Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boot Review: Dublin Pinnacle

The State of Virginia is generally a giant mud pit from November through April, unless we have colder than normal temperatures, in which case we get Snowmageddon.  I think the state averages around 50 inches of rainfall a year and it feels like most of it falls during late fall, winter, and early spring.  Coming from a state like North Dakota, where the area I lived in was very dry (something like 12-14 inches/year), all this rain takes some getting used to.  In fact, despite living here for over 13 years, I still have not gotten used to it.  Don't get me wrong, it's nice that things like trees grow here and that the grass is green for 9 months out of the year, and that there are never watering restrictions, but 50 inches of rain creates a lot of mud.

So last month, I was on the hunt for boots that I could use around the barn and that would work for cold weather riding.  Tall riding boots are OK, but they usually aren't waterproof, tend to be pretty expensive, and really aren't comfortable for anything other than sitting on a horse and not moving.  That said, I did have my eye on a couple of Mountain Horse brand boots that are not real leather and are meant for cold weather riding, so I headed over to the Dover Saddlery store to check them out in person.

As luck would have it, Dover didn't have my size in the Mountain Horse boots, but they were having a sale on the Dublin Pinnacle boot.  I tried on a pair and I decided they would work.  The big reason I liked them was because they had lacing on the side instead of a zipper, so I figured they would be much more adjustable.  The foot part of the boot was supposed to be waterproof and they were advertized as a "light riding" boot.  They seemed comfortable enough, so I decided to test them out.

I've been doing barn chores, riding, and running errands in them for about a month now and here's my assessment.  They are a great all-around boot.  They are, in fact, waterproof on the bottom portion of the boot (below the lacing).  I know this because I've been traipsing through mud puddles and hosing them off while my socks stay dry.  And while not advertized as a winter boot, they have a liner which seems to have an insulating effect, and I've been getting by with pretty thin socks in temperatures down to the mid-20s and my feet have stayed warm.  Now, if I'd been sitting doing nothing, I'm not sure if they still would have been warm, but as long as I'm moving or riding, my feet have been in good shape so far this winter, and I have enough room in the boot to wear a thicker sock if I feel like I need it.  Plus, they work pretty well for riding.  They aren't as tall as a tall boot would be, but that means that the boot doesn't irritate the back of my knee and I can easily move around in them.  They also have an extra layer of leather on the inside of the boot, so it can stand up to the extra stress of rubbing against a stirrup leather.  The lacing system works great, especially because I have wider calves and I no longer have to worry that if my breeches are an extra millimeter in thickness that my boots won't zip up.

In terms of what could be better about the boot...I think having the shaft be an extra inch or two in length would be nice.  When riding, there is some drop through the boot, so there are several inches between the top of the boot and my knee.  It doesn't really bother me in terms of rubbing from the stirrup leather, but I'm used to riding in tall boots or half chaps that come up to my knee, so it's kind of a weird feeling to have extra space above the boot.  Also, when I put them on, the inner liner catches on my sock as I'm putting my foot in, so I have to do some wiggling and adjusting to get the liner to stay in place.  It's not a deal-breaker, but maybe the liner could have been made out of a less "sticky" material.  And, when I'm sitting in my truck, the little bit of velcro that isn't covered by the top strap sticks to the seat.  That doesn't happen when I'm in my husband's car or a friend's truck, so it may be that the seat covers in my truck are the kind of material that sticks better to velcro.  Again, not a deal-breaker, but kind of annoying.  The only other comment I have is that if you intend to wear the boots all day doing barn chores, you'll probably want to add a sole insert because there isn't any arch support and the foot bed is a little on the clunky side.  I wouldn't want to do any hiking out on the trails in these boots unless it was a short distance, but I can wear them for several hours doing all-purpose type activities without a sole insert and still be reasonably comfortable.

Overall, these boots get 4 out of 5 stars.  They are well-made, seem quite durable, and if you can find them on sale, they are a pretty good value.  And they really do go from mud to riding, so I don't have to constantly be changing footwear, which I hate to do when it's cold outside.  These boots definitely get my recommendation, but I'd love to hear from you about what you use for winter boots:)


  1. Great review! Liz has these boots and I've been coveting them since she got hers! My one concern has been how much they drop after seeing them on her a year after she purchased them: I can totally see the edge of the boot rubbing against the edge of the Alta and my calves ending up chafed as a result. When Dublin came out with a black River boot, I decided I might go for those if I ever find them at a low enough price, though I don't think they are any taller height-wise than the Pinnacles.

    I have a pair of low Kamik snow boots that I bought on sale from Zappos last winter that are da bomb. They are rated to -40 degrees F/C thanks to removable liners. They fit in my stirrups, don't slip on ice, have a rubber outer on the foot and waterproof leather upper. I can go walking in ankle-deep snow in them and my feet stay warm and dry. They are SUPER comfortable for walking too. I just wish half chaps fit over them! I also have a pair of Mountain Horse Rimfrost Riders that I kind of hate. They are super stiff, have no arch support, and the footbed feels thin = cold feet! They are waterproof but I absolutely needed to have toe warmers in them when riding in the cold, or my feet would go numb. Definitely not for long rides either: my ankles would end up chafed from the stiff folds in the boot digging into my skin when I had my heels down. I need to just sell them so I can get a pair of Dublin River boots. ;)

    1. Yeah, the drop is a little irritating - they almost catch the edge of my Eurolight, but I just don't want to be switching between riding and non-riding boots, so right now, these are the best I've got:)

  2. I adore my Pinnacles, though yes, they have dropped after a year of hard use. Still super comfy and functional though. And I've found them to be waterproof ALL THE WAY UP. I used them to cross a stream at Fort Valley last year and was only wet because the water topped over them down into the boot! Eep.

    1. Good to know, Liz! I definitely push waterproofing boundaries:)