What Boots Are Best for Trail Riding Horses?

Casual trail riding has different requirements and challenges than rugged riding.
Casual trail riding has different requirements and challenges than rugged riding. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Trail riding involves going through a variety of terrain with your horse. While some trails may be wide, clear and no more difficult to travel than a walk down a sidewalk, other trails can be tight and require traveling across rugged or difficult ground. The characteristics that come together in a good trail riding boot are fairly common. It is important to consider the type of riding you are going to be doing and the conditions you will be riding in when selecting your new trail riding boots.


The most important aspect of a good riding boot is that it fits your feet properly. The rider's foot should be secure in the boot. Your heel should not slide in the boot, and your toes should have adequate room in the toe of the boot. The upper part of the boot should fit your leg comfortably without rubbing your skin raw as you ride. If a boot does not fit well, nothing else about the boot is going to be able to redeem it.


Riding boots should protect the rider's feet. A steel toe is often considered a desirable characteristic because it can save your feet from harm if the horse steps on your toes. You also want the boots to be made from sturdy leather. If you ride in very rugged terrain, you may also want to look for a boot that goes up to your knee and offers protection from snake bites and from sticks and branches that you may encounter on the trails.


Waterproofing is one of the most essential characteristics of trail riding boots. Wet feet from rain or crossing water can make a trail ride very uncomfortable. If you live in a cold climate, insulated boots are also a must to protect your toes from frostbite.

Heel and Sole

Good trail riding boots will have a 1/2 inch-to-1 1/2-inch heel and a sturdy sole with plenty of tread grip on the bottom. Rubber soles are typically preferable to smooth or leather soles.

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