Even since I was a six year old with teeny stick legs, I found I had to ride in half chaps to prevent pinching, and never showed enough as I got older to invest in a pair of tall boots to make it worthwhile (after the age of jods, paddock boots, and spats + a polo were appropriate for schooling shows, I.e. see my kid show attire in my photo album entitled old photos, or something like that!)
As an adult returning rider, I couldn't imagine NOT riding in them! My trainer never wears them, and being a dressage and not a jumper rider/trainer since she was 19 (now age 50), she made the comment to me once that she had always thought they were sort of a "cheat" way to go, stabilizing the lower leg!
I was shocked, as that hadn't EVER occurred to me, and I had ALWAYS had pinching with the leathers, thus, always hated riding without them as I'd get purple bruising from all the miserable pinching! I felt really dumb thinking she'd assumed I had been "cheating" my way into a stable lower leg until we clarified this!
Anyway, I have had all kinds, and the best IMO for "feel" without too much bulk are the all suede kind, though my current pair are all plain leather and I do find myself craving more "feel"...hope that helps! :)