Winter riding can be fun and fulfilling with the perfect equipment. Finding the right gear can mean the difference between life or death, or in my case- warm toes.
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe what can I use to protect my toes? Click To Tweet
My feet get notoriously cold, which then brings down the temperature throughout my body. I used to be an avid skier but the tight boots and resulting blue toes quickly prevent my enjoying myself. I’ve tried a few types of boots but they either are uncomfortable or don’t work very well in extreme temperatures. While it is one thing to ride for an hour in the cold, it is quite another to remain comfortable for multiple hours while providing massage therapy to multiple horses.
I happened upon the Ovation Blizzard boot quite by accident. My daughter received some hand-me-down equestrian clothing from my trainer, whose own daughter had outgrown them. Cameron tried on and absolutely loved the boots which kept her feet and lower leg warm during her therapeutic riding lesson. Her trainer and I were both impressed. They looked so comfortable! So what would any self-respecting mother do?
I went on Amazon and bought a pair for myself!
These boots certainly lived up to Cameron’s promise. This winter has been an array of mild, muddy, and subzero temperatures roller coasting back and forth. Plenty of opportunities to wear these to both work and ride.
These boots are lined with fleece and very fluffy! Imagine waterproof UGG boots that you can ride in. These have become my go-to boots whenever it is cold or snowing since they cushion my foot and feel like a fuzzy sock. The insole is an insulated multi-layer fleece with wool and aluminum foil heat shield for added warmth. On the outside, the boot is made up of a 600 Denier water-repellent polyester canvas outer shaft. The grip on the snow, ice, and mud is amazing and I feel secure that I won’t slip and slide ungracefully.
The boots have adjustable, velcro straps on the calf allowing you to adjust the fit with various layers and thick socks. The general fit is on the larger side so I recommend you buy a size down if you prefer a close-fitting boot. I usually wear a size 6 in boots so ordered the 36EU boot, which fit quite large even with a thick sock. Many boots do not come smaller than a size 6, but I would have done better with a 35/ size 5.5 US. Additionally, I have the velcro tightened as much as possible with room to stick a hand down the calf. In retrospect, I likely should have tried to order the children’s version for a smaller size.
Some winter boots are uncomfortable to ride in or prevent a good grip in the stirrup irons. While the large calf prevents me from having a good feel for my horse, I really like riding in these. My foot and leg are secure in both my English and Western saddle. The soles are thick, providing both protection and traction with their wide treads.
These are not the most fashion-forward boots. The foot resembles a duck boot, which I’ve never found fabulous. I love they have a reflective calf but my technical outerwear covers these anyway. The fit is large and bulky, and the velcro reminds me of a shipping boot. I am quite petite, only 5 feet tall however I look like I’m swimming in these! But, I’ve always been a pragmatist and the comfort outweighs the bulky look.
These boots are extremely reasonable, and listed on Amazon for only $62.95! I bought them this season and already they are a staple in my winter gear. These seem durable and I haven’t had any issues with the velcro catching on anything or getting dirty.
I even took them on my recent trip to the mountains and spent the weekend chasing my small snowboarders up and down the hills. They were comfortable, warm, and definitely a good choice for all-day winter wear.
The true test will be a day at the barn for equine massage. If my feet stay warm while standing for hours on end, these boots are a must buy!