Yay or Nay: Riding Boots

by - Friday, October 14, 2011

A pair of riding boots is at the top of my wishlist this season. I already own brown flat boots, so black riding boots was the color of choice. I was ecstatic to see a pair from H&M months ago, but never actually saw it in stores. Now that it's gone from their online site, I can only assume stores no longer have it in stock.

I then saw these Ann Taylor Betty Leather Trimmed Riding Boots in black, size 6 (sold here) on Vicky (who scored last season's version for $30!!!) and absolutely loved it on her. While googling for more info, I was happy to see that Ann Taylor decided to bring it back this season... albeit at a whopping $298. Luckily they had a huge sale last weekend and I bought a pair for $125. It's no $30, but it's a price I'm willing to pay for leather boots if it works out.

Like all other Ann Taylor footwear that I own (perfect patent pumps and covered platform booties), I took my usual size 6 for these boots, which turned out to be a perfect fit. The foot bed doesn't feel as comfortable as the perfect pumps, nor do they conform to my feet like the pumps do. I hope this is due to my not wearing socks when trying it on for the first time.

Other details to note: The buckle detailing (which I love) is adjustable, but I don't think it shrinks the circumference much. The inside zipper allows for easy access when putting on and taking off the boots. The material is a little on the shiny side, which I think will show wear and tear over time.

I measured the height of the boots to be almost 16", which includes the heel (~1"). The circumference is a little over ~14". For reference, from Ann Taylor's site: 15" shaft circumference, measured from a size 8. With each half size up or down, circumference increases or decreases by about 1/4".

I really do like these boots overall, but I'm wondering if it looks too short on me, especially from the side view. With these type of boots, would another 1-2" in height look better? Please help me decide whether to keep or return :)

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  1. I like the height on you a lot..the only thing is it's pretty shiny for me and I may sound cheap for $125 is a lot! for me I would return it bc of the price. How comfortable is it? I guess if it's really comfy then I guess I dont mind spending a lil more but can get good use out of it.

  2. i like mine up to my knees, so they look a little short to me. but i personally like them, overall. finding perfect boots is so hard!

  3. I think they look too much like rain boots to justify the 125 dollar price tag. There are so many black boot options out there I think if you arent 100% happy with these there is definitely an option out there that you will LOVE.

  4. They're perfect. Absolutely keep them!

  5. I think they look very flattering on you. I prefer this classic look because it will always be in every season. $125 is completely reasonable for a well made leather boot that will last you for a long time. But I may be biased because I own a similar pair from Ralph Lauren and they've stood the test of time!

  6. I really like the shaft height on you! I feel like if they were any taller, they might make your legs look shorter... I ordered these as well, and I was relieved to find them fitting my wide calves. :)

  7. These are beautiful and look like they cost much more than $125!!! Great purchase.

  8. Ditto on the comment above by Elissa - I think it's because the shaft on these is a bit wide on you. Personally, I like riding boots to be fitted in the shaft. I think the other AT option (the Arlena Suede Stretch Riding Boots) would look cuter on you!

  9. The ankle is what stands out to me. A little bulky. I do not look at them and think, "OMG, what is she thinking?!" but the ankle is noticeable. Try styling them with tights and other things to see how you feel. I do love the buckle!

  10. There are several things that I like about the boots. The buckle is one. The other is the asymmetrical top portion of the boot. It is a very classic looking boot. But I know that it's always hard to find boots that fit everywhere, like the ankle and calf area, and I always find myself compromising. The main test for boots for me is pairing it with a dress. If it looks good styled like that, it'll be good with anything. Oh, but I do love Vicky's chocolate brown ones.

  11. i agree with some previous comments on here that the boots look like rain boots. take a look at franco sarto - they have some beautiful boots around in the $200 range but you can probably get it for less with online coupons.

  12. I think the shininess makes it look cheaper than it is...it does look classic but I would wait for a better sale...125 is a bit much for shoes you don't LOVE.

  13. I don't think they're too tall at all. Anything taller would probably be too tall. If you sat down on a low chair, a too tall boot will hit the back of your knees. It is a little bit wide, but it's not bad. I'm not really crazy about the the texture of the boot. From the photos the leather doesn't look that soft and rich, but rather stiff. It may soften with wear though.

  14. They seem kinda expensive to me. Before I read the description I thought it was a pair of rain boots. Height is fine but shaft seems a little big. I am not a fan. Can't wait to find out what you decide. Riding boots are so cool this season if this pair doesn't work out you can always find another one ;)


  15. I don't know if I'm weird but I think boots should fall a little below the knee - otherwise the top just runs into your knee at every step (trust me, I have this problem a LOT) so the height for me looks fine. The problem with most boots is the ankle creasing but I don't know that there are really any boots that don't have this. That said, there aren't any big signs to make me vote yay or nay but maybe that in and of itself is a nay?

  16. I agree with several of the comments above- even though $125 is a sale price, it's still not cheap- so if you aren't 100% confident in them, return them! Check out DSW- I bought beautiful brown boots there yesterday for $130.

  17. Ooo, the boots look PERFECT on you, Cee! I don't say that if they are not. The height I think is just right. You want to avoid creating a visual effect that cuts your lower body in half. Another great thing about the shaft being at that height is that it hits not at the thinnest part of your legs, rather at the "fatter" part. What it does it that it creates a very nice fit at the top of the boots around your legs. Just look at the pictures again, and tell me if you agree.
    The decision is yours. $125 is not cheap. but if you think you can wear it a lot, then it's worth it. Because it looks FANTASTIC and it's Ann Taylor quality.

  18. Thank you all so much for your honest feedback (and being my voice of reason!) Unbiased opinions are so helpful b/c I tend to have my rose-colored glasses on with new purchases ;) I've decided to return these boots because the glossy leather + black color does remind me of rainboots once Elissa put that thought into my head (if I was debating on the brown color, I would probably have kept these boots). So the hunt continues!

    @simplyvonne - Oh man, you don't want to know how much I spend on shoes regularly, lol. I want to believe that when it's time to be an "adult" (ie: pay mortgage, raise kids, etc), I'll be able to cut back; but for now, I'm being selfish and spending money on myself ;)

    @Elissa - You know, it's silly, but the H&M ones were ~$80 for faux-leather and I would have gladly paid retail. But for some reason $125 for these AT leather ones was harder to swallow. I suppose that just shows I didn't truly love them.

    @CWu - I've also drooled across many RL riding boots, but can only convince myself to buy during a major sale. Perhaps I could get lucky? :) I bet the RL leather is simply divine!

    @Petite-ish - I did see the suede ones, but I really want a pair of leather/faux-leather boots. I have a hard time keeping my suede pumps clean, so I think any more material would be troublesome for me.

    @Michelle - Thanks for pointing out the ankle area. I wonder if the bulkiness has an effect of more creasing around the area? It's something I'll have to pay more attention to in the future.

    @Jenn - I'm such a sucker for buckles on riding boots. I don't think it looks right without some sort of detailing, haha. I considered these boots with dresses, but I seem to turn back to my brown flat boots instead. I think it's the "heaviness" of the ankle area that looks off to me when paired with (delicate) dresses.

    @Anonymous - Thank you for the Franco Sarto suggestion... I'll be keeping my eyes out!

    @Jarucha - Ahh, now that a few of you brought up the shininess/rainboots resemblance, I can't get it out of my head! But I really appreciate it because if I can't put up with that, it's a no go.

    @Cher - Thanks for sharing the sitting down trick. Can you tell I've just been eye-balling it? :) I will be definitely be keeping test in mind for the future.

    @just tututiny - I've seen similar rainboots from Burberry and oh, do I want a pair! Reality of rain every so often is keeping me in check of not buying any more ;)

    @SewPetiteGal - Hmm, I can't say I've run into the problem of my other pairs of boots hitting my knee... but now I know I'll be paying attention in the future. I've also run into ankle creasing with most of my other boots, so sadly, I think this is something we'll just have to put up with :(

    @EverydayMomStyle - Off to check DSW now ;)

    @Vicky - It's funny you think the height looks good on me, because I think it looks best on YOU, haha (they seem to hit you a little taller than it does on me). I think the brown color looks best in this style + material, so I'm going to be returning mine. Will keep living vicariously through yours though!

  19. i'm a little late to the game but i think these boots are a keep! the height hits you just right and the width is perfect over jeans!

    cute & little

  20. Oh I was so hoping someone would buy and review these!!!!

    I think they look great on you because you have the long legs!! LOL

    I say keep- love AT shoes!

  21. I think they look great on you but for $125, if you're not completely happy, I say find something you absolutely ADORE.

  22. Keep them!!! I'm a PS (petite-short). I loose my self esteem when wearing anything without heels. Seeing the boots on you.. makes me want to get the same pair. Thanks for the review and measurement.

  23. This is one of my favorite post, yet. You are so inspiring.I LOVE your boots and the way you styled them!

    riding boots


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