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The Evolution of Tall Boot Lacing Systems in UK


In the United Kingdom, where equestrian sports and traditions run deep, tall riding boots have been a symbol of elegance, functionality, and style for centuries. These tall boots, often simply referred to as riding boots, have evolved over time, not only in terms of design and materials but also in their lacing systems. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the fascinating history of tall boot lacing systems in the UK, exploring how they have shaped the world of equestrian fashion and performance.

The Classic Tall Riding Boot

The classic tall riding boot, as we know it today, has a rich heritage that can be traced back to the 17th century. These boots were initially designed to meet the specific needs of equestrians, offering both comfort and functionality for horseback riding. However, it didn’t take long for their elegant design to capture the attention of fashion-conscious individuals beyond the equestrian world.

One of the defining features of tall riding boots is their length, which typically extends well above the knee. This extended height provides riders with excellent support and protection while riding. The initial lacing system for these boots was quite simple, with leather laces criss-crossing their way up the front of the boot and secured with a knot or a buckle.

The Timeless Appeal of Tall Riding Boots

Tall riding boots hold a unique place in the world of equestrian fashion and performance. While their lacing systems have evolved over the centuries, their timeless appeal remains constant. These boots continue to symbolize a blend of tradition, functionality, and sophistication that resonates with riders and fashion enthusiasts in the UK.

The Evolution of Lacing Systems

As riding boots gained popularity among the gentry and aristocracy in the UK, boot manufacturers in the UK began to experiment with lacing systems to enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of these iconic footwear pieces. Here’s a glimpse into the evolution of tall boot lacing systems:

1. Traditional Criss-Cross Lacing

In the early days, tall riding boots were laced up with a straightforward criss-cross pattern. This method allowed for a secure fit, ensuring that the boots stayed in place during demanding equestrian activities. The simplicity of this lacing system made it a practical choice for riders.

2. Button and Loop Fastenings

During the 18th century, an interesting variation emerged in the form of button and loop fastenings. Instead of laces, these boots featured buttons and loops along the sides. This design not only added a touch of elegance but also reduced the risk of entanglement with stirrups.

3. Brogue Detailing and Decorative Lacing

In the 19th century, as fashion trends evolved, riding boots began to incorporate more decorative elements. Intricate brogue detailing and lacing patterns became fashionable, showcasing the craftsmanship of boot manufacturers in the UK. These boots were as much about style as they were about function.

4. Zipper Closures

While laces remained a common choice, the introduction of zipper closures in the early 20th century marked a significant shift in tall boot design. Zippers provided a convenient way to put on and remove the boots, and they often coexisted with laces for a secure fit.

5. Modern Innovations

Today, tall riding boots are available with a range of lacing systems, including traditional laces, elasticized laces, and even innovative technologies like Boa lacing systems. These modern lacing options offer riders a blend of tradition and convenience, allowing for quick adjustments while maintaining a snug fit.

The Role of Boot Manufacturers & Boot Suppliers in the UK

Boot suppliers in the UK play a crucial role in making these iconic riding boots accessible to riders and enthusiasts alike. One such manufacturer is SB Leathers, which has been a trusted name for riders seeking top-quality tall riding boots. Their commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail have earned them a well-deserved reputation in the equestrian community. Established in 2003, SB Leathers has been at the forefront of innovation in boot design. They have consistently offered riders a diverse range of lacing options, ensuring that their boots not only perform exceptionally but also look exquisite.
Whether you’re a seasoned equestrian or someone looking for a stylish pair of boots, SB Leathers, as a boot supplier in the UK, offers a wide selection of equestrian boots to cater to various riding disciplines and personal preferences. Their dedication to providing riders with the best in both function and fashion is a testament to the UK’s proud tradition of equestrian footwear.


As we reflect on the evolution of tall boot lacing systems in the UK, we are reminded of the enduring legacy of equestrian traditions and the relentless pursuit of excellence by boot manufacturers and suppliers in the country. From the simplicity of traditional criss-cross lacing to the convenience of modern innovations, these boots have adapted to meet the needs of riders while maintaining their elegance and style. 

In the heart of this evolution stands SB Leathers, a distinguished name in the world of equestrian boots. Their dedication to craftsmanship and innovation, as both a boot manufacturer and supplier in the UK, has contributed to the ongoing legacy of tall riding boots. Whether you’re embracing the equestrian lifestyle or simply appreciating the timeless elegance of these boots, the story of tall boot lacing systems in the UK continues to captivate and inspire.

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