The 10 Best Women's Riding Boots

Updated April 29, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you ride for fun or compete in equestrian events on a regular basis, you'll find the right pair of women's riding boots in our comprehensive selection. Of course, as they come in a wide range of fashionable designs and at prices to meet any budget, they're not just for cowgirls, but are also perfect for anyone wanting to finish off a fall or winter outfit. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best women's riding boot on Amazon.

10. Sam Edelman Penny

The Sam Edelman Penny could either be great news or trouble for the boot addict, as they come in seven colors and finishes to match all of your equestrian garb. Wooden heels give them a rustic look, and zippers that run up the calves mean no grunting to pull these on.
  • clean and simple design
  • lightweight for all-day wear
  • zipper often gets snagged
Brand Sam Edelman
Model Penny
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

9. Caterpillar Corrine

The Caterpillar Corrine are made from robust, high-quality leather that's built to last, and are designed for an easy slip-on fit to complete any casual look. The rubber soles make them great for walking through wet grounds, and they feature the signature brand patch.
  • suitable for farm or work use
  • durable canvas interiors
  • finish looks like plastic
Brand Caterpillar
Model P307322
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Breckelles Alabama

You might spend all day lacing them up, but once you're ready to go, the Breckelles Alabama are sure to garner compliments from everyone you encounter. They're made from synthetic leather, so even vegans can wear them without feeling guilty.
  • good for taller wearers
  • plenty of length on laces
  • not ideal for thicker calves
Brand Breckelle's
Model Alabama-12v2.0 Beige Pu
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Clarks Maymie

The sleek Clarks Maymie are suitable for any situation, from the workplace to the dance floor, and you can wear them year-round. The soles provide an excellent grip, so you won't need to worry about crashing and burning once you step off your trusty steed.
  • can tuck jeans into them
  • leather is beautiful and supple
  • tend to run a little tight
Model Maymie Stellar
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Frye Valerie

Stay stylish when the mercury drops with the Frye Valerie. They have a shearling lining on the inside that can also fold over the knee, so you can stay warm even if you pair them with a dress or skirt. You'll burn up in anything less than frigid temperatures, though.
  • good with leggings
  • comfortably cushioned soles
  • on the expensive side
Brand FRYE
Model Valerie Otk
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Justin Boots Bent Rail

If you ride to the beat of your own drum, then you'll love the spunky and vibrant Justin Boots Bent Rail with their retro rainbow print, vintage cracked leather, and classic cowboy cut. They also feature strong and stunning two-tone wooden heels.
  • well-stitched pull-ups on the tops
  • design lets your knees breathe
  • not very easy to clean
Brand Justin Boots
Model Womens 11" Bent Rail
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Dream Pairs

These moto-inspired selections from Dream Pairs are perfect for the woman who's more at home on a Harley than on horseback. The soft material will stay comfy even after a long day, while still offering up plenty of ankle support for your dismount.
  • good budget option
  • room for the calves
  • pair well with thick socks
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Not Rated Cocktail Queen

They're not suitable for riding in the Kentucky Derby, but the Not Rated Cocktail Queen would be perfect for going wild in Millionaire's Row. There are studs and sparkles all along the ankles, so your footwear is sure to draw stares no matter where you end up.
  • easy to keep clean
  • can be dressed up or down
  • no need to break in the soles
Brand Not Rated
Model Cocktail Queen
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Ariat Stanton H2O

The Ariat Stanton H2O are built for modern riders looking for function and style while they work and compete. Made from genuine European calf leather, they're equipped with excellent grips on the bottoms of each one, so your feet don't slip out of the stirrups.
  • good traction in wet conditions
  • stylish brass buckles
  • made from waterproof materials
Brand Ariat
Model Stanton H2O
Weight 5.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Timberland Savin

Suitable for the stables or the club lounge, the Timberland Savin have stylish asymmetrical calf entries and patches of suede throughout, adding elegance and strength. Their buckles allow for some adjustment around the ankles, helping the wearer feel secure in them.
  • good arch support
  • leather is flexible
  • easy to slip on in a hurry
Brand Timberland
Model Savin Hill Tall Boot
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Women's Riding Boots: Blending Fashion and Function

Horseback riding is one of the most energizing and satisfying hobbies a person can enjoy, and it is an activity enjoyed by both genders alike. Interestingly, many equestrian experts posit women are actually better-suited to mastering horse riding, for reasons both anatomical and temperamental.

Riding is a costly pursuit, with the expenses of owning a horse or paying for the privilege to ride another's animal quite high in most cases. Those committed to horseback riding, therefore, tend to be a discerning group, and are careful in their selection of all manner of gear and accoutrement. One of the most important pieces of equipment a rider must buy is her boots. Boots protect the rider's feet and lower legs, and they are a primary contact point with the mount in terms of direction and control.

As it happens, riding boots are one of those rare accessories where a piece of clothing that must first and foremost be functional can also be attractive and stylish. Whereas it's almost impossible to conceive of a stylish hardhat or a flattering pair of work gloves, a pair of riding boots can serve its purpose while also accentuating a rider's sartorial tableau.

A woman must select riding boots that will fit her well, and that goes beyond choosing boots with the right shoe size measurement. Some boots are designed with tall, slender uppers that will grip a rider's calves and allow her to exert maximum control during a show or race, but that might not be comfortable for casual riding or for use during work on a ranch or farm. Other boots have wider uppers that can accommodate a thicker, muscular leg without feeling tight. The rise of the boot is a critical factor in terms of comfort, protection from the elements, and ease of donning and removing the footwear. The shape, size, and general design of a boot should be the first factors weighed.

When it comes to considering the right materials for your boots, you should first consider your riding environment, and later think of looks. If you will wear your boots as you trudge through muddy fields or corrals, or if you ride in the rain, through streams, or where mud spatters up from the horse's hooves, then suede riding boots are a poor idea. Mud and splatters are easily cleaned off of stiffer polished leather boots. Most leather boots are suitable for use in occasional rain, but are ideal for drier, sandy environs, as you can wipe dry dust and/or dirt off of leather in seconds. For the rider who experiences truly dirty, demanding terrain in the course of her work or her play, synthetic materials may be the best choice. Many riding boots made with synthetic fabrics and rubber can be hosed down or even machine washed, so you need not fear any amount of dirt, dust, mud, or dung.

Finally, once you have identified the riding boot shape and materials that suit your preferences and circumstances, by all means choose the pair you simply like to look at the most. For some riders, this will be a classic cowgirl style of boot with thick heels and pointed toes that slide easily into stirrups; for others it will be a tall and slender English-style boot that enhances the contour of the leg. Still others will appreciate the addition of semi-decorative, semi-functional hardware such as polished buckles and rivets.

Other Accessories the Female Rider Needs

There is one piece of gear all riders, regardless of gender, should always wear when riding a horse, and that is a helmet. Few horseback riding helmets are all that stylish, but that's of no matter: when your helmet protects you from injury caused by a fall or by impact with a low-hanging branch, it is performing its one and only duty.

Riding pants, on the other hand, have the benefit of being flattering and functional, much like a fine pair of women's riding boots. Proper riding pants fit snugly, gripping the natural curves and musculature of the rider's legs to ensure she has maximum control over her mount. That helps to accentuate the shape of the leg even while helping a horsewoman ride properly. Most riding pants have leather (or synthetic fabric) patches attached to the inside of the pant legs, and these offer protection against abrasion while having minimal effect on appearance, as the patches are not visible when the rider is mounted.

As riding can be hot and sweaty work, a light shirt that promotes airflow and wicks moisture away from the skin is a must-have for warm weather riding. However, a garment providing some wind breaking is also often advisable, as the rider perched atop a horse has nothing to protect her from a chill breeze that can stir up unexpectedly, even on mild days.

Finally, take the comfort of both yourself and your horse into consideration with a fine saddle pad. A good saddle pad can help keep both you and your horse cooler by providing ventilation between the animal's body and the saddle, and can absorb the impacts caused by your rising and falling. Many saddle pads are designed to be small and fitted just for the actual saddle, while others are larger and will be more readily visible, giving you yet another chance to define your equestrian style.

Why Women Once Rode Sidesaddle

Today, it is entirely normal to see a woman decked out in form-fitting, functional equestrian gear and seated astride her mount, gripping the horse with both legs just like any male rider would. This has only been a generally-accepted practice for about a hundred years, though.

For centuries, women in many cultures were obliged to ride sidesaddle, with both legs draped over one side of the horse. There are even urns and amphorae from Ancient Greece that depict females in this decidedly awkward posture. And countless examples of Medieval art show women sitting sidesaddle on their mounts, which are often being led by men.

The sidesaddle positioning had nothing to do with logic or comfort, and everything to do with convoluted social constructs. For centuries, it was considered unseemly for a woman to sit astride a horse, and furthermore, the long skirts and gowns worn by most women in centuries past (again, largely as a result of enforced prudence) made an astride position illogical.

Riding sidesaddle was not only emblematic of female oppression writ large, but it also limited a woman's control over her horse. Without the ability to grip, spur, or tap a horse's flanks securely, a rider has much less ability to direct the animal's behavior or to stay safely atop the saddle.

Unsurprisingly, the end of the days of mandatory sidesaddle riding aligned closely with the ascendance and eventual victory of the women's suffrage movement. By the third decade of the 20th century, American women were voting alongside men, and riding however they pleased.

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Last updated on April 29, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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