It’s Time to Embrace the Riding Boot—Here’s How to Wear the Horse Girl Essential

You can't go wrong with a timeless riding boot.

It’s Time to Embrace the Riding Boot—Here’s How to Wear the Horse Girl Essential
Embrace your inner horse girl and give riding boots a try. Emma Burleigh for Observer

Autumn has arrived, which means it’s officially time to stow away those sandals, maillots and all things linen and bring out your favorite cozy knits, textured trousers and those boots you’ve been missing for the past few months. A cool girl combat boot and a sturdy lug sole ankle boot are always good options, but let’s not forget about the timeless allure of the riding boot.

The equestrian-inspired shoe might have origins in the horse girl arena, but has since firmly cemented its place within mainstream fashion. While an adoration of all things riding isn’t a prerequisite for a love of the riding boot, the rise of the horse girl aesthetic has surely contributed to the ever-growing appeal of this particular shoe.

Riding boots are traditionally knee-high and made of leather, with a subtle, barely-there low block heel. You can’t go wrong with a classic black leather riding boot, but there are also plenty of more unexpected, high-fashion interpretations of the look, whether it’s a bold colorway, a unique embossed material or a dramatic heel. A riding boot adds an effortless elegance to any look; they’re preppy but no overly so, and bring a more put-together vibe to your ensemble.

The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit Ireland - Day Two
Kate Middleton is a big fan of the classic riding boot. WireImage

You can embrace the equestrian trend and pair the boots with your favorite denim and a tailored button-down shirt, throw them on with a feminine frock for a seamless transitional look, or wear them with tucked-in skinny jeans à la Kate Middleton and noted horse girl Gigi Hadid. Below, take a look at our favorite riding boots that you’ll want to add to your shopping cart ASAP.

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  • Gucci.

    Gucci Zelda Riding Boot

    Go for the full equestrian look in these Gucci riding boots.

    $2,050, Shop Now
  • Franco Sarto.

    Franco Sarto Franco Haleen Over the Knee Boot

    While most riding boots hit right at the knee, these versatile brown leather shoes go above the knee, for a more dramatic yet equally wearable silhouette.

    $270, Shop Now
  • Manolo Blahnik.

    Manolo Blahnik Motosahi Boots

    You can’t do much better than Manolo’s classic black riding boots, which go with absolutely everything and are sure to be a constant staple in your wardrobe from now until forever.

    $1,295, Shop Now
  • Polo Ralph Lauren.

    Polo Ralph Lauren Vachetta Leather Riding Boot

    Of course Polo Ralph Lauren is behind the ultimate riding boot; these cognac-colored shoes have subtle white stitching, a wooden heel and buckled strap.

    $698, Shop Now
  • Proenza Schouler.

    Proenza Schouler Pipe Riding Boots

    Proenza Schouler’s splurge-worthy, timeless black riding boots have a flattering v-cut topline, which also adds to the ease of getting them on and off.

    $1,395, Shop Now
  • Stuart Weitzman.

    Stuart Weitzman Riding Boot

    The Stuart Weitzman 5050 might get all the attention, but we’re partial to these elegant black riding boots, which hit just below the knee and have a convenient inner zipper. Pair them with soft faded denim, your favorite party dress or simply leggings and a tee.

    $795, Shop Now
  • Loro Piana.

    Loro Piana Decker Boots

    Are these Loro Piana boots an utterly extravagant purchase? Yes, they are, but if you want to make a major investment in a forever shoe, they’re surely worth the consideration. These knee-high, equestrian-inspired boots are made of the softest camel-hued leather, with a wider fit that’s incredibly flattering.

    $2,700, Shop Now
  • Sarah Flint.

    Sarah Flint Perfect Riding Boot 30

    Add a touch of pizzaz to your wardrobe with these croc-embossed, garnet-hued boots, which have a slightly higher wooden heel, stretch paneling and happen to be up there with the most comfy options available.

    $1,295, Shop Now
  • Khaite.

    Khaite Derby Riding Boot

    Khaite’s signature minimalism is at its best with these pull-on black calfskin boots.

    $1,460, Shop Now
  • J. Crew.

    J. Crew Berkeley Riding Boot

    If you want a lighter-toned boot but aren’t sure about the whole winter-white aesthetic, try these ecru leather riding boots from J. Crew.

    $398, Shop Now
  • Aquatalia.

    Aquatalia Nerina Boot

    These classic black leather riding boots have simple silver stud accents and also happen to be made using weatherproof technology.

    $650, Shop Now
It’s Time to Embrace the Riding Boot—Here’s How to Wear the Horse Girl Essential