By Joan Collett.
Chatham’s Blenheim water-repellent, waxed, nubuck high leg boot
I happened to have rather good legs. It’s not something that I feel it necessary to be modest about– I didn’t choose my parents were both quite elegant people and I’ve tried to keep in reasonably good shape cycling to work, walking and riding.
I’m not saying that any other part of me is particularly good to look at! I’ll leave that for others to judge, but it does mean that I can show off a skirt, a pair of jeans, a pair of high heel shoes, or a pair of boots.
Chatham’s Blenheim boot is a case in point. It’s a high leg, rugged, solid leather riding boot with three Velcro cross straps on the leg. The boot has a gusset and the cross straps tighten the leg of the boot around your leg. Now, I am as open minded as the next girl but I was made to blush when a friend said, in his best, “Oh you are awful, but I like you voice” that he liked my new “bondage boots!”
Well, since “50 Shades of Grey” hit the books stands it seems that the subject is no longer the taboo it once was and of course the riding community have access to whips, leathers and even harnesses which are (I am told, of course I have no first-hand experience you understand) are the accoutrements of such bedroom antics. “Well,” I warned my suggestive friend, “they are hot. But, not in the way YOU think!” Putting the double entendre aside, the Blenheim’s are fleecy lined which means that riding out in the cold your feet stay toasty warm. However, in a fashion sense they are “hot” too, as the number of questions from other girls at the stables about where they can get a pair revealed.
Some people have other physical attributes about which they can justifiably feel immodest. It takes all sorts. And this applies to some of the girls riding at the stables: they have sweet personalities but, as is the modern trend, they carry weight, which may not be fully justified by their height (Did I say that nicely?)
The result is that they find great difficulty finding a pair of riding boots to fit. Or to put it another way, they have very muscular calves.
Bingo! The gusset in Chatham’s Blenheim boot means it is not prescriptive about the size of your calves! When the boots are standing waiting to be put on, with the straps undone, the opening is cavernous. That means that people with “muscular calves” can put on the Blenheim boot without the struggle of normal, narrow riding boots with or without a zip. They can tighten the straps to a comfortable tension that suits them.
But, even for me with my elegant legs (well, if you’ve got it flaunt it!) normal, close-fitting riding boots can be a pain to remove, while with the Blenheims its flick, flick, flick and you are out of bondage – there I go again!
Of course, the Blenheim is designed as a rugged riding boot and has a protector where the stirrup meets the boot. But, I found them really comfortable to walk in. Some friends, whose ability to stay in the saddle is not very developed, will welcome this – there is nothing worse than parting company with your horse in an unscheduled dismount, the horse heading home to the stables without you and you having to trudge all the way home.
I have walked miles around our point-to-point course, which is high up, and wind swept. “Walking the course’ with a friend who had a horses running and I found the Blenheims comfortable and w-a-r-m! So friends who have to follow their horses home would welcome such a duel purpose riding-walking boot.
Oh, and by the way, on that occasion I was walking the course I had on a pair of overalls as I had been mucking out the stables before the friend came to pick me up. Firstly, I was able to hose off the Blenheims which are water resistant – the gusset does not seem to let the water in, but if it does it drains out, but also, I had the overall tucked into the top of the boots. Because of the gusset and straps and extra space they give at the opening of the boot you can tuck in bulky overalls or trousers and adjust the straps without having blood clots from the constriction of trying to jam too much into the top of the boots.
I often wear a pair of thick socks and trousers and trying to tuck the trousers into even Wellington boots can be tricky but with the Blenheims their fleecy inside means you don’t have to wear Arctic socks and the straps mean you can borrow a pair of your boyfriends chunky corduroy trousers and still have a not too tight fitting boot. I think Chatham is onto a winner with the Blenheim with a flexible as well as fashionable boot.
Details: Chatham’s Blenheim
A ladies sturdy water-repellent waxed nubuck high leg boot in neutral brown. Chatham’s Blenheim features a full fleece lining and insole for extra warmth and exceptional gripping rubber soles. The boots have three adjustable side straps for a secure fit accommodating all calf widths.