Tall Boot Conundrum

When the zipper on my tall boots busted and had to be replaced (which was does beautifully with tough YKK zippers I might add! Shout out to Fort Bend Saddlery for getting that done in a single weekend.), I had a realization. I was stuck riding in my old Ariats for the weekend, which were honestly awful after the last two years in the buttery soft leather of my Tattinis, and it occurred to me that perhaps having one pair of tall boots for schooling and another for showing might not actually be such a bad idea. Specifically, two pairs of boots that are comfortable and don’t cut off the circulation in my calves because of stiff leather.

While I love my Tattinis, I would like to have a slightly taller pair of tall boots, and Tattini unfortunately doesn’t offer taller or shorter options in their boots. So I’ve been doing some shopping around, and just when I got paid and started looking more seriously, of course SmartPak is have a 15% off of everything sale, and I have some birthday money to put toward new boots.

So I need your help! This new pair would be primarily for showing and clinics and the like, but would need to be comfortable enough to wear all day, because sometimes I don’t take my boots off until the end of the show or clinic, especially if I might have to ride more than just my own horse. They also need to hold up well, but they wouldn’t be ridden in daily so that should help their longevity significantly.

So I want your feedback on:

  1. Look–this one is easy. Which one is the prettiest in your opinion? They need to work for all three rings.
  2. Feel–If you have any previous experience with the boots, did you think they were comfortable and that the leather seemed soft and supple, or did they seem stiff?
  3. Longevity–How well do they hold up in your experience, and was there anything in particular that was extra hard on them?

Here are the contenders, but I’m happy to hear other suggestions. Since SmartPak is super easy to work with on returns for sizing and fit issues, I’m at least starting with them.

DeNiro Ottaviano Aurora Field Boot


DeNiro Ottaviano Field Boot–The same boot with slightly stiffer leather


DeNiro Salento Field Boot–I really prefer a swagger tab, but these are so pretty.


Ariat Monaco LX Field Boot (Just added to the mix thanks to USEF discounts making these slightly more affordable!)


I got really excited about an older style of  Monacos on sale for $630, but they only have men’s sizes left. Sad day. But if any of the male equestrians in your life need tall boots, here ya’ go: Ariat Monaco Tall Boot

And then there are my dream boots, Tucci Time Galileo boots which are right at the tippy top of my budget, but drooooool.


Like I said, I’m happy to check out other brands/companies too, but since I have to order without trying the boots on, there needs to be some kind of fair shipping and return policy. I’d like to keep them under a thousand, I like a swagger tab with a Spanish top and a square toe, and I have skinny ankles. I’m also wary of Ariat after some encountering several problems pretty poor quality leather.

So what do you think readers?

17 thoughts on “Tall Boot Conundrum

  1. Jenn

    I’m lusting after a pair of DeNiros myself, but those will have to wait for a while because I’ll be forced to go custom….I’m a VERY tough person to fit tall boots! I believe Allison (PONY’TUDE) owns a pair of the DeNiros and is happy with them, so hopefully she can offer some inside information on those boots. All of your options are very pretty though! 🙂

  2. Kaysee

    No experience with any of these but IMO the top two you’ve chosen are gorgeous. I’ve been riding in a pair of Ariats (I think Challenge II) for almost four years and they’re fine; I use them for schooling and shows.

    1. In my experience, it’s been the newer Ariats that have the lower quality leather. I loved my old pair of Ariats, but when I replaced them, the new pair didn’t hold up nearly as well.

  3. If you have usef you can apply 20% off at Smartpak so I would order some to try today…I ordered the deniro but they didn’t fit my ankles and were too big.

    In the past I’ve had ariat contour challenges but the zippers always slipped after a year.

    1. Ohh! I actually need to get those memberships handled for a show at the end of the month, and I didn’t even think about stacking the discounts. You might have sold me. Haha.

  4. I have the DeNiro Ottaviano Aurora field boots and loved them from day one. No break in time, have had them and wore them daily for a while since Oct. 2012 and I have only had to replace the zipper pulls this year. They have finally dropped a hair too much if I am being picky, so I am also going to buy a new pair for showing soon–probably another pair of DeNiros. I can definitely walk around in them all day, and I have bad feet.

  5. I have the Salentos and they are AMAZING. They get mistaken for Parlantis, but take a beating. I’ve been wearing them for two years once-twice a week + bathing+ grooming +trucking through mud and they just now show wear. (And they’re the first pair of tall boots I’ve ever owned that are almost too tall in the XXTall size). They have so many sizing options, they fit like customs. I love mine- obviously.

  6. I’m a fellow skinny-ankle person, and I found tall boots in a very unexpected place: the Mountain Horse Sovereigns. They have all sorts of sizes, broke in with no problem, have held up amazingly to wear and tear, and are absolutely gorgeous. I get comments on them everywhere I go and I seriously can’t stop plugging them haha. I had my heart set on a pair of Sergios, but the MH looked so much better on. No one was more surprised that I was.

    1. Wow! I’ve seen those and thought they were really pretty, but I was wary of the MH quality since they’re pretty inexpensive. If the pair I ordered doesn’t work out, I’ll definitely try those next!

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