Everything Else Tried and Tested

Tried and Tested: Tuffa Derby Boots

Boots2In the E-Venting spirit of giving things a really hard real-life road test before writing a review I’ve had these boots for about 4 months now and thrown everything I’ve got at them.

They’re not what I’d call ‘pretty pretty’ boots. As the name implies they’re built to be tough and made from American oiled nubuck. The selling point is that they offer a huge range of fitting options and as I struggle to get boots to fit my (relatively for my shoe size) skinny calves I got to test these. They were too short for me, but I can’t really blame Tuffa for this as the only boots I have which are long enough are tailor-made for my giraffe legs. They are however pleasingly snug around my calves and ankles and because of this are suitable for serious schooling work as well as hacking/exercising/jumping. This, I have found, is where a lot of the more casual yard boots fall down. Usually you can buy a boot sturdy enough for yard work but not slim-fitting enough to school in, or you can buy a smart pair of boots for schooling that you wouldn’t dream of mucking out in and spend all day changing from one pair to the other. These boots do both.

They’re foam lined which I think would be fantastic in winter, but possibly wasn’t a sensible choice of mine for all those 30C+ days! In fairness they didn’t actually feel hot to wear at all, it was just when I took them off that I realised that my legs had been quite well insulated. Perhaps I could flog the idea for anyone wanting to sweat off their chunky calves?

The nubuck does get scuffed and look a little worn quite quickly, but they are quickly revived with a wipe down and some saddle soap.

023They have an elasticated/nubuck panel on the inside rear which I did find scratched my dressage saddle flaps slightly, but I have calfskin saddles which mark ludicrously easily and the marks weren’t permanent. Plenty of other half-chap/boot designs have a similar panel though so I don’t think it’s a problem for most people.

All in all I found them to be a very sturdy, comfortable and warm boot which could look very smart when I took the effort to clean them! I could happily wear them all day (and have done) to do yard work – they have a good non-slip sole – and hack, school and exercise and they have held up to pretty much everything I’ve thrown at them.

Would I make a couple of small design alterations? Yes, possibly including an XXXXXXXXL length fitting and an internal storm flap for the zip for those moments when you’re washing a horse off and the water goes everywhere (it does leak in the zip a bit, although they don’t actually profess to be waterproof).

Would I buy another pair even if there were no alterations made? For sure. I love them.

RRP £189.99

http://www.tuffaboots.com/acatalog/tuffa_derby_long_riding_boot.html

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The Eventing Vet