Short Version - I LOVE THEM.
Slightly Longer Version - More than any other boot I've owned (strong words).
Tack Ho Version:
We all know my tall boot drama/addiction. It runs deep, it's compulsive, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
The decision to order the Konigs was a bit random, but when the delivery date coincided (sorta) with both Christmas and my third anniversary (the "leather" anniversary, I kid you not) it seemed more than justifiable.
Because I've had previously good experiences with Konigs (both in Dressage and Jumpy land) I was rather confident about the overall quality of the boot I would be getting, but I remained guarded about both fit, durability and eventually - my choice to go with a calfskin hide.
The boots arrived Dec 10 (I think) which means I've been using them (every ride) for approximately six and a half weeks. Usually I would expect to be deep in the boot-break-in-hatred phase, but I am fully in the "love my beautiful boots" phase.
I think due mostly to the hide choice.
Because I wanted something I would show in, I sadly, did not get to consider any of the fun color/piping options. I got to choose from black, black, and black. But, since I'm a Tack Ho at heart even considering the differences among those was exciting.
This particular calfskin is a new offering for Konig, and one I was reluctant to order since I have generally bad feelings about calf on boots. Given that I don't get to order 3 pairs a year, I really, really despise boots over $100 that will wear out in 6 months. (ridic).
My Boot Dude (official title) assured me that he was obsessed with the new hide, was assured it would wear like iron, and that I'd be pleased with it. Whether drunk on leather fumes, or just trying to be agreeable, I took his suggestion and went for the thinner, softer hide.
Well, it did not disappoint. It is certainly softer and thinner, which has been fabulous for break in (like, really, really fabulous, no soaking boots in a bathtub here..) and also gives a really nice feel of your horse.
Where it differs from other calfskin boots I've seen is in the finish, which resembles and feels more like a traditional top grain leather. It lacks the tacky grip of "calf" which increases my confidence that it won't wear out immediately with minimal use.
So far there are no rub or wear marks, which sets it above both my Konig pull-ons and the Treadstep DaVincis after a similar period of use.
In terms of styling, I am quite pleased with the fit and details. The snaps are sturdy, the zipper feels good and the sole is thinner and more refined than it's peers. Some people prefer a big this lug sole. I do not. A bigger sole might be more practical if you are in your boots for 12 hours a day/hiking through the mud in the back 40, but right now I do neither of those things so I appreciate the more refined look.
|Konig's thinner sole on the right. Treadstep DaVinci on the left|
The first issue is that the swagger tab is stitched to the boot only at the bottom, allowing it to gape a bit, which looks a tad unfinished to me. Boot Dude has assured me he'll gladly stitch it down for me, I just haven't taken them in. (in contrast, the Treadsteps have a fully stitched swagger tab.
|trying to exaggerate the gap|
|The TS stitched down version|
The second complaint is that the zipper guard at the heel isn't *perfectly* tailored to the boot. I don't think anyone else can see it, but when I'm riding and glance down my leg I see a corner of the zipper guard sticking out. Again, not a functional issue, but an aesthetic one - and one that should be relatively easy to control.
|I had to try *really* hard for a crappy photo|
From a polish perspective, they take a decent shine already (better than the Tredsteps did initially, not as good as my Dressage boots did..), so I'm hoping that in another year the patina will be flawless.
Because of the thinner hide I'm trying to be extra neurotic about keeping a protective layer of shine on them. So far, so good.
All in all, I'd have to give the D5000 two huge, boot-nerd thumbs up. The custom order fits my leg wonderfully, looks clean and tailored, and the leather is scrumptious. I'm confident they will be both pretty and comfortable for long days at Thermal, and I love that they are a slightly less-expected boot than a Parlanti or Der Dau in that crowd.
I love beautiful things (as we know), but I especially love beautiful things that not every other person is wearing. (reason #4,564 that even if I wanted to spend $1000 on a belt, you will never see me in the Hermes H).
More updates of my love affair with the Konig as our relationship deepens and grows with time :)