The 14 Best Women’s Riding Boots of 2023 Are Giving Elevated Horse Girl Energy

There's nothing like this sturdy staple.

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Byrdie / Reese Herrington

The best women's riding boots are classic, always bringing an elevated touch to any outfit, even the most casual involving jeans or leggings. Whether you're giving horse-girl energy in the stables or on the streets, these tall boots typically feature walkable block heels that provide a bit of lift with the comfort of a flat (a functional feature to secure into saddle straps). Some are sleek and minimal, while others come embellished with hardware, straps, or buckles and most often suit those after a timeless look. You can always steer a riding boot into modern or edgier territory with styling, however—think of a sturdy black pair grounding an airy white dress, for example. 

"The riding boot has a timeless, chic aesthetic that evokes a classic, sophisticated style," explains Marine Braquet, co-founder of the Italian shoe label Nomasei. "It is also an incredibly flattering silhouette on the leg, and as long as it is properly fitting, it is also very comfortable." Braquet's co-founder, Paule Tenaillon, loves styling riding boots with long, bohemian dresses as well as with long denim skirts, miniskirts, and culottes.

To help you find your perfect pair, Braquet, Tenaillon, and shoe designer Sarah Flint weigh in on the important details, from the best materials to an ideal fit, which we used to compile our edit of the 14 best styles worth shopping right now. Giddy up. 

Best Overall

Frye Melissa Seam Tall

Frye Melissa Seam Tall


Frye's Melissa Seam Tall boots get high marks for style and price, making them our best overall riding boots. The timeless design is super slick, with modern updates like the polished leather and curved topline that make it fresh and versatile. Yet, distinctive details ensure it stands out from other leather boots in your wardrobe, including the raw-edge seam and buckle detailing. 

 Price at time of publish: $358

Material: Polished full-grain leather | Shaft Height: 16 inches | Size Range: 5.5–11

Best Classic

Anine Bing Kari Riding Boots

Anine Bing Kari Riding Boots

Anine Bing

Glossy leather instantly refreshes the look of a traditional riding boot that you can wear day or night. The low-stacked heel ensures ease and walkability, as does the slip-on design, beautifully enhanced by the asymmetrical shaft. 

Price at time of publish: $600

Material: 100% cow leather upper; 85% leather, 15% TPU outsole | Shaft Height: 19.3 inches | Size Range: EU36–EU41

Best Belted

Banana Republic Cheval Leather Riding boots

Banana Republic Cheval Leather Riding boots

Banana Republic 

Designed for a slim fit through the calf, these timeless riding boots perfectly capture an equestrian vibe with a modern handsome look. Crossover belted accents lend a utilitarian sensibility while the rich Italian leather molds to your feet with every wear for luxe-feeling comfort. And the chocolate brown color? Divine. 

Price at time of publish: $490

Material: Leather upper, lining, and sole | Shaft Height: 15.75 inches | Size Range: 5–11

Best Pull-On

AEYDE Henry Riding Boots

AEYDE Henry Riding Boots


A round toe, pull tabs, and stitch detailing amount to a classic riding boot that exudes contemporary cool. This unadorned style, available in black and brown, feels polished with workwear or dinner attire yet dresses down flawlessly for a weekend spent in the countryside. 

Price at time of publish: $595

Material: Leather upper and lining; leather and rubber sole | Shaft Height: 16 inches | Size Range: 5–12

Best Stacked Heel

Sarah Flint Perfect Riding Boot

Sarah Flint Perfect Riding Boot

Sarah Flint

"I am so proud of our Perfect Riding Boot," Flint tells Byrdie. "We took every style and comfort detail in mind when we designed it." This boot features interior half zips, hidden elastic, wider toe boxes, additional padding, and arch support—all to create maximum comfort and flexibility for our customers. "The vachetta vegetable tanned leather gets a beautiful patina with age, meaning it becomes softer and darker," she adds. "We believe our boot perfectly blends the classic style of a riding boot with something that can easily be styled into your sleek and elevated everyday look." 

Price at time of publish: $995

Material: Italian vegetable-tanned leather; leather lining and insole; leather outsole with rubber lug forepart | Shaft Height: 15.5 inches | Size Range: 4–13

Best Back-Zip

Nomasei Cognac PALOMINO

Nomasei Cognac PALOMINO


"Our Palomino boot is a hybrid between a riding and a motorcycle boot, which makes it a bit more modern," Braquet says. Quality-wise, she highlights the soft leather, but we particularly love its more inclusive fit for wider calves. “Because the leather is such high quality [and pliable], it can work for many leg and calf types,” Tenaillon says.

Price at time of publish: $300 (originally $770)

Material: 100% calf leather upper; 100% goat leather insole and lining; 50% natural rubber and 50% calf leather outsole; recycled wood heel | Shaft Height: Between 16.07 and 17.72 inches | Size Range: EU36–EU42

Best Minimalist

My Theresa TOTEME Leather knee-high boots

My Theresa TOTEME Leather knee-high boots

My Theresa

Masters of minimalism, Totême offers a sleek knee-high riding boot riffing off classic equestrian design details, like the strap at the top of the shaft. At the same time, modern square toes steer this riding boot into an ultra-modern territory, as does the walkable flat silhouette—showcase yours by styling them over jeans or with a floaty mini dress. 

Price at time of publish: $1,130

Material: Calf leather upper; leather lining and insole; rubber outsole | Shaft Height: 16 inches | Size Range: 5–12

Best Lug Sole

Aerosoles Roman Knee High Riding Boot

Aerosoles Roman Knee High Riding Boot


A riding boot, but make it trendy with chunky lug soles? Check and check. But this knee-high style is more than an updated classic; it's super-duper comfy, too. We're talking shock-absorbing-level comfort with memory foam cushioning. So, reach for these on big walking days, be it in your city or on vacation (pro tip: wear them on the plane for plenty of suitcase space and to avoid an overweight bag). 

Price at time of publish: $240

Material: Leather upper; synthetic lining; rubber sole | Shaft Height: 14.5 inches | Size Range: 5–12

Best Buckle

La Canadienne Saint

La Canadienne Saint


Unquestionably equestrian-inspired, this black riding boot is practical yet edgy, with rubber lug soles and polished buckles. They're equipped with far more than an aesthetic vibe, however. Features like cushioned memory foam insoles and a stretchy gore panel at the back of the shaft, which more easily accommodates muscular calves, ensure long-lasting comfort. They're crafted from waterproof Italian suede with breathable microfiber lining that keeps you comfortable indoors or outs and includes recycled elements like recuperated rubber.

Price at time of publish: $650

Material: Suede upper; microfiber lining; rubber sole | Shaft Height: 15.5 inches | Size Range: 5–10

Best Waterproof

Clarks Orinoco 2 Waterproof Riding Boot

Clarks Orinoco 2 Waterproof Riding Boot


Never have you seen a sleeker waterproof riding boot than this refined style from Clarks—they'll have you begging for rain to come your way. The secret sauce, so to speak, is all in the Gore-Tex® waterproofing for a dry and insulated fit in wet conditions. In addition, the full-length interior side zippers and pull tabs make taking them on and off a breeze, while the flexible design offers a close fit (also helping to keep water drops at bay).

Price at time of publish: $190

Material: Leather upper and lining; synthetic sole; Gore-Tex® waterproofing | Shaft Height: 15 inches | Size Range: 6.5–10

Best Embossed

Aquatalia Nerina Croco Asymmetrical Riding Boots

Aquatalia Nerina Croco Asymmetrical Riding Boots

Neiman Marcus

An embossed riding boot is a luxe-looking way to make the look a little more dressed up. This asymmetrical design from Aquatalia combines crocodile embossing with a polished button detail for a lustrous look. The sharp almond toe adds to the elegance, while the stacked heel offers a subtle lift you'll happily last in for hours. Interior zips make for easy on and off—seriously, what's not to love?

Price at time of publish: $725

Material: Crocodile-embossed leather upper; fabric lining, TPU outsole | Shaft Height: 14.5 inches | Size Range: 5–12

Best for Wide Calves

Sam Edelman Drina Wide Calf Riding Boot

Sam Edelman Drina Wide Calf Riding Boot

Sam Edelman

These wide-calf riding boots offer a quintessential riding boot look with maximum comfort for wider-calf needs. Zipper closures and pull-tabs for easy on-and-off make this timeless silhouette all the more appealing, whether paired with a blazer and jeans or a billowing maxi dress.  

Price at time of publish: $125 (originally $250)

Material: Leather | Shaft Height: 16.2 inches | Size Range: 6–13

Best Everyday

J.J. Gray Edgar Riding Boot

J.J. Gray Edgar Riding Boot

J.J. Gray 

These handmade riding boots are crafted from five pieces of calfskin leather with a curved shape that offers a modern take on classic equestrian design. While an investment, they're simple yet functional with a zipper and snap closure detail, making them a great everyday option that will last for years in your wardrobe. They look better and better with more wear as the leather shows natural age and distress.

Price at time of publish: $950

Material: Vegetable-dyed leather; leather soles | Shaft Height: Not listed | Size Range: EU35–EU41

Best Splurge

Khaite Derby Riding Boot

Khaite Derby Riding Boot


Khaite is a connoisseur of luxurious modern classics, and the brand's riding boot offerings are all but an exception. The pull-on style is pared-back while feeling slightly rugged courtesy of the thicker sole and chunky stacked heel. Polished leather creates a more elegant finish, whether you style these unexpectedly with a feminine dress or go the casual route with a sweater and jeans. 

Price at time of publish: $1,480

Material: Leather upper and lining; rubber sole | Shaft Height: 16 inches | Size Range: EU36–EU41

Final Verdict

Riding boots crafted from leather with a simple design, like Frye’s Melissa Seam Tall boots, are the best in terms of versatility and longevity. However, for a trendier approach, you can't go wrong with a version with thicker soles, such as Aeyde’s Henry Riding Boots, while subtle embellishments, like buckles, straps, and buttons as seen on La Canadienne’s Saint boots offer a point of interest that won't interfere with wearability.

What to Look for in Riding Boots 


"A traditional riding boot should be made in durable but supple calf leather," says Flint. "This combination will last the longest and mold beautifully to your foot." Tenaillon and Braquet suggest supple leather, like calf leather. "We wouldn't recommend faux leather as it would be less durable, comfortable, and breathable than leather," Braquet says.


A riding boot should hit right under the knee, with a slight bit of room on the calf so that a sock can fit well and for movement, according to Tenaillon and Braquet. Traditionally, the toe should be slightly rounded, and heels should not exceed .75 centimeters with a thin welt. Flint says an almond toe offers a sleeker look.

"The traditional structure of a riding boot is called a tubo boot and would have no zippers or elastic. This can make it very hard to fit properly, given the large range of calf sizes," Flint explains. "It can also be very hard to get into if you have a high instep." Hidden elastic panels on the boot interior will accommodate different calf sizes, and half zippers at the base make it easier to get on and off.

As for the shaft, Flint says, "A professional riding boot should be quite tight on your calf, but historical riding boots were a bit looser and slouchier. This has become the look that fashion riding boots have taken on."


A sleek, unembellished riding boot offers a more timeless and traditional look. However, it comes down to preference. "The only things I would avoid are buckles high on the shaft, as these will dig into you when you cross your legs," Flint cautions.

  • What is a woman's riding boot?

    "A technical riding boot is a boot made to be used for horse riding," says Flint. "The classic boot comes high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider. A riding boot also has a sturdy toe to protect the rider's foot when on the ground and has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup."

    Tenaillon and Braquet note how riding boots were initially designed to be genderless. "These boots were essential for English style riding," Braquet says. "These come up to just below the bend of the knee, and they fully protect from chafing the rider's ankle and calf."

    "Today, the riding boot is typically used to describe a more classic shape—a knee-high, flat boot with a soft round, almond toe,” Tenaillon adds. “It's generally a simple, straight tube boot that hits under the knee."

  • What is the average height of a woman's riding boot?

    Riding boots should fit right up into the bend behind your knee for a comfortable fit. "The original intention of a riding boot was to have it come up high enough to protect the rider's leg from the saddle," Flint says. "Fashion riding boots typically fall just below the knee. However, we all have different shin lengths, so it can be difficult to get right for every woman without offering multiple heights."

  • When are riding boots meant to be worn?

    Traditionally, Braquet explains, there are different styles of riding boots for various styles of riding, from horse shows to riding for pleasure. “These are standard show apparel, worn by all competitors,” she says. Though, fashion riding boots are a classic fashion item because they’re incredibly versatile. They're often styled with dresses or jeans, Flint points out, for an effortlessly sophisticated look. “They are a more relaxed style of boot that still maintains an elegance for the wearer."

Why Trust Byrdie

Full-time freelance writer and editor Laura Lajiness Kaupke has been covering the best of the best in fashion and accessories for over 12 years, contributing to Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Town & Country, InStyle, Women's Health, Brides, Refinery29, Popsugar, The Zoe Report, Coveteur, Well+Good, The Editorialist, and more. Through the years, she's wear-tested as many brands as possible, continuously adding to the repertoire, in various locations and conditions, from New York City streets to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and beyond. As a former dancer, she's also very clued into footwear design elements that offer the most comfort while prioritizing great design.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find more than one riding boot from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at, and we will evaluate the product ASAP. 

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