Manufacturer: Devon Aire
Model: L'Cord Field Boot
Category: English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
Purchase: I got this for around $100 online. I forget exactly where I bought it, but it wasn't an abnormal price by any means. It seems to be the going price for these and they're pretty easy to find.
Likes: I bought a pair of zip-up Nittany Field boots off Ebay but they were TERRIBLE. I wrote a review for them on this site as well, but there was basically nothing I liked about them at all. I didn't really have time to shop around before my classes started, so I just bought a pair of Devon Aires quickly. They are a regular size seven, medium calf, and they fit perfectly. I like that the quality on these boots is surprisingly good--there aren't any frills and its obviously not the fanciest boot around, but they seem to be well made and do what they're supposed to do. The leather is thick and strong, so a little sensitivity is sacrificed, but they stand up really well. Mine look dirty, but will wipe down easily to a great shine (until they get dirty again). A horse stepped on my foot hard a few weeks ago and it hurt TERRIBLY but I was surprised that my boot didn't rip as I expected. There's no mark on the boot toe at all, so that's impressive. They broke in really easily for me, no bad sores or rubs and they are very soft and comfortable to wear right now. I also really like the arch support--it's not too high so that it's distracting and uncomfortable, but it's nice and supportive.
Dislikes: Well...they're just really standard, simple boots. I can't really complain but they're not exciting at all. There is no cushion at all at the ball of your feet, the cushioned sole just ends right after the arch of the foot. That's really easy to fix though, by simply adding an insole, but I haven't gotten around to it. I also don't mind the close contact with the stirrup--so I'll leave it be for now. I think that the leather of this boot is coated with some sort of protective layer because when I had just started to break these in, the leather didn't fold and wrinkle normally...there was a which sort of top layer that crinkled up and made the boot look constantly dusty in the creases. It doesn't bother me at all now, and if I took the time to properly polish them up, I don't think it would be visible.
Quality: The leather, again, is thick and strong, as it is in most lower-end boots. I don't really mind it since I don't show in them and do all sorts of unsavory tasks in them. I think it is very well put together, none of the seams have started to come apart and I've really put them to the test. The leather has softened up for me so that I can wear them comfortably around for an entire day if I wanted to. I generally wear down the heels of my shoes quickly, and while there is some wear on these, the fact that I spend most of my time in the saddle helps. They're standard and almost bare, but in a good sturdy way. Sometimes the less frills there are, the less can go wrong.
Summary: I personally think that these are great boots, but I guess there are many opinions both for them and against them. I think as a schooling boot, if you don't like to wear half chaps, these are wonderful. They're cheap and sturdy and will wear really well. I think often in riding boots, the fit is crucial. More expensive boots have their advantages, of course, but if they don't fit properly because the cut and design is a little off for your leg, then it probably isn't going to work out. These happened to fit me really well so everything is fine, but I'd definitely try them on beforehand (or order from someplace you can easily return them to). As long as a boot is made of leather, I'm generally happy. Also, these don't have zippers and in general I don't like zippered boots. I feel like it doesn't drop or crease properly at the ankles and it feels like I'm cheating the break-in process. But I really think that once broken in, tall boots without zippers are the best to ride in.
Usefulness Rating: 2.25 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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