Originally Posted by luvs2ride1979
For high quality, more expensive chaps, I like Treadstep or Pro-Chaps. Ariats just aren't as nice as they used to be (made in china now).
AMEN! I get more and more irritated with Ariat's over priced terribly quality leather goods. No one at our barn wears ariat half chaps anymore because they fall apart. Grand Prixs look nice but they (like Ariats) have a patch over the middle of the inside of your calf. I guess for reinforcement... but the seams always wear out and the patch rips off after about a year of lots of riding. (ariats rip sooner then that). I've never EVER worn a hole on the inside of my chaps and I ride multiple horses 5-7 days a week.
My absolute favorite are Tredsteps (although I've also heard good things about ProChaps).
1) Instead of sizing s, m, l, etc. They do height/width combos so you get a custom fit
2) No patch over the middle of your calf
3) amazing quality.
As far as suede/smooth leather goes... i've had both Tredsteps. Both hold up well, both are good. But the suede fades (and gets really shiny on the inside where your leg touches your saddle) and gets dusty easily. So I prefer the look of smooth better.