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Step Up Your Dressage Game: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Boots

Choosing Dressage Boots: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to dressage, the proper riding attire is essential for success, and selecting the right boots is no exception. With an extensive range of styles, features, and brands, choosing the perfect dressage boot can be somewhat daunting.

Here is an overview of the key aspects to consider when selecting high-quality dressage boots.

Boot Types

Top, short, gaiter- oh my! With so many types of boots, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is right for you. Top boots are a traditional style that extends up to the knee, providing both a classic look and robust support for the lower legs.

Short boots are an excellent alternative if you prefer a comfortable and less restrictive design. They sit at the base of the calf and are ideal for those seeking a more modern look without sacrificing durability and support.

Lastly, gaiters are an option for riders who prefer a high level of flexibility and breathability. They do not cover the entire calf, extending just above the ankle and attaching to the boot.

Zipper Location

Zippers play a crucial role in the ease and comfort of putting on and taking off your boots. The three primary zipper locations for dressage boots are forward zip, inside zipper, and back zip.

Forward zip boots have a zipper on the front of the leg, while inside zipper boots have a zipper located on the inside of the leg. Back zip boots have the zipper located at the back of the boot.

Forward zip provides an unobstructed look for riders, while inside zipper boots offer better protection for zippers against scratches. Back zip is a popular style and is well-suited for riders who want maximum comfort and easier entry into boots.

Shaft Flexibility

Shaft flexibility is another critical consideration. Stiff exterior boots provide a high level of support and protect the lower legs from impact.

However, they can be challenging to break in. On the other hand, boots with a breaking-in period are usually more flexible, but weaker in terms of support.

Full laces have the maximum level of flexibility and provide the rider with an ability to adjust the tightness of the boot to their liking.

Celeris Boots

One of the most sought-after brands in the world of dressage boots is Celeris. These high-end boots are handcrafted, made-to-measure and can be customised in terms of colour, pattern, and embellishments.

Celeris offers some advantages over other brands, starting with a reasonable price point relative to the level of quality and customisation. Additionally, the boots are noted for their comfort, thanks to their unique design and high-quality materials.

One of the best unique features of Celeris boots is the reinforced outer calf. This means that the boots will resist wear and tear from use and minimise scrapes and scuffs.

On the downside, Celeris boots typically have longer lead times than other brands, making them a less practical option for those looking for immediate purchase and use. There are also occasional issues related to fitting, and it is necessary to follow proper measuring and sizing instructions.


In conclusion, choosing the right dressage boots is essential for your comfort and safety while riding. Understanding the different types, zipper locations, and shaft flexibility will help you make an informed choice.

Additionally, brands such as Celeris offer great benefits such as customisation and affordability but should be purchased carefully given their longer delivery times and occasional sizing issues. With this knowledge and use of proper care, you will be sure to find dressage boots that will meet your needs and enhance your ride.

De Niro Boots: A Masterpiece of Elegance and Tradition

De Niro is another well-known brand in the world of dressage boots. However, unlike Celeris boots, De Niro boots feature a traditional and elegant silhouette, with many options available off-the-rack or made-to-measure.

Below is a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of investing in a stylish pair of De Niro boots.

Pros of De Niro Boots

  • De Niro boots are renowned for their traditional and elegant designs, with their variety of options and styles providing a timeless look to match the natural and beautiful environment dressage riders find themselves in. While Celeris boots tend to have a more modern design, De Niro puts more emphasis on classic and sophisticated styles.
  • If you are looking to make a statement with an elegant and traditional look, De Niro boots definitely deliver. When it comes to fit, De Niro provides an excellent choice of made-to-measure boots, ensuring riders can enjoy a perfect fit with all the essential support and grace needed for dressage.
  • Plus, if time is of the essence, De Niro boots can also be easily purchased off the rack from most equine stores.

Cons of De Niro Boots

  • While De Niro boots provide an exclusive, both traditional and elegant appearance, they can be quite expensive for some riders. The quality of the materials, and the expert craftsmanship required to produce these unique boots, translates to higher prices for consumers.
  • As such, depending on your budget, more affordable options such as Ariat boots may be preferable. Another limiting factor of De Niro boots is that they can be very costly to customise and add embellishments such as Swarovski crystals or metallic highlights.
  • This means that while riders can choose from a variety of colours and styles, any personalised decorations will add an additional expense to the cost of your boots.

Ariat Boots: A Reasonable Choice for Dressage Riders on a Budget

For riders looking for an affordable option, Ariat boots are a popular choice.

They are easy to find and available in a diverse range of different models. They offer great value for money, and can be purchased at relatively low costs compared to some of the other brands mentioned in this article.

Pros of Ariat Boots

  • Ariat boots come at an affordable price point, making them an ideal choice for those on a budget. They are widely available in most equine and tack stores, making them an option local to most riders.
  • The boots come in different models, ensuring the rider can choose from a variety of styles and designs that fit within their budget.

Cons of Ariat Boots

  • A potential issue associated with Ariat boots is that they can be quite soft and thin, meaning the rider will not receive the same level of protection and support afforded by more expensive options. Over time, this can result in the boots sinking down and ultimately losing their shape, making the stiffness of more expensive brands a more attractive option if long-lasting support is vital.
  • Also, Ariat boots come in standard sizes only, limiting the level of customisation that can be done to improve their fit. As such, for those struggling to find the perfect fit for their body type, other options such as De Niro and Celeris may be more appealing.


De Niro and Ariat boots present two options available to dressage riders from different budget demographics. De Niro provides a traditional, elegant appearance with choices of both off-the-rack and made-to-measure options, while Celeris boasts a high level of customisation and affordability in a well-crafted product despite the longer lead times.

Ariat, on the other hand, offers a reasonably priced option that is also readily available, at the expense of customisability and possible loss of shape over time. Whatever your budget and desired look, choosing the right size and fit is crucial to ensure you benefit fully from the support and safety provided by your dressage boots.

Konig Boots: Endorsed by Top Dressage Riders

When it comes to dressage boots, Konig Boots are often regarded as the pinnacle of luxury. They are one of the most prestigious brands in the world of equestrianism, and their boots are famously adorned by top dressage riders around the globe.

Konig Boots come in a variety of styles and designs, which cater to the specific requirements of dressage riders. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect when you invest in a pair of Konig Boots.

Top dressage riders trust and wear Konig Boots, making them a highly sought-after brand among enthusiasts. The company has many solid endorsements from several individuals who are at the forefront of the sport, including Olympic gold medallists Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Tomlinson.

These endorsements are a testament to the boots’ superior quality and performance, reinforced by Konig’s exceptional craftsmanship.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you measure for Dressage Boots?

Sizing is often the most crucial factor to consider when purchasing any footwear, particularly dressage boots.

A flexible measuring tape is required to measure your height, calf circumference, and ankle size accurately. Take various measurements and compare them to the manufacturers size charts to get the best fit for you.

Are custom boots worth the investment?

Custom boots are the preference of many riders due to the superior comfort and perfect fit they offer.

Even though the initial cost of custom boots can seem high, they are a good investment considering how long they can last with proper care. They are also particularly useful for those who struggle to find off-the-rack boots that fit.

What are the rules for dressage boots colours?

Black boots are the most common choice for dressage riders due to traditional dressage attire.

However, according to FEI regulations, dark brown boots are also acceptable, while also highlighting colour trends. Your choice of colours should adhere to your showing regulations, so make sure to double-check before purchasing.

How do you break in new boots?

Breaking in new boots can take time, but this can be accelerated by wearing them around the house before using them for riding.

Additionally, using boot stretchers can help to ease the boots into your perfect fit. One popular technique is to apply a small amount of water to the area around the ankle and then stick the boot in the freezer overnight.

The freezing temperature will cause the leather to stretch and conforms to your foot shape.


Dressage boots come in many different brands and styles, which cater to every budget and preference. Whether you go for Konig boots based on their popularity and performance or choose more affordable options from brands like Ariat, Celeris or De Niro, the right dressage boot is the one that provides you with the necessary protection, comfort and support needed to give you the perfect ride.

Taking care to ensure the right sizing, breaking in, and maintenance will help your boots last and perform for many years to come. In summary, selecting the right dressage boots is crucial for both comfort and safety while riding.

The article discussed various aspects to consider when choosing dressage boots, including boot types, zipper location, and shaft flexibility. We also covered several brands, including De Niro, Ariat, Celeris, and Konig.

The article also provided answers to frequently asked questions on measuring for dressage boots, custom boots, boot colors, and breaking in new boots. Overall, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different brands and styles is vital to making an informed decision when purchasing dressage boots.

Always remember to ensure the right fit, breaking in your boots and taking care of them will ensure they last and perform for many years to come.

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