Now that there’s a chill in the air, it’s time to put those sandals back into the attic and break out the riding boots! My personal favorite pick for this fall is the White Mountain Chariot Riding Boot, which features a very cute chunky silver zipper detail on the side, and a 1-inch wooden block heel.
The material is not too shiny: there is a subtle all-over sheen to the boot, which I especially liked in the cognac color. It’s a rich, mahogany brown that has easy pairability and lends a polished flare to all your fall outfits. The high-low front and back flap detail is also a standout style component that gives it a bit of an edge.
What separates this boot from a lot of others I’ve tried is the roomier, more accommodating calf width and the secure elastic banding along the back of the book via a V-shaped yoke that really gives you some extra comfort, especially when you need to crouch down (many boots I’ve tried dig into the back of your knee when you do that).
I’ve read a few online reviews that the large calf was just too much for them, but those girls must have really been skinny, since I have a pretty normal-sized calf myself and found the size to be just fine. The lining inside is soft and cushiony, and honestly, you don’t even really need to unzip the boot to get your foot in, it’s that soft: you can just pull-on the boot.
I wouldn’t recommend wearing these boots without jeans, though, since the extra room is pretty noticeable from the front, as you can see above. They look better with pants, anyhow. I’d also recommend sizing down a half-size to ensure you don’t end up with the huge-calf problem if you have normal-size calfs like me… they’ll fit just right and you won’t be able to wear those thick socks with ’em in the winter, but hey, you can’t always have it all!
The one funny thing that threw me off a little was that the zipper detail was just that: a non-functional zipper intended solely for decoration purposes. Why not just make it a functioning zipper and do away with the one on the other side? It didn’t bother me too much but it did strike me as a bit peculiar.
As for the comfort level, the boots feature a rubbery sole, which make it a pleasure to walk in. The heel is a bit too solid for my taste, but it should do ok on casual outings… just don’t expect to be able to hike up mountains in them, not even White Mountains (sorry, couldn’t resist!).
They are currently retailing at $59.97 online, which is pretty fair for something that’s in-season.
My bottom line: try the boot on in-store before buying if possible… the size of your calf really factors into whether the boot will work for you (this site has a video that shows the boots in action). Now gallop away to the nearest boutique and let me know what you think!