I have used large variety of cross country boots in my day. Having been competing in the sport for close to 20 years (yikes that ages me a bit) different boot trends have come and gone, but the particulars of what a rider wants in a good cross country boot has stayed the same. We are all wanting a boot that is light, doesn’t hold water, has a good structure that doesn’t rub, but also is strong enough to protect our horses legs.
The Carbon Air X-Country Boot by Zandonà is seriously impressive. I tried this boot for the first time on course last weekend at Virginia Horse Trials, which I do not normally do. I normally try to use nothing new at an event because it’s best not to change anything, but these fit the horse so well it seemed silly not to give them a go. Plus they are so sporty in design I thought they looked really smart.
I was really thrilled with function and features of this boot. Straight out of the box you could feel the carbon insert on the shin of the boot for extra protection, but the rest of the boot was easily moldable to the horse’s leg, not stiff at all. These boots also have a shock absorbing liner, so not just the front of the shin is protected. As I was putting them on I noticed the silver air vents around the boot. These make the boots extra breathable, keeping the horse’s leg cool, and it keeps them from holding a lot of water.
One of my favorite features of the boot is the velcro system for the closure of the boot. At first glance you assume it is going to just be the one larger flap closure, but underneath the large flap are two smaller velcro straps. The beauty of this is that the two smaller straps are stabilized by the one larger flap. This means no more electrical or duct tape needed to make sure the boots are going to stay on! They did not slip or move at all after the Preliminary cross country run. You might think this sounds bulky, but actually the boot is very streamlined and it worked beautifully.
After the cross country course my horse’s legs felt great, not hot in the slightest. The boots were very light and honestly almost dry after the walk back to the barn from the end of the course. Another nice feature of these boots is that the inside is seamless which prevents the horse’s leg from getting rubbed. When we hit the winter season this is particular important with the horses legs being clipped.
All in all I would give these boots an A+. They are extremely well thought out and I have complete peace of mind putting them on my horse. “Protect your passion” is the key motto for Zandonà and they have gone above and beyond with these cross country boots. Learn more about the front boots here and the hind boots here.
Check out their U.S. website for the full range of products distributed by Seadog Trading Company. Also stay tuned to EN for a chance to win a front pair of the Carbon Air X-Country Boots this month!