Now, for the moment you've all been waiting for: the boot review! Again, keep in mind I've loved these boots and this company long before I got this set to review.
|Ready to go XC...like four months from now.|
The first thing I noticed when I pulled them out of the box is that they don't feel as stiff as the Generation 1 XC boots, despite the strike guard area inside the boot clearly being larger on the Generation 2's than on the Generation 1's. The strike guard is one of the most genius things about the Majyk Equipe XC boots: it's flexible, but stiffens on impact, so it moves with the horse until the horse hits an object, then it becomes hard to protect what's underneath.
Contrast that to a lot of XC boots on the market which are made of an inflexible material (PVC, in some cases! How hot must that be?) that doesn't move with the horse, and you'll see why I have always thought Majyk Equipe can't be beat on comfortable XC protection for the horse.
|Generation 2 hind boot shown, with "armadillo-like" strike plate next to it. You can just tell by looking at it that this is a nicer boot than the Generation 1 XC boot.|
The next thing I noticed is that the "proprietary anti-fungal eco-friendly" interior foam is much softer than on the last boot, and has more perforations than the Gen 1's. The founders of Majyk Equipe came from the athletic shoe industry (Explains a lot, doesn't it?), so it makes sense that they would incorporate a product like that here.
Is there anything better than the most breathable XC boot on the market getting more protective, more comfortable AND more breathable? No, no there isn't.
One of my favorite parts of the entire redesign I didn't notice until I got to the barn: the straps on the boots have completely changed. They're now softer and made of name-brand Velcro, they're double-stitched all the way around, and they've got double-stitched tabs on the ends that *drumroll please* make it so that I can get them off without taking my winter gloves off (and I wear the big bulky SSG 10 Below gloves)!
This is so important to those of us who live in northern climates - even though I don't usually school XC in temperatures that require winter gloves, I imagine and hope that that design change will carry over into the Dressage boots too, which I do use year round.
|Fronts! They fit!|
Finally, they fit well enough in the fronts that I'm going to keep them. The diameter is perfect, and the length is a bit long on Connor's short cannon bones, but nothing concerning. At last, we'll have a matched set of good XC boots! I'm going to feel really good throwing the neoprene boots in the trash.
If you had told me that Majyk Equipe could have improved on the generation 1 XC boot, I would have been skeptical. Aside from the winter gloves thing, I had no complaints with them. But they really outdid themselves with this second generation, making (my opinion, here) the best in the industry even better.
Bottom line: If you can get the generation 1 XC boots for a really great deal, they're still a good boot. But the Generation 2 boots are such a massive improvement over the generation 1's, they're worth the price. Both are, in my opinion, still the best XC boot out there at the junction of price, heat dissipation and protection for the horse.
(And if you live in a cold climate, don't bother with the Generation 1's. Love those glove-friendly tab closures on the new ones!!)
I'll update this review when we get to go XC schooling again, which is usually in March or April. I couldn't wait that long to share them with you guys, especially since these would make a great Christmas list item - and I feel confident that they'll perform just as well or better than the Generation 1's out on course. Let me know how you like them if you get them!
What: Majyk Equipe Boyd Martin Cross-Country Boots, Generation 2
Price: (At Riding Warehouse) Front: $74.95 Hind: $82.95
Colors: Yes, that is 'colors' plural! They now come in white and black both due to popular demand.
Sizes: Medium (16.2hh and under) and Large (16.3hh and above)
Full disclosure: Majyk Equipe sent me a set of their XC boots and didn't ask me to review them, but they probably knew I wouldn't be able to resist sharing! The opinions stated in this post are mine and mine alone.