Getting equipped for riding


New Member
Oct 6, 2019
I am trying to get equipped to ride so I can accompany my daughter when she rides out. I have done some riding in the past but not a great deal so I'd count myself as a new rider.

My problem is that I am physically big. I'm 6'2" with a large head and feet so finding equipment that fits is a problem. After a lot of searching, I found a size 63 skull cap so head protection is sorted.

My main problem now is footwear as I take anywhere between a size 12 and 14, depending on shoe brand. No equestrian suppliers close to me seem to carry riding boots bigger than size 11 so I can;t try anything on in-store locally. I have had conflicting advice regarding what I should wear, for example someone told me it was OK to ride in wellingtons, and someone else said it wasn't safe to do so. I've tried 2 pairs of jodhpur boots that I ordered online and had to return them as they were uncomfortable to wear. So, I'm basically demoralised and confused. Do I need long or short boots, do I need half-chaps, are non-equestrian boots OK, etc etc

I found some walking boots in Go Outdoors that were comfortable and had a suitable sole and heel (I'm told that is important) butthe half-chaps that would go over the bulky shape.

So, my question to the forum is, what footwear would be suitable to allow me to ride safely, and where do I find it?
I was told that riding in walking / hiking boots was acceptable - this is when I was having lessons. But you say that the half chaps won't fit over - have you tried going up a size in those so that they are a looser fit? The amara ones are generally quite stretchy. I personally don't like Wellingtons full stop but I know some of the teenagers used to ride in them. As a child it was all I had to ride in! Not sure how acceptable or safe it would be today though. Mountain Horse are extremely generous size wise in their riding boots - you might find that they can accommodate.
Anything with a clear cut heel, and ideally not too much tread on the sole should be fine. Work boots or short pull on boots would be worth looking at. You don't need chaps, but if you're riding for long they do protect your lower leg from the stirrup leather though thick long socks under jeans would do the same. Full chaps, if you decide to continue riding, often have a looser fit around the ankle since they don't rely on it to hold them up.
I'd ride in any boot that has a smooth or not too grippy sole that has a defined half inch + heel, I've ridden in welly's like hunters but they're not my first choice as they like to try and fall off when my feet aren't in the stirrups. I have a pair of walking shoes I ride in, there's no bulk at the ankle then, but my absolute favourite are ariat boots, they'd do your size as do a full mens range but they aren't the cheapest.
Hiking boots are not OK. One needs a smooth soled boot for riding and safe hiking depends on all those ridges or vibram soles. I bought aryat and mountain horse for my OH.
But over bigger lace up boots (in winter) one needs larger half chaps. It is a good idea to biuy the ones from the same maker designed to go over those boots. Ours were Mountain horse.
Very helpful comments, thanks everyone. I've tried on Ariat boots and sadly, they only go up to size 12 which is too tight for me. I'm tempted to send for the Mountain Horse boots from as they have size EU48 and it's free returns.
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Very helpful comments, thanks everyone. I've tried on Ariat boots and sadly, they only go up to size 12 which is too tight for me. I'm tempted to send for the Mountain Horse boots from as they have size EU48 and it's free returns.

MH boots are very generous size wise. To give you an idea, I normally buy a six in boots - every other pair I have are sixes. I buy a four in theirs! So they might be worth you trying. They are good boots too. Rideaway is an excellent place too - I used to love going there to visit.
If you want to ride in boots (whatever kind), it might be an idea to have your own stirrups/stirrup irons with you. The Icelandic double bend ones are extra safe for the larger boot. - these go up to a 45 EU

I would also look at the Icelandic riding clothes. They cater for the larger/taller man. As a beginner, I would steer clear of tall riding boots. They do not help you and your leg movement is instantly restricted.
I sometimes ride in wellies but those that have a big toe box or very baggy at the top are not suitable. If you come off the toe can get stuck in the stirrup.
I have changed to double bent stirrups and actually quite like them. I thought my feet might slip out when riding as my leg control isn't Brill but I've been fine.
I have in the past ridden in those canvas type walking boots with chaps. I currently ride in a pair of dickies ladies steel toe caps with chaps. I also ride in country boots.
For someone with larger legs I would say youd be better with a short boot and chaps. I have a pair of swede half chaps that are velcro all the way up, instead of a zip. They were given to me and I've no idea if you can still get them. Perhaps look on Google for velcro chaps. But they give you a bit more adjustment than a zip pair.
@Frances144 makes a very good point about stirrups - if you have big feet make sure the stirrup irons are wide enough that your foot won't get wedged in if you fall.
I ride in Blundstone boots. They will definitely go up to your size. In fact I live in my Blundstone boots. We all have Blundies in our family. They are the best boots ever.

They go up to a size 12. My Blundies are 2 years old, replacing the ones I had for the last ten!
I often ride in muckers and half chaps. The over ankle bit on muckers is not too thick, and quite soft (In some makes) but def go up a size/width in half chaps, they tend to be tight round that area.
You might find that gaiters or boots aimed at walking/ sailing/ climbing etc work better than the equestrian designed products.
And cheaper!