Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

equest-shoes-msg - 7/8/15


What shoes or boots to wear for SCA equestrian activities.


NOTE: See also the files: Equest-4-New-art, Horse-Barding-art, horses-msg, saddles-msg, Stirrups-Hist-art, Women-Riding-art, Hors-Training-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From the FB "SCA Equestrian" group:

Bobby Hemken


When getting into SCA Equestrian, what does one usually do for foot wear to provide enough protection but not break the wallet....? grin emoticon


Amy Rose

Many people use modern boots. I'm sure that others will list their favorite period boots as well.


Sharon Kidder

I use standard paddock boots and half chaps. Not period, but does not scream modern either.


Melissa J Haney-Lenarz

I use my modern boots.


Ariel Tuley

I've worn both my modern riding boots, modern "work" boots that could pass for period, and my custom made SCA boots. In terms of protection, I just try not to put my foot under the horse's foot wink emoticon In all seriousness, toe protection was not a facet of boots or footwear in period. I assume they just kept their toes out of the way too.


Cheryl Lang

In the old days. there were Pages or underlings to handle the horse - the rider simply got on. That's part of the equation.


James ApLlewelyn Layne

I wear Justin boots. If like to get the joust boots by viking leathercraft. Most important to me is to be sturdy and have a heel.


Patricia Cross

I wear tall boots with a short heel from scaboots.com and just be careful not to get stepped on.


James ApLlewelyn Layne

I love those boots Patricia, they only have the one style in my size but it looks nice and the heel looks as good as my justins.


Patricia Cross

James ApLlewelyn Layne I get about 6 years out of a pair before they self-destruct but I only wear them for SCA equestrian events. My husband wears his for nearly every event, horse or not, and gets 2-3 years out of a pair.


James ApLlewelyn Layne

That's about what I get out of my period Turn shoes that I fight in at every event, so I would be happy to get 2 to 3 years out of them. Thank you for the review.


Anne-Peryn Nicholls

Start with what you currently like to wear when riding. It's more important that you are comfortable and safe. A lot of riders wear various modern riding boots (cowboy, paddock). Go with dark solid colors. I wear paddock boots with half chaps.


Steve Hemphill

Many great options from Nicole at Revival Clothing.




The Thigh High Riding Boots or the Huntsman Knee Boots are very popular when wearing period clothing and I, personally, like to wear the Ankle Boots when wearing armour (under my greaves). Neither are very expensive and very well made...and fairly accurate to the lat 14th through early 16th c.


Anne-Peryn Nicholls

If you are just starting, wait a bit for your first period pair of boots. Talk to people who wear period boots about what they like/don't like, their favorite manufacturer, etc. You will spend a good amount of $ and a whole lot of walking/riding in them. Try on as many types as you can. Quality and fit vary. I finally settled on a period boot this year at Gulf Wars. My husband has been wearing his from the same place for 3 years and loves them. Some manufacturers go to Cons and Renn faires as well as SCA events. Gives you opportunities to try on the boots.


David Parish-Whittaker

I ride in Bohemond boots-- the softer sole takes a bit of getting used to, though. When I'm doing late period, I ride in a pair of 17th century cavalry boots but I take the characteristic "butterflies" off so they look 16th century. Good, hard sole with heel, bit hard on the feet for walking long distances http://www.re-enactmentsupplies.co.uk/index.php...


Jennifer Mahocker

If you're an equestrian, it goes without saying that shoe store fashion "riding boots" are quite the opposite- those damn saddle-scratching inside zippers. Ugh!


Kristine A Schilling

I found some with a zipper hiding on the back of the leg!


A friend asked me one time, "how can you tell if a person is dressing like a horse rider or if they actually ride?" My response, "zipper location." Lol


Tiffany Parrett

I like my period boots, but it was a few years before I could afford the purchase - will definitely get period boots, again, though when the times.

Before that, I wore my Justin Ropers.


Michele Jordan Nufer

I wear paddock boots with my suede Velcro closure half chaps, definitely passes the 10 ft rule... But as always, safety first...


Kaeleigh Ray

Paddock boots work great. You don't nessicarily need something special or custom made unless you are purposely trying to make a specific outfit. One of my favorite ways to get boots without breaking the bank is by shopping for Paddock boots at a Western Outfitter or for Western boots (cowboy or girl) at an english tack store. If you have work boots or hiking boots, those work as well.


Alexis Garrigues

The SCA boots are a great place to start. They're pretty inexpensive, and look fine for 16th century onward (and are passable for 15th C too). Modern riding boots look like modern riding boots, but this is one area where even those of us who delight in being very accurate often make a compromise. I wear long skirts which cover my shoes, so I feel ok wearing my usual paddock boots on the field. I like to have the tread and heel for safety, especially around keyed-up jousting horses. Some people wear really accurate smooth leather-soled boots (see Steve Hemphill's link), and use an enclosed stirrup to prevent their feet slipping through- or are just careful. It's up to you to decide your own comfort level.


Stefan Li Rous Wonderful info, folks.

But what is a "paddock" boot? Is that why stepped heels were developed on boots? So that your feet don't slip through a stirrup?


Crystal Lin Smithwick     

4:48pm Jul 8

Paddock boots are modern ankle-high boots that are worn around the barn and paddocks. They are less formal than the tall boots used for dressage. Some paddock boots have elastic sides and slip on, other lace. Most people wear them and save the tall boots for competition. There's another style of riding boot called a roper that looks like a round-toed cowboy boot.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org