I was beginning to think I’d never find off-the-shelf tall boots to fit me. What most boot companies consider “wide,” I would consider pretty average or athletic. Maybe I’m off base, but who knows?
About a year and a half ago, I found myself considering showing again after a 7 or 8 year hiatus. I didn’t have anything. I was pretty panicked. Even after I ordered my Fuller Fillies Field Boots from SmartPak, I was terrified that they would arrive and I wouldn’t be able to zip them.
Having experienced the painful hunt for appropriate tall boots myself, and having worked in a tack shop trying to help other people find them, I know it can be heartbreaking.
I had them shipped to my husband’s office, and when they arrived I drove straight down there to see them. I was so excited. I put them on over my jeans and they zipped right up on the first try! I was ecstatic. I’m pretty sure I frolicked around the bank where he works with the boots still zipped over my jeans.
So, what follows, is an in-depth review of my experiences with my Fuller Fillies boots over the last year and a half.
Size: 9 UK/11 US Extra Wide Calf, Standard Height
Not only do they come in large calf sizes, but they offer a wide range of foot sizes and 3 different heights, so most anyone can find a combination that works. When measuring, I recommend going off of what is listed on the Fuller Fillies website, because I’ve seen different variations and theirs would be most accurate. Along with the size guide on their website, they also have an in-depth guide on how to measure.
I was a little off on my measurements if I’m honest. Had I the time to return them before my first show, I probably would have gone down a foot size and up in height. But I didn’t have time, and they still work fine for me.
I find that the foot runs a bit on the large size. It is also fairly wide. My foot is not particularly wide, so I have a lot of space in the footbed. I usually wear thick REI hiking socks with them and do ok.
They are not particularly tall on me, and they break down rather easily. I could tell when I put them on that they were going to end up being too short on me. I can get at least 2 fingers between the top of the boot in back and the back or my knee with my knee bent. But, it isn’t enough to really worry about. Just keep in mind that if you measure yourself and think they might be a bit on the short side, but you’re afraid the tall will be too tall, I’d still go with the tall. You can always wear a heel lift while you break them in.
The calf has ample space, and the large elastic gussets make them very adjustable. I’m actually right in between a wide and an extra wide on the calf. I could probably make do with either. The gussets don’t really have to stretch on my calves, and when I’m not all hot and sweaty, I can put my arm most of the way down inside them. But, from the outside, they really don’t look that big. I also know I’ve lost almost 20 lbs since I bought them.
I have been riding in my boots 3 or 4 times per week minimum for more than a year.
Here they are. Unadulterated and unclean. I’ve bathed horses in them, run around horse shows all day in them, shown in them, schooled in them, and fallen in them. As you may notice, the front one (the right boot) is missing its signature Fuller Fillies rivet with their logo. I did a cannonball off of my leased jumper/eq horse coming out of a two stride. I forgot to turn, he went left, I went right, and we parted ways. I landed on my knees and skidded through the dirt on my boot. The boot repair guys couldn’t put humpty dumpty back together.
When I need them to be shiny and pretty for the show ring, they clean up really well. They are a nice deep black and they take polish really well. I rarely clean them because I am lazy. They still clean up nicely when I need them to.
These boots are really nice. The leather is a great quality and nice and thick. The elastic across the back is still nice and stretchy, as are the field laces. The leather is hardy, and stands up to all I put my boots through. I am not nice to them. The zippers have taken a beating and still work great. I had about an inch of the inside stitching re-done from when I fell, but other than that they have taken everything I’ve thrown at them. They are comfortable, and I don’t feel that I look out of place in the sea of custom boots.
I had a show coming up in a week and a half when I got my boots. I was afraid I would have to go through the painful process of breaking in new boots.
The first day I rode in them I gave the inside of the calf a spritz of Sporty Haft-Spray to give me some grip until the leather on the breaks in, and off I went. I never had any pain or rubbing. They started to drop in the ankles immediately.
By the show, they looked like they were fully broken in.
I was very impressed. After a month or two, the inside of the boots developed a nice flat grippy area where I use my calf muscles.
These boots are incredible. They fit. They’re comfortable. The look nice. They last. At $329, the price is pretty great, especially when you compare them to other off-the-shelf boots. I love mine. You may need to make a few concessions with fit, but that will happen with any production boot.
I know I’ve beaten my boots up, so I will probably be ordering a size smaller on the foot and calf in a tall in the next few months to use for showing. I’ll write more about that when it happens.
Scooby helps me model my awesome Fuller Fillies Field Boots, and they’re actually sort of clean!
(Top-SanSoleil, Breeches-Piper Plus by SmartPak)