Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
When I took lessons, I used my own helmet and boots. I tend to sweat a lot, particularly taking lessons during the summer in southern Arizona, and I assume others do as well. I didn't want to deal with their sweat, nor impose mine on them.
Good fitting boots with a decent heel strike me as safety equipment, and I wouldn't want to try riding with boots that don't fit. I would NOT use hiking boots for riding because mine have waffle treads that would hang up in the stirrup. I use cowboy boots, so I can't help you with your choice. If your irons have a rubber tread, I'd choose leather soled boots. I often use irons without the rubber tread, and I prefer rubber soles for those. If in doubt, I like a bigger heel.
... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)