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Riding boots or riding shoes, what you choose depends a bit on your personal taste. Riding boots are available in various models and styles. When you begin riding and maybe don't want to spend too much money on equipment a pair of artificial leather riding boots can be a good idea. This is also true for children who are still growing a lot. Artificial leather riding boots are also more resistant to moisture, while leather riding boots last a long time on the condition that you are diligent in keeping them clean and oiled.
Of course, the model you choose will depend on your taste and what you think is the most comfortable. It can also have an impact on your choice if you compete and are concentrating on a particular discipline. Dressage boots are usually stiffer and straighter, if they have zips they are usually obliquely to the front. Jumping and all-round boots are usually soft and more flexible, they may have laces in the middle of the front and a zip at the back.
When you choose boots, make sure you don't choose a pair that are too short, the leg "settles" after a while and it's not pleasant if the boot feels too short. If a high leg feels uncomfortable at the beginning you can put in a small wedge sole to prevent blisters at the back of the knee.
Riding boots provide more support to the leg than riding shoes, but if you prefer to have a pair of riding shoes you can complement these with short chaps/gaiters to get something that appears similar to a pair of boots. The benefit of this combination is that it is usually significantly cheaper and it can be easier to find something that fits both the foot and the leg perfectly.
In winter, when you have slightly more robust and chunky shoes, you may need to change up to larger stirrups to prevent your shoes from getting stuck.
Bear in mind that both riding boots and riding shoes should be used when riding and not when working in the stable as soles, seams and zips are not designed for the wear and tear caused by, for example, manure, urine and wood shavings.Sturdy shoes with a good sole are beneficial when tending to a horse and stable. Protective shoes with steel toe-caps reduce the risk of a trampling injury. You can even get shoes with soles that protect you should you step on, for example, a nail and soles that protect against urine and chemicals.