Most helpful critical review
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2012
Selecting riding boots can be tough: with so much shoe, it's difficult to find one that fits sleekly but allows room to tuck in leggings/jeans, doesn't gape at the ankle, and, not least, actually feels comfortable to walk in. There's a LOT of options out there because the equestrian trend is huge right now...
After pouring over a lot of reviews, I determined the look and rumored fit of the Jodhpur was a safe bet. Amazon's price was hard-to-beat and, afterall, Cole Haan makes beautiful and dependable footwear. That's why I was so bummed when they arrived.
Firstly, I'd never have guessed these were Cole Haans. I ordered in the rich-looking black suede... but in person? Wow, cheap cheap! I'm a bit of a suede snob but I know you don't have to shell out big bucks to experience buttery, thick, supple suede. The quality is not what CH usually churns out--the suede was thin, looked worn-in already (the slightly 'distressed' look is so tiresome) and the side goring was what I'd expect to see on a shoe half this price. I noticed in the few moments I had one on, they also picked up everything. Funny, but my other quality suede simply does not do that. Had these been the 'winter-proof' kind of boots like a La Canadienne or similar rugged brand I may have forgiven the look/feel of the suede. But these are hardly weather-proof...the included CH standard 'don't knick or scuff them' card reminded me these are just for lookin' pretty. So why inferior materials?
I ordered in 9 as I'm between 8.5 and 9 and found they were TTS. However, I was so disappointed I didn't even try on the mate. But on the one foot, I could easily tell they would be decently comfy and the width was a steady 'M'. No surprises.
What about the all important fit in the pesky calf area? Too tight, you look like a sausage roll; too loose and it looks like you're trying to smuggle candy bars due to all the gaping. The side panel goring allows for some stretch and I noted that that the Jodhpur has been cited as athletic/wide calf-friendly. At 14 1/2 inches, my calves are fairly standard and the fit was SNUG. Yes, they'd stretch more, but personally, I'd not consider these if you're over 15 1/5 and you plan to tuck in.
Since there is NO ZIPPER, beware if you have a high instep. I don't, so these slipped on with just a bit of wrangling. But having a narrow heel and very low instep may be a requirement if you don't feel like a wrestling match.
Most problematic, besides the inferior materials, was the bunching. No, not at the ankle where riding boots tend to slack, wrinkle, and bunch, but higher on the shin. Very weird. These made me appear to have very thin ankles (a good thing) and then a few inches up the suede stuck out quite awkwardly, then tightened again at the calf. Not a flattering silhouette. Very weird. It's like I had square blocks attached to the front of my shins.
Even if you think the Jodhpur may work, fit wise, if you're a fan of Cole Haan, you'll know this particular pair is not up to their usual standards. These went back the following day. At this price point, you can do much, much better. So my quest continues.