Check with your hunt's master or handbook. My hunt does not allow anything but traditional leather boots. No winter boots, no rubber boots... I invest in a boat load of those chemical toe warmers each winter and they do the trick for me.
If you can't find a pair of dress boots that would pass the "fashion police" test, then I would suggest buying a pair that are TOO big around your calf, have a square toe box and are a little wide or a half size to big for your foot.
This allows you to wear leggings or long johns with your boots and allows you to wear a thicker sock and still be able to wiggle your toes.
I use the toe and foot warmers with my winter boots.
The chemical toe warmers need some oxygen in order to work, so it your regular boots fit like a glove, they will not work as well.
I have these. They are great. I remove the insole from my paddock boots or from my tall boots and then slip them in. The bonus for these is that they don't get your feet too hot as they are thermostatically controlled. Sometimes with the chemical warmers the morning is super cold, but by the end of the hunt its nice and warm and my feet are sweating, so still not cozy.
The mountain horse boots I have are leather dress boots. The lining on the shaft of the boot is a kinda of quilted liner. It absorbs sweat, but also acts as an added layer against the cold. They are 7 years old, so I don't know if they don't make them that way anymore. The best suggestion would be to go look at a pair in a tack shop. The toe box (and overall footbed) of the old style MT Horse boots was very generous. Plenty of room for a wool hiking sock and the foot warmers (chemical or battery powered).
Last edited by jawa; Nov. 2, 2012 at 08:47 AM.
Reason: fixing link, I hope
I had the same problem and ended up buying a pair of Treadstone boots. They have a fake fleece lining and zipper (nice for winter boots), and are surprisingly warm. The two downsides (besides being to short) is that the leather is kinda sueded and won't take a shine and they're so soft they don't feel like tall boots. ETA: Pretty sure they're these, the "Aspen": http://www.treadstone-inc.com/index....y=36&Itemid=10
I use chemical toe warmers. If its cold enough our hunt allows the Mountain horse boots (rimfrost or ice rider). I also have the insulated foot in my Dehners that is now an option on the custom Dehners.
Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted
I have Sergio grassos that I bought a size larger for hunting in- put in ariat insoles in the summer and they are perfect all year. They work great with good snowboarding socks & toewarmers. I've done winter clinics too and they are fab.
And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."
Not all the hunts are strict in the U.S. either. Here in Minnesota, we have late season hunts in October or November that the masters will excuse formal wear so we can hunt. Riders falling off frozen to death is not considered good form, especially if you land on a hound.
Ours doesn't *strictly* forbid things unless they're pretty out there. A friend of mine hunts in field boots, but it is kinda frowned upon. Since I'm the newest member - I'd like to do things right.
I don't need boots that are SUPER warm, if I'm moving I do stay pretty comfortable, but I do need something more than just normal dress boots with thick socks. I can't stand toe warmers in my boots. They drive me insane. Our checks aren't typically terribly long. Generally just long enough to catch your breath, grab a sip of something and then we're off again. I really liked the Ariat Bromonts last year, but didn't want to get a field boot. I'll have to pick up a pair now that they have the dress version of them.
We are required to wear formal wear all season long, but Indiana doesn't really get cold enough that Under Armor and a good Melton aren't sufficient.
I seriously love my Equitector boots. Not only are my dress boots
warm but they are waterproof. They are indeed leather and are very elegant.
Pricey. But worth it. I got lucky, they sometimes have some "returns" on custom boots that did not fit the intended customer and are resold as a fraction of the price. I am a weird fit for boots, but one day they happened to have ones that fit perfect. $900 boots for $175. And they shipped them back with a promise if I did not like them I could return them no cost to me.
Mine have a zip up the back. And are also very cool in the summer. Two thumbs up.