Recently I’ve decided that I needed a new tall boot with stickier leather for shows. I previously had the Ariat Challenge field boot. They were a solid boot when I was jumping lower, but now that I’m popping over fences in the 3′ range, they slide sooooooooo much more.
I know, I know, some of you are thinking, “D’Arcy, quit being a dork and put more leg on.” However, there is a flat out difference in how much my lower leg swings when I wear my chaps, half chaps, and these boots. Both my half chaps and chaps were suede prior to me riding in them, and now that they are more broken in, they have turned to leather on the inside but are still quite grippy. However, my tall boots have developed this rock hard leather that slips and slides and never sticks, even with Mueller sticky spray.
So now began my search for the perfect leather boot, which took about 15 min of talking with my instructor and assistant instructor. Both of them raved about Parlanti. Obviously a big price jump from my $400 Ariats, but when my instructor told me hers were as comfortable as a pair of chucks and fit her like a glove, eh, what’s Ramen noodles like for another 6 months? I thought about it for about a day and came to one conclusion:
I checked out their American distributor, PassionEq. They had a handy dandy sizing chart, where you had to measure from floor to top, around the widest part of your calf, and then figure what your shoe size is using another chart. Easy enough. #jokes
I had my mother measure me (she’s a seamstress/fashion designer), then I had the assistant instructor measure me. Got two totally different measurements, went with the larger option in hopes that my legs wouldn’t have to go numb for me to wear the boots and figuring that Italians were probably a lot tinier than me, so better to err on the side of caution there.
Big mistake. Historically, I’m a solid 8.5 with a full calf, average height. Per my measurements, I ordered the 39 extra large, extra tall. WAYYYYY too big. Had about .75″ extra room in the toe, and the calf zipped up too easily. Ankle was still wide. Only thing that worked was the height #winning?
I then discovered in my research that Dover has recently started carrying Parlanti. Perfect! Now I can return them if they ever disappoint (doubt they will, but lest we forget my previously beloved Ariats… still tragic).
I am packing up the old Parlanti’s as I type and just ordered the Miami tall field boot again from Dover as a 37 large extra extra tall. Down side: they are backordered until ???? Oh well. Fingers crossed round two will work out!
In the meantime, I’ll be wearing magic pants and taking a break from showing until Nov 1 where I compete in my first horse trial. Hopefully they’ll arrive by then!
PS: #nohate to Ariat; I still love them. Their tall boots just didn’t work out for me, and their higher level versions of the boots don’t seem to have the sticky leather I’m looking for either. I do like their footbeds, but I’m looking for sticky sticky sticky now!