Style meets comfort in these tall boot alternatives
Half chaps protect the lower leg from pinching or chafing from English-style stirrup leathers. They are a less expensive alternative to tall boots with a variety of sizing options, designs, and features available. We’ll discuss how to measure for the perfect fit and what to expect from varying price points.
|Best Half Chaps||Name||Price|
|1||Best Overall||Tredstep Deluxe Side Zip||$$|
|2||Best for Wide Calves||ProChaps – The FIT||$$|
|3||Best for Short Legs||Huntley Brazilian||$$|
|4||Best for Summer||Tough 1 Breathable||$|
|5||Best for Kids||Dublin Child’s Easy Care||$|
|8||Best Unisex Half Chaps||Ariat Close Contour||$$|
|9||Best Non-Zip Half Chap||Ovation Ladies Suede||$|
|10||Best Budget Half Chaps||Perri’s Zipper Adult||$|
|11||Best for Jumping||ProChaps – Competition II||$|
|12||Best for Dressage||Suedwind Grand Prix||$|
|13||Best for Eventing||Tredstep Medici||$|
Half Chaps 101
Why do English riders wear half chaps?
English riders commonly wear half chaps as an alternative to tall boots. Half chaps are great for schooling and lessons, as they are (sometimes significantly) less expensive than tall boots. Either a tall boot or half chap is helpful to protect the rider’s leg from being pinched or rubbed by the stirrup leather.
Half chaps or tall boots also help with grip.
How do you choose half chaps?
When selecting half chaps, you should consider:
- Budget: While price may be an indication of quality, there are some fantastic, affordable options listed below. Unlike tall boots, you don’t need to spend a fortune for a perfect fit!
- Fit: Half chaps require you to take two measurements—your calf circumference and height. Be sure to check the size chart before buying! Not all “Mediums” are created equally—sizing can vary across brands as well as specific models.
- Color: Typically, you want to match the half chaps to your boots. If you’re riding in black paddock boots, pick a black pair of chaps. Brown boots equals brown half chaps.
Best English Half Chaps Overall
Tredstep Deluxe Side Zip
These quality leather half chaps are designed to ensure an incredible fit. The sleek side zipper combined with stretch leather apron over the instep, creates an elegant appearance.
This product is our #1 overall pick because of its moderate price point combined with great customer reviews.
- A variety of sizing options available
- Moderate price point places this half chap in the “middle of the pack”
- Quality product, reputable brand
Best English Half Chaps for Wide Calves
The ProChaps FIT are designed to fit like a second skin for a custom-like feel. With 35 sizing options across two half chap styles, you’re sure to find your perfect fit.
These half chaps are breathable and require no break-in period.
- The most sizing options we’ve seen (without paying for something completely custom!)
- While these come in at a higher price point, they are known for both quality and durability
- These half chaps are designed to be both breathable and to increase blood circulation in your lower leg
Best English Half Chaps for Short Legs
Huntley Brazilian Leather Half Chaps
These boots deliver a closely contoured, snug fit for an elegant tall boot look. Made from ultra-soft Brazilian full grain leather, these half chaps are flexible while delivering stability. Best of all?
Customers LOVE this half chap, reinforcing the brand’s claims of quality, fit, and durability.
- Lots of sizing options combined with an elastic panel for a sleek fit
- Price point is higher than average but still affordable given the features & quality offered
- These half chaps look so good they may be mistaken for tall boots
Best English Half Chaps for Summer
Tough 1 Breathable Half Chaps
These half chaps are perfect for hot summer rides as they are made of breathable mesh for maximum ventilation. Featuring a full-length zipper, the synthetic suede on the inside of the calf protects and helps with grip.
Beat the heat without sacrificing functionality.
- Limited sizing options compared to other brands
- Budget price point can be attractive, especially if you are looking for something just during hot weather
- One customer noted these are great for Endurance riding
Best English Half Chaps for Kids
Dublin Child’s Easy Care Chaps
These half chaps come in at an economy price point, perfect for growing kids. An added bonus? They are machine-washable! The calf is made from synthetic suede with good elasticity for fit and compression.
Both durable and affordable, customers love this product for kids and also say great things about the adult version.
- Limited sizing options, these half chaps come in small, medium, and large
- Budget price point is perfect for kids that may outgrow them rather quickly
- Machine washable—does it get any easier?
Best Unisex Half Chaps
Ariat Close Contour Half Chap
Ariat created a flattering silhouette in a half chap with exceptional comfort. The leather is extremely supple and the Spanish-cut topline creates a classic look.
These half chaps have a full-length stretch panel and lots of sizing options for a perfect fit.
- Plenty of sizing options for a great, snug fit
- Higher price point indicative of quality and durability
- Pairs well with Ariat Heritage III, Westchester, and Performer Zip paddock boots
Best Non-Zip Half Chap
Ovation Ladies Suede Half Chap
These half chaps are both affordable and offer another option to zippers. They come in black or brown and utilize a hook and loop closure.
At an economy price point, they may be worth a try if you are looking for Velcro in lieu of zippers.
- Limited sizing options
- Economy price point is appreciated by reviewers
- It can be difficult to find a half chap that doesn’t use zippers—these utilize Velcro instead
Best Budget Half Chaps
Perri’s Zipper Adult Half Chap
Customers appreciate the balance between quality and price offered in this half chap. Made of suede cowhide, these half chaps have a zipper, ankle snap, and elastic foot band.
Several customers mentioned that the wide sizes offered actually fit wide calves quite well.
- Multiple size options available to help you find the right fit
- Budget price point that still values quality
- Brown and black options available
Best Half Chaps for Jumping
ProChaps Competition II
These beautiful half chaps from ProChaps feature cutting-edge technology with a classically modern design. Stability is key when you’re trying to keep your jumping leg quiet, long, and ON!
Get a custom-like fit without the full-custom price tag.
- Designed to reduce muscle fatigue
- Custom-like fit with no break-in period
- Durable and machine washable
Best Half Chaps for Dressage
Suedwind Grand Prix
These half chaps deliver performance and design thanks to their elegant shape and superior comfort. It features smooth full grain leather, a high Spanish top, and an elastic zipper panel.
Get the illusion of beautiful tall boots—without the cost of tall boots.
- Genuine leather and sleek design
- Tall boot details uplevel any paddock boot
- Crafted in Germany with comfort in mind
Best Half Chaps for Eventing
These slimming half chaps offer premium leather with lightweight and flexible perforated Neoprene for a perfect fit and close contact contour. Various textures, side zipper, and mesh lining take half chaps to a new level.
The shape of this chap allow more ankle movement when you’re out on course.
- Premium leather lasts for years, even with frequent use
- Close contact fit is still quite comfortable
- Side zip makes for easy on/off at the barn or show
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the point of half chaps?
Half chaps are designed to protect your lower leg from pinching or chafing against the stirrup leathers of an English-style saddle. They can also provide additional grip. Half chaps are a more economical option compared to tall boots, generally worn for daily riding as opposed to in the show pen.
Q: What is the difference between half chaps and gaiters?
Technically half chaps zip at the side and zip down from the knee. Gaiters have a hidden zipper located at the back and zip upwards from the ankle to the knee. They also tend to have a higher topline, referred to as Spanish cut.
Half chaps typically have more elastic panels for fit, flexibility, and comfort while gaiters are designed for a more formal look. All gaiters are half chaps, but not all half chaps are gaiters.
All that said, it can be difficult to find gaiters for equestrians in the USA. Gaiters are more commonly found for hiking and hunting than for horseback riding. Your best bet is to search for half chaps!
Q: How do I measure myself for half chaps?
Half chaps will have a height measurement and a calf circumference measurement. To measure yourself, put on the breeches and the socks you plan to ride in. Sit in a chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knee is bent at a 90 degree angle. Measure from where your heel meets the floor to the tendon at the back of your knee. That’s your height measurement.
Next, measure the circumference of your calf at the widest point. A cloth measuring tape works best. Enlisting the help of a friend (or getting measured at your local tack shop) may be helpful!
Q: Are chaps or tall boots better?
Both tall boots and half chaps accomplish the same end goal—to protect your lower leg from rubbing or chafing between the stirrup leather and the saddle, and to provide additional grip. Tall boots tend to be more expensive, while paddock boots combined with half chaps are a more economical option.
Some riders will save their tall boots for horse shows and wear half chaps for daily riding.
Q: Do Western riders wear half chaps?
If you wear lace-up style Western boots, you can wear half chaps with them. Unfortunately due to the fitted nature of half chaps, they won’t work with traditional pull-on cowboy boots. Half chaps are more commonly seen in English disciplines, as the primary purpose is to protect your lower leg from being pinched by the stirrup leathers.
Western saddles have fenders, which eliminates that particular issue. Western riders would generally be seen in chaps or chinks over half chaps.
Half chaps are an affordable alternative to tall boots, making them great for schooling or new riders. With so many great products available you should have no trouble finding a pair that fits well within your price range!
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