Riding boots have been a popular fashion trend since the 1980s. Warm, flattering and incredibly versatile, riding style boots can enhance a wide variety of looks and styles. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the riding boot has seen a huge resurgence in popularity in more recent years, with the likes of Kate Middleton and Jennifer Anniston rocking them out and about.
And it is no wonder that riding boots have become such a popular fashion choice. Combining both form and function, riding style boots can be worn with almost any outfit for almost any kind of occasion. However, being so incredibly versatile, it can be difficult to know what is best to wear with riding boots to do them justice. In this guide, we will take an in-depth look at how to wear riding boots and what to wear them with.
What are Riding Boots?
Riding boots are generally easily recognised by a number of specific features:
- Knee-high design - the high style of riding boots was to originally protect the legs of horse riders.
- Flat or low heel - the flat heel of riding boots was designed to hold riders’ feet comfortably in the stirrups.
- Leather exterior - riding boots are usually made from a smooth genuine leather
- Slim-fit design - riding boots are made to mould to the shape of your leg
- Zip fastening - tall riding boots tend to have a zip running down the inside seam for ease
The History of Riding Boots
While riding boots have only been worn for fashion more recently, the boot originally took off during the 1600s for more practical reasons. The seventeenth century saw the emergence of the very first military uniforms for which the high-legged cavalier boots from the previous century were transformed into the jackboot. This style of boot, with the high top and the firm, polished finish was crucial to protecting legs while on horseback. This riding boot style was seen in the late 1600s and continued to be popular until the 1760s.
Although the original structure of the boot remained, the riding boot received yet another transformation as the more gentlemanly pursuit of horse riding and foxhunting became popular. In turn, the riding boot developed a softer and closer fit, often referred to as the ‘jockey style’, with the top sometimes folded below the knee, while the inside of the boot featured a leather or cotton lining.
Over time, the riding boot has become increasingly popular for a number of activities as well as equestrian sports. Overall, riding boots have remained true to their original concept, with the fundamentals largely remaining the same. However, during the 20th century, riding boots began to be worn for more than just practicality and instead were often chosen for their style and looks, being worn as a trend rather than sports.
Different Styles of Riding Boots
Tweed Riding Boots - Perfect for adding a classic country touch to any outfit, a pair of ladies tweed riding boots are the epitome of traditional British style.
Quilted Riding Boots - Opt for a pair of women’s quilted riding boots for something a little different.
Leather Riding Boots - You can’t go wrong with a classic pair of genuine leather riding boots.
Suede Riding Boots - Looking for something different to your usual leather boots? Why not go for suede?
Spanish Riding Boots - Spanish riding boots are ideal for adding some glamour and pizazz to your everyday outfit.
Jodhpur Boots - The essential practical riding boot that can be worn for horse riding or everyday.
What to Wear with Riding Boots
When it comes to styling your riding boots, you might struggle to know what to wear with them because they literally look good with everything. When riding boots first regained popularity as a fashion staple in the 1980s, it was all the rage to couple them with a mid-length skirt or dress. While this style choice still remains popular today, there are plenty more options to choose from.
Nowadays, one of the most popular ways of styling riding boots is with a pair of skinny denim jeans or leggings. This riding boot style option is particularly favoured during the winter months given that it is effortlessly stylish but warm at the same time. This jean-riding boot combination is ideal for achieving a laidback look, paired with a slouchy knitted jumper or dressed up with a country shirt. Riding boots can also be worn as a great transition piece. Although knee-length boots might be a little too warm for wearing during summer, they make the ideal option for the transition from the colder to the warmer weather. Pair your riding boots with a tweed skirt and a polo shirt for the chilly autumn months, or with a dainty patterned dress for the spring.
How to Take Care of Your Riding Boots
Invest in some protective spray for your riding boots. A quality waterproof shoe spray will keep your riding boots protected from unexpected winter weather or accidental spills. You should spray your boots about once a week to properly keep your riding boots protected.
Moisturise the leather of your riding boots. You need to moisturise your riding boots regularly to preserve their shine and ensure they last as long as possible.
Keep an eye on your heels. If you notice some wear and tear on your riding boot heels then it is best to get them seen to sooner rather than later.
Keep your riding boots in shape. Maintain the shape of your riding boots by storing them on a boot tree.
- Keep your riding boots clean. Ensure you wipe down your riding boots after every wear to remove any dirt or dust that might have accumulated.
Now you know how to wear riding boots properly, you can easily style any pair with any outfit. Whether it’s chilly or mind outside, whether you’re wearing trousers or a skirt - you can effortlessly create a stylish and comfortable outfit for almost any occasion.