A couple weeks ago on Instagram one clothing company asked “How would you describe your riding clothing style?”. My reply was instant – classic with a modern twist. Sounds weird, I know, so let me explain. I love the look of rust breeches, brown boots, wide hunting bridles, and tweed coats. But I also love modern design and comfortable fabrics. If Animo ever makes rust breeches, my pocketbook is in serious trouble.
This spring I decided it was about time to retire my well worn Ariat Volants and find a new pair of schooling boots. But this time I decided I wanted brown. Here’s where I should mention: I am picky. I really like a Spanish top, a slightly squared toe, elastic laces and I was super particular about what shade I wanted. Not too dark, not too red (my complaint with each of Ariat’s brown shades). I spent weeks pouring over every corner of the internet in search of just the right boot. Unfortunately I also had a budget of under $400. That ruled out just about everything. Custom brown Parlanti’s, how I love thee, but alas it just was not meant to be.
Finally I stumbled onto a Dutch website called Divoza. And there, shining like a beacon of all things fabulous, I found the Mondoni Kingston.
They were exactly the color I had in mind, plus they had all the modern styling. I spent some time googling to find out more about the brand (good luck deciphering Dutch message boards) and found out that Mondoni is Divoza’s house brand. So basically – that’s the only place I could get them. But they were only $225, so for that price I figured it was worth taking a gamble. Then began my obsession with the size chart and many back and forth emails with poor Divoza’s customer service reps. I formally apologize to them for being a pain the ass. But I finally figured out what size I needed, ordered them, and voila – 4 days later they arrived from the Netherlands. No kidding – Four. Days. Divoza had them on the truck and sent me a tracking number within an hour of me placing my order. Pretty amazing.
When I pulled them out of the box it was love at first zip. They were beautiful and fit pretty darn well. It’s now been 4 months and I still love them. Brown is fabulous. For the price these boots are pretty nice. Are they as nice as my Ariat Monaco’s? No. But they’re also a quarter of the price. I get compliments on them constantly, and just looking at them makes me happy. I’ve even shown in them a few times… having a jumper has it’s fashion perks.
I will say that brown requires a little more upkeep. I don’t know if I’m being overprotective but scratches and rubs seem to show more. I polish them about once a month with chocolate polish, which has given them a really beautiful rich color. I’m also not sure that they’ll survive many years of daily abuse, but they’re very comfortable and I can wear them all day with no complaints. And again – for such a reasonable price they still seem like a good value to me even if I only get a few years out of them.
The best part is that if you sign up for Divoza’s email newsletter, they send out a 25% off coupon code about once a month. That makes the boots only about $200 USD including shipping. Definitely a good buy for that price!