For many, winter is a time of rest. But not for us riders. Even if the training is usually less intense, our four-legged friends still have to be moved. Warm equipment is essential for this. Especially when movement has to be achieved by horse riding. The worst affected by the cold are the fingers and toes of almost everyone. This becomes noticeable if, when dismounting, you hit the ground with a little too much momentum and a painful sting goes through your feet.
Thank goodness there are many products nowadays that counteract this. Schockemöhle Sports has developed a lambskin-lined ankle boot under the Tonics label, which is supposed to keep your feet pleasantly warm in winter. We have tested for you whether the “Stardust Frost” winter ankle boots keep what they promise.
What immediately catches the eye is the double zip on the front of the shoe. To slip into it, the front is simply folded forward. In my opinion, this is really a practical idea to put on, as you neither have to squeeze into the shoe, nor somehow push the socks aside to close the shoe.
The elastic lacing is also an absolute visual highlight. The advantage here is that you don't have any annoying ends that you have to hide somewhere. In addition, the elasticity of the cords means that the shoe adapts better to the posture or movement of the leg. The inside of the boot is completely covered with lambskin (with the exception of the elastic inserts on the sides), so you get a cosy, warm feeling as soon as you slip into the shoe. The perfect prerequisite for a ride on a cold winter day!
On the outside there is an innovative abrasion protection that is supposed to extend the life of the boot.
What I also noticed positively is the spur holder on the back. And now to the most important topic: Do the ankle boots keep your feet warm?
I've tested the shoes a few times. On leisurely rides in sub-zero temperatures, as well as a whole afternoon (approx. 4 hours) outdoors at temperatures around 0 degrees. I am happy to report that my toes were still warm afterwards.
What I also tested, albeit rather involuntarily, is the water resistance of the shoe. Unfortunately, once I forgot my rubber boots and had to go out into the paddock in my ankle boots. Since our paddocks are very muddy at this time of year when they are not frozen, the shoes were of course covered with a thick layer of mud afterwards. That's why I had to hose them off before riding. The inside has remained completely dry. Of course, I avoided the zip and the side elastic inserts.
A negative aspect of the ankle boot is that the zips tend to open a little over time. However, this is significantly better with the use of chaps.
I can positively recommend the “Stardust Frost” ankle boot. It's just super cosy, keeps you warm, looks great and is super comfortable too. It also looks very robust and the double seams are neatly processed. It can withstand “normal” winter weather conditions. The only point of criticism is the zip, which opens a little when moving.