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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help me - I feel like I've tried everything (except not really).

I'm a professional groom. I spend all day, almost every day, outside and on my feet. Over the years, I have ruined countless pairs of shoes while doing my job, and it's getting expensive. I've tried Sperry's boat shoes, Muck boots, Timberlands, Nike sneakers, Ariat english & western boots, Sporto boots, and many more. I've come to the conclusion that I need something completely waterproof and nearly indestructible. My most recent boots lasted less than a month before the soles peeled completely off and I'm tired of playing this game.

I need something as comfortable as a sneaker - something I can walk in for 10+ miles and not be in excruciating pain or covered in blisters. Something that can get wet over and over and over again without breaking down. Something that won't have me walking around in wet socks from 6am to 6pm (or longer - it's torture) and leaving my feet covered in sores because of it.

The ONLY shoes that have stood the test of time were my Dublin Pinnacle boots, which I unfortunately gave away to a student of mine a year and a half ago as a parting gift. I would buy them again, but operating in 100 degree temperatures in the summer make these tall boots a little impracticable.

I'd like something short, preferably ankle height, that comes in black. Cost isn't an issue.

Please suggest.
 

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Different people have different foot shapes. I think my foot is a little wider in the toes and narrower in the heels than some. I love my Ariat paddock boots. I got the heritage breeze, I think they are called. Not billed as being waterproof, but the seams, except for the zipper, are sealed. I have walked through low creeks in them and my feet stayed dry. I could walk miles in them, from the minute I put them on. I have a terrible time finding shoes that are comfortable for me, but these are awesome. I have totally mistreated them and they've been great.

I recommend wool socks as well, maybe hiking socks. If you wear wool socks and they get a little wet, you usually don't get a blister.

You might also look for some waterproof hiking boots, there are lots of them out there. I got mine at REI, and I returned them after wearing them for almost a year because the sole got slick when they were wet, and it took me that long to realize it. No questions asked. I bet they'd take a return if the boots just fell apart. Sad to say, they have tons of outdoor stuff but nothing specifically for horses. Lots of good wool socks, though! And of course tons of different hiking boots.
 
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I found that Fila's Memory Workshift are working well for me.

I am inside and out doing grooming or ground work or general ranch work all day. I do change to ride, of course. Or, I'm in a hospital, pounding the concrete floors. I bought these when I was desperate and they were there sturdiest shoe in the only store open that day.

So far they are still good at 9 months.

They are leather. I did treat them with a conditioner and they haven't let my feet get wet yet. Often I just hose them off. Pressure wash actually.

They aren't obscenely expensive, either. Less than $40 when I bought them.

The only down side is that the soles do pick up fine grit that I have to remove before wearing them at the hospital.

Shoes and boots do get expensive!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't have particularly difficult feet! Practically everything i've tried has fit well enough and I don't mind getting blisters while breaking shoes in because once the calluses develop I don't have any issues in that regard. Most of the blisters I get are due to prolonged wetness and they're usually on the undersides of my toes. Definitely don't need anything specific to horses, either.

I'll look into the Fila shoes and REI (because honestly if I can return something that doesn't work out in any condition, that would be fantastic.) Thank you for the input!!
 

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Good pair of Redbacks elastic sided lasts ages & these days come with good inner soles which allow comfort & arch support when you're on your feet many hours. I prefer them but my husband prefers riggers boots which give good ankle support too - in weird positions as a farrier I DON'T want that bulk around my ankles.
 

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Waterproof hiking boots would be one way to go. Another one would be Muck boots. I have a pair of boys' -- they fit perfectly, being cut a bit wider most likely, and cost half what the womens' sizes do. I can and do wear them for hours at a time, have hiked in them in the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Unfortunately I (somehow) managed to also get a hole in the rear seam of my winter Muck boots within about 5 months of buying them - in person, directly from the retailer. It didn't cause me any problems at the time but I'm sure it will if I continue to abuse them.

I'm not really looking for winter boots or anything that promises to keep my feet warm because warmth isn't a high priority. BUT I have been considering trying some of the men's styles, in hopes they may be a little cheaper or last a little bit longer, for whatever reason.
 

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I also have that problem on the rear seams of Mucks. I can’t decide if it’s just the way I walk, or because I have the bad habit of using the toe of one foot to wrench off the other boot at that spot on the back seam.
 

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Oh, one thing about hiking boots. I suggested them, but if you're doing a lot of walking on hard surfaces they may not be right for you, unless you have really thick socks. I wore mine for a ten-mile hike on mostly hard surfaces one time, and I got some nasty blisters. I have heard other hikers say the same thing.
 

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I know this seems odd but have you tried a hunting/hiking boot like Danner's? Or something from Cabela's?
I found I needed boots for the occasion, there is no magical great boot for it all. Winter, waterproof and insulated for on the ground may not translate to the same climate in the saddle for example.
 

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Ask your farrier. Their needs are much like yours.


I went on a serious week long trail ride a year ago. The serious riders wore boots something like this:





 

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I do have awkward feet so can’t cope with anything that isn’t wide enough or has no ‘give’ in it
Combine that with seasonal demands I need two different boots.
My winter boots are Muck boots, the first pair lasted about 9 years and I’ve had the current ones two years. I love them.
Warmer weather boots are a bigger problem as most are just uncomfortable. The Ariat boots didnt stand up well to getting wet when I’m hosing horses down, they get really stiff if you don’t give them a lot of tlc.
This year I’ve bought some Merrill Moab waterproofs that are a rugged high fitting trainer type and they’re great. They look like they’re going to easily last a few years and as I got them from Famous Footwear the price was much lower than the Ariat boots.
 

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Blundstones. I'm horrible on boots too and they have been incredible. They are a boot with a wide footbed that is suitable for riding and walking (I've hiked miles and miles in mine. They are ankle length and pull on. If you keep them oiled they will last forever.
 

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This post reveals your ignorance. If you had a unicorn you'd be running lightly on top of the snow in your elven shoes. No need for boots at all.
Hah, my unicorn rides the short bus. She's a grade unicorn, but I love my Rainbow Brite steed.
 
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