Buying lace-up boots (a few years ago), was a real fashion statement but fast forward to today and they are our best-selling models and not just because they look exquisite. Not only do each pair look (and feel) like a unique masterpiece but they are incredibly versatile and most importantly, offer flexible sizing. Read on to discover how these beautiful boot models compare and which is the best choice for you.
On first glance you could be forgiven for thinking these two models are very similar but look closely and you will notice some major differences. Both have full-length laces and full-length zips (for totally non-fiddle boots) but that’s just about where the similarities end.
The Bia and Bella are structured boots made of panels giving you a firm and supportive feel in the saddle. The concealed zip is off centre and almost hidden from view, which creates a streamlined look and feel. The laces are thread through hooks with the Bia or eyelets with the Bella, which are sealed to your perfect fit from day one but you can adjust the lacing quite easily.
The Bia & Bella
Are the only models where we can add a gloss foot and with any gloss leather chosen we can add a matching (or contrast) inside matt panel so there’s no squeak either – generally (just don’t polish this section too much if you are squeaking). There are also 3 options for the fastening of these models with the long strap and popper (hiding the laces) the most popular, followed by the long strap and buckle (gold, silver, silver and diamante and antique available) and finally a short strap and popper, which leaves the laces on full display giving the longest leg line possible.
Whilst the Bia and Bella require very little in the way of breaking in it will feel very different to a back-zip boot and we always advise clients to prepare to spend a week or two breaking them in. Add to this polished leather and they will feel very firm to begin with!
We refer to the Rita as the baby sister of the Bia and Bella. With eyelet lacing giving a soft appearance and a back zip they will be super soft from day one. We can also add the hooks to the Rita if this is your preference at no additional cost. As with all of our back-zip boots created ultimately from one piece of leather that wraps around your leg, they won’t be as structured as boots created from panels as they don’t have any boning, but they will still be more supportive than you think. The Rita works particularly well as a fashion boot too with many clients buying suede models to wear with jeans and leggings!
So, which to choose?
Styling will most probably be key here and most clients are drawn to one or the other – it’s rare for clients to be torn between the two strangely. Both models offer flexibility in sizing which is favoured by so many riders who know they might fluctuate in weight from time to time – perfect during super-hot summers where most of us will struggle to get their boots up at one time or another. It is worth bearing in mind they will arrive with a perfect fit where the flexibility will come from opening them rather than tightening them.
Dressage riders (in most cases) are more drawn to the Bia & Bella, which offer far more support generally and most definitely in the ankle area - that said both will fit the ankle perfectly! The Rita is most definitely a more casual, laid back model and whilst also loved by dressage riders will be just perfect for showjumpers too.
Eventers, showjumpers and even those hunting (yes, we did say hunting) have also bought the Bia or Bella but this is where they can be divided on opinion as our jumping collection give a far closer contact than the Rita.
Ultimately you can dressage or jump (secure your laces!) and anything in-between and the boots will perform beautifully. The question will be if you want a firm full on dressage boot (Bia / Bella) or a more laid back and as comfortable as old slippers (Rita) pair of boots. Ultimately both will feel amazing after the breaking in period so go with your first instinct and buy the boots you were first drawn to!