The Unlikely Horse Riding Boot That I Wear Year-Round

Ariat Heritage paddock boots are comfy, stylish and under $200.
My Ariat Heritage paddock boots that I wear all year.
My Ariat Heritage paddock boots that I wear all year.

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When I was working as a nanny for a wealthy Los Angeles family, one of my tasks involved taking my charge to her twice-weekly riding lesson. One day, among the dirt and horse poo, I noticed possibly the cutest boots I’ve ever seen, worn by adults and children alike. They were ankle-high, with an almond toe, pull tab on the back and a brass front zipper. They were Chelsea-style with elastic sides, and somehow simultaneously achingly chic but still casual and fun. They had a bit of a heel, but nothing too wild, and they looked comfortable and easy to put on.

Me wearing my beloved first pair of Ariat Heritage paddock boots (RIP) dressed up in work clothes and with a casual look.
Me wearing my beloved first pair of Ariat Heritage paddock boots (RIP) dressed up in work clothes and with a casual look.

I went home that night and started frantically Googling “ankle horse boots.” I soon learned that this style was formally called a paddock or Jodhpur boot, an ankle-height shoe used for casual horse riding.

Then a college kid with limited money for shoes, I ordered a used pair from Etsy. Unbeknownst to me, they were Ariat, an equestrian and workwear brand known for its high-quality footwear. Upon opening the box I was hooked. Even my used pair kept their shape and looked really cool and worn-in. They were unbelievably comfortable for walking long distances and all-day wear and had strong traction on the bottoms.

My shiny new pair of Arait Paddock Breeze boots.

The sleek silhouette and the front zipper made them look way fancier than they were, yet the cushiony bottom and supportive sides make them really, really wearable.

Immediately, I wore them non-stop. At the time I still presented more femme, and would rock them with dresses and skirts as well as pants and shorts. They looked good dressed up, with an all-black outfit, the utility clothes I wore to the woodworking studio, jeans or just shorts and a t-shirt.

The boots are such an essential part of my wardrobe that when they were tragically lost on a flight, I immediately purchased a new pair — this time, brand-new and directly from the Ariat website. They’ve taken a bit of breaking in, as is expected with leather boots, but are starting to feel like my old beloved pair after only a couple of wears. While I previously had a pair of the original Heritage boots, my new ones are the Heritage Breeze model. The leather is a little more textured, so they look a little edgier (in my not very edgy opinion).

While Ariat makes a slew of apparel and footwear for work and riding purposes, I listed below my three favorite women’s paddock boots, available in sizes 5.5 to 11.

The classic Heritage paddocks for something sleek and original
Lightweight but durable, with a built-in heel cushion and supportive sides, these horse riding boots are truly the GOAT. They're Ariat's classic paddock style with traction soles that keep you steady when riding, or you know, walking down a city street. These come in black and brown in medium and wide widths. The sleek shape and smooth texture make them easy to dress up with skirts or dresses.
The Heritage Breeze paddocks for something a little edgy and textured
The Heritage's cool cousin, these ankle boots are the same classic front-zip silhouette with an extra soft full-grain leather exterior. They're a little more textured and give off a more motorcycle boot vibe. Throw them on with jeans and a T-shirt or wear them with shorts for a summer boots moment. These come in black in medium width.
The waterproof insulated Heritage paddocks for all-weather style
Ankle boots you can wear all year? Yes, please. These Heritage paddock boots are waterproof and have removable insulation to keep you protected in colder weather. They're warm without being too bulky and work in the warmer seasons as well as the winter. These come in black in medium width.

Before You Go

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