When trying to select the proper polo boot you must first evaluate what are the most important selection criteria for you. Is it price, quality, durability, looks, style, prestige, safety, protection, maintenance, care, guarantee? Or, are you new to polo and don’t even know what your criteria should be?
Allow us to share some knowledge from experienced polo players with many years of experience buying, maintaining, repairing and replacing polo boots. The criteria of experience polo players are pretty consistent, and that overview is what we want to share with you today.
First, a boot must be comfortable, provide adequate support and protection. It must provide a stable platform to ride and hit from. Polo players rise in their irons in hitting the ball, so it is imperative the boot provide stability and support in the sole and ankle area. Stability here also provides protection which is very important for the ankle and foot which could be easily damaged by a polo ball or ride off and inadvertent contact with the opposing players stirrup iron or boot. The strength, thickness and number of layers of leather also provide a measure of the protection afforded in the leg area as well as the sole. The leg is very susceptible to bruising or worse during ride-offs and boot makers are increasing to focus development on superior ways of offering increasing protection here. Those ways include quality of leather, double or triple layers of leather, special shock attenuating foam inserted between layers of leather to better absorb impacts.
Important additional protection and stability are afforded by a toe box and a heal cup. Inexpensive boots often don’t have them, and any better boot certainly should because they not only protect but add to durability as well. Seeing they are unseen it is often difficult to discern whether they are present, but any experienced boot seller or maker would certainly be able to advise you.
Most polo players prefer zip boots to provide easy in and out. With zips boots, the zipper quality is very important because polo is a rough sport and low-quality zippers do not last. YKK is a brand known for its durability and our suggestion would be to insist upon YKK #16 zippers for ease, strength and durability. You can purchase western style polo boots which are pulled on, although most players prefer the ease and comfort of zip polo boots.
You can spend between $300 to $2000 for a pair of polo boots. More if you want to go to cordovan leather or something exotic. You can get a great pair of boots for under $1000 that protects, looks great, lasts a long time and functions well for polo. Most of the professional players insist on three-layer protection and those sell at $1800 or more. Here you get additional protection, hand-crafted workmanship and beauty. When you make your living playing polo that is important. On the lower end, the low-price boots tend to be mass produced with little focus on protection, performance or quality. At around $500 you start to get a good boot that offers protection, functionality, traditional polo zip boot ease and style.