I was first introduced to Romitelli maybe a year and a half ago by my trainers, who fell in love with their boots. I had no need for a new pair until I was selling Quinn, whom I rode in the OnTyte Stirrup System which required special soles with metal plates and aren’t great for riding in normal stirrups. The plates are technically removable, but after years of riding/walking in them it was basically impossible to unscrew them…I tried 😅
I prefer to have 2 pairs of tall boots just in case something happens to a pair. The last thing I want to do is to have to buy a new pair of boots in a pinch and with purchases that big I don’t want it to be a surprise. I knew I wanted to keep my Parlanti’s around because 1) they’re sentimental, and 2) I think they may be the longest-lasting Parlanti’s in existence, but my Tucci’s were about an inch too short so I’d been wanting to replace them anyways. So came the journey to get a new pair of boots.
What made me choose to go with Romitelli, you ask? Two words: patent toe. I wanted that Chanel-esque toe cap so badly, and knew that Romitelli’s were roughly the same price as an off-the-rack Parlanti pair. Plus, they’re fully custom!
This review is based on my personal experience and will be scored on points that I find are key for custom tall boots: fitting & design experience, wait time, accuracy & fit, break-in period, comfort, quality, durability, customer service, and value.
Fitting & Design Experience – 10/10
I made an appointment with Christie, the Romitelli rep and she came up to the barn – easy! She brought various styles and sizes for me to try on as well as leather swatches to see what I liked best. Once we decided on a foot size and toe shape (which also affects the foot size), she took my measurements. Then was the hard part – deciding on what I wanted them to look like. I had so many ideas in mind, between a full lace-front boot, a polo-style boot, and a classic dress boot – and don’t even get me started about colors. Christie really helped me narrow it down by asking what I’d be using them for. Since these would be my everyday boots and am working with a young horse for the next few years, I decided against boots with laces for convenience and safety. I also need a little give in my boots as my legs swell a bit in the hot summers, so I needed an elastic panel; therefore polo boots were off the list. I decided on a classic dress boot for the clean look and convenience of not having to clean around laces.
Next came leather choices and colors! Romitelli’s team kindly made some mockups so I could get a visual of what the boot would look like, which really helped. Then I took to Instagram for help! I knew I wanted a patent toe, but needed help deciding on the color and the top of the boot. Here are the mockups:
I got so many responses about these boots – thank you if you helped me choose!! I went with the boot on the far left – black leather, patent toe, patent piping for the top. I asked for no additional patent piping at the ankle and where the patent toe meets the smooth leather for a cleaner look.
Wait Time – 10/10
Normal wait time for custom boots is 3 months, which I was totally fine with – I got super lucky and mine came in a month! I have a barn-mate whose boots got lost in the mail, so she had to get hers redone, so I’m sure it varies from customer to customer but I personally had a very short wait time.
Accuracy & Fit – 9/10
I eagerly scurried to the barn, in hopes that the boots were everything I hoped and dreamed. I’ve heard more horror stories than happy endings when it comes to custom boots. The foot size was perfect and the height was perfect accounting for some drop, but the right calf was a little too tight at first. It wound up giving a bit after walking around for a minute and I was able to get both fully zipped. I took off a point because they accidentally put the patent piping on the ankle, but it really didn’t make that big of a difference and I loved them so off I went to break in boots for the first time in 7 years.
Break-In Period – 8/10
These are not butter-soft Parlanti’s that have next to no break-in time, but I knew I would have to put in some work to break in these boots because I specifically chose the thicker leather for longevity. That being said, it honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected, and they broke in pretty dang quickly. I attribute that in part to using this leather balm on them, which has become my favorite thing to use on boots – I don’t even use polish anymore. These have also been a gamechanger when it comes to breaking boots in. The calf wound up breaking in perfectly and they’re easy to zip up now. The ankle dropped a touch as expected, and the height is perfect.
*Leather balm link is an affiliate link. I decided to become an affiliate after it worked so well on my boots!
Comfort – 8/10
The insole is pretty basic and is neither comfortable nor uncomfortable. I’ll probably wind up replacing it with one with more cushion and arch support, but it’s not causing me any problems for the time being. The Achilles area can rub sometimes, but I have yet to meet a boot that doesn’t. I wear the Ezeefits that I used when breaking them in when I know I’ll be in them for an extended amount of time (over 3 hours) and that helps a ton. What I’ve come to expect comfort-wise in tall boots isn’t cloud-like comfort, but something that doesn’t make my ankles bleed and leave me limping back to my car. I call this “comfortable enough” and that’s what these are.
Quality – 10/10
The leather and craftsmanship are very high-quality. The stitching is tight, even, and strong. The spur rest is sturdy and holds the spur securely in the right place. I love that these have the zipper keeper at the top to prevent the boot from unzipping while you ride.
Durability – 10/10 so far
I’ve been riding in and wearing my boots consistently since they arrived in September. I don’t think 4ish months is really enough time to have a final say on how long they’ll last, but if I had to guess I think they will last a long, long time. The materials and construction seem very durable and there are no signs of wear other than that they’ve broken in. I take good care of my boots and regularly clean them, which helps anything last longer. The zippers are holding up well so far, which I’m happy about because when I first put them on the right zipper was skipping a link. That hasn’t happened since, so I assume that’s just because the boot was super tight at the beginning.
Customer Service – 10/10
The service I got was 10/10. Christie has been wonderful to work with. She’s easy to get a hold of, is knowledgeable, and is clearly very passionate about the boots. You can tell she’s working for the company because she really loves and believes in the product.
Note: While I had a pretty perfect experience, a couple of barn-mates had issues with boots getting lost during shipment/delayed, sizing, or the leather not being correct. Unfortunately with custom boots, it seems impossible to completely avoid any problems (especially amidst a global pandemic) but Romitelli doesn’t seem to be one of those brands that delivers the wrong product and then just leaves you with it.
Value – 9/10
The price depends on the customization, but my boots were about the same price as Parlanti’s. I think it’s a bit crazy that tall boots as a whole are as expensive as they are (only in our world would $300 boots be considered “affordable”). So in comparison to how much tall boots are, I think they’re a good value as you’re getting a fully custom, hand-made boot – especially if you choose a more durable leather, they should last a long time.
I absolutely LOVE my boots and am so happy I decided to go the Romitelli route. I know custom boots can be scary and at times risky, but I never felt once that I wouldn’t get something I was completely happy with. If you’re fine with potentially waiting for a while to get your pair of dream boots, I think it’s totally worth it and I will cherish mine for *hopefully* years to come.
If you’re interested in getting a custom pair of your own, let me know and I will get you Christie’s contact info!
Romitelli Custom Boots$1070
Fitting & Design Experience10.0/10
Accuracy & Fit9.0/10
Durability (So Far)10.0/10
- Fully customizable
- Hundreds of color, leather, and design options
- High quality
- Seem to be very durable
- Cost about the same as other popular high-end boots
- They're BEAUTIFUL.
- Turnaround for me was super fast
- Great customer service & experience
- Custom orders can take longer due to shipping or needing to fix mistakes
- Still expensive