The title of my blog is a little misleading nowadays. When I first started writing (pre-children), you either found me in heels or riding boots. But my life now wouldn’t work in heels. Chasing toddlers in stilettos is far from ideal and platforms aren’t the usual choice for the local soft play. And if I’m honest, my social life is pretty much non-existent outside coffee dates and playgroups.
So one of my best friend’s weddings last August was probably the last time I wore anything resembling a heel, and if I’m honest, I wouldn’t go back to my heel wearing days other than for the odd night of glam. I’m much happier (and comfier) in wellies, trainers or flip flops.
As part of my newly flat footed wardrobe, I’d been looking for a country boot – I wanted something that would take me seamlessly from dog walk to pub garden, or yard to school run. Something that was practical, hard-wearing, but also stylish and smart. But whenever I started to look, the children’s feet would grow, or a vets bill would come in, and my country boot desire would get pushed down the list of priorities.
So when Rydale got in touch to see if I’d like to review something from their range, I got rather excited. For me, Rydale is synonymous with country chic. Since 1954, the company has been designing quality, reliable and stylish clothing and footwear for country sports and outdoor pursuits. When I think of Rydale, I think of horse riding, dog walking and style – the latter an attribute which doesn’t always go hand in hand with the former two. And the brand suits my life now perfectly.
Had I not had my heart set on my country boot, I’d have been hard pressed to make a decision as to what to choose as the Rydale range is all gorgeous. There is a real variety from more classic tweed styles with modern twists, to hoodies and polo shirts. I’d quite like a full wardrobe from the collection. And don’t even get me started on the children’s range.
I chose the Tullymore II boots in Oak. The boots arrived and the very first impression I got was how good the quality is. The boots are sturdy and well made, despite being made from the softest leather.
Fit and comfort
I am usually a size 8 shoe, but was advised to go for a 7 as the Tullymore II is generously sized. The size 7 fits perfectly, with plenty of room, so definitely size down when ordering these.
The Rydale boots are roomy around the foot, but somehow don’t slip or rub at all. I can honestly say they are the most comfortable boot I’ve ever owned. There is a soft, stitched in lining, which I think really helps with making them so comfy. The roomy design is ideal for horses and dog duties, as you can easily fit in a thick sock in the winter.
Because I am so in love with these boots, I’ve made sure I looked after them properly. I sprayed them with a protector before I first wore them, and have cleaned them regularly. A quick wipe over is all it takes to get them looking like new again though, and they are so durable, they laugh in the face of mud, it doesn’t seem to affect them at all.
I’ve given the boots a good trial with dog walks, yard duties (although I refuse to muck out in them as I’d be devastated if they got the ‘horse smell’) and school runs. One thing I’ve noticed is that they have kept their shape really well and haven’t sagged or folded with the shape of my feet or legs. They still look pretty much like new once they are cleaned up.
I’ve yet to ride in the Tullymore II boots, just because I haven’t ridden in about two years and need to find some time to get back in the saddle. But as soon as I do, I’ll be using these, as I think they’re perfect for hacking out in. I’ll update you on that just as soon as I can find my jodhpurs!
I absolutely love the design of these boots – it’s classic country chic. The colour is a lovely soft brown and goes with so much. They’re roomy enough around the calf to tuck jeans into comfortably and I think you could easily dress them up or down, depending on the occasion.
I can’t remember the last time I got something of real quality for myself. Since the girls arrived, I’ve largely picked the odd bits up in supermarkets or high street stores to update my wardrobe, as children are expensive little things, and their constant growth necessitates new wardrobes for them more than me.
But these boots are a little piece of luxury in my life and I love them. If they ever wear out (which I highly doubt), I’ll be ordering another pair pronto. I like to give balanced opinions when I’m fortunate enough to review products on this blog. I would hate for anyone to buy anything on my recommendation and not be satisfied. But I genuinely can’t find a negative with these boots, I’d recommend them to any country dweller looking for a great all-rounder boot.
Disclaimer – These boots were gifted to me by Rydale for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are entirely my own.