you should be ready to go with all the accessories and care that you may need for your tall boots to keep them looking great and sticking around longer. For all your tall boot needs visit us at http://www.vtosaddlery.com or give us a call at 1-800-506-5344!

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