Paddock and Yard Boots Buyer's Guide
The Ultimate Guide to Paddock and Yard Boots
Thinking about getting a new pair of paddock or yard boots but aren’t sure which type would best meet your needs?
Paddock and yard boots are the versatile work horse of equestrian footwear. They fit in equally as well at the yard, equestrian events, or in town. But which should you choose from the vast array available?
This guide will help you decide which of these boots styles best suit your requirements.
Do You Need New Paddock Boots Or Yard Boots?
Paddock boots and yard boots are the work horse footwear for equestrians. Before deciding which type to buy, first think about what you plan to do in the boots.
Performing light duties around the yard and a bit of light horse riding puts quite different demands on footwear than spending hours a day pushing wheelbarrows and wading through mud in gateways and fields.
Next, consider whether or not the boots will also be worn for horse riding and how much time will be spent in the saddle. Safety and comfort are both of great importance whether schooling or hacking out.
The bulkier design, thicker sole, deeper tread, and lower heel of some yard boots makes them inappropriate for horse riding. These boots run the risk of the foot getting stuck in or slipping through the stirrup iron.
Paddock boots have a more stirrup-friendly design. There are many options on the market so it is not difficult to find a pair of boots that will work in the yard and for riding.
Whether you choose paddock and yard boots, they need to stand up to different situations in and around the yard and working around horses.
How To Choose Paddock And Yard Boots
Working around the yard and horses is an all season job. It can be muggy in the summer or unforgivably muddy and wet during the long winter months. Boots that will keep your feet dry and at a comfortable temperature year round are well worth the investment.
Yard boots not designed with horse riding in mind give many options for keeping your feet warm in dry. For example:
- Mid-calf and long boot styles protect your lower leg as well as your feet from draughts, mud and water.
- Thick, rubber soles and deep tread provide insulation against cold, wet ground and prevent slipping in muddy or slushy conditions.
- Materials that don’t harden or become slippery in freezing weather keep your feet and legs warm and cozy in the winter
Both paddock and yard boots are made of materials that stand up to the rough and tough conditions around the yard including urine and manure. Synthetic material like rubber, neoprene, and propylene are all hard wearing and waterproof so that your feet stay dry.
Leather boots that have been specially treated or are lined with a water repellent membrane give your feet good protection against the elements. With regular conditioning and occasional re-treating, they will retain their waterproof properties over time.
And, they are designed to provide hours of foot support to keep feet comfortable whilst doing chores, teaching or exercising horses from the ground.
For winter wear, look for insulating materials like neoprene linings, or natural wool or sheepskin insoles which keep feet warm and toasty even in freezing temperatures.
Other features to consider:
- Climate control inners that keep feet cool in summer and warm in winter
- Toecaps made of steel or composite material to protect sensitive toes in the event of being stepped on by a horse
- Anti-bacterial or odour-control inserts for foot health against the effects of perspiration
- Reflective strips to provide visibility on dark evenings or misty days.
Fashionable extras like tassels, ties and trims whilst adding nothing to the function of the boots do allow for an expression of style. Especially if you intend on wearing your boots away from the yard at equestrian events or in town.
A good pair of paddock boots can go from working around the yard work to horse riding to out and about in town.
Typically made of either waterproofed leather or synthetic materials, the slightly pointed or rounded toe and low heel gives them a brogue look. So, these boots are as attractive as they are hard wearing.
If the boots will be worn for more intensive riding than just a gentle hack around the fields or a light schooling session, choose fastenings that support the ankle and allow close contact with the horse.
Look for boots made with a sole material that sheds dirt and won’t rot when it comes into contact with manure or urine. The sole as well as surrounding stitching can become weak areas when worn excessively for mucking out or walking through rough or boggy ground.
Stylish, durable and practical, a good pair of high quality paddock boots will look great both around the yard or out in town to perfectly finish off your country-wear attire.
Pull on or with zipper or lace front closures along with elasticised panels on each side make it easy to quickly put on and take off these short boots. But check that any zips or buckles lay flat and won’t rub or catch when riding. Pairing them up half chaps for horse riding protects the rider’s legs and gives better grip on the saddle.
Paddock boots are a popular choice for young riders, novice riders and happy hackers as they offer versatility, comfort, durability and value for money.
Yard boots are designed for doing heavier work in the yard or stables, or when working around horses, but aren’t always suitable for horse riding.
However, quality yard boots are designed for durability and comfort when spending a lot of time on your feet:
- doing heavy chores around the yard
- standing for hours teaching
- walking long distances to get horses out of the fields.
Look for yard boots (like Ariat’s Terrain H2O) that include features like gel heel cushions and moulded foot beds that follow the foot’s contours. Shock absorbing materials and a sturdy midsole shank support your feet and joints from strain.
Generally made from durable synthetic materials, yard boots are waterproof and easy to clean by simply rinsing with clean water.
Fabricated with a well padded sole and a protective toe, they are designed to offer maximum comfort in summer or winter.
Designed for convenience and comfort, many yard boots have no zips or laces, but are easy to pull on and off.
Yard boots are available in long, short and mid-calf heights. If the yard boots are riding safe, the long style offers calf protection and stability at the ankle. So, half chaps won’t be needed in the saddle.
Short and mid-calf boots are easier to pull on and more comfortable to wear with jeans than are longer versions. But, if they are safe for riding, putting on a pair of half chaps prevents painful rubbing and pinching in the saddle.
Traditional rubber wellington boots are a staple of country living. They are the most basic option for keeping your feet dry.
But, cheap wellies don’t offer much else in terms of comfort and style. And, because rubber is not breathable, feet may perspire on hot days and become unpleasantly damp and chilled in cold, wet weather.
However, there have been many modern innovations in the classic wellington boots for the equestrian market. With stylish shapes, full zip, lace up or buckle fastenings, and often with breathable linings, wellies are a low maintenance option as a yard boot.
Superior wellies (like the Ariat Radcot) absorb shock, tackle all types of terrain and have a high level of foot support. So feet stay comfy and dry in the rain and mud.
Some wellington boots are also designed to be suitable for light horse riding.
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If you require any more help on choosing the right equestrian attire for your needs, one of our expertly trained members of staff will be more than happy to assist. For online enquiries, please contact our customer service team on 01702 597833