We are often asked what the ‘rules’ are regarding riding boots in official competitions in the USA. A client recently sent us the rule book downloaded from the USDF website and we found the relevant sections, which you will find below. This is the latest 2023 rules, beyond this we would say check again!
We see many professional riders at the highest levels including riding at the Olympics, wearing our lace up boots but they are generally black and reasonably understated. We are of the opinion having read the rules that most boots are legal but you should think conservatively when it comes from the colours you choose!
We cannot be responsible for your choices and whether they are legal for competition or not so always carry out your own due diligence before finalising your order.
Link to the USDF Dressage Attire and Equipment 2023
1.6 Boots & Half Chaps. For tests or classes at Fourth level or below, riders may wear tall boots or paddock/jodhpur boots with half-chaps or garters, matching the color of their boots, and made of smooth leather or leather-like material. Tall English-style riding boots, including dress or field boots or variations thereof, are required above Fourth Level. Boots of coordinating color(s), with or without accents, are permitted. Boots/shoes worn while riding anywhere on the competition grounds must have a distinguishable heel. (GR 801.9)
1.7 Gloves. White or light colored gloves are recommended and any solid color is permitted at Fourth Level and below. Black, brown, or white gloves are required in FEI tests or levels.
1.8 Military. Current and retired members of the Armed Services and police units may ride in the uniform of their service. All riders who choose to wear Armed Services or police uniform must wear protective headgear as defined in DR120.1 and in compliance with GR801. Members of the Armed Services or police units may wear summer uniforms if jackets are waived.
Also from the USDF website:
Main Photo: Natalie Lankester, International and Olympic dressage rider competing in Bia Dressage Boots.