You may remember last year’s edition: Ding Dong the Watch is Dead. Apparently I kill one essential piece of equipment per year? This time, unfortunately, it’s a big ticket item: my tall boots.
I’m pretty sad about this, because I like my boots. I nabbed a pair of Ariat Monacos brand new off of eBay 5 years ago for under $400, and they’ve fit me perfectly from day 1. They haven’t been very durable though, having already required various repairs 3 times. Still, they’re really flattering and pretty and fairly comfortable, so I’ve tried to baby them a bit. Sadly, apparently Arizona was the last straw.
I noticed on XC day that I managed to have a blowout (for like the one millionth time with these boots) at the left ankle, where the fabric of the zipper had come unsewn from the boot itself. I was sporting a pretty nice gap for all of Coconino. We’ll call it airflow.
Then, on the very next wear, I noticed that on the inside of the right boot the stitching had separated on a seam in two places, leaving two holes in that boot as well. Two legs, three new air vents. I also noticed that the sole is starting to separate on the edges of both boots. Well crap. At this point they’ve been repaired so many times, and the leather itself is getting really ragged and torn up, I don’t really think it’s worth it to keep trying to repair them. More blowouts seem inevitable, and I’d hate for one to happen at a really inopportune time.
I think I can coax them through the fall season since I’ve only got a couple shows planned, but I’ll need to get something new in the off season. The only question is… what do I get? I hate tall boot shopping. Luckily I’m very average sized, calf and foot and proportion-wise, but I like a boot that is a little bit too tall. Plus it’d be nice to have something that wasn’t super boring. I really want some of these bad boys:
But there’s no way custom or semi-custom boots are in the budget.
My favorite off the rack option that I’ve seen so far are the Mountain Horse Sovereign, although I’m not sure they’re as tall as I want. I haven’t really seen anything else that catches my eye so far, nor have I actually tried anything on.
So – what are your favorite options for tall boots under $400ish that have at least something a little bit fun about them (even if it’s just a damn square toe), have a tall option or run tall, are pretty, have a slim ankle, and will last? Ready, go.