PONY'TUDE Approved: Deniro Salento Dress Boots
Last year, my tried-and-true Ariat Challenge field boots gave up the ghost at our final show of the season, and I started casually researching their replacements. At 10 years old and with two prior zipper replacements, my Challenges were pretty much shot and new boots were needed before the next year's show season began.
Despite not wanting to spend much over $500 for new boots, I ended up buying the DeNiro Salento Dress Boots - which retail for about $700 - and I have no regrets! Here's why:
What really sold me on the Salentos vs. DeNiro's less expensive boot was the sturdy leather and quality construction. In the age of Calfskin Everything, I was looking for a boot that was built to take a beating. The Salentos are fully lined, and while they certainly aren't stovepipe-stiff, the leather is much thicker than many other similarly-priced off-the-rack boots. This was a BIG purchase for me, and I definitely can't afford to replace my show boots more than every ten years or so! I needed a boot made with a leather that wouldn't wear through with normal use.
No matter the price of a pair of boots, the most important factor is fit. A $200 pair of boots can look just as good as a $1,000 pair of boots if the fit is absolutely perfect. The DeNiro boots are a perfect fit for my narrow feet, small ankles, and slim calves. They fit like they were custom made for me. Can't beat that!
Deniro boots are PRETTY, there's no doubt about it! The high Spanish tops, square toe, silver logo button, and sleek outline are fashion-forward and just plain beautiful. Italian shoes are the best of the best, and the quality shows in DeNiro's boots - the stitching is tight and even, the insides of the boots are finished impeccably, and every detail is perfect.
I LOVE the little rubber loop at the top of the boot that holds up the zipper - it is the most genius thing I've ever seen! The Salento boots also feature a spur guard tab at the bottom of the boot that covers the zipper, as well as spur rests, subtle elastic gussets along the back, and snaps that close tightly with a light touch and come undone easily. No wrestling with sticky snaps!
I Could Do Without...
As much as I adore my DeNiro Salento dress boots, there are a few things that I would change about them. First on that list is the break-in time. I've heard that other people had no issues with break-in, but I had an absolute hell of a time during the first few weeks I wore these boots! They are quite tall, and even with heel lifts in they totally shredded the backs of my knees. The boots were also so tight that they made my feet fall asleep for many of my first rides in them. I went through a period of time where I really dreaded wearing them and wondered if I had just wasted $700 on boots that didn't fit right. But I was persistent with them, and wore them every ride until they softened up and dropped. I also sprayed the inside of the boots with rubbing alcohol and wore them around the house, which did help the process along.
|Beauty = Pain|
In short, if you're looking for a beautiful, modern, high-quality off-the-rack just-as-nice-as-custom dress or field boot under $1,000, DO check out DeNiro! They also have TONS of gorgeous custom options for those who have a little more cash to play with. My imaginary next pair of Deniros will be brown with navy piping... and maybe some croc accents... yeahhhh.... They're worth the pain!