The Real Just Riding | Blog – Tagged "Product Review"

The Real Just Riding: Product Review

Animo Riding Boots... Talking bout my ger, ger generation!!

By Agnieszka JR

Who? exactly.. for those of you not as ancient as my self you wont understand a thing about what I just wrote, having said that who am I to assume perhaps you are all cultured music lovers who know exactly who, The Who are!?

The new generation of horse riding boots from Animo Italia are more than worth a look they are tipped to be the next huge thing in the world of riding boots and recent sales and the trends on social media suggest all the assumptions are correct, I mean come on even Madonna is instagramming herself in Animo!!

So in our last article we touched on the fact that Animo were now creating their riding boots entirely in house and this has proven massive in their move away from the first generation boots and into the latest designs which are simply beautiful. The calf skin is some of the finest calf skin leather, sourced in Italy and conditioned specifically for use on riding boots. The soles are the same as most hand made / made to measure boots use, they are glued and stitched vibram soles, even the zippers are YKK the best zippers in the world. The insides are lined with a softer calf skin leather and the inner soles are also leather lined. There has literally been no expense spared in the making of these boots, from the point of origin to the place of production quality runs through these boots like a vein of gold through an Alaskan mountainside. 

It is unsurprising that we are seeing super stylish and super talented young riders such as Jessica Mendoza, Jo Clee and Mario Stevens wearing Animo Riding Boots, I have a feeling that we are going to see many more of the worlds top riders favouring Animo boots in 2017.  

In a previous article I wrote about the state of riding boots today, in regards to the longevity and durability of the boot itself. I told you about the use of calf skin and importance of country of origin and conditioning of this ultra soft skin. I can not stress the importance of this enough, because calf skin is so naturally soft that it must be worked and handled correctly in the earlier preparation stages in order for it to provide a completely balanced solution. Too soft and sure your foot will feel like it is in a slipper for a few months but you will more than likely be shopping for a new pair within a year, particularly if you ride a few horses a day, Too hard and its blisters for weeks possibly longer and lack of flexibility in the boot which is paramount for riding. It must be just right, and given that I have tested the new generation of Animo for a good few weeks now I can honestly say with hand pressed firmly to heart that they hit the nail on the head with these models. They are soft yet durable, rigid yet flexible... I am so pleased with mine.

The only down side with Animo's new generation of riding boots is not a negative for you, but more a negative for Animo... if as I suspect their boots are going to last for years and years, there will be little need to replace them and so what then?? I think to be honest, I will be buying my next pair of Animo boots out of an obsession for the latest trends and styles rather than necessity.

I can almost hear you all saying, really?!? Yes, I am afraid so.. I own the Zody field boots which I am delighted with and now I see they have released the new Z10 with crystals actually embedded into the toe cap decoration.. I have never seen that before on any boot and so yes, I think I will be treating myself again this year! But isn't it nice to do it because you want to, not because you have to? :-)

Without further a do here are a selection of the new generation of riding boots from Animo for 2016/17.

On the left we have Animo Zody field boots or laced competition boots the most popular boot presently and on the right Animo Zen a ladies dress boot without laces.

Animo Zody and Zen Riding Boots


Here below we have ZOK a dress boot for men (without laces)

Animo ZOK Riding Boots

If you are looking for something with a bit of sparkle and glamour then look no further than the Z10 tall boots embellished with crystals in the toe cap decoration or the ZINIA/17 short boots also lined with Crystal.

Animo Z10 Riding Boots

Animo Zinia 17

You will notice the beautiful ZARA unisex mini chaps in the background on the photo above, a perfect accompaniment to the stunning ZINIA boots. They are also a great combination with the two boots here below. ZAMBIA the ladies short boots and ZEUS the short boot for men, classic timeless style.

Animo Zambia Riding Boots

Animo Zinia

For any questions about Animo you are welcome to speak to a member of staff or to browse the Animo Italia Riding Boots Collection you can click here.



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Parlanti Passion K Riding Boots | New Products | Blog

By Agnieszka JR

Introducing the latest offering from Parlanti the KK Boot or K Boot as some people are calling them. Professional riders seem to be seeking comfort of classical styling, certainly in 2016 we have seen this more and more with increased sales of Parlanti's K Komfy short boot and Ocala the tall general purpose boot which we like to refer to as a cross over boot because you can ride 5 horses a day in them, give them a polish and look perfectly respectable on the weekend.

Well these are the replacements for Ocala, and we are not disappointed!

Parlanti K Boots

First of all the boots are incredibly comfortable with increased use of buffalo leather and elastic stretch panels to ensure both durability and fit to the riders leg and foot. The exclusive B-Flex rubber sole and two elastic inserts will provide the best fit you could hope for. KK-BOOTS are the ultimate in lightness and comfort. They are both beautiful and durable.

Buy Parlanti K Boots right here.

Parlanti KK Boots

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Riding Boots Lasting the Distance & Buying in 2017...

By Agnieszka JR

We have been selling riding boots well pretty much since cows started eating grass, it's quite a long time ago..

We have invested in a few riding boot brands over the years, some have stuck and some have not. The one factor that always and I mean always plays a key role in the rise or demise of a horse riding boot, and that is QUALITY. Quite simply if your boots are cheaply made even with all the best marketing in the world the company will have their glory year or two and then the warranty claims will start to come thicker than the new sales and bang, the company is drowning and twelve months later its goodnight sweetheart... thanks for the memories. So, now that I have depressed onto the in's and out's of it all.

What I said earlier is actually true, remember those custom Konigs you bought in 2006, the ones you polished last week (in 2016) and rode out on? sadly the days of finding boots built like they used to make them are dwindling into the non existent, because the demand for a more comfortable, more technical and more aesthetically pleasing boot has exceeded the ability to produce them. We live in a time where trends are now hashtagged and become global in seconds, not even hours or days! Gangnam style was released and within 300 seconds it had already trended as a global hashtag and people were going crazy about it, an hour later and the guy was ordering his first Lamborghini. So when the "right" people start hashtagging, blogging, faecbooking, Instagramming... blah, blah, etc about a new pair of riding boots then people start to ask questions. What's this all about? "Everyone" is raving about them... and then the golden question "Where can I get a pair?"

Something I hear often from our customers is, how come my old boots I bought in 2000 are still going and this new pair I paid $1000 for only 12 months ago are starting to fall apart. The answers to this questions fall across a couple of different categories. The first is, It is your fault! Now that may sound strange but let me explain..

Remember the days when you used to buy a new pair of riding boots and it would take 3 or 4 weeks to wear them in, you would be there every night rubbing the Vaseline into the back of the heel, using a warm wet sponge on the outside of the leather.. wearing them in your house wondering around your kitchen in your nightie and pair of riding boots. I remember it well, we had to do that because the boots were pure hell, they carved up the backs of our heels like fresh ham on a sharpened cheese grater. In fact I think some of the boots I bought in the past may well have had cheese graters inside them, stitched into the back of the heel.

But, and this is the big but.. it was all worth it in the end because these boots eventually molded to your feet and only your feet and you ended up with a pair of boots that slipped over your feet like a satin glove over a royal hand. Which brings me onto one of the reasons why we now have boots that don't last because a few of us just couldn't handle wearing riding boots with our nighties anymore, they didn't want to wait 4 weeks or more for their new boots to fit them, they had no patience or acceptance of the fact that their heels would be grated for the weeks proceeding the purchase of a shiney new pair of boots and they started to whine about it. Not only did they start to complain about the boots rubbing them they also started to complain about having to pay $1500+ for a pair of custom made to measure boots. So, inevitably the manufacturers stated to look at what they could do to meet the market demand.

They needed boots which did not cost as much and did not require wearing in, and so manufacturers started to explore using calf skin for the leather uppers and mass producing them as apposed to making them by hand. Now using calf skin for the leather uppers in riding boots is absolutely fine but you also have to remember that there are over 10 different ways to tan leather. They range from using vegetable products, Formaldehyde and even the oils from animals brains.. yes, you read correctly I said animal brains but this is a rare procedure. I am not going to get into the finer details of the preparation of leather all I will say is that there are three main stages which are preparatory stages, tanning, and crusting and within these stages in particular crustings which is the process that thins, retans, and lubricates leather there are around 20 possible options including the addition of colour.

So just simply using Calf Skin will give you a soft boot of course, but the process in which the calf skin has been made and the country of origin of the leather will almost certainly determine the life expectancy of the boot. 

I think and this is just my opinion, that in the pursuit to produce the most comfortable boots to meet the highest demand manufacturers have overlooked durability. Using the cheapest conditioning methods on the calf skin will reduce the final cost of the leather and also speed up the process of producing the calf skin. Using this type of conditioned calf skin for the uppers in the first place as apposed to regular cattle skin or buffalo will produce an "instant" comfort for the consumer but at what cost people?! Sure you'll slide your foot into your new boot jump up on your horse, run around the barn for a few hours and  be delighted at the fact that you don't have a blister in sight, but in 8 or 12 months when your calf has worn its way through the side of your boot or the soles have peeled off how delighted are you going to be? 

It is a delicate issue for the consumer, of course some wont mind replacing their $1000 boots every 12 months but most of the riders that I have spoken to aren't going to be overly happy about it. 

New K Boots from Parlanti

The New K Boots from Parlanti are becoming a popular choice due to their durability and comfort, they are made from conditioned buffalo leather.

My final opinion on purchasing riding boots in 2017. Don't rush into buying a pair of boots just because they feel soft, by all means you should consider calf skin but be aware of the company that is manufacturing the boots. Where the boots are really made and the origin of the calf skin used in the boots, most retailers will provide you with this information if you ask them. If you stand the new boots up in front of you and they sag over to one side something is not right, calf skin is soft but they should stand proud and firm when new. Look at the soles of the boots, stitched and glued vibram soles are used by the best boot makers in the world and this is a sure sign of a quality finish.

Animo Zody Riding Boots

Animo Zody Semi Custom Field Boots are made from the finest Italia calf skin, feedback on these boots is hugely positive. They are calf skin lined and they have glued and stitched vibram soles. These boots are made to last, 100% in Italy.

If your boots rub you when they are new then so be it, it probably means they are well made and will end up lasting you many years just get the vaseline out and rub a little on the inside of the heel and buy yourself some compeed patches. Don't going running out for a new pair of boots. Another tip for 2017 if you ride a lot of horses is to look out for boots made from Buffalo leather it is much tougher than calf skin and will last much, much longer. Once it has been worn in; Buffalo leather boots will fit your foot like a glove.

Tucci Marilyn Riding Boots

Tucci Marilyn Dress Boots, we have seen an increase in sales in the Marliyn model by Tucci in 2016, there is no denying that this Italian made boot is one of the most beautiful boots by appearance. This coupled with the use of fine Italian leather and you have a recipe for a stunning all round riding boot.

You can buy horse riding boots from Animo, Parlanti or Tucci right here.

This original article is copyrighted to Just Riding 2016.


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Animo Riding Boots | A Beautiful Proposition

By Agnieszka JR

And so this year marks the year where Animo Italia seem to have really thrown themselves in the equestrian riding boot market. This year we can see at least 4 new ladies models of boots including a casual cross over boot as well as 2 new mens models but we will get onto that in a moment.

Lets talk about the new designs of these Animo Italia Riding Boots and the phenomenal quality of these new models. As many of our customers may know Animo first released boots a couple of years ago choosing to partner with established Italian boot maker De Niro, as we also know the whole thing just didn't quite gel the feedback we had on the boots wasn't as good as we had hoped for. I personally think the issue was this, Animo's design and style influence comes from one person, some might say a creative genius I would tend to agree.. when you start throwing other influences into what is essentially a one man machine I don't think it works well.

So the new range is made 100% by Animo Italia in house at their headquarters in sleepy Bassano Del Grappa, Italy and wow!! can you see the difference! I mean seriously these new boots are something else! The entire feel and general aesthetics of the boots has changed, they are in my opinion the closest you would come to perfection in a ready to wear riding boot right now. 

The Animo Riding Boots for Ladies consist of 4 tall boots, 1 paddock boot and 1 casual cross over. Respectively they are Animo ZOE, Animo ZAMI and Animo ZICO in the tall boots and Animo ZAMBIA in the paddock boot.

Animo Riding Boots ZICOAnimo Riding Boots ZOEAnimo Riding Boots ZAMI

The new casual cross over boot for Ladies named Animo ZEIT come in 3 colours Blue, Brown or Black and are decorated with metal studs which flow around the contours of the boots and across the toes. These are a statement of beauty and I defy anyone not to fall in love with them at first sight.

Animo Italia Casual Boots ZEIT

The men are attended to with a Tall Boot and Ankle Boot, The Animo ZEPPELIN and the Animo ZEUS. The Zeppelin feels more masculine than the previous four ladies tall boots, which is as it should be I feel. Many boot makers are offering these so called unisex boots that can allegedly be worn by men and women alike you just need to buy a larger size. My question is simple, when was the last time you dated a guy whose feet looked like yours?? Men have different feet and by this I dont just mean bigger I mean generally bulkier, wider, taller.. I think you get my point. Well as far as I can see Animo seem to be the only ready to wear boot maker addressing this in the shape of the Mens Riding Boots ZEPPELIN and ZEUS.

Animo Italia Riding Boots ZEPPELIN

The ZEPPELIN above looks like it belongs on the foot of a spartan warrior! Its chiseled and oozes testosterone, I have to say I love this boot!

If you are the type of rider who likes the combination of a short boot and chaps then Animo have answered this question to with the previously mentioned ZAMBIA for women and ZEUS for men. Lets take a look at these two and the chaps or gaiters whichever you prefer, you say tomato I say... etc etc..

The ZAMBIA Paddock Boot or Jodhpur Boot or Ankle Boot..again depending where you are in the world to me is reminiscent of a classic Italian sports car, it is sleek and low profiled, smooth, sexy and sublime. The line from the toe cap to the front of the sheen is uninterrupted and comforts the natural line of the ladies foot so well it's practically glove like. Combine these with the Animo ZELDA or Animo ZUNE half chap and you have just achieved absolute completion in riding footwear.

I'll come onto the half chaps in a minute, now lets take a look at the Mens short boots, the ZEUS.

As with the ZEPPELIN it is immediately apparent that you are looking at the mens version of the short boot and no longer looking at the ZAMBIA. While the incline from toe to shin is once again smooth and uninterrupted the line seems to move more steeply and with more aggression that with the ladies shoe, giving the shoe a slightly higher profile which is in my opinion as it should be with a mans shoe. The heel seems less apparent although this could be an illusion due to the nature of the incline from lower to upper shin. The boots are crafted in the same Italian calf skin as all of Animo Italia's riding boots they are soft and yet strong. The pairing of these with the classic Animo ZARA half chap is a marriage made in heaven. 

Animo Italia ZAMBIA Riding Boots

*Animo Zambia

The Animo Italia Half Chaps, Mini Chaps or even Gaitors as some call them are an absolute compliment to the boots, well obviously they would need to be wouldn't they?! Engineering chaps is a challenging and costly task, chaps are notoriously hard to make fit well and work in the right way, so many companies have released chaps and boot combinations but none to my knowledge have escaped problems with zippers and fit of the chaps, after several variants they are starting to get it right. For Animo this simply was not a problem, the solution and reason why Animo Italia produce the best possible product from the outset.. it is actually quite simple. Start right using the best possible materials and do not cut costs. Animo manufacture all of their chaps in Italy from the very best raw material including the best zippers and leather. By using the best of everything from the outset and making the products in their own building they were able to produce a perfect product from the outset. It really is that simple.

In the ladies range of gaitors we have 2 models both of which are beautifully decorated. The first is the ZUNE and the second is called ZELDA. Even though both chaps feature decoration they are still somewhat unassuming, stylish and classy not overly brash or too blingy for one to take seriously. For me it is typical of Animo in that they can produce such a serious product used for contact with the horse under stress and heavy workloads and still maintain that look of class and beauty, it doesn't look like an aggressive sports utility vehicle with zips and poppers all over it, its doesn't need to have all of that excessive nonsense going on, it is an Animo Gaitor 100% made in Italy under the watchful eye of the designer. That is what sets you apart from the next rider when you choose to put Animo on your feet.

Here below we have images of all three chaps including the ZARA for men, which is a classic chap which pairs beautifully with the Animo ZEUS ankle boots. These ones at the top are Animo ZUNE...

Animo ZUNE Half Chaps

I wanted to show the fit of the chap against the boots, look at these here below..

Animo ZUNE ChapsAnimo ZELDA ChapsAnimo ZUNE Chaps

If you are looking to make the switch to Animo Italia for your riding footwear browse directly to our website here:


Original Article Copyright Just Riding 2016


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Lorenzini Stirrups - Product Review

By Management Team

Lorenzini Titanium Stirrups Guest Review By International Show Jumper Aleksandra Lusina

I have been riding for around 30 years, during this time I have represented my country and competed and won at WEF Kentucky, Europe Championships Manheim, Europe Championships, London, CHIO Achen , CSIO Rome, CSIO LA Boule , CHIO Rotterdam.  I compete in Grand Prix events at the highest levels nationally and internationally.  I am currently training in the United States. During these years I have used many, many different types of stirrups iron/steel, plastic, carbon, spring action, safety ones.. black, red, blue, even pink once... lol my point is I have pretty much tried them all. 

I had recently decided on Freejump Soft Up Pro I have been riding in these for the last couple of years and actually quite enjoyed using them particularly for training and bringing on younger horses as falling and hooks ups although fairly uncommon do still happen with younger horses. I was happy with these stirrups and had no intention of changing. To be honest I had got kinda fed up with people saying "try these they are unbelievable" #thelatestthing, #amazingstirrups!! I mean come on.. #reallypeople?!?! get a grip they are stirrups I mean how good can they be?? 

Then these came along... Lorenzini Titanium Stirrups and yeah o.k to look at they are pretty beautiful but the kicker came after riding in them. Wow, just wow! These are something else the precision engineering that has gone into these can literally be felt through your foot, it is quite unbelievable. I thought to myself how on earth have they managed to produce this? and so I researched the company a bit and Lorenzini have been precision engineering equipment for the medical industry for decades before they stepped into the equestrian arena, they are a family run business owned an operated privately and based in Italy.  

Not only have they managed to transfer their amazing gift of producing highly precise medical equipment to equestrian products they have also patented the application of Titanium for this purpose. I'll come onto the material in a while because I also found this fascinating, let's just say Titanium (The Metal) is an element with many unique assets...

So it started to make complete sense, the reason why when you stood them on a flat surface every single pair leaned under their own weight slightly backwards at exactly the same angle (I mean exactly) it's all about precision. 

Unlike the stirrups that we have been used to up until now, you know the flat ones with the flat treads they calculated at what angle the riders foot should ideally sit in the stirrup and then develop a rounded based which is weighted more to the back edge to encourage that angle when the foot is placed on the foot plate and believe it or not it is this one piece of genius engineering that sets these stirrups quite literally decades ahead of what we are all using today.  

When your riding you get this feeling of complete complimentary support from the stirrup, your not fighting with the stirrup or looking for it, your foot isn't ever awkward or out of place. The treads are perfectly made very grippy and so not only is your foot positioned right it stays there.

I just wanted to add this about the metal, Titanium is the only metal that is completely non corrosive and at the same time does not react in anyway with living cells, it is why they use Titanium in medicine for surgical pins etc.Which means that its complimentary to you and your horse both in the wearing of it and the handling. I also found out that Titanium is as strong as steel and twice as strong as aluminium, but is 45% lighter than steel! 

I still use my Freejump everyday for training and bringing on young horses as they are excellent stirrups and incredibly safe but I now only ever compete in my Lorenzini and I challenge anyone to ride in them and not buy a pair, everyone that rides in mine wants some. 

I hope you have enjoyed my review of this product, the product is of course available from Just Riding and comes in pretty much any colour you can imagine. The treads can be unscrewed and replaced with new ones or with ones specifically made for dressage and they have custom foot guards which fit perfectly on the front of the stirrups for polo. I have also been using Lorenzini Titanium protection boots, Bits and Spurs and will be posting reviews on these items as soon as I can. Here below is an image of the Aluminium coloured stirrups with Dressage treads attached.

UPDATE: 08/04/17

Lorenzini was acquired by Equiline in 2016, while details are few at the moment what we do know is that Lorenzini will continue producing for them for now, the range has been reduced as we no longer see the iridescent or matt variants on the 2017 price list. Whether this means that this is the last we will see of the Limited Edition variants from Lorenzini I honestly couldn't tell you. I do know that the stirrups are still being produced to the same excellent standard. I am inclined to think the Equiline being behind this brand is a very good thing, lets wait and see...

Freejump - Just Riding made a decision in 2016 to stop selling Freejump stirrups.

If you are looking for a safety stirrup we now stock the Venice by Tech Stirrups for both children and adults. The stirrups is very sturdy and it is being marketed as a genuine safety stirrup, the feedback from our customers has been excellent and we are seeing the same vibe echoing through our social media channels. So far then it is a BIG THUMBS UP for Tech Stirrups!!



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