We all love a new pair of custom top boots, but dread the thought of having to break them in!
That's why we love the Secchiari top boots, for the most of it - these boots have a small to none break-in time, but the more you have to break them in - the better the fit is in the end.
Why do we need to break in boots? Well it comes down to the leather during the dying and manufacturing process. Most colours contain alcohol, which cause leather to contract when dried. Consequently, boots are cut to factor in the give that is anticipated due to the leather softening and dye particles breaking down; therefore making them quite tight to begin with!
Lara is a bit of an expert when it comes to top boots, having many pairs from well known brands throughout the years. She's given her experience in being patient and what to expect to get the best fit:
To me, the start of a perfect boots means they're very tight to start with - often I can't even get them done up halfway! You just have to be patient and give the leather a chance to stretch. This can take a few rides, and often you need to ride with the boot partially zipped up until you can get them up a little further. Keep persevering though, the fit at the end is worth it.
Finally they zip up - they are often so tight that my leg will be pulsing, but wow it's a good feeling! Believe me, this is how I know my boots will be perfect. Now is the time to get on the horse to ride. You will find your leg will pulse from the pressure, but it is tolerable. Keep them on and walk around in them, don't just keep them for 'good' at this stage, they just have to give a little more.
Next ride; oh look at that - they zip straight up! That's a good start! They will still be firm but it will be bearable this time. By the third and fourth time I put my boots on, they will zip straight up and feel so good around my leg.
It takes time for the leather to stretch but please be patient with the boots, don't be scared to ride in them that's the way to get the leather to give. I would much rather have a boot that is tight on me to start with than looking like they're thirty years old after a few rides.
Stivaleria Secchiari is a family business founded in 1950 based in Le Marche, Italy; today Stivaleria Secchiari continues with traditional, expert craftsmanship handed down through three generations of boot makers specialising in high quality boots in the equestrian industry.
If you are finding you need more help breaking in your boots, try these old (and proven) tips:
- Ride with wet stocking/socks - the reason behind this is that boots are made of two pieces of leather, the outer piece and a softer, calfskin inner piece. Both pieces need to be dampened and heated in order to soften!
- Stuff them with rolled up, wet newspaper - we prefer the step above, it is simpler and provides immediate heat to them from your leg to start the stretching process
- Wear them, wear them, wear them. Even wash down the horse in them to help wet and stretch the leather.
- The best way to stretch boots is to take them to a competent boot-maker, who can apply heat to their stretcher - enabling them to stretch them as much or as little as you need!
Any other questions or if you'd like help finding a quality boot maker, please get in touch.
If you are looking to buy Secchiari and are not from Australia, please get in touch - we can recommend an excellent retailer for these exceptional boots.
(Photo credit to Pointers Equine and Country, who are Secchiari stockists in the UK)