Monday, February 6, 2017

Centaur Classic Dressage Boots Review

This past summer, I grabbed a pair of Centaur Classic Dressage Boots because the chunky look was all the rage and I wanted to take them for a whirl. I got them at Victory Canter, where there is always a 10% off coupon, so I paid around $70.
so new!
You might remember these boots from their hilarious video introduction on the blog.

Construction


This is a really interesting design for a boot--it's essentially a hard-shelled open front boot covered in a sleek non-leather lining with a layer of padding underneath. Per the official description, "Pliable padded vinyl boots with rigid protection plates where they are needed most - the ankle and tendon area."
who remembers summer?
These are possibly the easiest boots ever to put on. The molded shape means that you put them on the leg above where they would go, slide them down into place and when they sit comfortably, just a quick velcro up. No holding the boots up to make sure it covers the right things or trying to line up velcro or whatever. Drop 'em on, slap 'em shut. Done.

The pull tabs are easy to grab with or without gloves. There is no fleece to build up dirt and scurf in and they're very easy to hose out to clean and hang dry, plus the exterior vinyl looks clean with little to no effort.

Fit

Courage is a very, very average medium sized horse when it comes to fitting boots. Nothing weird about his sizing. (Lots weird about his opinions, but there's a whole Instagram devoted to that.) I got him the horse size and they fit exactly right. I loaned them to a friend for her tiny, spindly-legged critter and they spun like tops. There isn't a small horse or pony option I know of, but you can size up for bigger horses.
boots!
Basically, if your horse fits in average size open front boots (roma, eskadron, etc), these will be perfect.
hind boots fitted correctly
I will also say that the hind boots tend to fit a little lower on the hind legs than I expected. I tend to wrap pretty high up the cannon and these set 2-3" below where I would end a wrap, but since Courage interferes further down, it's really only an aesthetic thing and it doesn't bother me.

Durability

This is one thing I love about Courage--he actually does interfere, so we actually do test boots out. While most things I buy are a prettiness competition, boots are not.
gotta build the athlete
Within days of adjusting to wearing these boots, Courage wore through the external vinyl and padding on the hind boots. In case you're wondering, the hard shell is black. We can see it. The good news is that once that damage was done, it really hasn't gotten that much worse. The worn part is worn, the rest is fine.

That said, if your horse interferes a lot, I really can't recommend these. I keep using them to see how they're going to hold up and so far the wear hasn't affected function, but they definitely aren't as sturdy as other options on the market.

Value

This is a trickier thing to quantify. I tend to be more ok with shelling out for quality equipment than most people (see new boots for $55/pair, think "what a deal!" when others are like "omg so much $$"). Compared to comparable boots on the market, these are really well priced. There's the Eskadrons ($180/set), the Schockemohles (can't find link), the Horze model ($95/set), and the cool-colored-but-prohibitively-expensive-to-ship Pagony Anky model from Divoza (basically euro Dover, imho).
divoza boots on a very mismatched day

Obviously, the Centaur boots clock in as the cheapest bachelor on the market so if that's a thing you worry about (I did), then they're a good option to start out with.

Likes

Love the color, love the ease of use, love the pull tabs, love the funky fun design. 

Dislikes

The durability is a deal breaker for me. I enjoy these boots but am unlikely to replace them with a similar product.

Conclusion

boots!
These boots are fun, easily visible in dark indoor arena photography(!!), easy to clean and easy to store. If you have a horse that's not hard on boots, they'll probably last you a very long time and look sharp doing it. If your horse needs a little more protection, you'd be well advised to look for something more durable.

15 comments:

  1. I had a mare that interfered so bad behind. I never really found a boot that wasn't super hard shelled that didn't get ruined within a couple rides. Annoying for sure!

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  2. I like the way you methodically break things down! My girls don't interfere too much, so these might be a fun future option just in terms of being relatively inexpensive and easy to see in a dark indoor. Easy to clean is also a bonus!

    I'm still dying over the C video from the introductory post for these 😂

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    Replies
    1. I've been using them a ton lately because they're so easy to see and good with gloves on. I need to start testing out the ME boots, but they don't photograph well in the dark.

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  3. I think Charlie needs a full set of white boots!!!

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  4. Grateful that your horse interferes enough to actually test the durability. That way I can assess whether or not this is a product that would hold up to my interfering horse. Looks like these are out of the running for me. At least they are pretty though!

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  5. Ah! I can't believe I missed that intro video. Hilarious! "It's fine. It's fine. It's not fine!" These sound totally up B's alley... my wallet alley too!

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  6. I've always wondered if this style is really a covered open front boot so I'm glad you answered the question! I really love the way these look but have struggled to find any that would fit the pony. There are some euro versions but I haven't cared enough to pay euro shipping.

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