Everything Else Tried and Tested

Toggi Winnipeg Riding Boots – Not just a winter boot!

winnipeg-cheeco-400x600Here at e-Venting we like to give products a proper test, there is no point testing say a pair of boots for a couple of weeks declare they are brilliant and then they fall apart a few weeks later.

The Toggi Winnipeg Riding boots have been used and abused now for approximately 5 months and I take great pleasure in telling you after a clean they look the same as the day they arrived.

The boots started with another member of the e-Venting team but due to their particularly slender legs and the boot design that essentially makes them like a pair of leather wellingtons they were passed on to me as I have somewhat larger (!) athletic calves.

The boot’s design means pulling them on and off is quick and easy but if you do have particularly thin legs expect there to be a decent amount of space between your legs and the side of the boot. If though your calves are 15 inches+ in diameter you should find they are a really comfortable fit. I would say a 16-16.5″ calf would also fit comfortably and there is an elasticated side gusset with adjustable leather strap & buckle at the top so those with larger or smaller calves should still give them a try but as the width is a one size fits all there is a limit to the adjustability.

The aesthetic design which is a combination of Leather and canvas is a bit marmite, personally i think they look really stylish but others have not been so keen, but I do wonder if those people are too used to the looped design seen on so many country boots?! The design has positives to it beyond style, the biggest being as the leather panel reaches up the boot it creates a far more rigid structure so the boot doesn’t notably drop once worn in unlike similar brands.

The boots are waterproof thanks to the breathable Puratex® membrane which lines the boots and they easily pass the deep puddle, muddy gateway and walking through long wet grass tests. I have submerged them up to mid-calf without any water even hinting at getting in never mind washing them off with a hose before getting on to ride on a regular basis. The tread is very decent to the point I can’t remember slipping in them this winter at all.

Winnipeg-400x600Being designed to ride in is a huge plus and they cross that gap from country boot to riding boot meaning I only need one pair of boots for the yard. They come to a decent height up my leg although slightly shorter than a standard riding boot which is understandable for comfort when not riding. This means I never have had an issue with the boot catching when riding at jumping length but they did catch occasionally when riding at dressage length in a short flap jumping saddle. I’m not sure many people ride quite as long as me in a jump saddle when schooling but it is worth mentioning. Because my calves are big I find them incredibly comfortable to ride in as they are kept stable. For those with thinner calves they may find they are not ideal for dressage work but this will be personal preference. Also worth mentioning is the width of the foot. Previous similar boots I have owned have been rather wide to the point they haven’t fitted in my stirrups. The Winnipegs are wider than a standard plain riding boot but not by a large margin and I can safely wear them whilst riding in my standard stirrups.

The Winnipegs in action handling squishy wet ground with ease.

The Winnipegs in action handling squishy wet ground with ease.

Unlike many winter/yard boots they are quite thin and therefore can equally be worn through the summer months without your feet and legs boiling alive. Over winter I just layered up sock wise as the natural cut of the boot allows space for you to do so. In terms of comfort I was able to start wearing them as I wanted immediately with no wearing in period without experiencing rubs or sores. Obviously will depend on your daily demands from the boot and your legs/feet but they were certainly ready to wear basically instantly for me which was a pleasant surprise. The anatomic moulded foot bed with a shock absorbing insole means even when worn for hours there has not been a blister in sight (thank god!!).

The boots now pretty much live in my car and will undoubtedly be worn at several events this year when I am there in a spectator/photographer capacity and also are a must for course walking as I don’t doubt the British Summer will include it’s fair share of rain. They are not limited to be worn with breeches either and I regularly pull them on over the top of boot cut jeans.

In summary if you’re after a hardwearing pair of waterproof yard/country boots that you can ride in you can’t go far wrong with the Toggi Winnipeg boot especially considering they are available for £119.99 from most retailers which is a fraction of the cost of most similar country boots.

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