Those old boots were tough as old boots, literally. For close to three decades, my first pair of tall riding boots served me well. Sure, they were resoled a few times and underwent some minor surgical repairs, but they were molded to my shape and fit like a glove. Those boots were my identity for many years. They jumped. They dressaged. They rode though chaparral-covered mountains. They won a ribbon or two. They once galloped illic- itly across the polo field. Even when they took a short time out
gathering dust, they returned to the saddle with me like no time had passed.
But eventually, the glove-like fit became a vise. Getting the boots on and off, even
with the assistance of boot pulls and a sturdy boot jack, became an undertaking. The
Jaws of Life were now needed. And technology had evolved, along with style. When
it was finally time to replace my faithful boots, I was more than ready to move on.
While undoubtedly there are some purists out there who find zippers to be
newfangled and unreliable, they were a game changer for me. I no longer had to
call for backup to get my boots off, or go through contortions to get them on. I
braced myself for the break-in period, but to my surprise, it was a piece of cake.
Things had improved in that department as well, with softer, modern leather
and more customizable sizes right off the shelf. If you’re ready for Boots 2.0 (or
whatever upgrade you’re currently on), check out our English and western boot
shopping guide on page 54. It’s practically painless—we promise!
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ARGYLE BOOT SOCK
Everyone needs a pair of
lucky socks. $10.95
ELIZABETH MOYER, EDITOR
A blend of
this boot sums